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Homemade Spanish Rice Recipe

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close up overhead shot of a bowl of Spanish rice
This hearty, simple, Spanish rice is a flavorful side dish loaded with authentic flavor that is perfect to serve with any meal.
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Table of Contents
  1. SPANISH RICE INGREDIENTS
  2. SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS FOR THIS RECIPE FOR SPANISH RICE
  3. HOW TO MAKE SPANISH RICE
  4. WHAT IS SPANISH RICE SERVED WITH?
  5. HOW TO STORE THIS SPANISH RICE RECIPE
  6. HOMEMADE SPANISH RICE FAQs
  7. MORE FAVORITES YOU’LL LOVE
  8. JUMP TO RECIPE

This recipe for Spanish rice is made by cooking rice with veggies and seasonings to create a flavorful dish. The toasted rice and veggies take no time at all and combine to make an easy side dish that you will return to again and again.

Along with this homemade Spanish rice, our dirty rice and fried rice recipes also make a great side dish, too!

overhead shot of a bowl of Spanish rice

SPANISH RICE INGREDIENTS

Spanish rice raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1½ cups long-grain white rice
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, not drained
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS FOR THIS RECIPE FOR SPANISH RICE

MEAT: We love to add meat to this easy Mexican rice recipe and make it a main dish. You can add your favorite meat, just be sure to cook it first. Try adding a pound of ground beef, turkey, or chicken, chicken breasts, shrimp, or bacon and stir it into the rice once it’s finished cooking

BEANS: Spanish rice and beans are a classic combination. Try adding a can of black beans to this easy recipe (add it before you simmer the rice) for some added flavor, texture, and nutrients. 

CORN: Adding corn to this recipe is another popular option that gives this recipe a delicious southwestern flair.

VEGETARIAN: Make this flavorful Spanish rice a vegetarian dish by substituting vegetable broth for chicken broth.

RICE: White rice, brown rice, long-grain rice, or jasmine rice are all great options in this recipe.

HOW TO MAKE SPANISH RICE

What is The Difference Between Spanish Rice and Mexican Rice?

The names Spanish rice and Mexican rice seem to be interchangeable. They both describe a red rice dish that’s made by toasting rice and adding vegetables. Our recipe is called Spanish rice, but it’s essentially the same as Mexican rice.

STEP ONE: In a large skillet that has a lid, melt butter with olive oil. Add the uncooked rice, onion, and bell pepper and cook over medium to medium-high heat until the rice is golden brown and the vegetables are tender. Stir frequently. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

PRO TIP:

Keep a close eye on the rice and stir it frequently as you don’t want the rice to burn in the pan.

rice, onion, and pepper in a pot

STEP TWO: Add the garlic and stir and cook for about 1 minute. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, and cumin. Stir well.

ingredients added to the pot of rice

STEP THREE: Bring to a boil and then cover. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.

rice boiled them simmered in a pot

STEP FOUR: Let the rice sit covered for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Fluff rice and serve.

PRO TIP:

PRO TIP: You can also make this recipe in the slow cooker. Cook the rice and vegetables, following the above instructions. Instead of simmering the rice in the skillet for 20 minutes, transfer it to your slow cooker. Cook, covered, on high for 2½ to 3 hours, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff and serve.

WHAT IS SPANISH RICE SERVED WITH?

While I love serving this easy Spanish rice with enchiladas, taquitos, or simple grilled chicken, this recipe goes with plenty of main dishes (Mexican or not) and adds a flavorful touch to your dinner table. Taco Tuesday would be a great opportunity to add this dish alongside your favorite taco recipe.

HOW TO STORE THIS SPANISH RICE RECIPE

IN THE FRIDGE: Store leftover rice in an airtight container for up to four days.

IN THE FREEZER: Leftover Spanish rice is simple to freeze. Let the rice cool completely and then pack it in airtight freezer bags or Tupperware containers. When you’re ready to reheat it, add a couple of tablespoons of water and microwave the rice for about 5 minutes. 

close up shot of a bowl of Spanish rice with a spoon

Spanish rice is a perfect side dish for any Mexican meal: it’s delicious, easy to make with simple ingredients all in one pot, and quick to simmer as you cook your main dish.

HOMEMADE SPANISH RICE FAQs

What is the difference between chicken broth and chicken stock and can I use either in this recipe?

Chicken stock is more concentrated and flavorful than chicken broth. Stock is made using the bones and the meat and aromatics (such as vegetables and herbs) to create a rich and flavorful cooking liquid. Broth is typically a lighter cooking liquid that only uses the meat and not as many vegetables and herbs to flavor it. Whichever you use, make sure to use the low or no salt added kind. 

Which rice is best for Spanish Rice?

We recommend using long-grain white rice to make Spanish Rice, but any type of rice that you have on hand will be delicious in this recipe. The cooking times may vary so make sure to keep an eye depending on the rice you use.

Can I make this rice in the slow cooker?

This delicious side dish can be made in a slow cooker. Cook the rice and vegetables, following the above instructions. Instead of simmering the rice in the skillet for 20 minutes, transfer it to your slow cooker.  Cook, covered, on high for 2½-3 hours, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff and serve.

How much rice per person?

A typical serving size for rice is between ½ cup and 1 cup per person.

Can Spanish Rice be Made with Brown Rice?

You can use brown rice rather than white rice to make this Spanish rice recipe. Depending on the rice, you may need to adjust your cook times slightly.

Can you Use Salsa Instead of Tomato Sauce?

If you would like to substitute tomato sauce with salsa in this recipe, you certainly can and it will add even more delicious texture to your dish.

How Do You Make Spanish Rice Not Mushy?

Browning your rice in a frying pan before simmering it in the added liquids will help to keep it from becoming mushy.

MORE FAVORITES YOU’LL LOVE

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close up overhead shot of a bowl of Spanish rice

Spanish Rice

5 from 87 votes
This hearty, simple, Spanish rice is a flavorful side dish loaded with authentic flavor that is perfect to serve with any meal.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • cups long-grain white rice
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 14.5 ounces fire-roasted diced tomatoes, not drained
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

Instructions
 

  • In a large pan that has a lid or skillet that has a lid, melt the butter with the olive oil.
  • Add the rice, onion and bell pepper and cook over medium to medium-high heat until the rice is golden brown and vegetables are tender. Stir frequently. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and stir. Cook for about 1 minute.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika and cumin. Stir well.
  • Bring to a boil and then cover. Reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.
  • Let the rice sit covered for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
  • Fluff the rice before serving.

Video

Notes

  • The names Spanish rice and Mexican rice seem to be interchangeable. They both describe a red rice dish that’s made by toasting rice and adding vegetables. Our recipe is called Spanish rice, but it’s essentially the same as Mexican rice.
  • Keep a close eye on the rice and stir it frequently as you don’t want the rice to burn in the pan.
  • You can also make this recipe in the slow cooker. Cook the rice and vegetables, following the above instructions. Instead of simmering the rice in the skillet for 20 minutes, transfer it to your slow cooker.  Cook, covered, on high for 2½ to 3 hours, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 212kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 778mg | Potassium: 236mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 712IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg
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