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Best Spanish rice recipe

Best Spanish rice recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Side dish

The combination of salsa and chicken stock makes this easy recipe very tasty!

1956 people made this

IngredientsServes: 5

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 275g uncooked white rice
  • 475ml chicken stock
  • 225ml shop bought salsa
  • salt to taste

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:30min

  1. Heat oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium heat. Stir in onion, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Mix rice into pan, stirring often. When rice begins to brown, stir in chicken stock and salsa. Season with salt to taste. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes, until liquid has been absorbed.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(2748)

Reviews in English (2050)

by Karen Hintz

This is the best Spanish rice recipe on this site! I don't understand why people don't follow the direction to saute the rice! This is not supposed to be a "sticky rice" like Puerto Rican or Chinese rice, but that's what you'll get if you don't saute it first. I don't agree that you should brown it.... it should turn translucent, but not brown. If you are adding fresh garlic, add it after sauteing the rice and only cook it long enough for it to release it's aroma..don't brown it-it will turn bitter. After you add the liquid, bring the rice to a full, rolling boil before turning it down to low and putting the lid on. Also, make sure you have a tight fitting lid...cover it with foil to make it tighter if necessary. Don't peek while the rice it cooking! After 20 minutes move it off the heat and let it "rest" another 5 minutes. If you do these things you will have purfect rice! Even though I ususally use homemade salsa, I think the Pace "Make Mine Medium" gives the right amount of heat and flavor to the dish. Thanks for a great recipe that everyone can master and enjoy!-23 Dec 2006

by Chef Joy

HELPFUL TIPS NOT MENTIONED: I've tried all the other recipes on this site & decided this is the best! I like using salsa more than diced tomatoes b/c it has more flavor and spice ...and it doesn't taste like you just dumped salsa in it like I expected. This is only for my family of 4, so I use 3/4C of uncooked rice, definitely a little more than half a tablespoon of olive oil (full recipe calls for too much), with 3/4 of the can of chicken broth (approx 1 1/2C), BUT still use 1C of salsa as I feel it's necessary, as well as a few dashes of pepper. I only brown rice a few minutes longer after it's turned WHITE (very apparent white color). Being Asian myself, I could cook rice w/my eyes closed it seems. lol Many times we don't add onions b/c I'm too lazy to dice them. If we do, it definitely needs more than suggested or it's pointless adding. It's even better when you add diced green & red peppers to the rice you are browning or use green onion instead of white/red. We eat the rice every time we make "Whit's Chicken Enchiladas" which is SUPER EASY and YUMMY! This takes less time than indicated for the rice to be done. Also great to put in baking dish, add cheese, and bake at 350 until it melts!-20 Apr 2008


I made this spanish rice for Xmas Eve Dinner, it was excellent. However I did have to add some water & let it simmer a little longer to get the rice done. I added just 1/4 tsp. chili powder to it. My cousin who is a chef said, "it's perfect". That ought to tell you something. Thanks for the recipe.-26 Dec 2002

The BEST Easy Spanish Rice

By Dannii · Published 16th October 2019 · Updated 26th May 2020 · 21 Comments · This post may contain affiliate links and generates income via ads · This site uses cookies · Post contains 1298 words. · About 7 minutes to read this article.

Easy Spanish Rice, also known as Mexican Rice, is a simple and delicious way to make rice more exciting and a must-have side dish at any Mexican night or Tapas dinner party. Perfect fluffy rice with smokey paprika and a hint of chilli, it is all made in one pot and has lots of uses.

We love a one pot recipe (less washing up is always a good thing), and this is one that the whole family will love. No need to serve up plain rice - simple cook it with a simple smokey and spicy sauce and it is perfect for serving with tacos or fajitas, with grilled chicken or salmon, or as one of the dishes at a tapas dinner party.

What Kind Of Rice Do You Use To Make Spanish Rice?

Our favorite white rice is jasmine rice, but any white rice will work just fine to make this Restaurant Style Spanish Rice. Brown rice is nuttier in flavor and also has more fiber in it so it will take longer to cook, which doesn&rsquot make it the right choice for this recipe.

You want the rice to steam in the chicken broth and seasonings, just until it&rsquos tender. Using brown rice would require a lot more cooking time causing the rice to burn or stick to the bottom of the pan by the time it&rsquos done.

So for our Perfect Spanish Rice Recipe, let&rsquos stick to good old white rice!


I highly recommend basmati rice for this easy Mexican Rice recipe for the same reasons I raved about it in my Greek Lemon Rice. Not only does basmati boasts a light nutty flavor but basmati grains are long and slender like other white rices but they cook up lighter and fluffier. The individual grains remain distinct when cooked instead of sticking together which means no more clumpy or mushy rice! Basmati Rice also reheats beautiful because of the distinctive grains so the rice remains just as fluffy on day 2!

Is there a difference between Spanish Rice and Mexican Rice?

The short answer is no. The terms “Spanish rice” and “Mexican Rice” are often used interchangeably and include some combination of tomatoes, onion, chicken bouillon (consomé), and other spices. True “Spanish” rice (like paella) from Spain would include saffron, but we’ll put aside the semantics for this delicious dish.

