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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 Recipes 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.

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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. 

Can I use a different type of rice for this recipe?

Spanish rice will work fine with whichever rice you have on hand. 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.

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close up overhead shot of a bowl of Spanish rice

Spanish Rice

5 from 85 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

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

  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.

  9. Katie Burrow says

    5 stars
    Delicious!!
    We had extra red enchilada sauce and substituted the tomato sauce with enchilada sauce. 😋

  10. Mary Ann says

    5 stars
    This was really easy to make and had good flavor. I added additional veggies and some leftover steak and chicken and made it a great meal and lunch leftovers.

  11. Cporter says

    5 stars
    This recipe is EXCELLENT!!! Will definitely use again!
    I like the fact that it is NOT complicated! It taste authentic Mexican!

  12. Donna Kmelius says

    5 stars
    I’ve never made spanish rice, but am excited to try it. I think I would add corn for an extra pop.

  13. Laura Nott says

    5 stars
    Delicious!…there is much yiu can do with this recipe inc adding corn, beans and or choice of lean meats. Red capsicums kiss the Spanish flavors through out..you can make items spicey too. A great all rounder here packed with flavour and nutrients

  14. Kathleen myers says

    5 stars
    I love adding corn to my Spanish rice. My kids would eat it as a full meal but I serve it with enchiladas mostly.

  15. Arlene Cross says

    5 stars
    I love this Spanish rice recipe, and often serve it as a side dish when I serve tacos or faijitas. I add kidney beans to my rice, with finely cut chicken.

  16. Lisa Work says

    5 stars
    Sounds delicious!
    My mom always made her recipe with ground beef and so the tradition continues! 😋

  17. Angela says

    My boyfriend could eat rice every night! he loves spanish rice and DOES put it in his tacos. I’ve never seen this before, and eat mine on the side. Can’t wait to spring this recipe on him, yum!

  18. Rhonda Phillips says

    5 stars
    This dish was fun to make and pairs well goes almost any main. For an added color flair, I used all colors of peppers (green , red & yellow) and had black beans on the side.

  19. BARB says

    5 stars
    My produce crisper was bare so I added half a jar of good quality salsa instead. Works excellent and taste great.

  20. Brittany Rausch says

    This was just what I was looking for to pair with enchiladas this week! So over the bag rice that is dry and blah.

  21. Kelly Abrams says

    We love adding some spice/ heat to our Spanish rice. Even my boys (ages 9 and 10) love spicy foods!

  22. Linda McFarland says

    5 stars
    I actually love Spanish rice and the only way I can really enjoy it, it has to be very spicy. If you haven’t try it,then you must try it at least once.

  23. Melakee Nicholson says

    5 stars
    This looks so straightforward and delicious! I have always wanted an easy recipe for this kind of rice!

  24. Shari says

    5 stars
    I love Spanish rise with many things. I especially like that I can make it either mild or, my favorite, spicy.

  25. Heather Kassin says

    5 stars
    I have been searching for a great receipe to use as a side dish for taco night.
    I am definitely going to try this one but will leave out the bell pepper, not a fan!

  26. Debby says

    I like to eat Spanish rice with the enchiladas. I am going to learn how to make Spanish rice using your recipe because I found a bug in the box of El Paso Spanish rice.

  27. Sharon M. says

    5 stars
    Yes, I do like to add browned hamburg and corn to my Spanish rice to make it a complete one-dish meal. It’s even better the second day after flavors have really blended!

  28. Julie says

    5 stars
    Loving this recipe!!! I’d use both red and yellow peppers as this easy to follow recipe inspires me but I’m not that creative. In my case my husband can’t eat rice (he chokes) so I will try it with orzo pasta.

  29. Kelly Kardos says

    We love Spanish rice with enchiladas. The fire roasted tomatoes gives it a tiny kick. I like to use smoked paprika and tri colored peppers.

  30. Connie Duffner says

    5 stars
    I used to love it a little spicey but as I have gotten older I can’t eat it that way. I love to serve it when making taco salad

  31. Wendy Rowland says

    5 stars
    This is a family favorite especially when corn and hamburger are added! It is a delicious meal that only needs a side of lettuce salad to finish up!! Love it!

  32. Linda O'Brien says

    5 stars
    Instead of just adding corn or meat, I add both. I like using red peppers and adding a little heat. It’s a meal not just a side with the meat and corn added. Think I’ll make this tonight for dinner.

