Spanish Rice: Flavorful Easy Unique Recipe

Spanish Rice Recipe
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Spanish Rice Recipe
Spanish rice, also known as Mexican rice or arroz rojo, is a flavorful side dish that's often served with Mexican meals. Here's a basic recipe to help you make delicious Spanish rice at home

Hey there! I’m Jacob Allen, and I grew up working on my dad’s food truck. Now, I’m a chef who loves crafting new dishes. On my blog, Beyond the Bayou, I share cooking tips, delectable recipes, and unique food ideas. Join me for some culinary adventures and let’s explore the world of flavors together!

I recently discovered a delicious Spanish recipe during a cooking event I attended. It featured classic ingredients like chorizo, saffron, and rice, creating a flavorful and aromatic dish. I’m excited to try my hand at making it at home and exploring more of Spain’s rich culinary traditions.

What is Spanish Rice?

Spanish rice, also known as Mexican rice or arroz rojo, is a flavorful rice dish commonly associated with Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. It’s typically made by sautéing white rice in oil or fat until lightly toasted, then simmering it in a tomato-based sauce with chicken or vegetable broth, onion, garlic, and various seasonings such as cumin, chili powder, and paprika. Often, additional vegetables like bell peppers and peas are added for extra flavor and texture.

Overview: Easy Spanish Recipe

Spanish Rice recipe:Show_the_process_of_making_the_Spanish_Rice_

Spanish rice is made by toasting long-grain rice in oil or butter until lightly browned, then simmering it in a tomato-based sauce with chicken or vegetable broth, onions, garlic, and spices like cumin and chili powder. The dish often includes vegetables such as bell peppers, peas, or corn. Once cooked, Spanish rice has a fluffy texture with a rich, savory flavor and a hint of spice. It is commonly served alongside tacos, burritos, enchiladas, or other Mexican-inspired meals. The reddish color of the rice comes from the tomato sauce, giving it a vibrant appearance that enhances any meal.

Spanish Rice Recipe

Spanish Rice Recipe

Spanish rice, also known as Mexican rice or arroz rojo, is a flavorful side dish that’s often served with Mexican meals. Here’s a basic recipe to help you make delicious Spanish rice at home
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican, tex mex
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Calories: 210kcal
Author: Jacob Allen
Servings: 4


  • Large skillet with a lid or a deep sauté pan with a lid
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Cutting Board and Knife
  • Wooden Spoon or Spatula
  • Small bowl for pre-measured ingredients


  • 2 tbps olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper any color, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth for a vegetarian version
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder optional, for extra spice
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas optional
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish optional


  • Toast the Rice: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the rice and stir frequently until it starts to turn golden brown, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add Vegetables: Add the chopped onion and bell pepper to the skillet. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
  • Add Tomato Sauce and Spices: Stir in the tomato sauce, chicken broth, cumin, and chili powder (if using). Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Simmer the Rice: Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the skillet with a tight-fitting lid and let it simmer for about 18-20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.
  • Finish and Serve: If desired, stir in the frozen peas during the last 5 minutes of cooking to warm them through. Once the rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork. Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired.


Toasting the Rice: Always toast the rice in oil until it’s lightly browned before adding liquids. This step enhances flavor and helps keep the rice fluffy.
Use the Right Rice: For best results, use long-grain white rice. It cooks evenly and doesn’t get sticky, resulting in a fluffy Spanish rice dish.


Serving: 1Cup | Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 300mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g

How much Rice per Person?

Plan on using 1/4 cup of uncooked rice per person. Once cooked, it typically yields about 3/4 to 1 cup per person. If a recipe requires 3 cups of uncooked rice, it should feed about 12 people.

Which rice is Best for Spanish Rice?

Long-grain white rice is the best choice for Spanish rice. It becomes fluffy and doesn’t get sticky like some short-grained rices.

Can Spanish Rice be made with Brown Rice?

Spanish Rice Recipe

Yes, brown rice can be used in place of white rice. Add 1/3 cup more water per cup of brown rice, and let it simmer longer until it reaches your desired texture.

Can you Use Salsa Instead of Tomato Sauce?

Absolutely. Salsa can add more flavor and a bit of spice to the rice, depending on your preference.

Which Topping Ingredients are Best for this Rice?

You can add your favorite toppings, such as chopped peppers, chopped cilantro, onions, or green onions.

How to Reheat Spanish Rice/Mexican Rice?

Store the rice in an airtight container in the fridge. It should keep for 5-6 days. To reheat, use a microwave or reheat on the stove for a few minutes until hot.

Can Spanish Rice be Frozen?

Yes, it can be frozen for later use. Place about 3 cups of cooked rice into a ziplock freezer bag, label it, and store in the freezer for 4-6 months. To use, you can thaw in the fridge or cook directly from the freezer. Microwave in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring every 2 minutes until it’s heated through.

What can we Serve with Spanish Rice?

Spanish rice is a popular side dish that is commonly served alongside tacos, burritos, enchiladas, or fajitas. It’s known for its reddish color, which comes from the tomato sauce, and its mildly spicy, savory flavor. Despite its name, Spanish rice is more associated with Mexican cuisine rather than traditional Spanish dishes.

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