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