  33. Kathy Pierce says

    I will try this recipe, I use ground beef or turkey and either a green pepper, red or yellow, whichever I have available. I also use white rice.

  34. Joan Pierce says

    5 stars
    I add meat and use green peppers if I want an easy one dish meal for the family on a busy night. East to reheat the left overs, if there are any leftovers. I also use it as a side with other entrees like burgers, tacos, etc.

  35. Glenda says

    Love getting your recipes everyday in my email. I have tried many of them and they always turn out delicious and become a family favorite. The instructions are easy to follow and make preparation a snap.

  36. Mary T Morris says

    5 stars
    I have always added ground beef to my Spanish rice. I used to like it spicy, but now that I’m retired, my tastes have changed.

  37. Carole Wahler says

    5 stars
    I use Basmati Rice when making Spanish rice. Can’t wait to try your recipe – looks and sounds wonderful!

  38. Edie says

    5 stars
    My Mother used to love Spanish Rice and made it using corn as well as any colored sweet peppers that we may of had on hand. I will try this recipe as I don’t think that she ever wrote hers down. Thank you for sharing.

  39. Christine says

    5 stars
    I’ve made Spanish rice many times. Love to add peppers for color and enjoy anything spicy. I eat it plan it on tacos.

  40. JoDee L Pierson says

    5 stars
    I like to mix in my homemade cabbage salsa, it adds crunch while the rest of the fresh salsa veggies make for a great taste

  41. Sandee says

    5 stars
    I usually add bacon to my Spanish rice. I like to make it when my husband make barbecue spare ribs. I also some of the barbecue sauce to the rice.

  42. Dolores says

    5 stars
    Love all your recipes❣️I have made also ; many times the Spanish rice in many various ways. I like to add sometimes red kidney beans and a bit of dried oregano to it. This recipe is so easy and delicious always. Great for a colourful side dish with your Easter turkey and all the fixings. Happy Easter 🐣

  43. Roberta Ham says

    5 stars
    I like to add a small amount of corn, English peas & carrots to my Spanish Rice.
    I serve it with Tacos or Enchiladas.

  44. Tim Zahra says

    5 stars
    I like to use a combination of ground beef and garlic sausage. My Mom made it like this when I was just a kid and I remember really enjoying it as I do to this day. Thank you for tonight’s dinner idea 😊

  45. Beckie Ziemer says

    5 stars
    What a great Recipe!! I also love to add a bit of corn and chopped sweet red pepper to my Spanish Rice. Gives another layer of flavor……

  46. Don Bowles says

    5 stars
    I love Spanish Rice, this is a wonderful recipe. Thank you for sharing. I forwarded this to my, sister. Have a great Easter

  47. Dot says

    5 stars
    This Spanish Rice recipe looks awesome! And no, I do not like to add corn to my dish! I do love red bell peppers and spices! I am anxious to try this!

  48. K Austin says

    5 stars
    I love to make this rice with boneless chicken breast, red peppers and seasonings. Also I often add this rice to tacos. It’s so, so yummy!

  49. Christy says

    5 stars
    This Spanish Rice looks amazing! I like to serve it on the side of tacos, but it is so good that I end up adding it in when we have build your own taco nights.

  50. Lilia says

    5 stars
    My family loves this rice. I love corn in mine, but not all of my kids enjoy it. My solution is serve corn on the side with this dish for those who want it, then I just mix it into mine on my plate just before eating 😉 Yum!

  51. Jackie says

    5 stars
    Thank you for posting. I put my own spin on it. Instead of tomato paste, I put 1 cup of hot salsa. I sautéed garlic, onion & peppers then added the other ingredients and popped into the oven at 350 until rice was cooked. I tossed in precooked chicken.
    WOW!
    So versatile. My hubby put leftovers in tortilla to make a wrap. He loves this recipe.

  52. Sandi Weedon says

    5 stars
    This was a recipe i will use often.

    We eat ALOT of Mexican food. Adding the rice is another means of flavoring our main dishes or simple a side dish making ir a must at our table!!

  53. Darlene Kimberly says

    I would use jasmine with red, yellow and green peppers, vidalia onions, hamburger and ground sausage meat, might use beans but no corn because husband would not eat it.

  54. Donna Woods says

    5 stars
    This was scrumptious, much better than boxed. I also added black beans, corn and ground beef. Threw a little cheese and sour cream on top too.

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