Easy Spanish Rice in the Rice Cooker

This easy Spanish rice made in the rice cooker comes together with a few simple ingredients, including a can of tomatoes, a diced onion, and some flavor-filled spices, so all you have to do is dump everything in, set it, and forget it!

I love a good rice recipe. You are in for a treat with these too: Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice, Cafe Rio Cilantro Lime Rice and One Pot Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole.

Easy Spanish Rice in the Rice Cooker

I don’t think I’ve ever said no to Mexican food. There are so many rich and bright flavors and eclectic ways to serve it that I doubt I’ll ever get sick of it! Easy Spanish rice made in the rice cooker is just one of those easy Mexican side dish staples that you must try. All you do is throw all the ingredients into the rice maker, and voila! You have rich, flavorful rice with almost zero effort.

I prefer using a rice cooker over stovetop rice because I am cursed with crunchy rice every single time I cook it in a regular old pot. Seriously. It’s sad how difficult it is for me. So a rice cooker simplifies everything since I don’t have to mess with it after throwing in all the ingredients! This rice is so delish and goes great in burritos and enchiladas, or as a side for any of your favorite Mexican or Tex-Mex meals!

Easy Spanish Rice in the Rice Cooker

Tips and Tricks for Making Easy Spanish Rice in the Rice Cooker:

  • I have this rice cooker and love it (it makes 20 cups of cooked rice, perfect for a party or crowd!). I know that the Instant Pot has a rice cooker function that also works great.
  • 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.

Easy Spanish Rice in the Rice Cooker

Can you use brown rice for Spanish rice?

You sure can! I do and prefer it. Just make sure to increase the liquid by one cup, and you’ll be solid. In general, a long-grain rice makes the pieces of rice less sticky and more individual, while short-grain tends to be stickier and more like a traditional Spanish rice consistency.

What’s in easy Spanish rice?

My recipe for easy Spanish rice calls for a couple cups of rice, a can of diced tomatoes, water, a small onion, bouillon, chili powder, salt, cumin, and garlic powder. Super simple, and super delicious.

Can you use an Instant Pot to make Spanish rice?

You can! Just follow the instructions for the rice cooker function on your Instant Pot.

How long does easy Spanish rice keep for?

This recipe makes a good amount of Spanish rice — if you have leftovers, it freezes really well. Place remaining cooled rice in sealable bags and freeze for up to two months. To thaw it out, place the bag in a bowl of warm water before heating through to serve!


Easy Spanish Rice in the Rice Cooker

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths-Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 5 cups of cooked rice 1x


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 can diced tomatoes, with juice (14-ounce )
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 bouillon cubes or 3 teaspoons Better than Bouillon
  • 13 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin or smoked cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. 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.
  2. Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. When the rice is cooked, test for salt and add more if needed.
  4. Serve as a side dish or inside your favorite burritos and tacos.


  • I use brown rice often 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. T
  • he 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.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Rice Cooker
  • Cuisine: Spanish
Nutrition Information: YIELD: 15 SERVING SIZE: 1/3 Cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 101.1 Fat: 9g Cholesterol: 1mg Sodium: 183.6mg Carbohydrates: 21g Sugars: 7g Protein: 2.3g Vitamin A: 11µg Vitamin C: 2mg

Keywords: Spanish rice recipe, easy rice cooker recipe, how to make Spanish rice, best rice cooker recipes

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Other rice recipes you’ll love:

This recipe was originally published in February 2013. It was retested with reader feedback and rewritten in June 2017, and updated and rephotographed in August 2019.

This easy Spanish rice in the rice cooker is so divine and full of flavor that you’ll be wanting to make it as a side every time you enjoy a Mexican-inspired meal!

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About Melissa

I have a lot going on, and I’d much rather spend my time enjoying my messes than fretting about what I’m going to make for dinner. Over the past few years, I’ve nailed down a few strategies that helped me keep my kitchen running like a well-oiled machine, so I started Bless This Mess to help other mess-loving parents solve the nightly dinner delimma—no stress, no drama, just really great food your whole family will love. Read more...

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Do you drain the tomatoes?

Amazingly simple and delicious. Only thing g is that it’s too spicy after adding the 2Tbs. Is there anything I can do to tone it down other than adding cheese?

I made this last night to go along with some enchiladas and black beans, and it was delicious. I have recently discovered my rice cooker, and love it. It smelled heavenly while it was cooking. Flavors were really good. What setting do you use to cook it at, mine turned out really mushy. I had used the brown rice setting, and I am thinking that was way too long. Still good though.

Thank you so much for this version. I am Mexican and all my family cook good rice the traditional way and so did I until about 5 years ago that I became cursed with under or over cooked rice. When I succeeded using your recipe I almost cried. My husband is also indebted to you 🙂


Stupid question, my rice cooker has a little “cup”, it is not a standard cup measurement. There are lines in the pot that are numbered, if you fill it to “2” you are supposed to put 2 “cups” of rice also. I’m not sure I have the water correct. Sorry, I’m just a dumb dude trying to be Chef Ramsey??

That cup shouldn’t throw you off, its how you properly measure the rice for a rice cooker. It matches up with the notches inside. 2 of those smaller cups of rice get placed in the cooker and then you fill the water to the “2” line and its perfect every time.

You’ll find that many people who use rice cookers, make errors when someone says 2 cups of rice and use actual cup measures. Their rice has way too much water and ends up soggy. You may want to edit the original 🙂

Thanks for the recipe!

We just wanted to clarify,
1- 14 ounce of dice tomatoes.
Not 114 ounces. HAHA


So 4 and 1/2 cups of water to 2 cups brown rice (and the tomatoes also?)

normally in mexican rice we brown the rice first. Do you think if i brown it first on the stove top then add it to the rice cooker it will work?

Hello Gloria,
I was also concerned about that step. I just cooked a batch and sauteed the onion and garlic in oil before hand, then I added it to the rice cooker with the chopped tomatoes. It turned out great !

Spanish rice is always the side dish that ends up becoming the star of the show. This one looks so so good!

I made this last week along with enchiladas and instant pot refried beans. It served a big crowd! Since we live in San Diego, everyone likes their food authentically spicy. I’m making this again tomorrow but will be using diced tomatoes with chipotles, all 3 spoonfuls of chile powder, maybe a can of green chiles, and vegetable broth for the vegetarians in my life. Great recipe. Thank you!

I made this last week for my family and it came out WONDERFUL! Thanks so much for sharing.

Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.