Spanish Rice recipe is a very simple way to jazz up rice. It is the perfect side dish for taco night or next to so many other great recipes.
I’m always on the hunt for easy side dish recipes to round out dinners, and I am in love with this Spanish Rice recipe. I have lots of great tips and tricks here for you to make sure that tit turns out perfectly!
This recipe perfectly replicates red rice recipes that you find in American restaurants. It’s name of “Spanish Rice” is quite the misnomer as it is not authentic to Spain. Nonetheless, it is what a lot of American kids, myself included, grew up as knowing as Spanish Rice. For an authentic recipe, please check out this Spanish Chicken and Rice with Chorizo.
Spanish Rice Ingredients
This simple homemade Spanish rice comes together with ingredients that are easy to keep on hand in your pantry. It goes goes great next to tacos or fajitas. As always, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the ingredient amounts.
- Long Grain Rice
- Yellow Onion
- Diced Tomatoes
- Green Chiles
- Vegetable Oil
- Chili Powder
- Black Pepper
How to Make Spanish Rice
- Start by rinsing the rice.
- Heat oil in a heavy bottomed skillet.
- Toast the rice in the hot oil for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add in the garlic, onion, and spices. Sauté for an additional 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir in the water, tomatoes, and green chiles. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer, cover and cook for 25 to 30 minutes.
Rinsing Rice is a key step in this recipe. The reason we do this is to remove the extra starch from the rice. This will help keeping it from scorching and sticking to the bottom of the skillet.
Additionally, the act of rinsing the rice (but not soaking it) will result in softer and fluffier rice. It is a simple step that makes this easy Spanish rice recipe turn out so much better.
Why Toast the Rice
Toasting rice in a fat and then adding in other ingredients like onion, garlic, and spices is an old method used around the world. Toasting the rice in this recipe helps develop it’s nutty flavor. It also keeps the individual grains of rice in tact, keeping the dish from being a big ball of flavored rice.
Using Long Grain Rice
You will notice that this recipe calls for long grain rice. I urge you to use that and not replace it with another grain. It cooks up best in the recipe as written. We are looking for distinguishable grains of rice in this recipe, rather than sticky rice. Long grain rice is the perfect rice for that.
What to Serve Spanish Rice Recipe With
This recipe would be great to eat with tacos. Here are some of our favorite Taco Night recipes.
If you make this easy Spanish rice or any of my other recipes, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think!
- 1 cup uncooked long grain rice
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 3/4 cup water (see note about the water)
- 15 ounces diced tomatoes undrained
- 4 ounces green chiles undrained
- In a mesh strainer, rinse the rice 2 or 3 times until the water runs clear. (See notes in the post about why rinsing the rice is important.) Shake the strainer well to get rid of excess water.
- In a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. When the oil is hot, add the rice and sauté, stirring frequently for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add in the garlic, onion, and seasonings. Cook, stirring often for 3 to 4 minutes until the onion is translucent.
- Stir in the water, diced tomatoes, and green chiles. Scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pain. Bring to a boil – you should see big bubbles over the full surface of the skillet. Reduce to a simmer (you should see small intermitent bubbles), and cover. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring a few times during cooking, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Add more salt to taste.