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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. Ingredients for Homemade Spanish Rice
  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. More From Spaceships and Laser Beams
  9. JUMP TO RECIPE
  10. Even More Easy Recipes
  11. Dessert Recipes
  12. Drink Recipes
  13. Dinner Recipes
  14. Side Dish Recipes

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.

overhead shot of a bowl of Spanish rice

Ingredients for Homemade Spanish Rice

Spanish rice raw ingredients that are labeled
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If you’re looking for a savory side dish packed with flavor, Spanish rice is a must-try. This delicious dish offers a subtle blend of spices and herbs that give it its signature taste and aroma.

With a slightly nutty and tomatoey flavor, it pairs perfectly with meats, vegetables, and other entrees. Whether you prefer it mild or spicy, Spanish rice is a tasty and versatile dish that is sure to leave your taste buds wanting more.

You’ll need:

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

Follow our easy instructions below to make this flavorful, savory Spanish rice side dish.

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 the 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, 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:

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.

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

How to Store this Spanish Rice Recipe

This tasty side dish keeps well in both the fridge and the freezer. Here’s how to store it properly.

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 bones and 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 an 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.

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Best Spanish Rice Recipe

5 from 101 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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Proudly Prepared by the Spaceships Kitchen

This recipe was developed, tested, cooked and photographed by the Spaceships Kitchen. From our dinner table to yours, we hope you think it's out of this world!

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  1. Kelly Kardos says

    5 stars
    Stephanie!!! Just finished making this for dinner with friends-Omg so good and so easy! It’s a keeper for us! Xo

  2. Michelle Pugh says

    5 stars
    I love this rice dish. It’s worth the extra effort. You can do the easy 10 minute recipes, but they taste half as good. Eat it as a side, throw it in a burrito. The only thing I add is a can of green chilis. I am at high altitude, so it takes about 35 minutes of simmer time, but it’s worth the wait.

  3. Smiley face says

    5 stars
    Hi thanks for sharing this was very
    Easy to make just made this today
    A little spicy but I wouldn’t have it
    Any other way I will be making this
    Again job well done tastes great

  4. JODI FLAKE says

    What if you can’t get fireroasted tomatoes? Will normal diced tomatoes work? I’m overseas and rarely can get them.

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