An Instant Pot Rice recipe full of authentic and traditional Dominican & Hispanic flavors!
Moro de Gandules has to be the king of rice amongst the Hispanic & Caribbean community. Whether you call it Rice & Peas or just Moro, this rice made with pigeon peas is what I also refer to as the turn up rice. It’s the rice that’s undoubtedly at EVERY party, gathering, and celebration. In fact, without Moro de Gandules, can you honestly say that a special occasion even occurred?
As much as I have made this rice– and trust me, I can make this with my eyes closed! I’ve developed easy tricks and hacks to make this popular Hispanic-Caribbean rice dish. Every now and then, I’ll have tons of family show up at my door, and before I know it, I’m scrambling to throw together a family feast. This is why it’s always important to have a few tricks up your sleeve. Enter my Instant Pot….
If you ever thought that making traditional and authentic Hispanic recipes was not possible in the Instant Pot and much more rice dishes– well, I’m here to prove you wrong! After much trial and error, I have figured out how to get the PERFECT Moro de Guandules in the Instant Pot. Now before you fret and think that the rice will come out mushy or undercooked, just know that my settings yield that absolute perfect rice!
Now make no mistake, I’m still a huge fan of making rice on the stove in my caldero. There’s something comforting about seeing that being caldero on the stove. You just know that a good time and good meal is about to go down. However, during big events, stovetop real estate is a premium! Making rice in the Instant Pot not only saves me time, but it also saves me space!
Before we jump into the recipe, I do want to mention some key Do’s and Don’ts! The most important part about making the best Instant Pot Rice is to follow the steps exactly! Any deviation can cause for your rice to come out less than perfect
Tip #1: Clean your Instant Pot thoroughly before and after using it. Depending on how you use your Instant Pot sometimes smells (and even flavors!) from your previous dish tends to linger. If that’s the case, a good lemon and vinegar steam rinse should help neutralize odors.
Tip #2: Be mindful of how much liquid you put into your Instant Pot. Unlike making rice on the stove, where you can be more forgiving with your rice-to-water ratio, the ratio when making rice in the Instant Pot needs to be close to exact.
Tip #3: Remember that onions and peppers release their own moisture, juices, and flavor. As a result, alter the amount of water that you had into the rice to compensate for the moisture that the chopped veggies will add.
Tip #4: The type of rice that you use — long grain, medium, or short will affect the end result. For this recipe, I’m using long grain white rice.
Tip #5: When making Moro de Gandules in the Instant Pot, pressure cook the rice on HIGH for 5 minutes, then SLOW RELEASE the pressure for 10 minutes. At the 10 minute mark, release the pressure valve until all of the pressure has come out. Remove the Instant Pot lid and fluff up the rice. If the rice seems a touch mushy, let the rice sit uncovered. The rice will firm up on its own
Tip #6: Feel free to use your homemade sofrito to make this dish. As always, just be mindful that this will add moisture to your rice so you’ll want to adjust the amount of water that you add.
There are so many different ways of making this classic dish. All in all it’s important to remember that the cooking mechanisms of making rice on the stove vs. the Instant Pot are different. However, they will both give you amazing dishes. On the stove, we’re steaming the rice over low heat. In the Instant Pot, we’re pressure cooking it on high, which is why too much moisture is your enemy.
Making the rice in the Instant Pot is much faster, but it may take some getting used to. I encourage you to try it, and see if something that you’ll incorporate when you’re low on time and hands in the kitchen! All in all, I’m truly excited to share another fun, yet exciting way of making a recipe that’s traditional, authentic, and brings joy!
… And now for the recipe!
- 2 ½ cups of Long Grain White Rice
- 2 cups of Pigeon Peas - Gandules
- 2 ½ cups Water
- ½ White Onion
- ½ Cubanelle Pepper or Bell Pepper
- 3 Garlic Cloves
- 1 ½ tbsp Chicken Bouillon Cube or Kosher Salt
- 1 tbsp Sazón con Achiote
- ½ tsp Dominican Orégano
- 1 ½ tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 tbsp Fresh Cilantro
- Black Pepper to Taste
- Set Instant Pot to saute on High. Then add olive oil, diced peppers, onions, and garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes then add Dominican Orégano, Sazón con Achiote, kosher salt or chicken bouillon cube, and black pepper. Mix until well combined. Then add tomato paste and mix altogether
- Once all of the veggies have softened, add the softened pigeon peas and mix. Then add washed long grain white rice. Mix until well combined. Afterwards, add water and mix again. Lastly, add fresh cilantro to the center and close the lid making sure that the pressure valve is in the sealed position.
- Now place the Instant Pot to pressure cook on HIGH for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, allow the Instant Pot or pressure cooker of choice to slow release for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, manually release any leftover pressure. Remove the lid and then remove the cilantro. Fluff up the rice and enjoy it with your favorite protein like Pollo Guisado, Pernil, or Carne Guisada! Note, if rice is mushy, let it sit uncovered for a few minutes. The rice will firm up on its own.