This Instant Pot Mexican Rice (Spanish Rice) is easy to make, tastes just like your favorite Mexican restaurant, and comes together in under 30 minutes in one pot. Make this delicious and flavorful rice as a side dish for tacos, burritos, or wraps.
About This Recipe
We are big on Mexican food at home and this one-pot Instant pot Mexican rice is made on repeat every week.
Mexican rice, also known as Spanish Rice, Red Rice, or Arroz Rojo is a delicious rice preparation that is super versatile. Think tacos, burritos, rice bowl, fajitas!
Earlier, I use to make it in a pot over the stovetop (Mexican Rice) but ever since I have started making it in an instant pot, there is no going back. Mexican rice made in an instant pot is fluffy and tender with separate grains. There is no need for babysitting it which gives me ample time to work on other things.
To make Mexican rice in an instant pot, you will need basic pantry staples and it comes together in under 30 minutes, perfect for those lazy weeknight dinners.
The recipe is vegan and gluten-free and can be scaled if you have a bigger pot. I made 1 and ½ cups of dry rice in my 6-quart instant pot. If you are doubling the recipe, you will need at least an 8-quart instant pot. The time of cooking will remain the same.
Rice – You can use any white rice to make instant pot Mexican rice. Replace white rice with brown rice, quinoa, or couscous for a healthier version. Keep in mind that time of cooking will be different for different grains.
Vegetables – This rice is loaded with vegetables such as red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, corn, peas, and carrots. You can add more vegetables if you wish to.
Jalapeno – Jalapeno adds a perfect spicy twist to this rice and also gives it that authentic traditional touch. Adjust the amount as per your taste. I used fresh Jalapenos but you can use canned (bottled) ones too.
Tomato Puree – You can replace tomato puree with tomato paste. Keep in mind to use less paste as compared to the puree as it is more concentrated.
Oil – I use light olive oil to make this rice but you can use any cooking oil that you have at hand.
Paprika – It gives a nice heat to this Mexican rice. Adjust it according to your taste.
Stock – You can use vegetable stock or chicken stock for this recipe. If you do not have either of them, you can use water instead.
Others – Apart from the above-mentioned ingredients, you will also need garlic, onions, salt, chili peppers, and cumin powder.
If you have access to Tomato Bullion Cubes, add one cube or the powder for added flavor and a lovely orange color.
How To Make Instant Pot Mexican Rice
Rinse 1 and ½ cups of white long grain rice with water 2-3 times until the water runs clear. Drain and set aside.
Finely chop 3-4 cloves of garlic, 1 medium onion, and 1 jalapeno pepper.
Cut ½ red and yellow bell peppers into ½ inch cubes. Peel and cube 1 medium carrot.
Rinse ½ cup frozen peas and ½ cup frozen corn kernels.
Gather the remaining ingredients.
Make The Rice
Press the SAUTE button of the Instant Pot.
Once it displays hot, add 4 tablespoon of light olive oil and let it heat up for 30-40 seconds.
Once the oil is hot, add 2 teaspoon of finely chopped garlic and 1 cup of chopped onions and fry till the onions turn translucent (3-4 minutes). Keep stirring at regular intervals.
Add 1 and ½ cups of rinsed and drained rice to the pot and saute for 3-4 minutes, until it absorbs the oil. Keep stirring gently.
Add 1 chopped Jalapeno pepper, ½ cup cubes red bell pepper, ½ cup cubed yellow bell pepper, ½ cup peas, ½ cup corn, and ½ cup chopped carrot and cook for 2-3 minutes. You can adjust the amount of jalapeno pepper according to your taste.
Add ½ cup of canned tomato puree (or ¼ cup of tomato paste), salt to taste, ½ teaspoon pepper powder, ½ teaspoon cumin powder, and ½ teaspoon paprika along with 1 and ¾ cups of chicken or veg stock.
Stir well to remove any rice stuck at the bottom of the pot.
Press the CANCEL button. Close the lid of the Instant pot and set the valve to the sealing position.
Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 6 minutes on high pressure. It will take 10-15 minutes for the pressure to build up and the timer to start. Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
Release the remaining pressure manually by moving the valve to the venting position (QPR). Use a spoon to move the value to avoid steam burn. Once the pressure is released, open the lid of the pot.
Let the rice rest for 5 minutes and then fluff it gently using a fork. Serve hot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Brown rice needs more liquid and more cooking time to cook perfectly. If replacing white rice with brown rice in this recipe, use 1 and ½ cups of liquid for every 1 cup of brown rice. Cook time will also increase to 20 minutes.
Serve Instant Pot Spanish Rice on its own for a weeknight dinner or as a side dish with your Mexican brunch meal.
Instant Pot Refried Beans pairs well with this rice.
You can also use it as a filling for Burritos, Tacos, Wraps, Fajitas or add in Burrito Bowls.
This Instant Pot Spanish Rice stores beautifully.
Let the rice cool down to room temperature. Then transfer it to an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to 4-5 days. You can also store it in individual containers for meal prep.
To freeze the rice, transfer the cooled rice to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw for 4-5 hours, then reheat and serve.
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Instant Pot Mexican Rice Recipe
- 4 tablespoons light olive oil
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1-½ cup long-grain white rice (rinsed and drained)
- 1 Jalapeno pepper (chopped)
- ½ cup cubed red bell pepper
- ½ cup cubed yellow bell pepper
- ½ cup frozen peas (rinsed)
- ½ cup frozen corn (rinsed)
- ½ cup cubed carrots
- ½ cup tomato puree (or ¼ cup tomato paste)
- 1 and ¾ cups veg stock (or chicken stock)
- salt (to taste)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Press the SAUTE button of the Instant Pot.
- Once it displays hot, add light olive oil and let it heat up for 30-40 seconds.
- Once the oil is hot, add garlic and onions and fry till the onions turn translucent (3-4 minutes). Keep stirring at regular intervals.
- Add rice to the pot and saute for 3-4 minutes, until it absorbs the oil. Keep stirring gently.
- Add Jalapeno pepper, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, peas, corn, and carrot, and cook for 2-3 minutes. You can adjust the amount of jalapeno pepper according to your taste.
- Add tomato puree, salt, pepper powder, cumin powder, and paprika along with the veg stock.
- Stir well to remove any rice stuck at the bottom of the pot.
- Press the CANCEL button. Close the lid of the Instant pot and set the valve to the sealing position.
- Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 6 minutes on high pressure. It will take 10-15 minutes for the pressure to build up and the timer to start. Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
- Release the remaining pressure manually by moving the valve to the venting position (QPR). Use a spoon to move the value to avoid steam burn. Once the pressure is released, open the lid of the pot.
- Let the rice rest for 5 minutes and then fluff it gently using a fork. Serve hot.