Spanish Rice Recipe

Spanish rice is a dish that many of us are familiar with in packet form — open the envelope, pour it into pan, add water, and cook. Sure, it makes for a pretty decent side dish, but guess what? A made-from-scratch version isn't too difficult, either, plus it comes with a significant upgrade in flavor. As recipe developer Catherine Brookes describes this recipe, it's "a great way to spruce up basic rice, and turn it into a flavorful, colorful side dish that pairs brilliantly with meat, fish, or many other main meals."

Brookes notes that one convenient thing about this Spanish rice recipe is that it only requires a single pot to prepare it in. She also says "I love that it only requires simple ingredients," although adds that if you want to get a bit fancier, you could use a shallot in place of the onion. You could also swap out the canned tomatoes for tomato sauce, if that is what you have on hand. 

Assemble the ingredients for the Spanish rice

Most of what you'll need to cook this rice, you can probably find in your pantry. Check for olive oil, rice (the long-grain white kind), a can of diced tomatoes, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and salt. You'll also need chicken broth or stock — Brookes uses the kind from a carton, but canned or homemade would also work. The last thing you'll need is 2 types of fresh produce: an onion, and a couple cloves of garlic.

Pre-cook the rice

While the rice will fully cook once the liquid has been added, Brookes likes to give it a little more flavor by pre-cooking it in a little oil. Heat the olive oil over medium-high, then fry the rice for a few minutes, until it begins to brown.

Add the remaining ingredients to the pot

Once the rice is brown-ish, add the chopped onion to the pot, and cook it for 5 minutes, until it's soft. Add the minced garlic, and cook it for a minute more, then add the stock, tomatoes, and spices to the pot, along with as much salt as you feel the dish needs. Remember — you can always add more salt, but you can't take it away. 

Simmer the Spanish rice, then serve

Heat the rice until the liquid is boiling, then turn the temperature down, until it's merely simmering. Cook the mixture for 15 to 20 minutes, until all of the liquid has been absorbed, then fluff up the rice with a fork.

If you have leftover Spanish rice, you could always use it in a casserole, or Brookes suggests that "It would also work well as part of a burrito or taco filling." She also says that this rice dish does freeze pretty well, so that's another option.

Spanish Rice Recipe
4.9 from 29 ratings
You won't be reaching for that packet of microwave rice once you have tried this easy Spanish rice recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
spanish rice in white bowl
Total time: 30 minutes
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt, to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high. Fry the rice in the hot oil for a few minutes, until it starts to brown.
  2. Add the onion to the pan with the rice, and fry for about 5 minutes, until softened.
  3. Add the garlic to the pan, and cook it for 1 minute.
  4. Stir the stock, tomatoes, and spices into the pan, and season the mixture with salt to taste.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat, and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff up the rice with a fork once it's done cooking, and serve.
Calories per Serving 381
Total Fat 11.1 g
Saturated Fat 1.8 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 3.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 61.1 g
Dietary Fiber 1.9 g
Total Sugars 4.7 g
Sodium 672.1 mg
Protein 8.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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