Easy Spanish Rice in the Rice Cooker

4.51 from 51 votes

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

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!

Spanish rice served with limes in a bowl.
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

I don’t think I’ve ever said no to Mexican food. There are so many bright flavors and 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. 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 like empanadas!

Easy Spanish Rice in the Rice Cooker.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s the perfect side dish to so many main dishes
  • It is “set and forget” because you’re using the rice cooker
  • You make it from pantry staples so it’s easy to throw together anytime


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

See the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and quantities 

how to make easy spanish rice in the rice cooker with tomatoes
  • Brown rice for white rice. Yes! Just make sure to increase the liquid by one cup.
  • Instant Pot for Rice Cooker. Just use the rice function!

How to Make Spanish Rice

Step #1. Place the rice, diced tomatoes, water, onion, bouillon, and spices in the rice cook and stir a little.

Step #2. Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions. When finished, fluff with a fork then serve.

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.

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.

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 – 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.

Spanish Rice recipe in a white bowl.

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.

How to Store Easy Spanish Rice

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!

More Rice Recipes to Consider

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


  • 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


  • 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 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.
  • You can use the rice cooker function on your Instant Pot if you don’t have a rice cooker.


Serving: 1 of 5 cups, 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
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Melissa

You May Also Like:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. You say bouillon cubes . . . but there are beef, pork, chicken, seafood and vegetable ones. You need to specify.

  2. 5 stars
    This is a wonderful recipe and I thank you so much for it. I use a rice cooker, that depending on how many cups of rice you start with there is a measurement on the inside of the cook pot as to how much water to add. I use chicken broth and add first my rice, then my tomatoes with juice, and then fill to the line with chicken broth. Add spices , stir, cover, and Presto! Now I can save money and also control the sodium which is way too much in the prepackaged Spanish rice. Cheers!

  3. I did less water as well but also did it in the rice cooker so I made sure to fill the water according to the amount of rice used. Was ridiculously good, thanks for the recipe!!

  4. Calls for way too much water. It came out very mushy. I should have trusted my instincts and reduced the water beforehand

  5. 5 stars
    Hi! I made this but it was too much I know you said it would freeze but have you ever cut the recipe in half? If I do that do I keep some stuff the same and just half the rice & liquid?

  6. 5 stars
    I made this, was delish. Defo going to make it again. I am in the uk and went really well with a Spanish Chicken I bought from Morrisions. I substituted the Boullion for a Knorr Stock Pot (Paprika & Sun Dried Tomatoes) Mouth Watering just thinking about it. I used Basmatti Rice, but will reduce the water content next time as it came out a bit mushy. All in all, very tasty.

    1. 5 stars
      Yvonne, she doesn’t say it’s Mexican rice, She says it’Spanish Rice. Think you need to read a bit more slower.

      She says “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!” Doesn’t say Mexican Rice. It goes Great with mexican or tex-mex.

      She also says “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! Again….Enjoy a Mexican Inspire Meal Doesn’t say Mexican Rice.

    1. Are you using the scoop that came with your rice cooker to measure the rice? If so, those are not actual 1 cup measurements, actually closer to 3/4C, which will definitely cause some issues considering you’ll be using 1/2C less rice than the recipe calls for. Just FYI.