In the collection of recipes passed down to me by my mother, she calls this dish “Mexican rice” (arroz). If you’re familiar with the side dish fideo (vermicelli noodles), you can use nearly the same ingredients and steps to make that recipe as well. What a bonus!

Traditionally, we serve Mexican rice with just about any entree, including tacos, chicken mole, or enchiladas. It’s a Mexican food staple.

How to Serve

You should serve Spanish rice hot with your favorite main dish, such as tacos. It goes great as a filling in vegetable burritos or chalupa. You can also add it to other recipes. It also goes well with beans, refried Beans and 7 layer dip.

Which Toppings go well with this rice? We like to serve the Mexican rice with avocados, sour cream, shredded cheese, tortillas, and lime wedges. But you can add your own favorite toppings.

How Long to Cook Spanish Rice

Bring to a boil, drop to simmer, then cover with a lid and cook for 30-35 minutes. With more ingredients to cook than my recipe for perfectly cooked white rice every time, this Spanish rice/Mexican rice takes longer to cook. Don’t be tempted to lift the lid or stir while the rice simmers. Let it do it’s thing. Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes longer or until the rice is fluffy and tender. S

Fluff the rice with the tomato mixture. As the rice cooks, the tomato mixture rises to the top. Use a spoon or fork to fluff the two layers together, coating each rice grain as you do.

Easy Mexican Rice

I LOVE Spanish Rice (aka MexicanRice)! As previously mentioned, I’m ½ Mexican. I love this family heritage so much, and am especially grateful that my family has taught me to make delicious Mexican food.

My mom has been making today’s Spanish Rice recipe for as long as I can remember and first showed me how to make it several years ago (along with empanadas, enchiladas and tacos). Now, we make it on a weekly basis because my kids are obsessed and it’s just so easy.

This recipe is actually the Spanish Rice recipe of a popular Mexican Restaurant in Mesa called Mango’s (down on Main). If you’ve ever been down there and liked their rice, then you’ll love this recipe. It really is simple, delicious and the perfect side to any Mexican dish!

Best Spanish Rice Recipe

This is such a tasty homemade Spanish rice recipe. I get asked all the time for this recipe, and you will too.

I have always wondered what the difference was between Spanish rice and Mexican rice.  After a little bit of research, I found what I was looking for.

Spanish rice is a dish made from white rice, tomatoes, garlic, onions, parsley, cilantro and other ingredients.

One common preparation is to sauté the rice until golden brown and cook it in chicken broth. Vegetables such as peas, carrots, or corn may also be used depending on the recipe.

Mexican rice is white rice roasted in a skillet with garlic and onions until light brown, then steamed or simmered with red chile/enchilada sauce and chicken stock.

It is used not only as a side dish alongside entrees, but often as a major ingredient in burritos. It is sometimes confused with Spanish rice, but is a very similar dish. Mexican rice is more of a red chile rice dish, while Spanish rice is more of a tomato based dish. From

The secret to great tasting rice is using chicken broth instead of water, and homemade chili powder. I have also included a wonderful recipe for Mexican rice below.

Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Mix rice into skillet, stirring often. When rice begins to brown, stir in chicken broth and salsa and bring the rice to a full rolling boil.

Reduce heat to low and put the lid on or cover with foil to make it tighter if necessary. Don't peek while the rice it cooking. After 20 to  minutes move it off the heat and let it rest another 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe note:  You may also use a 4 oz can of tomato paste (mix in with the chicken stock) if you do not have the salsa.  

You may add 1/2 teaspoon of taco seasoning or cumin for spice.  Sometimes I add a sprinkling of chipolte powder for a kick.

Serve topped with chopped cilantro (and sour cream) enjoy.

Homemade Spanish Rice Recipe


1 tsp butter
1 cup raw white rice
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup fresh tomato, chopped
2 tsp homemade chili powder
1 tsp salt

Heat the oil and butter in a heavy skillet over medium. Saute the raw rice, onion and bell pepper until rice is browned and onions are translucent.

Add the chicken broth and tomatoes. Season with the salt and chili powder. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed. 

For the Paella Inspired Spanish Rice:

red bell pepper, sliced in small strips
frozen green peas
pieces of cooked chicken
small shrimp

Use the ingredients listed above for the topping - use as much as you want.  You can even season the toppings with taco seasoning

Saute pepper and peas first, then add shrimp and cook for a couple minutes until done.  Drizzle the top with a little olive oil, and serve.

Alubias con Arroz (Beans With Rice)

The Spanish eat almost as many beans as they do rice, so it's only natural that the two come together in alubias con arroz. This is a great dish for the fall and winter seasons and the beans are filled with nutrients, so it's a healthy choice.

This meatless bean dish is simple and filled with flavor. You can use your favorite beans and you'll season them with garlic, bay leaf, onion, red pepper, and sweet Spanish paprika. When you add the rice, you have an entire meal in a single bowl.


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  2. Rickward

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  3. Neshicage

    Thanks for an explanation, the easier, the better...

  4. Vargovic

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