Restaurant-style Spanish rice is so easy in the Instant Pot! It's flavorful, so satisfyingly fluffy, and uses easy-to-find pantry ingredients. It's a perfect side dish for all your favorite Mexican meals!
Spanish rice, AKA Mexican rice, is a highlight of Mexican restaurants for me. Whatever I'm ordering, you can bet I'll want it on a hot skillet with some deliciously tomatoey, slightly spiced rice.
As it turns out, perfect Spanish rice is so easy to make at home in the Instant Pot. I've been making this at least twice a week for the past month and can personally attest that it makes all Mexican nights feel even more exciting. It is so good!
I love using my Instant Pot for making rice. The texture is always spot on (fluffy, not at all mushy), and you can set it and forget and then have perfectly cooked rice when you're ready to eat. There's no monitoring water levels on a stovetop or remembering to turn the burner off at the right time - just set the timer and carry on with the rest of your meal prep!
This Spanish rice gets its flavor from tomato sauce, chicken broth, fresh garlic, and just a dash of cumin. It's so simple and so flavorful!
It's delicious all on its own but also compliments so many other Mexican foods - the perfect side dish!
what kind of rice to use
The most important element of this recipe is - of course - the rice. You'll want to use long grain white rice here. Avoid short grain rice as the cook time will vary.
Don't use brown rice for this recipe! The cook times will be way out of whack. (Also, if we're leveling with one another, brown rice is so finicky in the Instant Pot and requires such a long cook time that I really don't find it advantageous to use the Instant Pot vs stovetop.)
This recipe starts off with toasting the rice in a bit of oil. This step adds a subtle nutty flavor that is so good in the final product! The oil will also help the rice to not stick together (something that is undesirable in Spanish rice).
You can do this step in the Instant Pot by setting it to the sauté function. Make sure your pot says "hot" before adding the rice - otherwise it will just absorb the oil instead of toasting.
how to keep rice warm in the instant pot
Keep the lid on tight and your rice will stay warm for up to an hour. To keep it warm any longer, set your Instant Pot to "warm."
Be sure to keep the lid on if you're leaving the rice in the Instant Pot - otherwise, it will dry out.
Eat this with:
Instant Pot Spanish Rice
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups long grain white rice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/8 teaspoon cumin
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Set Instant Pot to sauté and heat the oil. Once hot, add rice and toast 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant and beginning to brown. Add garlic and cumin and cook 1 minute more. Stir in chicken broth, tomato sauce, and salt. Make sure all the rice is submerged in the liquid. Secure the lid and set to seal. Cook at high pressure for 3 minutes, then natural release for 18 minutes. Remove lid, fluff, and serve.