Easy Instant Pot Spanish Rice
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 Spanish Rice recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.
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.
Do you LOVE this recipe?
Leave us a review below to tell us why!
Shortcut Instant Pot Spanish Rice
Easy Shortcut Spanish Rice in an Instant Pot is a five-ingredient side dish to pair with all of your favorite Spanish or Mexican meals.
- 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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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
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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Also, to avoid the burn warning, make sure you scrape everything off the bottom of your pot after pouring in liquid and before sealing lid to pressurize.
I have read on other mexican rice recipes to use the quick release pressure and then let it sit for 5 minutes before removing lid and stirring.
Thanks – Definitely important to deglaze the pot after sauteing. I don’t recommend quick release with rice, the natural release steams the rice as the pressure is releasing.
I tried this tonight and I was pleasantly surprised. I used Pace Picante vs just regular salsa so I did not get any burn notice. The only “issue” is that the rice was a tad sticky. I’ll try using only 1 cup of the stock or letting it natural release for 15 min. Pretty tasty.
Also I used a 3qt vs a 6qt so that may be why sticky too. Will also try with my larger pot.
THanks for sharing Kathy – glad you enjoyed it!
burned. I would do this on the rice setting in the future. High pressure resulted in burned rice. unfixable
Hi Rebekah – sorry you had trouble with the recipe. I’ve never had a problem with this recipe. Are you sure you had a good seal? What size pressure cooker did you use? This recipe was created using a 6 quart pressure cooker.
I have an 8 quart Instant Pot. Is there any change to the recipe??
Hi Donna – there may not be enough liquid for an 8 quart, I would double or 1.5 times the recipes with the same cook time.
Can I double this recipe and use the same time for cooking? Or should I add a min or something?
Hi Kathy – you can double the recipe with no change in cook time. Enjoy!
Made this today and it came out perfectly! I made an almost identical stove top recipe earlier this week, and it was mushy, so I’m so relieved to have found this recipe. Thank you!
That’s great – thanks Kristel!
I followed your directions, and twice it burned before it got to the pressure part. I am at wits end
Hi Steven – sounds like you didn’t have a proper seal or your steam release valve wasn’t in the closed position so you lost too much liquid before it had a chance to come to pressure. With rice if you got a burn notice, you’ll need to add more liquid to compensate for the lost liquid and liquid the rice as already absorbed. By the second burn notice, you would be better off finishing the rice using the saute function and just stirring in water as needed until the rice is as tender as you’d like.
Just made this. It was perfect and will definitely make again!
My family is in love with your recipe! I made it last night and it was a hit. Thank you!
Hi, do you rinse your rice first? Trying it just now!
Hi Carol – not with this recipe. If you rinse it, your rice will be more fluffy. But I’m not concerned with that in this recipe.
I LOVE this recipe!!! Thank you so much for posting it. I have made it twice already and the first time was the 7th! So easy and it tastes so good! Thank you!
Great – thanks so much Carol!
Smothered burritos and Spanish rice for dinner tonight in my new 8-quart instant pot. I just love pressure cooking, I work 50 hours a week and it makes things so easy. Been trying your recipes and they come out really good. Now if I can get my wife to not be afraid of it, it would save her so much time too.
Thanks David! The Instant Pot is definitely great for busy people. Hopefully the more she sees you use the IP the more she’ll want to try it. Enjoy!
Does this rice reheat well?
Yes, it will reheat very well.
This was soooo good!!!! Thank you
Oh, there’s an irony!! I posted my own “Pressure Cooker Spanish Rice” recipe on Facebook and it landed “right next door” to yours on my FB page! 🙂
I am a little confused on the time. When I cook regular long grain white rice, I cook at high pressure for 3 minutes and then wait 7 minutes to do a quick release. The rice comes out perfect every time. Is the difference in the time for this recipe due to the addition of the salsa? Thanks.
Hi Ann – for the Spanish rice I wanted a softer more saucy rice instead of the fluffy rice I was going for with the white rice recipe.
OH, that’s makes sense. If I wanted it more like the regular white rice, could I cook it as I do the white rice?
I made this tonight and was absolutely the best. It came out perfect.
That’s so great to hear. Thanks for the update!
Just made this the other day and it’s delicious! So nice to be able to put the enchiladas together without having to babysit the rice at the same time. Thank you!
Thanks Chris! That really is the great thing about the electric pressure cooker. It frees you up to do other things while it does the work.
When cooking the Spanish rice recipe can I use the rice selection on my PC?
Hi Georgeann – I haven’t tried it, but I assume it should work fine. I would still do a natural release for at least five minutes.
how many servings do you get from the spanish rice?
