Looking for an easy, tasty rice side dish? Try this Instant Pot Spanish rice tonight, made with brown rice.
About this recipe
I really enjoy Spanish rice with Mexican food, but making it at home always seemed like a lot of trouble. When I got an Instant Pot, brown rice was probably the first thing I made, but it was still a while before I decided to try making Spanish rice. Now, I wouldn’t make it any other way. This Instant Pot Spanish rice recipe involves a little bit of prep, but then you just set it and forget it. That’s my kind of recipe.
This Spanish rice, made with brown rice, goes great with enchiladas, quesadillas, and other Mexican food. But don’t stop there. Try it as a side dish with fish or chicken. It’s hearty and just a little bit spicy. It’s also good left over the next day.
- Brown rice
- Frozen corn
- Vegetable broth or bouillon
- Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilis
- A little bit of light oil to brown the rice
Info about Spanish Rice Ingredients
Rotel is the brand of diced spicy tomatoes that we used in this recipe but other brands of spicy diced tomatoes are available. We used the original style of Rotel, but you can find a mild version and a hot version too. So spice it up or down, depending on your preference.
Spanish rice is frequently made with chicken broth, but we prefer our own vegetarian version, using vegetable broth or vegetable bouillon. We use Better than Bouillon Organic Vegetable Base with good results.
We use brown rice instead of white rice, for the simple reason that we just like it better. Brown rice contains more fiber and nutrients than white rice but it’s up to you which one you use. Here’s some good info about the differences in brown and white rice. If you choose to use white rice, be sure to look up the cooking time, because it takes less time to cook white rice. I frequently refer to this post about cooking rice in an Instant Pot.
Making Instant Pot Spanish Rice
You won’t believe how easy and tasty this Instant Pot Spanish Rice is. After a few minutes of prep time, turn on the Instant Pot (IP for short) and fix the rest of your meal or relax.
Step 1: Sauté the rice
- Add about a tablespoon of oil to the IP and push the Sauté button.
- It takes a couple of minutes for the IP to heat up so, while you wait for it to heat up, stir the rice to coat it with oil.
- Once the IP is hot, stir the rice regularly until it browns a little.
Here’s a close up of how the rice will look when it’s brown enough.
Step 2: Add remaining ingredients
- After you have cooked the rice in the oil until brown, turn off the IP and add the rest of the ingredients – the Rotel, the vegetable broth, and the frozen corn.
- The corn is optional, but it’s a typical ingredient in Spanish rice and it adds some sweet corn flavor and a nice yellow color to this side dish.
Step 3: Cook the Spanish Rice
- Put the lid on the IP and set the release valve to Sealing.
- Then set the pressure cook time to 22 minutes.
- After it finishes cooking, let the pressure release naturally. This takes about 15 minutes or so.
- This means that you have at least 45 minutes to prepare the rest of your meal while the rice is cooking and the steam is releasing.
Serving Instant Pot Spanish Rice
Add a bowl of pinto beans and you’ve got a great Mexican dinner that’s better and cheaper than what you’ll find in a restaurant.
If you have some leftover Spanish rice it’s really good the next day in a grain bowl. The photo below shows a bowl with Spanish rice, pinto beans, lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, black olives, and avocados. Top it off with a simple vinegar and oil dressing for a one-bowl meal.
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Instant Pot Spanish Rice
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1-2 T sunflower oil or other light oil
- ½ cup frozen corn
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 can Rotel canned tomatoes
- Add the oil to the Instant Pot.
- Turn on the Saute setting.
- Stirring frequently, cook the rice for about 5-7 minutes until it’s toasty on the outside.
- Turn off the Instant Pot.
- Add the Rotel, the vegetable broth, and the corn to the Instant Pot.
- Stir these ingredients to mix them.
- Put the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the Release Valve to the sealing position.
- Press the Pressure Cook button and set the time for 22 minutes.
- When the IP has completed cooking, wait for the steam to release naturally. This can take 15 minutes or more.
- When the pressure has been released, open the IP lid and scoop out the rice.
- If you use white rice your cook time will be shorter, but be sure to look up the specific recommendations for your Instant Pot or pressure cooker.
- Because the tomatoes and the bouillon both contain salt, I did not add any additional salt to the recipe.