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Spanish Rice

A close up of a bowl of food with rice meat and vegetables, with Spanish rice
This hearty, simple, Spanish rice is the ultimate side dish to serve with any meal. With it's perfect, authentic flavor, it's easy to make from scratch and just as good as your favorite restaurant!
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Table of Contents
  1. SPANISH RICE INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE SPANISH RICE
  3. Storing this recipe 
  4. More Recipes You'll Love
  5. JUMP TO RECIPE

This recipe for Spanish Rice (also known as Mexican Rice) is made by cooking white rice with tomatoes, onion, bell pepper and several seasonings. Because the rice is first sauteed with butter and olive oil, it has a wonderful, toasted taste that forms the base of flavor for this dish.

While I love serving it with Enchiladas, Rolled Tacos, or simple Grilled Chicken, rhis recipe goes with plenty of main dishes (Mexican or not) and adds a festive touch to your dinner table. Our red beans and rice, dirty rice and fried rice recipes also make great side dishes, too!

A close up of a plate of food with rice meat and vegetables, with Spanish rice and White rice


MORE RICE RECIPES:
Instant Pot Rice | Cauliflower Fried Rice


SPANISH RICE INGREDIENTS

Spanish rice

You will need:

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

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

MEAT: We love to add meat to this 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 one of the following and stir it into the rice once it’s finished cooking: 

  • Ground beef, turkey or chicken
  • Chicken breasts
  • Shrimp
  • Bacon 

BEANS: Spanish rice and beans are a classic combination. Try adding a can of black beans to this 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. Adding corn gives this recipe a delicious southwestern flair!

HOW TO MAKE SPANISH 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.

A tray of food on a plate, with Spanish rice

STEP ONE: In a large pan or skillet that has a lid, melt butter with 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 15-20 minutes.

A pizza sitting on top of a table

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.

A bowl of food on a table, with Spanish rice and Tomato

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

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

Make Slow Cooker Spanish Rice:  

This recipe is also easy to make in a slow cooker, which is a great option if you need to set it and forget it. Here’s how: 

  1. Cook the rice and vegetables, following the instructions in the recipe card below.
  2. Instead of simmering the rice in the skillet for 20 minutes, transfer it to your slow cooker. 
  3. Cook, covered, on high for 2 ½ – 3 hours, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed.
  4. Fluff the rice & serve. 

Storing this recipe 

IN THE FREEZER: 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 tablespoons of water and microwave the rice for about 5 minutes. 

A pizza sitting on top of a plate of food, with Spanish rice

Spanish Rice is a perfect go-to side dish: it’s festive, easy to make in one pot, and quick to simmer as you cook your main dish.

More Recipes You’ll Love

CASSEROLES: Taco Bake | Chicken Enchiladas
APPETIZERS: Taco Ring | Rolled Tacos
SIDES: Salsa | Taco Salad
DIPS: 7 Layer DipRotel Dip

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A close up of a bowl of food with rice meat and vegetables, with Spanish rice

Spanish Rice

5 from 13 votes
This hearty, simple, Spanish rice is the ultimate side dish to serve with any meal. With it's perfect, authentic flavor, it's easy to make from scratch and just as good as your favorite restaurant!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups long grain white rice
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 bell pepper finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 14.5 ounce fire roasted diced tomatoes not drained
  • 8 ounce can 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 15-20 minutes.
  • 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.
  • Bring to a boil and then cover. Reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.
  • Let the rice sit covered for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  • Fluff the rice before serving.

Video

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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Proudly Prepared by the Spaceships Kitchen

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  1. barbara says

    5 stars
    The only Spanish Rice I will ever make. Better than restaurants. I substitute green chili enchilada sauce for the tomato sauce and that is my little touch but SO good!

  2. Melissa says

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. I ended up reducing the butter by one tablespoon and increased the olive oil by one tablespoon. It was a huge with the whole family! Thank you!

  3. Dara says

    5 stars
    I only had a 14 oz can of tomato sauce so I probably used more like 10oz instead of the prescribed 8. I also added a 4 oz can of green chilis and only 1/2 the amount of cumin (personal preference). It was OUTSTANDING. THANK YOU!!

  4. Anna says

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe. The family just loved it. This elevated my rice dish. And will be a great addition to any meal esp our Fiesta Friday’s!! 😀 Thank you!!

  5. Melissa says

    This is a great Mexican rice recipe! Loved it! I only used to use Rice A Roni Spanish rice. 🙄😁 this is wayyyy better!! I used smoked paprika and didn’t have onions. But, next time I’ll put onions and corn 🌽 in it— yummy; it’ll be EVEN BETTER!!

  6. DeeDee says

    5 stars
    This recipe was so easy & good – I had leftover taco meat that I added & it was delicious.

  7. Linda says

    5 stars
    I just made this rice and it is so good. I had my daughter take a taste and she said that’s the best Spanish rice she ever tasted.

  8. C. N. says

    5 stars
    I love it. Quick and easy.
    I changed out the fire roasted diced tomatoes with salsa. Also I had condensed tomato soup instead of tomato sauce.
    That’s what I had on hand and it turned out great. I only omitted the salt due to the substituted items having salt.

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