Shortcut Spanish Rice in the Instant Pot is a cheap, flavor-packed side dish made with just five ingredients.
❤️ Why you’ll love it: This kid-friendly one-pot side dish gets its flavor from your favorite jarred salsa and has instructions for both fresh onions and a dump-and-go shortcut with dried.
I love to make a quick batch of Instant Pot Spanish rice to serve with tacos, fill burritos, and make grain bowls. It’s incredibly fast to make, inexpensive, and makes the perfect side dish for Taco Tuesday.
If you’re looking for a fast and satisfying rice dish to keep in your back pocket, this Instant Pot Spanish Rice is exactly what you need. This shortcut recipe is made with jarred salsa for extra flavor without a long ingredient list.
Update: I’ve updated this always popular post with new images, tips and tricks to make the fluffiest and most flavorful Instant Pot Spanish Rice.
How to Make Shortcut Spanish Rice in an Instant Pot
This shortcut recipe was given to me by one of my oldest friends while I was in college. It was a cheap and easy side, and it was super easy to convert to the Instant Pot.
Jarred salsa gives you a great blend of classic flavors and spices without the measuring. Use your favorite brand of salsa with your preferred heat level.
(We prefer to use a chunky salsa so there are bits of tomatoes distributed throughout the rice. And we usually tend to stick to mild salsas to please young taste buds.)
💡 Tip: To make this a fully vegetarian dish, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.
Make It Dump-and-Go
Make it a one-pot, dump-and-go side dish by substituting 1 tablespoon dried onion.
Skip the sauté steps 1 and 2. Simply add all the ingredients and cook for 4 minutes with a 10 minute natural pressure release, followed by a quick release. Fluff and serve.
There will be a little difference in flavor, but some nights when you’re in a rush to get dinner on the table, that’s OK. 🤷
What Kind of Rice Is Best?
Use long-grain white rice for this recipe. It holds its shape well under pressure so your rice comes out slightly chewy, not mushy.
If you’d like to try a different rice variety, see our guide for how to cook rice in an Instant Pot.
Finishing Ideas for Instant Pot Spanish Rice
I like to sprinkle some fresh cilantro on top of the rice after I transfer it to a serving bowl. It adds a nice pop of green and an herby finish to the dish.
You can also garnish your rice with diced fresh tomatoes or a lime wedge for a bit of zest.
You can store leftovers in an air-tight container for up to five days.
More Festive Spanish and Mexican-Inspired Recipes
If you’re planning a fun Cinco de Mayo menu, try these other favorite entrees that pair well with Spanish rice:
- Easy Pressure Cooker Chile Colorado Smothered Burritos are saucy and full of spicy green chili goodness.
- Spicy Chicken Soup is warming, filling, and a family-friendly chicken stew with Mexican flavors.
- Instant Pot Chili Verde is just spicy enough and always satisfying for a party or weeknight dinner.
- Carne Asada Tacos from Barbara Bakes feature fall-apart-tender steak in a savory and delicious sauce.
- Quick Black Bean and Green Chili Tostadas from Barbara Bakes are a perfect crunchy side dish topped with creamy beans to serve with your rice.
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- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup onion, diced*
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 1 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup mild salsa
- Select Sauté and add oil to cooking pot. When hot, add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally until onion is tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in rice and cook, stirring frequently, until rice becomes opaque, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add broth and salsa.
- Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and a 4 minute cook time. When the cook time ends, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then finish with a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
- Fluff rice with a fork and serve immediately.
* You can make this a dump-and-go meal by substituting 1 tablespoon dried onion and skipping the sauté step. Simply add all the ingredients and cook for 4 minutes with a 10 minute natural pressure release, followed by a quick release.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 68Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 347mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.
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