Making Spanish Rice on the stove top can be challenging for many people. Fortunately, my Instant Pot Spanish Rice recipe makes it incredibly easy to make flavorful rice that comes out perfect every single time.
Every time we make Mexican food, I make Spanish Rice (aka Arroz Rojo or red rice) to go along with it. Better than most Mexican restaurants, this easy recipe uses simple ingredients.
All you need is jasmine rice, tomatoes, cilantro and green onions to make this delicious rice dish. Whether you call it Mexican Rice or Spanish Rice, it makes a great side dish for most Mexican food meals.
And while I take the time to saute the veggies first, you can make it as a dump and go recipe and it will still taste delicious. I hope your family enjoys this tasty side on Taco Tuesday or any day of the week.
- By the Numbers: How to Make Spanish Rice
- Tips for Making Instant Pot Spanish Rice
- 1. Do I have to saute everything first?
- 2. What to do with extra tomato paste?
- 3. Can I use a different type of rice?
- 4. Do I have to use chicken stock?
- 5. Can I use canned tomatoes instead of fresh?
- 6. Can I double the recipe?
- 7. Best way to store leftover rice?
- 8. What can I serve Spanish Rice with?
- 10. Ways to make better meal plans?
- Instant Pot Spanish Rice Recipe
- More Gluten Free Instant Pot Recipes
- 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 sliced green onions
- 1 teaspoon of minced fresh garlic
- 1 cup of diced fresh tomatoes
- ¼ cup of fresh cilantro
- ½ of a minced jalapeno
- 2 cups of jasmine rice
- 2 cups of chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons of sea salt
- 2 teaspoons of taco seasoning
- Cutting Board
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Fine mesh strainer
- Instant Pot
- Mixing spoon
By the Numbers: How to Make Spanish Rice
Follow these simple steps to learn how to make the best Spanish Rice in your Instant Pot electric pressure cooker.
Step 1: Saute Onion, Tomato and Cilantro.
Press the Saute setting button on your Instant Pot to heat the inner pan up, then add 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil to the pan. Add 2 sliced green onions, 1 cup of diced tomatoes, ¼ cup of chopped fresh cilantro, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic and ½ of a minced jalapeno (optional) to the warm olive oil in the Instant Pot and cook, stirring frequently, for 1-2 minutes. When everything is lightly cooked and fragrant, turn off your Instant Pot by pressing the Cancel button.
Step 2: Saute Jasmine Rice.
Rinse 2 cups of jasmine rice really well in a fine mesh strainer under cold running water (learn more about this process in my post about cooking rice in the Instant Pot). Press the Saute function button again and add the rinsed jasmine rice to the Instant Pot. Stir to combine using a wooden spoon and saute the rice for 2-3 minutes, then turn off the heat.
Step 3: Add Stock, Tomato Paste and Seasoning.
Add 2 cups of chicken stock, 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, 2 teaspoons of taco seasoning and 2 teaspoons of sea salt to the pot and stir to combine everything really well. Use your wooden spoon to make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot or you could get a burn notice.
Step 4: Pressure Cook Rice.
Put the lid on your Instant Pot and make sure the valve is in the sealing position. Press the Pressure Cook button and set it on High Pressure for 4 minutes. Allow for a natural pressure release for 15 minutes, then use a Quick Release to release any remaining pressure. Open the lid.
Step 5: Fluff and Serve Spanish Rice.
Gently fluff the Spanish Rice, then transfer it to a serving bowl topped with extra chopped cilantro. Serve with your favorite main dish and toppings.
Tips for Making Instant Pot Spanish Rice
Answers to all of your questions about making delicious Spanish Rice in your Instant Pot at home.
1. Do I have to saute everything first?
No. While Spanish Rice tastes best when you saute the tomatoes, green onions, cilantro and garlic first, you can just toss everything in the Instant Pot and cook it if you’re in a hurry. It still turns out great that way.
2. What to do with extra tomato paste?
I used to cringe when I saw a recipe used tomato paste because they only use 1-2 tablespoons each, and the rest of the can would end up wasted. Now I freeze my tomato paste so I never have waste. See how to freeze tomato paste here.
3. Can I use a different type of rice?
I make this recipe with jasmine rice because I like the texture and consistency. This recipe should work with standard long grain rice as well.
See my post on making rice in the Instant Pot for more tips and tricks for making rice in an electric pressure cooker.
4. Do I have to use chicken stock?
I find that using chicken broth instead of water is key to flavorful Spanish Rice. You can use filtered water instead, but you’ll lose one layer of flavor.
Get my chicken stock recipe here (includes directions for the Instant Pot, slow cooker and stove top).
5. Can I use canned tomatoes instead of fresh?
Yes, you can use diced or stewed tomatoes in place of the fresh tomatoes. I’ve also usedleftover homemade salsa in a pinch! If you use stewed tomatoes, you may want to decrease the chicken stock or water amount by 1-2 tablespoons to account for the extra liquid.
6. Can I double the recipe?
Yes, you should be able to safely double this recipe in your Instant Pot. The most I typically make in a 6-quart pot is 4 cups of dry rice. If you make more than that, it doesn’t always turn out as well.
7. Best way to store leftover rice?
If you have leftover Spanish rice, be sure to store it in the fridge in an airtight container. To reheat the next day, warm a little oil in a pan, then lightly re-fry the rice.
8. What can I serve Spanish Rice with?
Spanish Rice is the perfect side dish to serve with Mexican food. Recreate a meal from your favorite Mexican restaurant with these easy recipes.
10. Ways to make better meal plans?
If you’re not already using a printable Meal Planner to plan out your meals and shopping trips for the month, you should give it a try. It’s amazing how much time is saved by organizing.
I also buy a lot of my family’s groceries online to keep the freezer and pantry stocked. I love not having to go to the grocery store as I make fewer impulse purchases. I usually shop with Misfits Market, but there are lots of places to buy produce online and order meat online.
Instant Pot Spanish Rice Recipe
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil - or your favorite cooking oil
- 2 green onions - sliced
- 1 teaspoon garlic - minced
- 1 cup tomatoes - chopped
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro - packed; plus more for garnish
- ½ jalapeno - or serrano pepper, minced (optional)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons taco seasoning
- 2 cups jasmine rice - well rinsed of excess starch
- 2 cups chicken stock - or filtered water
- Use the Saute function on your Instant Pot to heat the pan up, then add the olive oil to the pan. Saute the green onions, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic and jalapeno (optional) in the oil in the Instant Pot for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the rinsed jasmine rice to the pot and stir to combine. Saute for 2-3 minutes, then turn off the heat.
- Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, taco seasoning and salt to the pot and stir to combine. Make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot so you don't get a burn warning.
- Secure the lid on your Instant Pot and set it to pressure cook on High Pressure for 4 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, then Quick Release the remaining pressure. Open the lid.
- Gently fluff the Spanish Rice with a fork or spoon. Serve your flavorful side in a serving bowl topped with chopped cilantro.