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Spanish Rice Recipe (Easy!)

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5 from 16 votes

Spanish rice (AKA Mexican rice) is a versatile side dish that’s quick and easy, flavorful, and perfect to make ahead!

Easy Spanish Rice Recipe

There are many reasons to love this easy Spanish rice, but here’s my top 3:

  • So. So. Easy. We’re talking 30 minutes total (including cook time!).
  • Richly flavorful. Quick and easy doesn’t mean compromising on flavor! This recipe is restaurant-quality flavorful, without the mushiness that you might get at a restaurant from sitting under a warmer.
  • Make ahead dream. Make Spanish rice up to 4-5 days in advance and serve with all your Mexican favorites like Shredded Chicken Tacos and Mexican Coleslaw.

Spanish Rice Ingredients

  • Chicken broth – chicken broth is used in place of water to cook rice, and flavor it!
  • Long grain white rice – look for “long grain white rice” in the grocery store. It makes the best Spanish rice!
  • Garlic – garlic…because garlic! It’s classic in Spanish rice.
  • Yellow onion – yellow onion is a traditional part of Spanish rice. It adds flavor and texture.
  • Tomato paste – I love using tomato paste instead of tomato sauce. Tomato paste is a concentrated form of cooked tomatoes, resulting in a more intense tomato flavor.
  • Extra virgin olive oil – olive oil adds flavor and helps toast the rice.
  • Chili powder – chili powder is a blend of spices such as ground chili peppers, cumin, garlic, oregano, and paprika. It takes the hassle out of blending your own spices! I love McCormick chili powder since it is mild and delicious (this is not an ad)! If you like spicy, look for a chili powder labeled “hot”.
Spanish rice recipe ingredients

How to Make Spanish Rice

Full instructions in the recipe card; this is just an outline!

  1. Toast.

    Add olive oil, rice, onion, and garlic to a pot over medium heat. Toast rice for 5-7 minutes.

  2. Add.

    Add tomato paste and stir.

  3. Add more.

    Add broth, chili powder and salt. Stir.

  4. Cook.

    Bring to a boil, and then simmer (covered) for 20-25 minutes, until rice is soft and the liquid has reduced down.

Recipe Variations and Toppings

Looking to make this Spanish rice recipe your own? Here are some variations and substitutions, as well as topping ideas:

  • Veggie: add veggies like bell peppers, peas, mushrooms, and Grilled Corn.
  • Chicken: add ground, cooked chicken or Baked Chicken Breast.
  • Chorizo: add cooked and crumbled chorizo sausage.
  • Seafood: add cooked shrimp or diced fish.
  • Spicy: add in chopped jalapeño, serrano or cayenne pepper.
  • Tomato-less: leave out the tomato paste.
  • Other mix-ins: Add in cilantro, lime juice, black beans, slivered almonds, or a pinch of saffron.
  • Your own spice blend: mix together cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, dried oregano, and salt.

Expert Tips

  • There’s no need to rinse rice prior to cooking.
  • Look for “long grain white rice” or else cooking times and broth amounts will vary.
  • If halving or doubling the recipe, use the amount of oil and broth listed on the back of the rice package.
  • Chili powder is a blend of spices such as ground chili peppers, cumin, garlic, oregano, and paprika. It takes the hassle out of blending your own spices together! I love McCormick chili powder since it is mild and delicious (this is not an ad).
  • 1 cup of uncooked rice will yield about 4 side dish servings (or 6 light eaters or 2 extra hungry eaters).
  • You can add a dash of Sazón seasoning which is often used in Spanish/Mexican rice.
  • Long grain white rice is the best type for Spanish rice because of its texture, which allows the grains to stay separate and fluffy when cooked. It also has a neutral flavor which works best with the bold flavors of Spanish rice. You can use basmati or jasmine rice but keep in mind the amount of broth and cook time will vary (follow package instructions).
  • You can use long grain brown rice but the cook time and amount of broth may differ! Consult the back of the rice package for cook time and broth amount.
  • While they are not exactly the same, both Spanish and Mexican rice are seasoned, tomato-based rice dishes. The main difference is Mexican rice has bolder, spicier flavor.

Leftovers and Storage

  • Storage: once cooled, store leftover Spanish rice in a covered container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
  • Reheating: cover and reheat in increments of 30 seconds, in the microwave, until hot (yes, the microwave is the best method!).
  • Freezing: cool and place in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months for best quality, thawing overnight, and then reheating before serving.

What to Serve With Spanish Rice

Spanish rice is a versatile side dish for Mexican and other main dishes alike! Here are some of my favorite ways to serve Spanish rice:

More Side Dish Recipes You’ll Love!

Spanish Rice Recipe (Easy!)

Spanish rice (AKA Mexican rice) is a versatile side dish that’s quick and easy, flavorful, and perfect to make ahead!
5 from 16 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican, Spanish
Keyword: any season
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 243kcal
Author: Tastefully Grace

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth low sodium if preferred
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1 small yellow onion finely chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon chili powder
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  • Add olive oil, rice, onion, and garlic to a small pot over medium heat. Sauté and toast rice until fragrant, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add tomato paste and stir until combined.
  • Add broth, chili powder and salt. Stir. NOTE: different types of rice other than “long grain white rice” may require a different broth amount. Check the back of the rice package.
  • Bring to a boil, and then simmer (covered) for 20-25 minutes, until rice is soft and the liquid has reduced down. NOTE: Check the back of the rice package for broth amount if not using “long grain white rice”. Simmer rice for 5-10 minutes past the simmer time listed on the rice package. No need to steam after simmering.

Video

Notes

  • There’s no need to rinse rice prior to cooking.
  • Look for “long grain white rice” or else cooking times and broth amounts will vary.
  • If halving or doubling the recipe, use the amount of oil and broth listed on the back of the rice package.
  • Chili powder is a blend of spices such as ground chili peppers, cumin, garlic, oregano, and paprika. It takes the hassle out of blending your own spices together! I love McCormick chili powder since it is mild and delicious (this is not an ad).
  • You can add a dash of Sazón seasoning which is often used in Spanish/Mexican rice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 176mg | Potassium: 361mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 547IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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