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Instant Pot Spanish Rice (Mexican Rice)

If you’re looking for new ways to spice up your dinner routine, this Instant Pot Spanish Rice recipe is a great way to do it! This dish is packed with flavor, and goes with almost anything. Simple prep and hands-off cooking make this dish a dream for a busy weeknight.

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Instant Pot Spanish rice in a white bowl garnished with sliced limes.
Instant Pot Spanish rice (aka Mexican rice).

Spanish rice is also known as Mexican rice, arroz Mexicano, or arroz rojo. It’s the perfect side dish for any Mexican-inspired meal, or for just about any meal at all!

If you love Spanish rice but don’t love how long it takes to make the regular way, then you’ll love this Instant Pot Spanish Rice recipe! It’s so easy to make that even the most novice cook can whip it up with ease.

Using the Instant Pot for this recipe is ideal because it speeds up the cooking process and the rice comes out perfectly cooked every time. But best of all, you don’t need to stand at a hot stove stirring all the while!

Scroll down for the printable card for this Instant Pot Spanish rice recipe, or read on for all the details.

Bowl of Spanish rice with Instant Pot in the background.

How to make Spanish rice in an Instant Pot

Equipment

You will need an electric pressure cooker to make this recipe. I use an Instant Pot, but any brand of electric pressure cooker or multicooker with a pressure cook function will work.

Key ingredients and substitutions

Ingredients for this recipe on a white bench.

Rice

This recipe uses long-grain white rice which is the traditional rice used to make this dish. However, you could substitute basmati or Jasmine rice if that is all you have.

However, I would not recommend using a short-grained rice (such as arborio or risotto rice) as this type has a much higher starch content the dish will end up with a texture more like risotto (though I’m sure it would still be delicious!).

Stock

You can use vegetable or chicken stock to make this recipe. If you are making a vegetarian version of this recipe be sure to choose vegetable stock.

Garlic

This recipe requires four cloves of minced garlic. If you are using minced garlic from a jar, you will need around 4 teaspoons. Alternatively, substitute 1 teaspoon garlic powder if that is all you have.

Tomato paste

This recipe uses tomato paste for flavor. For anyone in the UK, you can use concentrated tomato puree, which is equivalent to tomato paste in the US.

Seasonings

This recipe uses a simple seasoning of cumin, salt, and pepper. If you prefer your Spanish/Mexican rice with a bit of heat you can add ½ teaspoon (or more!) of cayenne pepper.

Directions

This Spanish rice recipe is very simple to prepare, but there are a few key steps to getting it just right:

  1. Sauté the onion and garlic. First, sauté the onion, then add the garlic. This releases the flavors from the onion and garlic.
  2. Deglaze the pot. Add the tomato paste and stock, and deglaze the pot. This means gently scraping the bottom and sides of the pot with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to remove any residues from cooking the onions and garlic and add them to the stock.
  3. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. This removes excess starch from the surface of the rice, which prevents it from becoming gummy when cooked in a pressure cooker. Add the rice and seasonings to the Instant Pot and stir well.
  4. Pressure cook the rice and use natural release. Secure the lid with the valve set to “Sealing”. Set to pressure cook on high for 7 minutes. When the cooking cycle is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally, or for at least 10 minutes, to allow the rice to finish cooking.
  5. Fluff the rice. Stir the rice to mix the sauce evenly through it, and to fluff up the grains.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
Spanish rice in Instant Pot bowl.

Serving ideas

I like to serve this Spanish rice garnished with lime wedges and chopped cilantro.

This Spanish rice is great served as a side with many Mediterranean or Mexican recipes. Try tacos, fajitas or carnitas. It also goes well as a side dish to grilled meats, like steak or chicken breast, sausages, or grilled fish.

Some other serving ideas for this dish include:

Instant Pot Spanish rice in a white bowl garnished with sliced limes.
Yield: 8 Servings

Instant Pot Spanish Rice (Mexican Rice)

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Pressurizing Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

How to cook Spanish rice in the Instant Pot.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

Instructions

  1. Set the Instant Pot to 'Sauté'. Add a drizzle of olive oil, and when it is hot add the onion, and sauté, stirring often until the onion is tender. Stir in the garlic and cook for around 30 seconds.
  2. Add the tomato paste and stock to the Instant Pot bowl, and deglaze the bottom of the bowl [Note 1]. Press 'Cancel' to end the saute function.
  3. Rinse the rice in a sieve until the water runs clear [Note 2].
  4. Add the rice and seasonings (salt, cumin, and black pepper) to the Instant Pot bowl and stir.
  5. Lock the lid onto the Instant Pot, and set to 'Manual' or 'Pressure Cook' for 7 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally.
  6. Once the valve drops, open the pressure cooker and stir the rice to mix the sauce evenly through it, and to fluff up the grains, before serving.

Notes

  1. Gently scrape with a wooden spoon to remove any cooked-on flavor.
  2. Rinsing the rice removes excess starch and adds a little extra water to the rice. This prevents it from becoming gummy when cooked in a pressure cooker.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 135Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 600mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 4g

Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.


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I’m Eliza, busy mom, home cook, and blogger. My goal is to help everyone cook good food. Whether you are short on time, skills, or motivation, there is something here for you! We have dozens of quick and easy recipes for dinner, lunch, side dishes, and more. Our recipes use everyday ingredients, for quick delicious meals your family will love! Read more…

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