HomeCooking Spanish Rice

Spanish Rice

Posted in : Cooking, pressure cooker on by : Sheila Tags: , , , , , , , ,

My pantry is getting a little depleted – I was going to make butter chicken for supper, no coconut milk. Red beans and rice, no red beans (pretty essential in this case). Jambalaya – this one I just wasn’t feeling. I wanted something I hadn’t had in a long time – rice, chicken thighs. What to do, what to do?

I found chicken thighs in the freezer so I put them, still frozen because that’s how I plan sometimes, in the Instant Pot for 20 minutes with 2 cups of water and wandered off to figure out the rest of supper.

They started out frozen and became cooked in 20 minutes. Amazing!

I found a can of tomatoes in the cupboard in the spare room, the rice in the closet, mixed vegetables in the freezer…..Spanish rice.

Technically, it isn’t Spanish rice, it’s more Mexican rice if it’s anything. Pretty tasty, whatever it is.

I planned for leftovers with this, so please half the ingredients if you want less than a pretty full 8 quart Instant Pot worth.


  • 4 cups of brown rice (or whatever rice you like)
  • 1 28oz can of tomatoes, mine are diced but it doesn’t make a difference
  • 2 cups of mixed vegetables – I prefer frozen, but canned or fresh are also awesome
  • 2 cups of chicken broth or vegetable broth for a vegetarian option – I used the broth that was made when I cooked the chicken thighs
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • You could also add a chopped onion, which I would cook with the rice, a bell pepper or two, chopped, which I would add with the vegetables at the end because I like them still crisp.

Rinse your rice and drain it. Plop it into your Instant Pot. Add in the chicken broth.

Open the can of tomatoes and drain the liquid out into a measuring cup (or into a bowl, then pour into a measuring cup – depends how coordinated you are 🙂 ). Make up the difference between where the tomato juice ends and 2 cups. For example….if your tomato juice is ¾ of a cup, add in 1-1/4 cups of water to bring it up to 2 cups. Essentially, you are adding 4 cups of liquid for your rice to cook in. I ended up adding 2 cups of enchilada sauce, also, taking the total up to 6 cups of liquid – I didn’t want to chance this burning. I did have to drain some liquid when the timing was done, but I’m okay with that.

The rice is in there, happily having a bath in good flavours.

Please NOTE: this amount of liquid is for brown rice. Brown rice needs, when cooked in a pot or rice cooker, 2 cups of liquid per cup of rice, BUT the pressure cooker doesn’t lose any liquid to steam, so you only need half of what you would normally. This is why only 4 cups. White rice is a one to one ratio, generally, so will probably need less broth and/or tomato juice.

Add in your spices and put the lid on the Instant Pot (or whatever pressure cooker you have), make sure the vent is closed and turn it on.

My Instant Pot has a “rice” setting, so I just used that – if you don’t, it was high pressure for 15 minutes.

When the cycle is done, let the steam out (quick release) and drain if you need to :). Put your rice back in, if you needed to drain, and then add your two cups of vegetables. Turn it onto saute and let those vegetables heat up….5-10 minutes, depending on how you like your vegetables cooked. I like mine with bite, so I only heated them for 5 minutes.

Sauté those vegetables!

Turn off the heat and serve. I served with the chicken I cooked before the rice, but you don’t even need to add that if you don’t want to, it’s really good and filling all on its own.


If you did this with cauliflower rice, it could be keto and low carb. I would definitely recommend heating the cauliflower first and then squeezing the excess liquid out of it. In this case, I would skip the water entirely, use fresh tomatoes (less juice) and maybe add some Better Than Bouillon instead of broth. I’ll have to try this and see how it goes.

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