Instant Pot Yellow Rice!

by Chef Zee

An easy, quick, and modern way of making traditional Latin flavorful rice!

Yellow Spanish style rice is hands down one of my favorite rice dishes to make. The rice is vibrant, flavorful, and pairs perfectly with so many dishes. It’s also my sister’s favorite rice to have with Stewed Pork Chops – Chuletas Guisadas!

Now I have to admit, I have an Instant Pot, but I don’t use it much other than for softening beans. So I’ve set out to challenge myself and find more uses for it. I hate having small kitchen appliances – or any appliance – sitting around collecting dust! 

Creating rice recipes using my Instant Pot has been quite the task. I first began with making Instant Pot Moro de Gandules. This is a rice and peas dish that so many Caribbean countries enjoy. It’s the turn up rice that you need to have at every family gathering, party, and holiday! I was shocked when I figured out how to make it in the Instant Pot. It came out PERFECTLY! 

This got me thinking of all the many other rice dishes that I could also use with this tool. What I love about making rice in the Instant Pot is that it ultimately frees up real estate on my stove. While I dream of having a professional 60” range, the truth is that I simply don’t have the space for such a massive stove. Finding ways to save space during busy holiday seasons is key! 

It’s important to note that the Instant Pot does have a rice setting. However, I like to play around with my own settings so that it’s a little bit more universal with the other non-InstantPot devices that I have. What I’m actually doing is pressure cooking rice until it’s perfectly fluffy! This means that depending on the setting, you can actually tweak it a few ways by either adding longer pressure cook times or longer slow-release times to get the same results. 

Yellow Spanish style rice is known for its vibrant yellow color that you get from saffron. Its flavor comes to life from fresh onions, peppers, and garlic. I personally love to add some tomato paste for added richness. I also like to dice everything super finely so that it disappears seamlessly into the rice. This is also a great trick for hiding the onions and peppers from picky eaters!  

Now if you’re wondering what’s the difference is between making rice regularly on the stove vs. pressure cooking it, just know that the main difference is actually in the cooking times. Pressure cooked rice cooks much quicker. It’s also much more sensitive to liquids. Therefore, it’s absolutely key that you keep on a watchful eye on how much liquid you’re using. This even means paying close attention to how many fresh veggies you had since they too release their own liquids. 

Everyone has their preferred ratios when making rice. I always say that making rice is an exercise in learning your stove since the setting and ratios slightly change depending on your stove and pots. I’m a 1:1 ratio believer. I think this is a great place to start and it never fails me. I know another popular ratio is 2:1. Admittedly, I’ve never had much success using this ratio.

All in all, here’s a few things to keep in mind when making Yellow Spanish Style Rice in the Instant Pot:

  1. Always saute your veggies before transitioning into pressure cook mode 
  2. Be mindful of how much liquid and moisture you’re adding to the rice. This includes the amount of fresh veggies that you’re adding since they too release their own liquid and moisture 
  3. Make sure the pressure release valve is in its proper position before removing the pressure cook lid 
  4. Fluff the rice before serving and let sit for 5 minutes before serving

If you’d like to follow along as I make this delicious Yellow Spanish Style Rice in the Instant Pot, visit my YouTube Channel: Chef Zee Cooks!

… And now for the recipe

Instant Pot Yellow Rice | Rice Recipes | Chef Zee Cooks

Serves: 6 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 3 cups Long Grain White Rice
  • ¼ White Onion Diced
  • 2 tbsp Diced Yellow or Orange Bell Pepper
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 tbsp Sazón Azafran (saffron)
  • 1 tsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 ½ - 2 tbsp Chicken Bouillon Cube
  • 3 cups Water or Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil


  1. Set Instant Pot to Saute on HIGH and saute onions, peppers, garlic, with olive oil. After 3 minutes, add sazón con azafran (sazón with saffron), chicken bouillon or kosher salt and tomato paste. Feel free to add 1-2 tbsp of water to help mix in tomato paste. 
  2. Next, add washed long grain white rice. Mix altogether until well combined 
  3. Add water or chicken or vegetable stock. Mix together until well combined. Make sure tomato paste has been well mixed in and there are no remaining clumps. 
  4. Set InstantPot to pressure cook on HIGH for 2 mins. Then slow release for 15 and remove the lid. For firmer rice, slow release at 10 mins

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