This is the most amazing Instant Pot Spanish Rice and it is going to knock your socks off! Invite friends over because this is going to feed a crowd! I am normally a “less is more” type of gal for recipes, but this is one that I have to say needs all the ingredients to make the magic happen! It’s still pretty much a “dump and go” recipe, so don’t be deterred!
This recipe comes from a friend and has been adapted to the Instant Pot. It has been around for decades but is super easy to make. I love the history of it.
It’s a little sweet and tangy with a robust herb taste. You’ll love the basil, oregano and Italian seasonings. It is full of those flavors in each bite. YUM! Look at the herbs used here so you are going to get those Italian flavors more so and it is DELISH!
Also, this is a huge hit with kiddos! The ketchup makes it sweet while the basil/oregano makes it Italian…a great mix for kids. Cut back on the ketchup if you want to ensure this is a little less sweet. The flavors meld together great overnight but when you first make it, the sweetness is there!
🍽️ Why This Recipe Works
Feeds a crowd – Who doesn’t love recipes that feed a huge amount of people? This is a great one to use for meal prep lunches for the week or if you are feeding a study group or kids from soccer practice. There will be more than enough food here.
Common ingredients – We love to offer recipes that have well known ingredients that you are familiar with and probably already have in your pantry. There might be a few extra ingredients in this recipe (sorry, you know we hate to do that to you!) but the taste is worth it.
Easy and even easier if you meal prep it – This is one that you can crank out quickly on busy weeknights when you are in between activities or need to rush to a ball game, but still need to get the crowd fed. Just use the meal prepping tips below and you will be golden for making this almost a dump and go meal that will be ready in under 20 minutes.
If you aren’t drooling by the time you finish reading this recipe, I will be surprised. It’s filled with amazing ingredients, and I can’t wait to share some information about the main ones.
Chuck Ground: There is nothing better than adding some ground chuck to this. The beef makes it hearty and satisfying. If you want to save some money, cut back on meat or skip it altogether, but we almost always add it in.
Vegetables: The veggies consist of sweet onions, green peppers, and stewed tomatoes. It’s a fabulous combination, and it’s easy to add in extra ingredients if you want.
Seasonings: We love using chili powder, Italian seasoning, oregano, basil, brown sugar, garlic salt, salt, and pepper. You can’t go wrong with these flavors, and they make the perfect combo for this recipe.
This is an easy recipe to pull together and using your Instant Pot is going to make it even easier. Don’t let the number of ingredients scare you – this is still a Savor + Savvy simple recipe that we stand by.
Step One: Turn on the SAUTÉ setting on your INSTANT POT, and melt the butter. Once it is heated up, place the chopped onions and green peppers in and sauté until caramelized. This will take few minutes. Patience is the key so this is a great time to clean out the fridge or unload the dishwasher while you are waiting.
Step Two: Once the onions and peppers are caramelized, remove them and toss in the ground chuck to brown. Make sure it is fully cooked and then turn off the SAUTÉ setting. Again, this takes a few minutes so do another kitchen chore for a few while you are waiting.
Step Three: Remove any fat from the beef mixture by using a fine colander over the sink.
Step Four: Place the drained beef back into the Instant Pot with your caramelized onions and peppers and add spices. Add the liquid from the stewed tomatoes can (keep the tomatoes in the can for a minute!) Using a large knife or kitchen shears, cut up the stewed tomatoes into small pieces and add them to the Instant Pot.
Step Five: Add the Ketchup, tomato paste, water, tomato sauce, chili powder, Italian seasoning, oregano, basil, and brown sugar, and stir well to combine. Place the lid on the Instant Pot, until it beeps and locks.
Step Six: Close the pressure relief valve and place on MANUAL setting for 10 minutes.
Step Seven: While the meat and tomato mixture is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stove and cook the Success Rice for 10 minutes. Make rice in the Instant Pot earlier, if you like as well. When the rice is done, drain it well.
Step Eight: When the Instant Pot is done, it will beep; watch the time, and after five minutes, do a QUICK RELEASE. When all the pressure has been released, and the float valve is down, open the lid. Stir the mix, and then add the rice. Stir to combine. Don’t over stir or it will become too thick and mushy.
🍲 How to Meal Prep
- Pre cook the rice and place it in a container until it is needed.
- Chop the onions and peppers ahead of time and put them in a container in the fridge.
- Brown the hamburger the day before.
- Measure all the spices put them in a sealed container until ready to use.
