Making Spanish Rice (also known as Mexican Rice or Arroz Rojo (red rice)) on the stove top can be challenging. The Instant Pot makes it incredibly easy to make flavorful Spanish rice that comes out perfect every single time.
Every time we make Mexican food, I make this Instant Pot Spanish Rice recipe to go along with it. It’s a great side dish for most Mexican food meals.
Better than most Mexican restaurants, this easy recipe uses simple ingredients for a delicious rice dish.
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
- Cutting Board
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Fine mesh strainer
- Mixing spoon
- Turn your Instant Pot onto the Saute setting, and heat the pan up, then add the olive oil to the pan. Saute the green onions, tomatoes, cilantro and garlic in the oil in the Instant Pot using the Saute function 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. Use a flat edged spatula to make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot or you could get a burn notice.
- Put the lid on your Instant Pot, make sure the valve is in the sealing position and set it on the High Pressure setting for 4 minutes. Allow a natural pressure release for 15 minutes, then use Quick Release to release the remaining pressure. Open the lid.
- Gently fluff the Spanish Rice, then transfer it to a serving bowl topped with extra chopped cilantro, if desired.
Nutrition Information Per Serving
Tips for Making Instant Pot Spanish Rice
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 used 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 Spanish 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.