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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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  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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!!

  6. 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.

  7. 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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