Instant Pot Smokey Meat Sauce over Rice (Pot-in-Pot) | Food Under Pressure

One Pot Smokey Meat Sauce over Rice

I am always looking for new ways to use ground beef or ground turkey.

And, I’m always looking for new ways to meal prep and eat something healthier.

There’s more!

I am also always looking for new ways to make a ONE POT MEAL!

This Smokey Meat Sauce is IT! It works for all the things I am looking for, and it will work for you, too!

You can use ground beef or ground turkey – totally up to you! I happen to LOVE using ground turkey in this – ground turkey is GREAT about picking up flavors you give it. This meat sauce is not short on flavor! It pairs perfectly with brown rice!

This recipe is great to fit into your 21 Day Fix or Whole30 meal plan, too! For Whole30, omit rice and/or sub with potatoes or perhaps Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash!

The recipe will show directions for pot in pot (pip) methods of making brown rice with the meat sauce. If you prefer white rice, please refer to notes at the end of the recipe to modify – there is a different cooking process if using white rice.

One Pot Smokey Meat Sauce & Rice


for sauce

1 T olive oil

1 1/4 lbs ground beef or turkey

1 cup onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 t chili powder

1 t cumin

1/2 t smoked paprika (Smoked, not regular)

1 t salt

1/2 t pepper

pinch-1/2 t cayenne pepper, optional for spice (I use 1/4 t)

1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes with chiles (can use plain if desired)

3 T tomato paste (If using canned, freeze the rest in tupperware for later!)

1/2 cup water

1 lime, juiced

2-3 T fresh cilantro, chopped (can sub parsley if desired)

Optional add-in ingredients

totally up to your preference!

1/2 cup bell pepper, diced

1 cup mushrooms, cut in 1/2 inch pieces

1/4 cup carrots, diced

1/4 cup celery, diced

hot sauce, to taste

Ingredients for Rice

1 1/2 cup brown rice

2 cup water

1 T butter or olive oil

1/2 t garlic salt

For brown rice, I use 1:1 1/4  ratio of Rice: water [1 cup rice : 1 1/4 cup water] with 15 minutes HP cook time and QPR.

*Learn more about my preferences for cooking rice – coming soon!

Essential Tools

Pressure Cooker, I have the 6 qt IP-60DUO Instant Pot

Trivet or rack, like this simple rack

Oven-safe bowl, like this Corningware 1 1/2 qt bowl

Silicone Mitts

Large cooking spoon, or this Pampered Chef Mix-n-Chop tool


Set Pressure Cooker on Sauté or Browning mode.

Add oil, allow to heat for 30 seconds. Add ground meat, and sauté for 3-5 minutes until browned. Break up meat using spoon or this Pampered Chef Mix-n-Chop tool

Using silicone mitts or hand towel, lift & tilt inner pressure cooker pot and drain grease.

Add onion, garlic and dried seasonings. Sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes.

*Add optional add-in ingredients at this time as well.

I added bell pepper and mushrooms!

Add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, water and lime juice.

Stir and place small trivet or rack over sauce

Place rice and water, plus butter and garlic salt if desired, in oven safe bowl on trivet.

This is considered a pot-in-pot method (pip).

Close lid to pressure cooker, and close venting knob.

For Instant Pot, turn vent knob to “Sealing”.

Choose High Pressure setting, and adjust cook time to 15 minutes.

For Instant Pot, press “Manual” and use +/- buttons to adjust cook time.

Pressure cooker will take about 10-15 minutes to come to pressure (mine took 13 – yep, I timed it!). When pot comes to pressure, cook time will begin.

When cook time is complete, allow pot to naturally release pressure (NPR) for 10 minutes.

For Instant pot, when cook time completes, pot will beep and display L0:00 and automatically change to keep warm setting – allow timer to count up to 10 minutes of natural pressure release time (will display as L0:10).

After 5 minutes, Quickly release remaining pressure (QPR) by opening vent knob.

For Instant Pot, turn vent knob to “Venting”.

Fluff rice with a fork, and carefully remove bowl using silicone mitts or other oven mitt.

Carefully remove trivet/rack (yessss – it will be HOT). Stir sauce.

Serve sauce over rice and Enjoy!

This should make 5 generous servings.

One Pot Smokey Meat Sauce over Rice

21 Day Fix:

1 yellow, 1 red, 1 green, 1 tsp

If you prefer to use white rice, make the following modifications:

1. Use 1:1 ratio of rice: water

2. Cook sauce without adding rice for 10 minutes on High Pressure and QPR.

3. Open lid, carefully add trivet over sauce, place bowl of rice/water on trivet, then cook an additional 3 minutes on High Pressure, followed by 10 minutes NPR.

Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest!

Check out all of our Favorite Pressure Cooker Accessories!