This Instant Pot Spanish Rice, often known as Mexican Rice or Arroz Rojo, is full of flavor and is so easy to make, and incredibly tasty. This versatile Spanish Rice is a wonderful side dish for any meal!
Rice dishes are perfect to cook in the Instant Pot, so easy and quick. Almost every time we use the Instant Pot, rice comes out perfectly cooked.
I love to flavor rice rather than just eat plain rice. This Spanish Rice perfectly fits the bill. You can add your favorite bean or frozen veggies to this Instant Pot Spanish rice for a hearty side dish!
This Mexican rice is made with pantry staple ingredients. There is no babysitting of the rice cooking on the stove. There's no stirring required. Just wonderful, simple homemade Spanish rice in the instant pot.
What is Spanish rice?
Spanish rice is a Mexican side dish that is also known as Mexican rice or Arroz Rojo. Serve it with tacos, burritos, salads, and a range of Mexican-inspired meals, it's a delicious addition to any meal.
You will find this rice served at Mexican restaurants along with refried beans. It is so easy to make this authentic Spanish rice at home.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- It's a delicious side dish and a unique way to consume rice.
- It can be prepared either in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop.
- Quick and easy to make.
- Vegan & Gluten-free.
Ingredients you'll need
- Rice: This dish is best with long-grain rice, which is fluffier and less sticky than shorter grains.
- Oil: This recipe works best with neutral flavored canola or vegetable oil, but you may use other oils if you prefer.
- Vegetable broth: Vegetable stock provides flavor and richness, but you can substitute water if you don't have any on hand. Chicken stock can be used too.
- Garlic cloves - Mince the garlic with a knife or in a garlic press.
- Spices - You’ll need chili, oregano, salt and cumin powder.
- Onion: Adds flavor to this simple dish.
- Corn: Corn is optional for this rice, but we love to add it. I used frozen corn.
- Fresh jalapeño: To make it less hot, remove the jalapeño seeds and rib. OR skip the jalapeno entirely.
- Salsa or tomato sauce: If you are using tomato sauce, use canned tomato sauce and avoid Italian-style sauces.
- Cilantro: For garnish
How to make Spanish rice
- Rinse the rice in cold water until it is clear. Drain thoroughly.
- Set the Instant Pot to sauté mode and wait for it to warm up.
- Add the oil, onion, jalapeño, and garlic. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes. until onions are translucent and soften. We just need to soften the onions, not brown them.
- Now add rice, spices, broth, corn and mix them well.
- Add the tomato sauce. You can also use your favorite salsa. At this point, do not stir the pot. This is because the tomatoes can sometimes cause a burn when cooking under pressure.
- Close Instant pot lid after turning off the sauté mode. Cook on high pressure. Once the Instant pot beeps, do a 10 minute naturally release.
- Open the lid. Fluff rice with a fork and garnish with cilantro. You can also garnish Spanish rice with shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, sour cream, and sliced avocado.
How to Serve?
It is a delicious meal on its own topped with shredded lettuce and pico de Gallo. You can also serve it hot with your favorite main dish, such as tacos. It's delicious as a filler for veggie burritos or chalupas. It also pairs nicely with beans, refried beans, and the 7-layer dip.
Tips to make perfect Spanish Rice
- Buter: You can substitute oil with butter for some extra goodness.
- Tomato: You can use salsa or Rotel instead of tomato sauce.
- Rice: Make sure your rice is properly washed or rinsed in cold water before cooking. To make the rice fluffy and tasty, you want to eliminate as much starch as possible.
- Spices: You may also eliminate the chili powder, cumin, and oregano and substitute 1 tablespoon taco seasoning instead.
- Instant Pot Tip: Whenever you add in the salsa or tomato sauce, do not stir the pot. To avoid the Instant Pot giving you a burn warning, keep the tomatoes away from the bottom of the pot.
- Garnishes: You can also garnish Spanish rice with cilantro, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, sour cream, and sliced avocado.
Mexican Rice & Beans Variation: To make this recipe, Mexican beans, and rice, you can add a can of black beans or pinto beans along with the rice while cooking. Here is my recipe with Instant Pot brown rice an beans.
Brown Rice Variation: This dish may be made with both long-grain brown rice and white rice. The measurements are the same regardless of the type of rice used. However, the cooking time may vary. The cooking time for white rice is 4 minutes, while the cooking time for brown rice is 22 minutes.
This dish is best served with long-grain white rice. I use basmati rice, and it always turns out perfect.
Mexican rice is best served right away. However, you can keep it in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.
Yes, you can use your favorite salsa in this recipe too.
There is no distinction. It's the same recipe with a different name. There may be differences across recipes, but Spanish, Red, and Mexican rice are the same.
Yes, brown rice may be used to make Spanish rice. In the Instant Pot, change the cook duration to 22 minutes with 10 minutes NPR. (this is not for quick cooking brown rice)
I am sure you will love this easy Spanish rice as much as we did. Here are more Mexican recipes that you might like:
- Mexican Black Beans
- Healthy Vegetarian Mexican Casserole with Rice & Beans
- Chicken Fajita Soup
- Vegetarian Taco Soup
- Cilantro Lime Brown Rice
Instant Pot Spanish Rice
- Set the Instant Pot to sauté mode and wait for it to heat up.
- Add the oil, onion, jalapeño, and garlic. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes. until onions soften and turn translucent.
- Now add rice, spices, broth, corn and mix it well. Press cancel to turn off saute mode.
- Add the tomato sauce (or salsa). At this point, do not stir the pot!
- Close Instant pot lid with the vent in sealing position. Cook for 4 minutes on high pressure.
- Once the Instant pot beeps, wait 10 minutes for the pressure to naturally release before manually releasing it.
- Open the lid. Fluff rice with a fork and garnish with cilantro. Enjoy!
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.