About 4 1/2 cup servings
This really is fantastic rice, especially considering how easy it is. I went one (unhealthy) step further and cooked this rice after making carnitas in my pressure cooker. I reserved the cooking liquid (with some grease, I’m sure), cleaned out the pot, and then made this recipe using the reserved liquid in place of chicken broth. OMG. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!
Thanks Jamie! That is a fantastic idea. The cooking broth is so flavorful.
I tried this with Uncle Ben’s whole grain rice…perfection! So yummy Barbar, thank you!!
Thanks Susan – glad to know you enjoyed it and that it works well with Uncle Ben’s whole grain rice.
Sorry to sound dumb, but so often it is never made clear. You ARE using uncooked rice, correct??
Hi Caelidh – yes, uncooked rice.
Can I make this with brown rice?
Hi Jennifer – I haven’t tried it, but you could make it with brown rice and follow the cook time for brown rice https://www.pressurecookingtoday.com/pressure-cooker-brown-rice-and-a-giveaway/
thanks! should I also use the same brown rice to liquid ratio according to that recipe? I also plan to make this using 2 cups brown rice.
Yes, you’re right – you’ll also need to use the same brown rice to liquid ratio.
Made it and it was great, thanks!
I need to cook enough rice for 30 people… can I increase this recipe and do it in my 23-quart Presto?? Has anyone ever done that?
Hi Sarita – I don’t have any experience with large stove top pressure cookers, but I don’t know why it wouldn’t work. You might need more water if you lose a lot of liquid as it comes to pressure or if it releases a lot of steam as it cooks.
How about just doubling or tripling for Intant Pot? Ratios stay the same as your recipe above?
Hi Sue – yes, you should be fine to double or triple the recipe with the same ratios.
Just finished a triple batch. Making ahead for a potluck tonight. Worked great. Ran out of salsa, so I added a small can of green chiles and a bit adobo sauce from some chipotles. It has a nice smoky flavor with a bit of zip too!
That’s great Sue – thanks for the update. Sounds like delicious additions.
Barbara, I did this last night to accompany your lime salsa chicken recipe. Both were fantastic! Thank you!
The recipe does not say how many servings… Could you please let me know
Hi Rayma. One cup of dry rice makes about three cups of cooked rice. So it will make about six half cup servings.
My pressure cooker manual says not to cook rice in it unless I use a bowl and tinfoil, which doesn’t work for the size of my family and the amount of rice I’d need. Mine isn’t fancy though. It’s just a Presto. Is it okay to pressure cook rice in your opinion without special treatment?
Hi Alicia – I love cooking rice in my electric pressure cooker. I cook rice at least once a week in it. The concern manufacturers have is that rice may foam when cooked in the pressure cooker causing the valve to clog. In America’s Test Kitchen’s new pressure cooking cookbook they recommend rinsing the rice well to avoid foaming. My pressure cooking manuals suggest adding oil to the cooking liquid to avoid foaming. I hope that helps.
That is very helpful! Thank you. I always rinse our rice quite a lot before cooking anyway to reduce the residual arsenic levels and I do add a good “glug” of olive oil too, so it shouldn’t foam up as much anyway. Thanks so much!
I didn’t have a recipe for the chipotle orange pot roast – just winging it. But basically I did the following:
Salted the pot roast (approx. 2.75lbs) on both sides and let come to room temp for about 40 minutes.
Seared it in my electric pressure cooker, then removed.
Sauteed 1 medium chopped onion, 3 garlic cloves, 1 chipotle in adobo sauce, approx. 2 teaspoons dried cilantro, 1 tsp. oregono, sprinkle of celery seeds, 1 bay leaf, approx. heaping tablespoon tomato paste, 1 medium chopped sweet red pepper, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, salt.
Added pot roast back.
Squeezed juice of 1 medium orange and threw 3 strips of orange peel in. Added 1 can low sodium beef stock.
Electric pressure cooked on high for 60 minutes.
Let the pressure release naturally (about another 20 minutes) and then removed, tented.
Then I added a slurry of potato starch and thickened the sauce.
Added a good handful of chopped fresh cilantro before serving.
It was great! And even better the next day.
Thanks Nicole – sounds like a really great combination of flavors.
Perfect! What a quick and easy way to make Mexican Rice……I always bake mine in the oven-what was I thinking?
Thank you Barbara! 🙂
What a great recipe! I’ll be trying that today. We are having a Cinco de Mayo feast with a chipotle orange pot roast made in the pressure cooker (my first time trying a pot roast in it).
I’m so glad I found your blog!
Hi Nicole! I’m so glad you found my blog too. A chipotle orange pot roast sounds fantastic. You’ll have to come back and share the recipe soon.