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Instant Pot Spanish Rice, also known as Mexican Rice, tastes like the rice from an authentic Mexican restaurant. Loaded with flavor, easy to make, and super affordable pantry ingredients is all you need. 

This Spanish rice is my go-to side dish for meals like tacos, enchiladas, flautas, taquitos, and it makes a delicious base for these burrito bowls

A close up shot of this rice dish on a wooden serving spoon.

Instant Pot Spanish Rice Recipe

Spanish Rice is a classic side dish made with long grain white rice, tomato sauce, fresh onion & garlic, seasonings, and jalapeños. 

I love using my Instant Pot to make rice! It acts like a rice cooker does, where every grain of rice gets perfectly cooked and fluffy. It also ensures that you don’t have to worry about the temperature being too high and burning the bottom of the rice. Nothing worse than a perfect pot of rice only to have the bottom of it be burnt and brown. 

This plain Instant Pot Rice is a staple in my kitchen, but today’s Spanish Rice version is equally as popular because my family loves tex-tex style food like tacos, burritos, nachos, etc. 

Overhead shot of the instant pot with the cooked recipe inside of it.

Ingredients Needed

  • Long-Grain White Rice – Make sure the rice is rinsed and drained before adding it into the Instant Pot insert. You’d be surprised at just how dirty the rice is! I use this fine mesh strainer to rinse the rice in. Once the water runs clear you know you’re good to go. I don’t recommend using a different rice as this recipe has been developed specifically for long gain white rice. 
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – I prefer using the light-tasting extra virgin olive oil. Regular olive oil has a very strong, powerful, almost over-whelming taste to it, which is why the recipe specifically calls for EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil). 
  • Sweet Onion – I prefer the slight sweetness in contrast to the jalapeño and other spices but feel free to use a yellow onion or white onion instead. You only need half of the onion. 
  • Jalapeño – This is not spicy at all, it just adds really great flavor. Be sure to remove the white membrane and seeds to keep it mild. If you prefer more spice then leave the seeds and white membrane and try using two of them instead. 
  • Garlic Cloves – Use fresh garlic cloves that have been minced or pressed, garlic paste from a tube, or chopped garlic from a jar. Any of them work just make sure that you measure to the equivalent of 3 fresh garlic cloves, which is normally 1 teaspoon. 
  • Water
  • Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth or Chicken Broth – If using regular salted broth, I suggest reducing the salt to 1 teaspoon (more or less to taste). 
  • Kosher Salt – The best way to enhance all the flavors without making the dish taste ‘salty’. 
  • Paprika
  • Chili Powder
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Tomato Sauce – You only need 1/2 cup which is not quite a full 8 ounce can of tomato sauce. 
  • Butter

Labeled ingredients for this recipe

How To Make Authentic Spanish Rice in The Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Follow these easy, step-by-step instructions of how to make homemade Spanish rice in the Instant Pot. 

  • Step 1 : Rinse the 2 cups of white rice, in a fine mesh strainer, under cold water until the water runs clear. Rinsing the rice not only cleans the rice but it also helps the starch rinse off (which is why you will see the cloudy looking water at first). 
  • Step 2 : Press the sauté button and allow the instant pot to heat. Add the oil and allow to heat. Then add the diced onions, garlic, and jalapeños. Sauté until the onions are translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Turn off the sauté function. 
  • Step 3 : Add the broth and water. Scrape down the sides and bottom. Next, add the dried seasonings and stir. Stir in the rinsed rice. Finally, stir in the tomato sauce until everything is combined well. 
  • Step 4 : Place the lid on the instant pot, press the ‘pressure cook’ or ‘manual’ button, and set the timer to 4 minutes. When done, allow the instant pot to do a natural pressure release until all the team is released (about 20 minutes). Carefully remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Stir in the butter until melted and blended with the rice. Serve!

Step by step process photos for how to make this recipe for Spanish Rice.

Step by step process photos for how to make this recipe for Spanish Rice.

Step by step process photos for how to make this recipe for Spanish Rice.

Step by step process photos for how to make this recipe for Spanish Rice.

Step by step process photos for how to make this recipe for Spanish Rice.

Step by step process photos for how to make this recipe for Spanish Rice.

Spanish Rice FAQ’s

  • How Do I Store Spanish Rice?

    • Fridge : Store leftover rice in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge. To reheat rice, place it in the microwave or stove top and reheat for a few minutes. Add a small amount of broth or water to return some of the moisture removed during refrigeration. 
    • Freezer : You may freeze the Spanish rice by allowing it to cool completely to room temperature. Transfer the cooled rice to a freezer bag or freezer-safe airtight container. Remove the excess air in the bag to reduce the chances of freezer burn. Freeze for up to 3 months. Don’t forget to label your container or bag with an expiration date. 
  • Can I Make Any Substitutions?