These preparation steps will turn this into true a DUMP AND GO meal. It will take you less than 15 minutes on a Sunday to prep it for the week. The added benefit is that this makes so much that you can easily save the leftovers for lunches for days!
If you don’t know how to use your Instant Pot-check out the Instant Pot Manual page here to verify anything that may be slightly different on your model!
🍴 Meal Prep Lunches
This is a great recipe to meal prep for lunches for the week. Since it makes so much, you will easily stretch it for you and your spouse to each have lunches for four days. Using the Meal Prep Containers we love here, make this and prep your week’s lunches in just a few minutes. It beats the $12 charge I just saw on my credit card when I “ran out of time” last week to make one of my husband’s lunches. Trust me, I quickly found meals to get me (and my budget) back on track.
🥶 Freeze for Best Results
This is a freezer friendly meal and you should take advantage of it as leftovers or to prep 100% and freeze for a later time. Freezer Tips and Storage Times keeps all your food safe .
- Prepare as directed and allow it to cool.
- Place it in freezer safe Ziploc bags and seal. Lay them flat in the freezer.
Add the Free Freezer Labels available here to mark the freezer bag and keep track of all of your meals.
TIP: If at the end, the mixture is a bit soupy, you may have too much moisture. If you allow the rice to set for about ten minutes, it will start to soak it up!
❗ Expert Tips
Don’t over stir when combining the rice or it will thicken it too much.
Don’t substitute diced tomatoes for the Stewed Tomatoes. Stewed tomatoes are prepared with onion/pepper/celery and seasonings, and give them a wonderful flavor. It is easy to slice them in the can, and there’s no mess to clean up. I like to use my kitchen scissors and just cut them inside the can.
You can substitute ground chuck with ground turkey or ground chicken to lean it up a bit.
Success rice yields about two cups of rice per package. The recipe is looking for two bags of Success Rice so make sure you are using four cups of cooked rice to replace it. I used Success Rice to make it faster as I am always looking for a short cut in my recipes, but it isn’t necessary. Make it earlier in your Instant Pot, stove top or rice cooker.
People use the name like it is synonymous, but they aren’t. For this recipe, I didn’t use Saffron as a lot of Spanish rice dishes will. Saffron is expensive and people don’t generally use it too much so for our readers, that just isn’t a match so it is left out.
Tried this recipe? Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page. You can also stay in touch with me through social media by following me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!
Instant Pot Spanish Rice
- 2 lbs Chuck ground
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1 large Sweet Onion chopped
- 1 Green Pepper diced
- 2 cans Stewed Tomatoes 15 oz each or one 28 oz larger can
- 1 cup Heinz Ketchup
- 1 can Tomato Paste 6oz
- 1 cup Water
- 1 tbsp Chili Powder
- 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 tsp Oregano dried
- ½ tsp Basil dried
- ¼ cup Brown Sugar
- Coarse Ground Garlic Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 2 packages Success Rice
- Chop the onion and green pepper.
- Turn on the SAUTÉ setting on your INSTANT POT, and melt the butter.
- When butter is melted, add the onion and green pepper, and sauté until it is golden brown, or caramelized.
- Remove the sautéed onion and pepper and set aside.
- Place the ground chuck in the INSTANT POT and cook the meat until it's browned well, and no pink is visible.
- Turn off the SAUTÉ setting.
- Drain the ground beef using a colander.
- Clean the fat from the Instant Pot with additional paper towels.
- Place the ground chuck back in the Instant Pot, along with the sauteed onion and peppers, and sprinkle with the garlic salt, seasoned salt, and seasoned pepper, and stir.
- Open the cans of Stewed Tomatoes, and pour the liquid in the Instant Pot, leaving the tomatoes in the cans.
- Take a large sharp knife, and slice the tomatoes right in the can into bite size pieces, and pour them in.
- Add the Ketchup, tomato paste, water, tomato sauce, chili powder, Italian seasoning, oregano, basil, and brown sugar, and stir well to combine.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot, until it beeps and locks.
- Press the manual setting, and set the time for 10 minutes
- While the meat mixture is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil (on the stove), and cook the Success Rice for 10 minutes.
- When the Rice is done, drain well, and set aside.
- When the Instant Pot is done cooking, it will beep; watch the time, and after five minutes, do a quick release. When all the pressure has been released, and the float valve is down, open the lid.
- Stir the meat and tomatoes, and then add the rice.
- Stir the rice into the meat, just until it is mixed – do not continue to stir, or it will thicken the Spanish rice.
- Serve the Spanish Rice with toasted garlic bread, tortilla chips, side salad or green beans – or your favorite side dish. Enjoy!