Tomato Rice Pilaf in the Instant Pot

Tomato Rice Pilaf comes together so easily and quickly in the Instant Pot. Rich with a warm tomato flavor, it makes a wonderful side dish.
Tomato Rice Pilaf in the Instant Pot
Tomato Rice Pilaf in the Instant Pot
Tomato Rice Pilaf Made in the Instant Pot

Tomato Rice Pilaf comes together so easily and quickly in the Instant Pot. Rich with a warm tomato flavor, it makes a wonderful side dish.

I made this rice to go with Chicken Shawarma and it was just perfect for it. Initially, I didn’t think about making a recipe for it but when we had it for dinner, I knew I had to make it again and take notes.

Tomato Pilaf Spices

Tomato Rice Pilaf uses tomato powder as one of its main ingredients. Sometimes, you just want the flavor of tomato, but not the ripe, juicy tomato itself. How about pizza-flavored popcorn? Wouldn’t that be great? You can’t sprinkle tomato sauce on popcorn – well, you can, but imagine tomato sauce dripping all over when you pick up a piece to eat. What’s the solution? The solution is Tomato Powder. You can make your own tomato powder by dehydrating and grinding your own tomatoes, or, you can buy the powder. Spice Jungle has the best tomato powder and a lot of other spices I just love. You owe yourself a visit.

To add to the flavor and because I was serving this with Chicken Shawarma, I used Penzey’s Turkish Seasoning. It has delightful, warm flavors that go great with chicken.

The other spice that I used is saffron. Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, more expensive than vanilla. It’s labor-intensive but the flavor is amazing. Be careful that what you are buying is in fact saffron and not some flower pretending to be saffron. Trader Joe’s usually has nice saffron as well as, of course, Penzey’s.

What Kind of Rice to Use

You can use whatever rice you have on hand. The times will be different depending on what kind of pot you are using. For short-grain rice, it’s 6 minutes on high. For medium-grain rice, it’s 5 minutes on high, and for long-grain rice, it’s 4 minutes on high. I happened to have converted long-grain rice on hand, and that’s what I used.

About the Instant Pot used

I may have already brought this up in a prior post, but I have to say again how convenient the Instant Pot Duo Evo is. It has an inner pot that is made so it can be put on the stove so you have full control over sauteing. It also has silicone handles that make it very easy to take out of the unit once the food is cooked without burning yourself. If you already have an Instant Pot, put it on eBay and get this one. Seriously.

Tomato Rice Pilaf in the Instant Pot

Tomato Rice Pilaf in the Instant Pot

Tomato Rice Pilaf comes together so easily and quickly in the Instant Pot. Rich with a warm tomato flavor, it makes a wonderful side dish.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Levantine, Mediterranean
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Fat, Vegan, Vegetarian
Difficulty: Easy
Newsletter: 2021-08-31
Servings (slide to adjust): 4
Calories: 129kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon chicken base
  • 1 cup water, boiling
  • teaspoon saffron
  • 1 tablespoon tomato powder
  • ½ teaspoon Turkish seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, minced
  • 2 teaspoon butter
  • ¼ cup vermicelli
  • 1 cup rice, long grain or converted is fine
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, leaves for garnish
Ingredients necessary for the recipe step are in italic.

Instructions

  • Mise en place
    Tomato Rice Pilaf in the Instant Pot

Make the Broth

  • 1 tablespoon chicken base, 1 cup water
    To make the broth, put the chicken base in a heat-safe measuring cup. Add the boiling water and stir.
    Tomato Rice Pilaf in the Instant Pot
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron
    Add the saffron and let it bloom, then stir.
    Tomato Rice Pilaf in the Instant Pot
  • 1 tablespoon tomato powder
    Add the tomato powder and stir it in completely.
    Tomato Rice Pilaf in the Instant Pot
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turkish seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon cilantro
    Next, add the spices and cilantro. Set the broth aside.
    Tomato Rice Pilaf in the Instant Pot

For the Instant Pot Duo Evo with a removable inner pot

  • Melt the butter in the inner pot.
    Tomato Rice Pilaf in the Instant Pot
  • When the butter is nicely bubbling, add the vermicelli. Stir it, so it gets completely coated.
    Tomato Rice Pilaf in the Instant Pot
  • Add the rice and stir that in as well.
    Tomato Rice Pilaf in the Instant Pot
  • Stir the rice and continue to saute it until it turns a nice golden color. It should be darker than tan but lighter than brown.
    Tomato Rice Pilaf in the Instant Pot
  • Remove the inner pot from the heat and put it into the Instant Pot. Add the reserved broth. Push the Rice/Porridge button and set it for white rice, 12 minutes on low.
    Tomato Rice Pilaf in the Instant Pot

For other Instant Pots

  • Put the machine on Saute.
  • Melt the butter in the inner pot.
  • When the butter is nicely bubbling, add the vermicelli. Stir it, so it gets completely coated.
  • Add the rice and stir that in as well.
  • Stir the rice and continue to saute it until it turns a nice golden color. It should be darker than tan but lighter than brown.
  • Hit Cancel to stop the Instant Pot.
  • Add the reserved broth and push the Rice button. If you do not have a Rice button, set it on high for 4 minutes for long-grain, 5 for medium, and 6 for short-grain rice.

Finish the Rice

  • When the machine signals the rice is done, use the Natural Release method for 10 minutes, then Quick Release if the button has not already gone down.
  • 2 teaspoon butter
    Fluff with a fork and garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.
    Tomato Rice Pilaf in the Instant Pot

Notes

You can make this vegetarian by using a Vegetable base or vegetable broth. To make it vegan, substitute the butter for oil.

Nutrition

Serving: 144gCalories: 129kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 4gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 140mgPotassium: 85mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1g
Got Questions? Let me know!Mention @arbpen or tag #arbpen!
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About arbpen

As an award-winning and serious home cook, I seriously believe there is no reason why you can't have a restaurant quality meal at home. One of the good things about eating at home is to save money, so armed with a good menu plan, a shopping list, and an appreciation of good food, we can all have gourmet food on a budget.

9 Responses to Tomato Rice Pilaf in the Instant Pot

  1. Wendy R says:

    5 stars
    I just got an Instant Pot and saw this recipe. We really liked it. Thank you.

  2. Grisel Fransen says:

    5 stars
    I was looking for something like this and came across your recipe on Google. I don’t have an Instant Pot, but it turned out perfectly in my pan. Thanks!

  3. M Gould says:

    1 star
    I must have done something wrong. This didn’t have any flavor at all. The rice stuck together. I won’t make this again.

  4. Jae M says:

    5 stars
    You’re so cool! I loved this recipe.

  5. Crystal says:

    5 stars
    I just wanted to say thank you for having pictures of how the rice and pasta are supposed to look. I’ve tried to make something like this before but it didn’t turn out that good and I think it’s because I didn’t let the stuff brown enough. This was really good. Thanks again!

  6. Mark Schaefer says:

    5 stars
    I’m in Florida, and I have to say, in the summer heat, this was a real treat. Thanks for this!

  7. Annette B says:

    5 stars
    This was yummy with pork chops I made. I used tomato paste in a tube instead of tomato powder, but I ordered some tomato powder. I can’t wait til it gets here and I can try it that way.

  8. Rodney L says:

    4 stars
    So, I don’t have an Instant Pot. I made this on the stove with tomato paste and it was delicious. Thanks for this.

  9. Fiero says:

    5 stars
    Thanks for posting the recipe for this. I made the Chicken Shawarma and this tomato rice pilaf, just like in the picture. It was really good. I had a bit leftover and had it with eggs for breakfast.