Pressure Cooker Salmon and Rice With Lemon Caper Chimichurri

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Salmon cooked in an Instant Pot sits atop a fragrant lemon herb rice, and is topped with lemon caper chimichurri. This Pressure Cooker Salmon and Rice With Lemon Caper Chimichurri recipe is elegant enough for a special dinner!

Pressure Cooker ((Instant Pot) Salmon and Rice With Lemon Caper Chimichurri

Hola from steamy McAllen, Texas! It’s Tamara from Beyond Mere Sustenance here with another healthful, fresh, and tasty seafood dish made lightening fast in your pressure cooker. Cooking fish in a pressure cooker has become a “go to” cooking method for me. It’s a very forgiving cooking method; the moist heat does not dry out the fish. 

Making Salmon and Rice With Lemon Caper Chimichurri in an Instant Pot

An Instant Pot is one of the most popular brands of electric pressure cookers. They are easy to use and your Instant Pot can help you create this delicious salmon recipe

The rice is super flavorful when sautéed with olive oil and shallot, then cooked in broth/lemon juice/wine rather than water. Thick salmon portions (1 to 1 1/2 inches) work best with the cooking time required by the rice. Thinner fillets might be overcooked. I use an Oxo Good Grips Stainless Steel Steamer With Extendable Handle to hold the fish above the rice. The extendable handle and adjustable sides of this steamer are perfect for use in a pressure cooker.

After seasoning the salmon portions, top them with lemon slices, and you’re ready to lock your pressure cooker and cook it. This really is a lovely combination, and I hope you’ll get your “sea legs” on, and give it a try!

A plate of food with broccoli, with Salmon and Rice

Make the sauce while the salmon and rice cook. The Lemon & Caper Chimichurri is the “love child” of bagna cauda and chimichurri. Bagna cauda means “hot bath.” It’s an Italian dip for bread that our family discovered years ago. The garlic and anchovy bathe in the olive oil until very soft and fragrant. I add in a bit of crushed red pepper, and simmer over medium heat until the anchovy is dissolved, and the garlic is golden (not browned).

Meanwhile, the Italian flat leaf parsley, capers, lemon juice and zest go into a food processor bowl, and the bagna cauda is then added. The mixture is pulsed until very finely chopped but not puréed. Of course if you’re not into anchovies, simply omit them. You will still have a very flavorful sauce.

Pressure Cooker Salmon and Rice topped with capers and chimichurri sauce

A tablespoon of this chimichurri elevates this dish from simple to elegant. Any leftovers freeze beautifully, and can be used atop fish, chicken, or pork. You may decide to stick with the lemon herb rice and salmon, and that is perfectly fine!

If you’re interested in cooking fish in the pressure cooker, you might like to take a look at my Tropical Pressure Cooker Fish in Banana Leaves (or Parchment). Pressure cooking isn’t just for tenderizing tough cuts of meat anymore!

How to Pressure Cook Salmon:

Pressure Cooker ((Instant Pot) Salmon and Rice With Lemon Caper Chimichurri

Pressure Cooker Salmon and Rice With Lemon Caper Chimichurri

Yield: 4 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 2 anchovy fillets (optional) or 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup loosely pack parsley
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 1 cup long-grain rice (I like basmati)
  • 2 cups liquid (1 1/4 cups broth, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup white wine)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 salmon portions
  • sea salt
  • ground pepper
  • lemon slices (meyer lemon are nice)


Make the sauce. Combine olive oil, garlic, anchovy (if using), crushed red pepper, and butter in a small saute pan over medium-high heat.

Saute until the mixture is fragrant and garlic is golden. Set aside.

To the bowl of a small food processor, add the parsley, juice and zest of 1 lemon, and capers. Spoon the olive oil and garlic mixture over top. Pulse until finely chopped.

Scoop into a small bowl until ready to serve.

Salmon and Rice

To the pressure cooker, add the olive oil and shallot. Saute until fragrant. Add rice. Cook 1-2 minutes. Add liquid, parsley, zest, salt and pepper.

Salt and pepper salmon portions on both sides. Place on steamer basket, and top with lemon slices. Set in the pressure cooker over the rice and liquid.

Lock pressure cooker. Set on rice setting, or about 4 minutes if using a stove top model.

Remove from heat source if using a stove top model. Wait 5 minutes, then de-pressurize.

To Serve

Lift steamer basket from pressure cooker. Fluff rice with a fork.

Plate a scoop of the rice. Top with a salmon portion. Drizzle with the lemon and caper chimichurri.



Thick salmon portions work best in the pressure cooker in this recipe. The rice takes about 4 minutes. A 1 to 1 1/2 inch thick salmon steak is perfectly cooked in this time frame.

I love the meyer lemon I used in this recipe, but they're available in McAllen right now. Regular lemon is perfect!

My standard long grain rice is basmati. I love the fragrance of basmati. Use your preferred long grain rice, keeping in mind the proportion of rice to liquid.

I used a liquid combination of 1 1/4 cup chicken broth, 1/2 cup white wine, 1/4 cup lemon juice to equal 2 cups liquid. Basmati requires a 1:2 ratio rice to water. Adjust to your preferences, and feel free to leave out the white wine!

This preparation works great with many varieties of fish. Sea bass would be perfect. I would stick to thicker cuts - mahi mahi, swordfish, shark, etc.

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photo collage of Instant Pot Salmon and Rice

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