This quick and easy Instant Pot Spanish Rice is the perfect complement to any Mexican meal. 5 ingredients (+ salt/water), 30 minutes. You can also make this without an Instant Pot if you don’t have one.

Instant Pot Spanish Rice in the instant pot

Do you have an Instant Pot yet? I got one for Christmas last year and I love it. I was intimidated at first because of the whole “pressure cooker” thing, but it’s actually super simple to use and the all the safety features are great. You can’t take off the lid until the pressure releases.

I’m sure there are several ways I could be using my Instant Pot that I haven’t figured out yet (like making non-dairy yogurt!). I have been using it regularly to make rice, dry beans from scratch, and various soups. It makes the absolute PERFECT brown rice in just 24 minutes. No more soggy rice, or rice that’s overcooked and too dry. Seriously, it’s perfect every time!

This Instant Pot Spanish Rice is:

Full of flavor

Quick and Easy


Kid Friendly


& Healthy!!

Two plates of Instant Pot Spanish Rice

Check out some of my other vegan Mexican recipes to compliment this Instant Pot Spanish Rice:

If you make this recipe, let me know how it goes! Rate it, leave a comment and tag a photo @noracooksvegan on Instagram or find me on Facebook. Enjoy!

Instant Pot Spanish Rice in the instant pot
4.91 stars (11 ratings)

Instant Pot Spanish Rice

This quick and easy Instant Pot Spanish Rice is the perfect complement to any Mexican meal. 5 ingredients (+ salt/water), 35 minutes. You can also make this without an Instant Pot if you don't have one.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped small
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 28 ounces canned Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or more to taste
  • 4 1/2 cups water (or vegetable broth)


  • Using the Saute function on Instant Pot, saute onion, garlic, and rice in the olive oil for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. 
  • Add the Rotel, salt and water (or vegetable broth). Stir together. Now, seal Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 24 minutes. Once complete, allow the pressure to come down naturally.
  • Fluff with a fork and serve. 
  • *If you don't have an Instant Pot, simply saute the onion, garlic, rice in a large regular pot for 3-4 minutes. Then add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and simmer for 40 minutes. 


Calories: 250kcal
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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  1. Do i leave the vent in “Natural Vent” position or should it be sealed? This difference could make the difference with people getting the burn message if the steam leaves too quickly. But I am worried about making it without this detail. Thanks!

    1. No you definitely seal to cook at high pressure, then let the pressure come down naturally. It won’t cook if left in the vented position.

  2. Made this today. Followed the recipe except for a few small substations and additions. Didn’t have Rotel so used Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes. Didn’t have vegetable broth so used chicken broth. Added some black pepper, Sofrito and 2 sazon seasoning packs. Delicious. Except mine came out mushy. Maybe next time add less liquid?

  3. I’ve made this many times and we love it! After it’s cooked, I add a can of rinsed & drained black beans and rinsed & drained whole kernel corn, let it warm up and serve with hot sauce and sliced avocado. Thank you for this recipe.

  4. So delicious so easy to make in the instant pot! Better than most restaurants. I’ve made this two weeks in a row. Love having leftovers to reheat. Awesome recipe thank you so much!

  5. I did make this tonight. I do rinse my brown rice. The recipe was cut in 1/4 in all aspects. I didn’t use the suggested canned tomatoes, but used mine instead along with homemade canned salsa and homemade veggie broth. Pressured for 25 minutes, could have maybe another minute, but overall very tasty and will make again. I agree that it needed some additional herbs like cumin – that’s next time. It’s an easy recipe to personalize.

  6. Hi, I prefer not to use canned tomatoes – how can I replace the Ro-tel tomatoes and the chiles? Thanks!

    1. They provide a lot of the flavor, but you could probably use a fresh diced jalapeno or 2 instead and saute it with the onion and rice at the beginning. Perhaps you could add fresh diced tomatoes after cooking, or just leave them out altogether. Thanks!

  7. I made this last night and while good, it needed more flavor. I sprinkled on some cumin, chili powder, black peeper, and a dash or two of hot pepper flakes. That gave it better flavor. Good basic recipe. Thanks.

  8. Are you using a full cup for measurement or the rice /broth or the cup that comes with the IP which is actually not a full cup

  9. This seems like a great recipe! Do you think it’d be possible to add more vegetables or grains to it? I’m thinking broccoli, green beans, chickpeas or black beans…

  10. I used basmati rice, preprinted with the correct amount of water. I got the dreaded BURN message, even though I didn’t stir the tomatoes in, just poured them over the top.

    1. Grrrr that darn burn message! I’ve never gotten that message, but apparently the newer models are more prone to it. Check out this article for how to try to prevent it, I found it very helpful!

    1. I’ve never tried it with instant rice, but yes I would think much less time. Perhaps only 4-5 minutes or so.

  11. Hello! This recipe looks great and I’m wanting to make it tonight with salmon fajitas. My question is can I do this in a rice cooker? And if so should I saute the onions and garlic first then just throw everything else in the rice cooker?

    1. I haven’t had a rice cooker in a long time, but yes I think it will work just fine. Yes, saute the onions and garlic first.

    1. It should work fine with white rice, but you will need to adjust the time. Saute the same, but then only cook at high pressure for 6-8 minutes. White rice cooks much faster!

        1. I think the same amount of water will work. I’ll have to try it out with white rice some time, I haven’t yet.

    1. That sounds pretty normal. When I’ve been in a hurry before I will carefully release the steam sooner than that, and it’s always worked out fine. Hope that helps!

  12. I have been struggling with the ‘burn’ signal lately so i am nervous about rice – everything i see says not to stir together…so this recipe you do?

    1. I do give it a little stir, and it has worked for me many times, though I know some people struggle with the burn signal on their Instant Pot. You don’t have to stir, I’m not sure it really will make a difference here. Rice is the number 1 food I cook in my IP, and I’ve never had trouble. It always comes out perfect every time, whether it is this spanish rice or just regular rice.

  13. This is an excellent dish. I went ahead and made the full amount and froze in 1/2 cup serving sizes the rest. I have been having weekly Mexican bowls at work ever since. It is an excellent recipe and I have not changed a single thing.

    1. Thanks so much Darla, I’m happy to hear it! I love what you did with the leftovers. I often freeze it in single servings as well. So handy!

  14. I just made this and it is fantastic!

    Thank you very much for this super easy recipe, with tons of leftovers for the rest of this week?

    1. Thanks Darla! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I like the leftovers; sometimes I freeze the rice in individual portions as well!

    1. This recipe does make a lot of rice! It makes about 12 cups of cooked rice. You can cut the recipe in half if you don’t want that much! I like having leftover spanish rice for lunches, or sometimes I freeze half of it to use later. 🙂

    1. I would use only 4 cups of water for this recipe, but you would also decrease cooking time. I haven’t tried it, but I would probably try 10 minutes for white jasmine rice. Maybe less.

  15. Your food recipes are delicious , and your pictures are beautiful! They make me salivate! This site is very well done. I love it!

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