Homemade Spanish Rice (w/ Instant Pot Option)

Homemade Spanish Rice using basic pantry essentials! If your family loves rice, make a big batch of this and enjoy it throughout the week! This easy recipe includes instructions for both the stove top and the Instant Pot.

pot of spanish rice

Did anyone else here grow up on boxed Spanish rice? My hand just shot through the roof.

My parents were all about convenience, so we grew up on boxed rice pilaf and Spanish rice. While I have zero hesitation to continue eating the boxed version, I find that there is just never enough! 

I prefer my carbs (particularly rice) in excess, so I make a big batch of this rice (sometimes I double the recipe!) every time I have the hankering.

Homemade Spanish Rice is super simple to make! It requires hardly any additional effort than making regular white rice, and results in a mouth-watering rice that the whole family will love. I’m willing to bet you already have everything you need on hand.

One of my brothers and his wife makes Spanish rice for their kids regularly, and often for family dinners. I requested they fork over the recipe so that I could give it a whirl in my own home. This recipe is an adaptation of what they do!

Ingredients needed for Spanish rice: onion, garlic, white rice, cooking oil of some kind, butter, tomato paste, chicken broth, dried basil, and salsa. All of these ingredients can easily be replaced (and in some cases, omitted) with other pantry essentials, so be sure to check out the Recipe Adaptations section below if you don’t have everything in this list.

Big pot of spanish rice

How to Make Spanish Rice on the Stove Top:

Heat the avocado oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes.

onion cooking in a saucepan

Add the garlic, white rice, chili powder, and dried basil. Cook and stir constantly for 2 minutes.

ingredients for spanish rice in a saucepan

Add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan.

Bring mixture to a full boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook 15 minutes (or the amount of time recommended on your package of rice), or until liquid is absorbed.

Remove rice from the heat and fluff it with a fork (or carefully stir). Place cover back on the pot and allow it to sit an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

Serve alongside your entree of choice.

I like making burrito bowls with the Spanish rice using ground elk or turkey meat and a side of sauteed vegetables.

How to Make Instant Pot Spanish Rice:

Plug in your Instant Pot and press Saute. Add the oil and onion. Saute until onion is translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the garlic, white rice, chili powder, and dried basil. Cook and stir constantly for 2 to 4 minutes, until rice begins turning slightly brown.

Add the remaining ingredients to the pressure cooker, starting with the broth. Stir well until mixture is well combined.

Secure the lid on the Instant Pot and seal the vent. Select high pressure function (or Manual, depending on the model you have). Set timer for 7 minutes. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for pressure to build.

Release the pressure using the quick release method. Open the lid carefully and stir the rice well. Taste for flavor and add more salsa, sea salt, or lime juice to taste.

saucepan of spanish rice

Recipe Adaptations:

  • If you don’t have yellow onion on hand, don’t sweat! You can replace the onion with 1 to 2 tablespoons minced onion or 2 teaspoons of onion powder. Or omit it altogether!
  • Similarly, if you don’t have garlic on hand, replace it with 2 teaspoons garlic powder or minced garlic. Or omit it altogether!
  • Omit the butter if desired.
  • Replace chicken broth with vegetable broth or water.
  • Use 1 can of diced tomatoes instead of tomato paste. If you choose to go this route, use only 1 cup broth or water.
  • Use quinoa or brown rice instead of white rice. If you go this route, cook for the amount of time stated on the package.

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Enjoy!

My cookbook, Paleo Power Bowls, is now available! CLICK HERE to check it out. Thank you for your support!

If you make this recipe, please feel free to share a photo and tag @TheRoastedRoot on Instagram!

pot of spanish rice

Spanish Rice

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Mexican, Spanish
Keyword: white rice
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Julia

How to make classic Spanish rice on the stove top

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Ingredients

  • 2 Tbp avocado oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 cups chicken broth or water
  • 2 Tbsp butter or ghee
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 Tbsp salsa optional

Instructions

  1. Heat the avocado oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes.

  2. Add the garlic, white rice, chili powder, and dried basil. Cook and stir constantly for 2 minutes.

  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan, starting with the broth. Bring mixture to a full boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook 15 minutes (or the amount of time recommended on your package of rice), or until liquid is absorbed.

  4. Remove rice from the heat and fluff it with a fork (or carefully stir). Place cover back on the pot and allow it to sit an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

  5. Serve alongside your entree of choice.

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