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a bowl of Spanish rice garnished with cilantro
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5 from 2 votes

Spanish Rice

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.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: easy rice recipe
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Lisa Longley


  • 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.



Because the amount of liquid varies brand to brand in diced tomatoes, you may need to add more water at the end. Taste, and if the rice isn't soft, add another 1/4 cup of hot water, simmering until it fully absorbs.