Making rice in an Instant Pot is a magical thing. It comes out incredibly flavorful, perfectly textured, and doesn’t require much time or effort at all. You certainly could use a rice cooker for the job, but in my book, having ONE appliance that does the work of 7 is the way to go. And this Instant Pot Moroccan-Spiced Rice will make you fall in love with the magical Instant Pot all over again. Serve this crowd-pleasing side dish with my Simple Lemon and Dijon Mustard Chicken, and you’ve got a winning meal ready to go in about 30 minutes.
Now, for a few words on the great rice debate. As you may or may not have learned by now, when it comes to the foods I eat on a daily basis, I’m mostly low-carb and paleo-ish (“ish” is the key word because peanut butter and cheese are just too hard to quit). I’ve learned that my body is pretty carb intolerant and insulin sensitive, so I typically steer clear of high-carb grains like rice. While I think it’s important to eat foods that you enjoy and not stress over every little thing, I just do better (and feel better) when I choose to eat lower-carb food and limit grains. The way I eat is not for everyone; I don’t believe low-carb diets fit every person’s body. I do believe it’s best to choose real, whole foods that make you feel your best. And limiting sugar and grains is often the first step toward making you feel your best.
With that said, I also believe in enjoying real, whole foods – even if some of them don’t conform to my everyday eating patterns. And sometimes, that means eating a little bit of this tasty Instant Pot Moroccan-Spiced Rice.
I’ve recently introduced a little white rice back into my diet, and while I don’t go crazy on portion sizes (because of the aforementioned carb intolerance), I think it’s a better choice if you’re adding a few grains into (or back into) your diet. While the abundance of gluten-free options in grocery stores today is wonderful, the popularity has led to more overly processed, grain-full gluten-free foods. And in that case, having a little rice is probably better than eating a gluten-free muffin with 47 ingredients. There’s also a reason I choose white rice as opposed to brown. This may seem like an odd choice because brown rice is typically viewed as healthier and more nutritious. But turns out, that’s not actually the case (more reasons to be skeptical about the “truths” surrounding conventional Western diets). I could give you all the research in a pretty lengthy post, but some well-informed individuals have outlined it in a very easy-to-digest way, including Cassy Joy from Fed and Fit (who I greatly admire and respect in the wellness and paleo community). Go and check out the Fed and Fit podcast episode “Brown Rice vs. White Rice” for a succinct and easy-to-understand take on this topic. And then read everything else she’s written, because it’s pretty gold.
Now, on to this magical rice.
This Instant Pot Moroccan-Spiced Rice is almost entirely hands-off. Seriously, the Instant Pot does almost all the work for you. The only real prep you’ll need to do is sautéing the onion and garlic first. And, luckily, the Instant Pot has a Sauté feature built in. Oh Instant Pot, you think of EVERYTHING.
As per my note concerning the great rice debate above, I used plain white rice in this recipe. The spices and chicken broth add some color to the rice, but believe me, this is just plain old white rice (from a massive Costco-sized bag, since you asked). And in my opinion, the taste of white rice is far superior anyway.
Pro tip: NEVER use water when you make rice. Chicken broth makes it exponentially more flavorful. This was something I learned early on from my mom, and now I’m passing this advice on to you. I recommend using a good organic chicken stock, but you can really substitute any broth or stock of your choice. Just don’t use water. You’ll thank me later.