Easy Spanish Rice in the Rice Cooker

4.51 from 51 votes

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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.

Spanish rice served with limes in a bowl.
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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.

Ingredients

Here is a list of ingredients you’ll need to make this easy Spanish rice recipe:

  • Rice – I prefer a medium grain white rice, a long grain white rice, such as jasmine or basmati works just as well. You can also use brown rice, see the recipe notes for instructions if doing so.
  • Canned Diced Tomatoes – add the whole can of diced tomatoes, juice and all.
  • Broth – this recipe calls for bouillon and water. Feel free to substitute equal parts of chicken broth or vegetable broth or stock.
  • Onion – one small diced onion.
  • Seasoning – salt, cumin, garlic power, and chili powder.

How to Make Spanish Rice

I love that this recipe is so simple! Here are the step-by-step instructions:

  1. Place the rice in the bottom of the rice cooker and then add the diced tomatoes and water. Add the onion, bouillon, 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, fluff the rice with a fork. This creates the classic fluffy texture of Spanish rice.
  4. Taste for salt and add more if needed.
  5. Serve as a side dish or inside your favorite burritos, tacos, or quesadillas.

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

  • I have the Aroma Housewares 20 Cup 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.
Spanish Rice recipe in a white bowl.

What is the difference between Spanish rice and Mexican rice?

The differences between Spanish rice and Mexican rice are very subtle. Spanish rice is more firm and heartier while Mexican rice tends to be softer in texture. The color also varies between Spanish and Mexican rice because of the different spices used. Spanish rice tends to be more yellow in color because of the saffron, while Mexican rice is more of a reddish color due to the cumin. This Mexican rice isn’t the most authentic dish but is sure tastes delicious.

Frequently Asked Questions

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?

Store leftover rice in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 6 days. This recipe makes a good amount of Spanish rice — if you have more leftovers than you’ll eat in the 6 days, 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!

If you’ve tried this tomato rice recipe or any other recipe on Bless this Mess, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some pictures of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories AND add your photo to your comment so that other can see your creation.

4.51 from 51 votes

Easy Spanish Rice Recipe

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!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 5 cups

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups white 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
  • 1-3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin , or smoked cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions 

  • 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.

Video

Notes

  • 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 or broth 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 304kcal, Carbohydrates: 66g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0.3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 0.1mg, Sodium: 1199mg, Potassium: 323mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 576IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 67mg, Iron: 2mg
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pin with a photo of spanish rice with limes - text reads "easy Mexican rice"

Other rice recipes you’ll love:

This easy Mexican 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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Recipe Rating




122 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Recipe looks great. Are the cups of rice using the rice cooker measuring cup (about 3/4 actual cup) or an actual 1 measuring cup?

    1. It’s an actual cup of rice, I didn’t want to assume everyone was using a rice cooker measuring cup.

  2. 5 stars
    I have been making this for 3 years now and figure it’s time to finally leave a review! We love it! It’s so easy and so good! Maybe the people who have a problem with the consistency have the wrong type of rice? Thank for posting this!!

  3. 5 stars
    Tastes great, and it’s a fantastic and easy way to use up leftover canned tomato. I forgot the onion (oh well, I’ll make it again some time), and we don’t have chili powder as such in Australia, so I winged it with some smoked paprika and extra cumin, garlic powder and cayenne. I also added a bit of MSG.

    I made it in a microwave, and usually use a “to my first knuckle measure” so I also didn’t use the water measurement, but I did have to add a fair bit more water towards the end than I would cooking plain rice as it was still a bit crunchy. But it makes sense that crushed tomato isn’t equal to water.

    The ingredients make for solidly delicious rice, and it’s clearly pretty tolerant of changes, I love it.

  4. Tried this tonight and used brown rice, it was very nice.I only used a little chilli to taste.have loads to freeze for another time.thank you for sharing.

  5. 5 stars
    Recipes for me are a general idea of how to get the end result. We are trying to reduce sodium in our diet so I subbed no sodium chicken broth for the water and the bullion (?) turned out perfect for us!

  6. There are big differences between the ” spanish” rice that is really Mexican and the different recipes to make rice from Spain that uses more saffron and pimento.
    Is sauted first.
    Both from Mexico, Spain South American rice styles are delicious.