Instant Pot Spanish Rice – Hello, Mexican For Dinner!

This recipe for Instant Pot Spanish Rice is ridiculously easy, and it’s a new family favorite. Let me know your thoughts on it, and click on the affiliate links I share to help support my blog. I get a small percentage from any purchase.

Easy peasy instant pot spanish rice recipe

We have a tradition in our house that each time one of the wee ones promotes in Tae Kwon Do, we go to their choice of restaurant for dinner afterwards. Two weeks ago, my daughter promoted again (she’s rocking this TKD thing!), and she chose a local Mexican restaurant near the studio.

My son? Well, he threw a fit because he doesn’t like that restaurant. We ate  there once years and years ago, and he recalls that it took forever and never forgave them. I don’t remember this at all, but his sister promoted, so she chooses. He reluctantly joined us, and the restaurant blew his mind.

Ironically, he has his promotion test tonight, and he insists that we go to the same restaurant. The service issue was a fluke, but more importantly, he discovered he loves Spanish rice. I don’t know why this was such a discovery for him, but it’s all he can talk about. He remained convinced only this restaurant has Spanish rice like that until I proved him wrong with the Instant Pot Spanish rice I made to accompany my “cheater” chicken enchiladas. The earn the name cheater because I feel like there’s no real cooking involved, just throwing them together and baking, which is unusual for me!

Granted, my Instant Pot Spanish rice has more ingredients than what you find in a typical quick serve Mexican restaurant, but they got a major thumbs up regardless. I’ve made Spanish rice in the past on the stove, but I don’t do it often because I knew my son wouldn’t eat it. This version is way faster, and I love that I can get it started, make the enchiladas (or my mile high tortilla pie or individual tamale pies) and have everything be done at the same time. No babysitting the stove. No stirring, just delicious, easy homemade Spanish rice.

Easy peasy Spanish Rice in the Instant Pot

My original recipe for stovetop Spanish rice includes turkey bacon in it, but I omitted bacon in this version, partly because I had none on hand and partly because I didn’t want to take the extra time to cook bacon. My concept of Instant Pot Spanish rice includes one pot only and quick prep time. This nails it. If you want the smokiness of bacon in your Spanish Rice recipe, feel free to add chopped bacon stirred into your rice before cooking.

Bowl of delicious easy gluten free Spanish rice from the Instant Pot

How to Make Instant Pot Spanish Rice

Dice onion, tomatoes, and red pepper. Add to your Instant Pot liner with tomato paste, 1/2 cup of the chicken broth, chili powder, and pepper. Stir to dissolve the tomato paste. Add rice and the remaining chicken stock, and stir again. You are making your own stock in your Instant Pot, right?

Turn Instant Pot to rice setting for 10 minutes. Be sure the vent is closed and sealed.

Once the time elapsed, let the rice do a Natural Pressure Release (NPR) for five minutes, then release the remaining pressure. This can remain under pressure and do a full NPR if you have another dish still cooking.

Stir the rice to fluff it, and serve immediately. This keeps in the fridge 2-3 days. You can easily make it vegan by swapping the chicken stock in this Instant Pot Spanish rice for vegetable stock.

Make Spanish Rice in your Instant Pot

What else to make in your Instant Pot?

I’ve had my Instant Pot for several months now, and I love using it. I purchased “just” the Duo, and recipes I share work in either. While I’d love the yogurt function and the ability to cook under low pressure, I have too many delicious options to regret my choice. Some of my favorites?

What would you serve with your Instant Pot Spanish Rice?

Instant Pot Spanish Rice

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Instant Pot Spanish Rice

Spanish rice is a delicious and simple accompaniment to any Mexican meal. Create your Instant Pot Spanish rice in a matter of minutes with a ton of flavor.


  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 T tomato paste
  • 1 3/4 c chicken stock, divided
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 c rice (uncooked)
  • 1/2 t chili powder
  • 1/2 t pepper


  1. Dice onion, tomatoes, and red pepper.
  2. Add them to Instant Pot liner with tomato paste, 1/2 cup chicken broth, chili powder, and pepper. Stir to dissolve tomato paste.
  3. Add rice and remaining chicken stock. Stir again.
  4. Turn Instant Pot to rice setting for 10 minutes. Be sure vent is closed and sealed. Let NPR for 5 minutes, then release the remaining pressure.
  5. Gently stir rice to fluff, and serve immediately. Store in fridge 2-3 days in a sealed container.


You can easily update this to a vegan recipe by swapping the chicken stock for vegetable stock. Or go the opposite way and add chopped cooked bacon to your rice before cooking for a delicious smoky addition.

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Recipe for Instant Pot Spanish Rice, a quick and delicious gluten free side dish for your weeknight dinner. Perfect side for all your Mexican dishes. Quick sub makes this vegan, too!


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    • I used basmati when I made it this time because that’s what I happened to have in the house. Usually when I do it on the stovetop, I use a short grain rice. This works best with a white rice (not arborio or sushi usually) rather than brown rice. And rice setting – in my head, I think of it as my rice/grain and need to update that so it’s suitable for everyone not living in my head. Thanks!

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    • It depends on how big of eaters you have. If you’re serving this with tacos, you might have *just* enough, but you may want to double it just in case! The leftovers are great anyway 😉