How to Make Easy Spanish Rice in your Instant Pot 16

I grew up in California, where Mexican restaurants were prolific. The food that came out of some of those family style restaurants were some of the best meals I’ve had. Replicating the Spanish rice that always came alongside the enchiladas was a challenge for me, though.

Try as I might, my efforts generally resulted in a sticky mess. While the flavor was good, the rice itself was kind of a clumpy and lumpy mess. It was just not appealing.

But! I’m not one to give up. Rice is inexpensive and easy to keep on hand. And while some of us like the occasional side dish of sticky rice, most members of my family prefer their rice be more flavorful (like my sausage, spinach, and mushroom risotto). We eat a lot of Mexican food and it seemed a shame to miss out on homemade Spanish rice.

Try this easy Spanish rice recipe as a side for tacos, burritos, or enchiladas. It's easy in the Instant Pot!

Turns out, my new Instant Pot electric pressure cooker is the secret to easy Spanish rice that turns out perfectly. This version gets a thumbs up from my in-house recipe critic who always lets me know when I haven’t quite nailed it. (He’s an incredibly honest aspiring chef. We’ll cut him some slack.) And it gets my thumbs up because it is so stinking easy.

Easy Spanish Rice


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 1/4 cup diced bell pepper
  • 3 cups brown rice
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2-2/3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Measure oil, onion, and pepper into the Instant Pot liner. Choose “sauté” and cook until onions are transparent, stirring often for about five minutes. Add remaining ingredients.

Lock lid in place. Using the “manual” setting, set the Instant Pot to cook for 25 minutes. Let rice rest for ten minutes once cooking time expires, then carefully release pressure.

Super. Easy.

We serve this with tacos or roll it up in a tortilla with my refried beans for burritos.

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16 thoughts on “How to Make Easy Spanish Rice in your Instant Pot

  • Sonia (foodiesleuth)

    I love Spanish Rice. My aunt used to add browned ground beef to hers, so the rice and a salad was a whole meal for the family.
    I’m going to have to look for and “instant pot” – (for some reason that term sounds weird to me… 😉

  • Kay

    Oh my goodness… This is so good… Thanks for sharing… 🙂

  • Jodey

    How would I convert this to use Basmati rice?? Would it be the same cook time & amount of liquid??

    • Kris Bordessa Post author

      Should be no problem to use basmati.

  • Kari Ann

    Can I just use canned diced tomatoes instead of the salsa?

    • Kris Bordessa Post author

      Sure! I’d just add some extra spice in that case.

  • Brenda

    If I use white rice, how will the cooking time change?

  • Karen Laurvick

    Did you use long, medium or short-grain brown rice? Would it make a difference in the recipe?

    • Kris Bordessa Post author

      It depends what I have on hand. 😉 Shouldn’t make a difference.

  • KC

    This recipe is fantastic!!! So easy and so delish….I’ve made it twice now, i use arborio rice and made no adjustments to the cook time and it was perfect. I am going to try the refried beans recipe next!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Connie Ellis

    How many does this feed? Do I need to double it for about 12 people?