Rice Cooker Spanish Rice

Easy Rice Cooker Spanish Rice

As much as I hate to admit it, not all of my adventures in the kitchen are successful. I have had quite a few epic failures. While living overseas, I have struggled making Spanish rice…or maybe Mexican rice? I’m not even sure what the difference is! Anyways, there are tons of easy stovetop recipes for Spanish rice out and I have given some a try. But alas, all my tries resulted in either a pot of  undercooked rice or mushy overcooked rice.

Easy Rice Cooker Spanish Rice

A few weeks ago I was making a batch of our favorite enchiladas when I wished we could enjoy some rice with them. I remember thinking that I wish I could just cook up some rice in my rice cooker like I usually do. That’s when it hit me! Why don’t I just try making Spanish rice in my rice cooker?! And bingo, that’s how this recipe was born!

I have been playing around with this recipe for a couple of weeks and am really excited to share it with you. This rice is so easy! You literally throw everything into your rice cooker and that’s it! I make a big batch and eat it as a side, in burritos, or as enchilada filling and we enjoy it throughout the week.

I know back in home there are a lot of packaged box mixes for Spanish style rice, but those are filled with weird preservatives and artificial ingredients. This recipe is not only easy, but it’s fresh, natural, and good for your family. Also, I like to make this using brown rice! 

Easy Rice Cooker Spanish Rice

2 cups rice
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes (I like the kind with the bell peppers & onions)
1/2 cup of your favorite chunky salsa
3 1/2 to 4 1/2 cups water*
1 small onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin

*Use 4 1/2 cups water if using brown rice


Put the rice at the bottom of your rice cooker. Add in the can of tomatoes with the juices, salsa, water, onion, garlic, and spices. Stir everything a couple of times to ensure that the cumin and salt gets dissolved in the water. Turn your rice cooker on and let it cook away!

Check the rice once it’s almost done cooking, add a bit more water if needed. Once the rice is done cooking, taste for salt. Let the rice cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

About Stephanie Watkins

Welcome to my blog, I'm Stephanie. I was born and raised in sunny California but now live with my husband in Malaysia. This is where I write, cook, and photograph our new life overseas. I love taking pictures, experiencing new cultures, and eating an animal-free and plant based diet.

21. April 2013 by Stephanie Watkins
Categories: Sides | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 comments

Comments (20)

  1. This sounds so delicious, and I bet it would freeze well too!

  2. I’m thinking this might be dinner tonight

  3. Yay! I’m always looking for new rice cooker recipes, and this sounds great!

  4. I simply love these pictures- the colors are oh so bright and enchanting!

  5. Too funny, I decided to try making Spanish Rice in my rice cooker tonight, I can smell it and it smells yummy, but it’s still cooking :0)

  6. Hi I just stumbled on your site and I’m going to make your Chocolate & Zucchini bread in just a few minutes. It sounds delish!!! My husband and I have been vegan/nutritarian almost 2 years. We LOVE it. I have a question about your Mexican rice recipe. Do I need a rice cooker for this? I use a pot and lid and has always worked out great with Sprouted Rice &Sprouted Quinoa, that is one of your favorites.

    Thank you for such a lovely site. :)

  7. Hi Tootsie! I am not sure how it will work on the stovetop because I’m awful at cooking rice that way! But it sounds like you have the magic touch, so give it a try and let me know if it turns out :) Thanks for your kind comment!

  8. This sounded wonderful, but didn’t work out too well for me…

    I used brown rice and used the 4 1/2 cups of water, it was way too much when combined with the liquid from the tomatoes and salsa.

    This completely filled up my 20 cup rice cooker! I was pretty surprised by that…

    I set the cooker to the brown rice setting and let it go. 2 1/2 hours later it was still cooking and hadn’t given me any indication of when it would be done.. I opened it up to give it a stir and it was still like soup inside.

    I let the cooker go for a while longer with lid open to let some of the water evaporate, this helped, but the rice was already mushy and very overcooked. Some of this may be due to having a rice cooker with “fuzzy logic” and all different kinds of rice settings .. it seems to complicate things more than make them easier.

    The finished product was very bland, probably just because it was too watered down. I added quite a bit of salt, chipotle Tabasco sauce, adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers, and another teaspoon of cumin. This helped some.

    I think this will end up being extremely yummy once I figure out how much water to use in my rice cooker so it cooks properly. All the ingredients blend together very well, and I really think it would’ve been great if the flavor had been stronger and rice not as mushy.

    I’ll definitely tinker and try this one again, maybe I will use a cup to a cup and a half less water next time.

    Have you ever tried making this with veggie broth instead of water?

    Thanks for posting this recipe! I hope I can make it work out better next time. :-)

    • Hi Gwen,

      Thanks so much for your comment. I am so sorry it was a debacle! I’m not sure what happened! It may have been your rice cooker. I know they are all different with different settings! Mine is super basic and I just keep an eye on it, adding more water as needed. And yes, I have used veggie broth and it’s very nice! I hope next time you have more luck! Cheers :)

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  11. I’m going to make this tomorrow; it looks delicious. Are the 2 cups of rice called for 2 full cups or 2 of the smaller “cups” that come with rice cookers?

  12. you might want to put an addendum as to the size of rice cooker. Mine can only cook the usual 2 cups to make 5 cups so I’d have to halve this recipe….

  13. It’s cooking right now. Can’t wait! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  14. This was really awesome and worked well for me! I needed a side dish for my lentil loaf because my broccol had gone off before we got to it (sad face!), and I had all the stuff for this on hand. I’m now looking forward to eating the leftovers for lunch today. Thanks for a great recipe!

  15. Thanks for posting this. I needed a recipe to kick up the rice a little. I only used a cup and a half of rice (small cooker), left out the salsa, added some chicken broth, and threw in some Pyrate Bite hot pepper seasoning, plus a small cubanello pepper. This went excellent with my oven fried chicken. I’ll definitely be making this again.

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