Instant Pot Brown Rice Bowl with Chickpeas

This Instant Pot brown rice bowl was one of the simplest lunches I've cooked in a long time, using the pot-in-pot method! Loaded with toppings: peanuts, herbs, sliced avocado, and scallions.

Instant Pot Brown Rice Bowl with Chickpeas

The first thing I made in my new Instant Pot was beans and rice. Not a surprise to anyone who has been a longtime reader here ;) The beans were chickpeas, the rice was brown, and it was spiked with a dollop of curry paste. The resulting brown rice bowl was one of the simplest lunches I've cooked in a long time - effortless, fragrant, and good. Toppings were pulled from whatever was around - peanuts, herbs, sliced avocado, and scallions.

Instant Pot Brown Rice Bowl with Chickpeas

My favorite part about the whole thing? Keeping the rice separate from the beans while they were cooking. To be honest, I wasn't sure this was really work going to work, certainly not on first attempt, but it was legit good! Have a look at the photos below. Here's how it works. You can place the beans in an oven-proof or stainless steel container, and insert those into your electric cooker / Instant Pot - they cook at the same time, but aren't combined. This, in my mind, opens up a world of possibilities. It's a "pot-in-pot" or "PIP" approach.

Instant Pot Brown Rice Bowl with Chickpeas

If you have an Instant Pot (or other electric pressure cooker), and you want to cook a simple brown rice bowl, this is a good place to start. You'll have to figure out two containers that will stack, without bumping up against the lid of your cooker. I tested this a few more times, which was easy because everything goes so quickly! And I'm writing up the recipe and process using brown basmati rice and (soaked) chickpeas.

Instant Pot Brown Rice Bowl with Chickpeas

Let me know how it goes! Also, for quick reference I'm putting all my Instant Pot recipes in one spot. Let me know if you have any requests! xx, -h

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Instant Pot Brown Rice Bowl with Chickpeas

4.50 from 2 votes

HS: High pressure for 22 minutes in the Instant Pot is what you're after here. If you're using an alternate electric cooker, you may have to adjust the timing accordingly (and make note for next time!).

  • 2 cups water
  • 1-2 tablespoons of a favorite curry paste, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups brown basmati rice, rinsed
  • 1 cup chickpeas, soaked for 4-6 hours, or overnight
  • to serve toppings (any or all of the following): toasted peanuts, green onions, avocado, cilantro, hot sauce, quick pickled red onions
  1. This recipe uses the pot-in-pot method. You'll need two oven-proof or stainless steel containers you can stack inside your Instant Pot without obstructing the lid. I use two Pyrex containers (pictured above).
  2. Pour the two cups of water into the first container, the one you're going to use for rice. Whisk in the curry paste, and the salt. Taste, and add more salt or curry paste if you like. Add the rice. Place the chickpeas in a second container (no additional water in this container).
  3. Arrange the steamer rack in the bottom of the Instant Pot, add 2 cups of water. Put the chickpea container inside the pot, and stack the rice container on top of the chickpea container. Close the pot, close the valve, and PRESSURE cook for 22 MINUTES. Let the pressure naturally release for ten minutes, and then, carefully, quick release. Carefully remove from the pot.
  4. Serve each bowl with brown rice, some chickpeas, and all sorts of toppings - avocado, peanuts, herbs, and scallions. Whatever you have on hand! There are suggestions in the ingredient list. A dollop of salted yogurt is also delicious here.

Alternative: Sprouted brown rice bowl - bump the timing up to 26 minutes, everything else remains the same.

For reference, this is the Instant Pot I used for this recipe: Instant Pot DUO Plus 6 Qt 9-in-1

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
22 mins
Total Time
27 mins
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4.50 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Where did you get that flatware? I swear it’s the same type we had back in our house when I was a kid in the 70s.


    Vintage! 🙂

    Heidi Swanson

I would love an IP version of the classic Grandma’s Grains! One of my favorites…


Hi Heidi,
Thank you so much for these great recipes! I just bought my first IP and while I’m not motivated to read the accompanying manual, I am motivated to try your recipes! Would you alter the water or time at all for Japanese short-grain rice? Thanks again! Colleen

HS: Hi Colleen, the manual is indeed special ;)…Try the recipe as written, and adjust for round two if you’re a little off. Keep a little notebook for timings that work for you. Like, for the rice varietals you prefer, beans, etc.


Tried this and my rice wasn’t cooked at all…What am I doing wrong? I used long grain brown rice in a pyrex with the chickpeas on top of the rice in a metal tin. I had them both on top of an upside down trivet (so it wasn’t as tall and the whole tower would fit)… (Do you need a trivet? How do you know how long to cook for? Are pot-in-a-pot cooking times the same as normal cooking times? Thank you!!! So excited.

HS: Hi Mekayla – you should be good. First thing, did you put water in with the rice? If so, and your rice still wasn’t cooked fully, bump up the timing by 5 minutes, and try again with the same rice. Also, it’s helpful to keep a little notebook for future reference – so you can note what works best. I tested this multiple times using brown basmati, and then sprouted brown rice, but perhaps your rice needs a little extra time….


Thank you for developing good, wholesome recipes for the instant pot! I bought a small one recently (3 qrt) and I really love it, but I don’t have a very wide range of things I cook in it yet.

HS: Thanks Sally! Happy to try to share some inspiration.


Wait so you can put glass containers in a pressure cooker? For some reason the sound of it kind of terrifies me.

HS: Hi Lily – mine are Pyrex, also, stainless steel will work!


AWESOME! Finally, I can get everything done in one pot at the same time! OMG! I can’t wait to try different food combinations.


Hi! I’m loving these new IP posts… Question for you on the pot in pot method. How does the top container rest on the bottom one? How sturdy does it have to be? Does it need to totally cover the first container? Thanks!

HS: Hi Leah, I just set the top container on top of the other (in a + shape), it doesn’t actually cover the bottom one entirely.


So you didn’t use any water/liquid in your chickpeas at all? Just soaked, drained chickpeas in a container? Amazing. Another method would be to cook the chickpeas in the instant pot proper with your liquid and then elevate the rice in pyrex (or stainless pot) on a trivet over the chickpeas.

HS: Correct!


I love that you’ve discovered the Instant Pot and can’t wait to try your recipes. Just to confirm, something on this one … you don’t add any liquid to the chickpeas? Is the moisture from soaking enough for them? (I am intrigued.)

HS: Correct Ann – the moisture from the pressure cooking is enough 🙂

Ann Pagel

I may never eat another lunch again! Haha! I’m so glad you’ve been experimenting with the Instant Pot. I’ve had it for 2 years now and love it!!!You can buy stainless steel stacking insert pans for the Instant Pot to do this as well.

HS: Thanks Lisa!

Lisa Cohen

Hi Heidi, Requesting your posole recipe for the IP. I haven’t been successful finding a time for the dried hominy. I also got some mixed grains from the Asian market that are delish but they have to soaked and take between 20-30 minutes to pressure cook. I haven’t had any luck cooking them in a crockpot or on the stove. Any ideas? Looking forward to trying this one with the double pot method. Sally


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