This is the most flavorful Instant Pot Spanish Rice, and it comes together in just one pot with a few pantry staples and frozen vegetables.
Ingredients in Spanish rice
Here’s what you need to make this recipe – full ingredient amounts are in the recipe card.
- smoked paprika, chili powder & cumin
- canned diced tomatoes
- chicken broth
- white rice
- frozen veggies
- cilantro & lime wedges, optional garnishes
How to make Spanish rice in the Instant Pot
It’s so easy to make this recipe – it’s basically just dump and serve!
Here’s how to make it:
- Add all ingredients to Instant Pot except for frozen veggies and cilantro.
- Pressure cook on high for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, microwave frozen veggies until defrosted.
- Add in frozen veggies and cilantro (if using).
- Mix together well.
- Serve with lime wedges and enjoy!
- olive oil – Any variety of cooking oil with a neutral flavor can be used. Avocado oil, grape seed oil, and vegetable oil are all good substitutes for olive oil.
- yellow onion – You can substitute white onion, the white part of scallions, or red onion
- garlic – Using fresh cloves of garlic will give you the best flavor, but minced garlic packed in oil is a good substitute. In a pinch, a minced shallot can be used.
- smoked paprika – regular paprika will also work
- can of diced tomatoes – Other canned varieties that will work include crushed tomatoes and whole peeled tomatoes. You’ll just want to chop them up before using.
- chicken broth – Feel free to use vegetable or beef broth, or their equivalent stock
- white rice – Any variety of long grain white rice or brown rice may be used. You will need to increase the cooking time for brown rice depending on the brand and type used; see more notes as you keep reading.
- frozen veggies – I use a mixture of frozen peas and carrots. Corn would be delicious as well.
Making it with brown rice
Making this recipe using brown rice instead of white is an option, but doing this requires additional cooking time for the rice.
For short grain brown rice, you will need to set the cook time to 22 minutes, while long grain brown rice needs 24 minutes to cook.
You do not need to adjust the amount of liquid called for in the recipe at all, and you can follow the other recipe instructions as written in the recipe card below.
Instant Pot Spanish rice is a delicious side dish on its own but adding protein to it is a great way to create a complete meal!
There are plenty of protein options, such as the following:
But the protein doesn’t have to be meat. You can make a complete vegetarian meal by adding black beans or tofu!
Simply make the recipe as shown below, then stir in any cooked protein of your choice before serving.
What goes with Spanish rice?
Talk about versatile – this dish pairs well with practically anything, and not just Mexican foods. The tomato-based flavor of the rice pairs perfectly with dishes such as:
- Grilled steak
- Chicken breasts or thighs
- Pork chops
- Burritos (either on the side or stuffed inside)
- Tacos or taco salad
Storing and reheating
If you store this dish in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the leftovers will keep well for up to a week. As a result, this recipe is perfect for meal prep.
I like to make a large batch and serve it for dinner one night and reheat the leftovers for lunch later in the week.
Reheating the leftovers is easy, too. You can either reheat them in a pot on the stove top or microwave them for 1-2 minutes in the microwave.
To avoid the rice getting dried out during the reheating process, you can moisten it by stirring in 1 to 2 tablespoons of broth, water, or even tomato juice.
Freezing leftover rice
This dish is very freezer-friendly as well. However, it is important to cool the rice to room temperature before freezing it.
Otherwise, the moisture in the warm rice will evaporate onto the inside of the container and cause freezer burn.
Freeze any leftovers in freezer-safe airtight containers or plastic storage bags. Be sure to remove as much air as possible before sealing them.
The leftovers will keep well frozen for up to three months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating.
More Instant Pot rice recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Order some smoked paprika if you want a more authentic taste
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on turning this recipe into leftovers
- Freeze this recipe in glass microwave-safe bowls up to 3 months
Instant Pot Spanish Rice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp smoked paprika plain paprika will also work
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt & pepper
- 1 (796mL) can diced tomatoes in their juices
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups white rice
- 2 cups frozen veggies
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
- Lime wedges, for garnish
- Add all ingredients to Instant Pot in the order in which they are listed, except for frozen veggies and cilantro.
- Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure valve is set to seal. Press the pressure cook button and set to high, then cook for 5 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 5-10 minutes to come to pressure then pressure cook for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, microwave frozen veggies for 1-2 minutes until defrosted.
- Do a quick release of the pressure on the Instant Pot by flicking the switch at the top with a spoon. Open the lid when pressure gauge has dropped and the lid opens easily.
- Once lid is safe to open, stir in veggies and cilantro (if using), then add to bowls and garnish with lime wedges. Serve and enjoy!