Spanish Rice made in the rice cooker with a few simple ingredients (including a can of tomatoes) – just dump, mix, set it and forget it! An easy recipe cooker recipe your family will love!
Mexican food is in my favorites category. I love everything from tostadas and steak carnitas to simple bean burritos and salsa. Easy Spanish rice is the perfect side for all that Mexican food and this recipe is so easy because the rice cooker makes it for you. Just dump it all in and go. I like to make this rice when company is coming over, and I have enchiladas planned because it makes the main dish stretch and the leftovers are great inside bean burritos for lunch.
Why the rice cooker when you can make it on the stove-top? Well, unbeknownst to you, there is a rice-curse that has been placed on my head. I cannot, for the life of me, make non-crunchy rice outside of the rice cooker. Ever. If you don’t have a rice cooker, I’m sure this could be done on the stove-top in a similar way, just don’t ask me how. We all can’t be good at cooking everything, right?!
One more thought for you. There are lots of types of Spanish or Mexican rice and this one is very similar to the Rice-a-Roni type that comes in a box that you make on the stove-top with a can of tomatoes. I grew up with that kind and like it, so expect something close to that in flavor.
Tips and Tricks for Making Easy Spanish Rice in the Rice Cooker:
- You can use just about any kind of rice that you like. A long grain rice general lends to a rice that has more individual pieces of rice and a short grain will lend to a stickier Spanish Rice. You can also use brown rice, just increase the liquid by one cup (or add the amount called for on the bag).
- I have this rice cooker and love it (it makes 20 cups of cooked rice, perfect for a party/crowd!). I know that the Instant Pot has a rice cooker function and I assume that this would work great it in though I haven’t tried it myself (I need to get one…).
- You can serve this as a side to tacos (like our favorite Best Chicken Tacos Ever) and it’s also great tucked inside Smothered Burritos.
- This easy Spanish rice recipe makes a fair amount. If you don’t use it all, it freezes really well. Once it’s cooled, place extras in a zipper-topped freezer bag, label, and freeze. It should keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. I just let mine thaw in the fridge overnight or in a small bowl of warm water and then heat through before serving.
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Spanish Rice made in the rice cooker with a few simple ingredients – just dump, mix, set it & forget it! An easy recipe cooker recipe your family will love!
- 2 cups rice
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 bouillon cubes or 3 teaspoons Better than Bouillon
- 1-3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin or smoked cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Place the rice in the bottom of the rice cooker and then add the diced tomatoes and water. Add the onion and spices and stir a little on the top to dissolve the spices in the water. Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions. When the rice is cooked, test for salt and add more if needed. Serve as a side dish or inside your favorite burritos and tacos.
I use brown rice and increase my water by one cup. The Spanish rice in the pictures was made with brown rice and I bet you didn’t even notice. Your family won’t either. You can use chicken or vegetable stock in place of the bouillon and water. The amount of chili powder you use is going to depend on how much you like. I’d try it with 2 tablespoons first and then you can go up or down from there depending on your preferences.
Keywords: Spanish rice recipe, easy rice cooker recipe, how to make Spanish rice, best rice cooker recipes
The recipe was originally published in February 2013. It was retested with reader feedback, rephotographed, rewritten, and republished for your enjoyment in June 2017.