For the last few months I’ve been sharing some sneak peek recipes from my cookbook, Pressure Cooker Cookbook for Beginners, to show you just how versatile your Instant Pot or pressure cooker can be (see them all here, along with some of my other Instant Pot recipes). One of the great things about multi-cooking devices like these is that they can do so much, and essentially replace other one-off cooking devices you may have at home (rice cookers, for example). Pressure cookers prepare rice dishes really quickly and easily. The recipe I’m sharing today, an Instant Pot Spanish rice, is done in under 30 min (including prep and time to come to and release pressure). It’s also dairy-free and gluten-free, so it’s a great side dish option for Mexican meals for people on a variety of different diet plans. If you haven’t gotten my cookbook yet, Pressure Cooker Cookbook for Beginners is available to purchase in paperback and digital formats now! In addition to 75 easy and delicious recipes like this one, the book is full of great tips for helping pressure cooking newcomers to feel more confident using their devices. Learn more and order Pressure Cooker Cookbook for Beginners on Amazon here!
Today’s recipe, which I call Easiest Instant Pot Spanish-Style Rice, is a super simple rice recipe that’s been a staple in our house for some time. I love that just a few additional ingredients can turn plain rice into something restaurant-worthy to serve alongside Mexican dishes like enchiladas, tacos, chiles rellenos, and more.
I’ve got the full Instant Pot Spanish rice recipe at the bottom of this post (Jump to Recipe), but first I’ll share some step-by-step instructions and pictures, including cooking, safety, and ingredient tips for making the easiest Spanish rice in your Instant Pot or pressure cooker.
Safety tips for cooking rice in the Instant Pot: Since rice is a starchy food, it expands and can create froth. To make sure you are using your pot safely when making recipes like this, make sure you NEVER overfill your pot when cooking rices, follow trusted recipes closely, and pre-rinse your rice until the water runs clear before adding it to your recipe. If the pot is overfilled or excess starch not rinsed off, foods that expand and froth have a possibility of blocking your device’s pressure release safety valves. No need to fear – as long as you make sure to follow trusted recipes and adhere to these basic safety tips, you should be able to pressure cook with confidence (and caution). For more basic pressure cooking safety tips, check out my cookbook, Pressure Cooker Cookbook for Beginners.
How to cook Instant Pot Spanish rice
To make Spanish rice in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, start by using the sauté function on the pressure cooker (if using an electric pressure cooker; for stovetop pressure cookers, heat over a burner on medium-high heat). Heat some vegetable oil in the pot, then add some finely chopped onion and sauté until soft (1 to 2 minutes).
Stir in the pre-rinsed rice and sauté for 2 minutes more. Press cancel or turn off the burner.
Stir in the chicken broth, a can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (such as Ro-Tel) with their juices.*
*Ingredient tip: Instant Pot Mexican rice with Rotel is convenient to make, but you can use a jar of your favorite picante sauce in place of the diced tomatoes with green chiles if you don’t have any. You can also control the spiciness of this dish depending on the spice level of your diced tomatoes or picante sauce.
Mix in seasoning salt, chili powder, and garlic powder. Stir until well combined, scraping the bottom of the pot as you stir to loosen any browned bits.
Close and lock the pressure cooker lid, make sure the pressure/steam-release switch is set to sealing, and set the cooking time to 3 minutes at high/normal pressure (if using an electric pressure cooker; for stovetop pressure cookers, heat over a burner on high heat, set a timer for 3 minutes after the pot has reached pressure, then reduce the heat to low). It will take about 6 minutes for the pot to come to pressure before the cooking time begins.
After the pressure cooking time ends, electric pressure cookers will automatically turn off their heat (stovetop pressure cookers must be removed from the heat). Allow the pressure to release from the pot naturally for 10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure using the manufacturer’s quick-release method.
Open the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Now you’re ready to serve!
For more easy Instant Pot recipes like this, you’ll love my cookbook, Pressure Cooker Cookbook for Beginners! Get your copy now!