    • Long-Grain White Rice : You can substitute brown rice for white rice in equal amounts. Brown rice requires a longer cook time, so you must cook it for 20 minutes and then allow for a natural pressure release (about an additional 15-20 minutes). 
    • Extra Virgin Olive Oil : Any other neutral flavored oil will work well. Canola, vegetable, or avocado oil are all great options. 
    • Sweet Onion : You can also use a yellow or white onion if wanted. 
    • Jalapeño : If you want no heat at all then substitute this with half of a green bell pepper. If you want more spice then double the jalapeño amount and leave the seeds in it. 
    • Broth : Low-sodium vegetable is what the recipe calls for. You can also use the reduced-sodium chicken broth as well. If using regular salted broth, I highly suggest using only 1 teaspoon (or less) of salt, otherwise I think the rice will turn out too salty. 

Close up of the rice dish

Expert Tips

Here are a few helpful tips so that you can successfully recreate this recipe in your own kitchen ♥

  • Jalapeño Tip : Be sure to not touch your face or eyes while cutting the jalapeño, and wash your hands immediately after. You can also use some latex kitchen gloves while cutting spicy ingredients like jalapeño, or use two sandwich style ziplock bags and put them over your hands.
  • Natural Pressure Release : Once the cook time is done, do not touch the instant pot or move the valve to the ‘venting’ position. Leave it alone and allow the pressure to escape naturally on its own. It will take about 15-18 minutes before you are able to open the lid fully. 

Side view of the rice

More Recipes You Can Make in The Instant Pot

A close up shot of this rice dish on a wooden serving spoon.
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Instant Pot Spanish Rice


Author Jessica - Together as Family
Course Instant Pot, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Natural Pressure Release 18 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Servings 8
Instant Pot Spanish Rice, also known as Mexican Rice, tastes like the rice from an authentic Mexican restaurant. Loaded with flavor, easy to make, and super affordable pantry ingredients is all you need. 

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 of a sweet onion finely diced
  • 1 jalapeno seeds and membrane taken out, finely diced)
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced, pressed, or chopped)
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup water
  • teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • chopped cilantro (optional garnish)

Instructions

  • Rinse the white rice, inside a fine mesh strainer, under cold water until the water runs clear. Let it drain for a bit to remove the excess water while you prepare the rest.
    2 cups long-grain white rice
  • Press the sauté button on a 6QT Instant Pot and allow to heat. Add the extra-virgin olive oil, diced onions, garlic, and jalapeño. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until the onions turn translucent.
    Turn off the sauté function.
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1/2 of a sweet onion, 1 jalapeno, 3 garlic cloves
  • Add in the broth and water, and scrape down the sides and bottom of the instant pot insert to remove any stuck on ingredients.
    2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, 1/4 cup water
  • Next, add the kosher salt, chili powder, paprika, cumin, and oregano and stir until combined.
    Add in the rinsed white rice and stir to combine.
    1½ teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon oregano
  • Finally, add the tomato sauce and stir to combine.
    1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • Place the lid on the instant pot, making sure the valve is set to the 'sealed' position, and press the 'pressure cooker' or 'manual cook' button, and set the cook time to 4 minutes.
  • When done, allow the instant pot to do a natural pressure release for 15-20 minutes until all the pressure/steam is released.
    * A natural pressure release is when you leave it alone after the cook time and don't manually switch the valve to the 'venting' position. You want to allow all the pressure and steam to naturally release by letting it sit there.
  • Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Add the butter and gently stir to allow the butter to melt into the rice.
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Add chopped cilantro, if desired, and serve!
    chopped cilantro

Notes

Garlic : Use fresh garlic cloves that have been minced or pressed, or garlic paste from a tube, or chopped garlic from a jar. 
Broth : Low-sodium chicken broth can also be used. If using regular salted broth then I suggest reducing the salt to 1 teaspoon in the recipe, maybe more if needed. 
Onion : A yellow onion or white onion can also be used. 
Jalapeño Tips : Cover your hands with plastic sandwich ziploc baggies or latex gloves to avoid getting the juice in your eyes or around your face. Be sure and wash your hands throughly after handling a jalapeño and don't touch your face. For more heat, leave the seeds and white membrane inside the jalapeño and just slice the whole thing. For less heat, remove the seeds and white membrane from inside the jalapeño before slicing and chopping.
Natural Pressure Release : Once the cook time is done, do not touch the instant pot or move the valve to the 'venting' position. Leave it alone and allow the pressure to escape naturally on its own. It will take about 15-18 minutes before you are able to open the lid fully. 
Rice : I recommend only using long-grain white rice in this recipe. You can use brown rice but the cook time for the rice will need to be increased to 20 minutes + the natural pressure release time.
 

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2 Comments

  1. Esther Pusey says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Together as Family says:

      You are so welcome! 🤗