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How to Make Easy Rice Cooker Spanish Rice

Spanish rice garnished with cilantro.


Spanish rice, or Mexican rice, is a delicious tomato-based rice pilaf with garlic, onions and savory spices. This recipe is super simple, just add the ingredients to your rice cooker and stir, then hit the start button—you’ll have a delicious side dish on the table with minimal effort! Serve it with my ground beef turkey tacos or Instant Pot shredded beef tacos.

Spanish rice with tacos.

My husband grew up in Arizona and enjoyed Spanish rice at church potlucks and family gatherings, so he often has cravings for this dish.  With the convenience of a rice cooker, this dish can be made in no time!  The flavors of Spanish rice are bold, but not overpowering, and pair perfectly with most Mexican main dishes. It’s also mild enough that my whole family can enjoy, including the kiddos!

Ingredients & notes

Ingredients for Spanish rice.

Rice – Use long grain rice like jasmine rice.

Chicken Broth – This boosts the flavor and provides a savory, rich taste. You may use low sodium chicken broth, or water if you prefer to keep this dish on the lighter side. 

Canned Diced Tomatoes – I like the chunky tomato texture you get when using diced tomatoes with some of the tomato juice. If you don’t want the chunks, just use tomato sauce.

Aromatics – Garlic and onion

Butter – for a savory flavor.

Seasoning – Chili powder, cumin, oregano. Add more chili powder if you like it on the spicy side.

Equipment

Rice Cooker– I use a Tiger JBV- S series. It’s great for our family of four and cooks up to 3 cups of rice for large parties.

Instructions

Tomato sauce, butter, onions, rice and seasoning in a pot.

1). Wash the rice and drain well in a strainer.

2). Add the rice to the pot, along with the chicken broth, diced tomato with some of the canned juice (do not drain), garlic, onion, butter and seasoning. Stir the ingredients together. 

3). Press the “cook” button and walk away!

4). When the rice is done cooking (about 50 min for me), fluff the rice with a fork.

Spanish rice with tacos.

Serve with your favorite Mexican dish like tacos, grilled seafood, taquitos, enchiladas, and more!

Pro Tips

  • For Jasmine rice: 1 cup rice to 1 cup broth and 1 cup diced tomatoes and sauce 
  • For Basmati rice: 1 cup rice to ¾ cup chicken broth and ¾ cup diced tomatoes with sauce
  • After you rinse the rice, make sure to drain the water very well—give it a few hard shakes in the strainer to take out as much water as possible. Too much residual water may make the dish mushy. 
  • For a spicier kick, add additional chili powder. 
  • Stir up all the ingredients well in the pot to ensure even distribution of flavors. 
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between Spanish Rice and Mexican Rice?

Technically, Spanish Rice is made with saffron, and Mexican rice is traditionally made with tomatoes, cumin and oregano. However, for many living in the Southwest and Texas, Spanish Rice and Mexican rice are interchangeable and refer to the same dish.

What kind of rice is Spanish rice made with?

Long grain rice, this includes jasmine and basmati rice. Any long grain rice will work, just make sure to check what the rice to liquid ratio is, to prevent your dish from being too mushy, instead of light and fluffy.

Why is my Spanish rice coming out mushy?

Rice becomes mushy when there is too much water in the pot. To prevent this, make sure to drain the rice really well after you rinse it, and measure the correct amount of liquid to the rice. 

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Spanish rice garnished with cilantro.

Rice Cooker Spanish Rice

Kaylie

Learn how to cook fluffy and flavorful Spanish rice in the rice cooker.  Spanish rice is a delicious tomato based rice pilaf with garlic, onions and savory spices. This recipe is super simple, just add the ingredients to your rice cooker and stir, then hit the start button—you’ll have a delicious side dish on the table with minimal effort!

Prep Time 5 mins

Cook Time 40 mins

Total Time 45 mins

Course Main Course, Side Dish

Cuisine American, Mexican

Servings 4 cups

Calories 228 kcal

Instructions 

  • Rinse rice in a mesh strainer. Make sure to shake out excess water well.

  • Add the rice to the pot, along with the chicken broth, diced tomato sauce (do not drain the sauce), garlic, onion, butter and seasoning. Stir the ingredients together.

  • Set rice cooker to cook or start (depending on the cooker functions) and walk away!

  • When done, fluff with a fork and serve.

Notes

*Nutritional facts provided are only an estimate, accuracy is not guaranteed.

  • For Jasmine rice: 1 cup rice to 1 cup broth and 1 cup diced tomatoes and sauce 
  • For Basmati rice: 1 cup rice to ¾ cup chicken broth and ¾ cup diced tomatoes with sauce
  • After you rinse the rice, make sure to drain the water very well—give it a few hard shakes in the strainer to take out as much water as possible. Too much residual water may make the dish mushy. 
  • For a spicier kick, add additional chili powder. 
  • Stir up all the ingredients well in the pot to ensure even distribution of flavors. 
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
  • Cooking time will vary, depending on your rice cooker. 

Nutrition

Serving: 4cupsCalories: 228kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 5gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 571mgPotassium: 376mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 616IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 39mgIron: 2mg





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