What Is Spanish Rice?
Spanish rice, or Mexican rice, is a type of pilaf made from long-grain white rice cooked with tomato sauce, bell peppers, chicken broth, and other seasonings. The name “Spanish rice” is a bit of a misnomer since the dish exists primarily in northern Mexico (where it’s known as arroz rojo) and the American Southwest (where it’s served alongside black beans as a side dish at Tex-Mex restaurants).
How to Serve Spanish Rice
Spanish rice is an easy side dish for all your favorite Mexican and Tex-Mex main dishes, including, enchiladas, tacos, chicken with mole sauce, and chiles rellenos. You can also use Spanish rice as a filling for burritos and stuffed roasted bell peppers. Got leftover Spanish rice? Make fried rice and top with a sunny-side-up egg and chopped green onions.
Simple Spanish Rice Recipe
Prep Time15 min
Total Time45 min
Cook Time30 min
- 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice, such as white jasmine rice
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- ¼ cup chicken broth or chicken stock (or water)
- Cilantro, to garnish (optional)
- Rinse rice, then cook it in a rice cooker or on the stovetop until al dente. Soaking your rice ahead of time will keep the grains from becoming mushy.
- Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add onion, and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, salt, cumin, garlic powder, and oregano and stir to combine.
- Reduce to medium heat and add cooked rice and chicken broth to the sautéed vegetables. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken broth has evaporated and the rice has taken on a red-orange color, about 5 minutes. Fluff rice before serving.
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