Instant Pot Mexican Rice (Arroz Mexicano) is a tasty side dish to any Mexican food recipes. Watch the VIDEO or follow along the step-by-step pictures to recreate this classic dish.
Growing up, Mexican Rice (Arroz Mexicano) was something we had at almost every dinner. Although, we didn’t call it “Mexican Rice.” We called it “rice” or “Spanish Rice.” Somewhere, somehow, it became known as Mexican Rice, and so it is.
I’ve seen variations of this recipe where people add oregano, or they add tomato bouillon. Salsa was NEVER used to make Mexican Rice. This is a “gringo” invention. Every family has their recipe, and this is my family’s recipe for Mexican Rice except I’m making it in an Instant Pot.
These are the ingredients we use to make Mexican Rice (Arroz Mexicano): olive oil, 2 Roma tomatoes, ¼ onion, whole cumin, 1 garlic clove, white rice, and chicken bouillon. Very simple and not complicated at all.
Start by adding the tomatoes, onion, and garlic to a blender. Basically, I’m making tomato sauce, and when I’m running around and gotta get food on the table fast, I use canned tomato sauce. I have to show you how to make it from scratch, though, or I’d get a call from my mother. LOL.
Only use enough water to blend the tomatoes. This is ½ cup of water. You can also use chicken broth to help blend the tomatoes instead of water. If I had had chicken broth in the fridge, that’s what I would’ve used too. Whatever you works, right?!
Blend until smooth. Start with this step first and set the tomato mixture aside. The next steps require your undivided attention. Except for crying babies and earthquakes, plan to stay close to the pot.
I’m making Instant Pot Mexican Rice, but you can do it on the stove as well. Start by pressing the “Saute” button. Add the oil. You need enough oil to brown the rice. For 1 cup of white rice, use 2 tablespoons of oil.
Rice is nice. This is long grain white rice. I do not recommend sushi rice or any of the other rice varieties out there. However, it burns quickly if you are not stirring it constantly. Oh yeah. We have all been there. Done that. (sad face)
Stir until well coated, and the rice turns slightly golden. About 2 minutes, sometimes longer. Do not let the rice turn black! If it burns, you will need to start all over again. You will also need to wash the Instant Pot bowl too. No bueno.
Add the water and tomato mixture into the instant pot. If you are doing this on the stove, you will need 1 cup of water. Since this is an Instant Pot, you only need ½ cup of water.
Chicken bouillon. We use it a lot in Mexican cooking. If this ain’t yo thang, you can very easily make your Instant Pot Mexican Rice with chicken broth instead of the chicken bouillon + water.
A pinch of whole cumin also goes into the pot. Don’t use ground cumin, or your Instant Pot Mexican Rice will look funny. You just need a pinch. Not too much, either, or it will overpower the flavor of the rice.
Cover the Instant Pot with the lid. Set it for 7 minutes and make sure that the venting knob is on SEALING. What I love about my Instant Pot is how easy it is to make a full meal in a short period of time. Easy and delicious. Yes and yes!
Release pressure carefully using the quick-release method, about 5 minutes. I send my kiddo out of the kitchen and with the back of my wooden spoon, I turn the knob to “VENTING.” Stand back at a safe distance. I’ve heard horror stories that would scare Freddy Krueger, and I don’t want to be the next victim.
Carefully unlock and remove the lid. I even stand back when I do this. There’s enough steam to give you a good facial. Gotta keep my esthetician employed! lol. All you need to do now is stir to combine and serve.
My mom used to add other ingredients to her Mexican Rice, or Arroz Mexicano, like frozen peas and carrots. I’ve added sliced green onions here for a little freshness. I must admit. This rice tasted just like my mom’s. I should buy her an Instant Pot. 🙂 Hope you enjoy!
Don’t forget to Watch the Instant Pot Mexican Rice Video
Instant Pot Mexican Rice
- To the blender, add tomatoes, garlic, onion, and ½ cup water.
- Blend until smooth.
- Set aside.
- Select the Saute function on the Instant Pot.
- Add the olive oil to the Instant Pot.
- Heat for 1 minute.
- Add rice.
- Stir frequently for 2-3 minutes, or until the rice is toasted.
- Be careful not to burn.
- Add ½ cup water, tomato mixture, chicken bouillon, and cumin.
- Stir to combine.
- Carefully place the lid on the Instant Pot.
- Turn venting knob to “SEALING.”
- Set timer to 7 minutes.
- Let it come to full pressure.
- Release pressure carefully using the quick-release method, about 5 minutes.
- Open lid carefully.
- Stir and serve.
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More Mexican Side Dishes:
Papas con Rajas (Potatoes and Poblano Peppers)
Instant Pot Pinto Beans, NO SOAK
Cactus Salad with Queso Fresco (Ensalada de Nopales)
Pinto Beans (Frijoles de la Olla)