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Mexican Rice “Spanish Rice”

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It is so easy to make Mexican Rice “Spanish Rice” so if you are looking for a recipe for basic restaurant style Mexican rice, this is it. Once we learned a bit more on how to flavor this recipe, it has become one of our favorite recipes to make.

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Mexican Rice “Spanish Rice”
Mexican Rice “Spanish Rice”

One of the cooking shows that my daughter and I love to watch in our local public television channel is Patti’s Mexican Table. We love her sweet personality and her recipes too.

Recently, we were up in the middle of the night watching Patti Jinich make her Mexican Rice with Prawns. It looked amazing! That next week, we made her rice recipe without the prawns; however, we would love to eat her dish too.

Browning the Rice in the Skillet
Browning the Rice in the Skillet

How Much Rice to Plan Per Person?

When planning portion sizes, in general plan ½ cup of uncooked rice per person. When the rice is cooked, it will measure approximately one cup per person since rice will double in size when cooked. However, if you want a bit more generous serving size per person, increase the uncooked rice to ¾ of a cup.

Mexican Rice Recipe
Mexican Rice Recipe

Spanish Rice Recipe Success

Brown the rice well before adding the liquid on medium heat.

Make sure that the chicken broth is well-seasoned. If not, add 1 teaspoon of taco seasoning. Or 1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon for better flavoring.

If you have a rice cooker, this is a perfect recipe for that kitchen gadget. If not, will cook simply fine. It will not be as puffy as it would be in a rice cooker.

If you find that you have more liquid in the rice, leave it simmer a little longer with the lid removed.

Simmering the Ingredients
Simmering the Ingredients

To make the rice soft, keep the lid on the let the rice stand for 10 minutes after cooking, then fluff with a fork and let stand 5 more minutes.

Make sure to test a few rice kernels for doneness. If they are still not soft enough after cooking, re-cover and cook another 5-10 minutes.

Heirloom Tomatoes White Onion and Garlic
Heirloom Tomatoes White Onion and Garlic

If you do not have fresh tomatoes on hand, no worries. Just use a 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes with the juice. V-8 juice is another nice substitution. Just make sure between the tomato sauce and chicken broth you have 4 cups.

Add a few tablespoons of picante sauce to ramp up the flavor a bit more. You might be wondering Can you use salsa instead of tomato sauce? Yes, you can. Adding salsa will add even more flavor and a bit more spiciness too. Adjust your recipes to your taste buds.

Adjust the cumin to your taste liking. Another option that will add a bit of heat is chili powder.

Finishing this rice with lime juice and cilantro adds another level of freshness to this dish that we just love.

Easy Rice Recipe
Easy Rice Recipe

Topping Ideas for Mexican Rice

This rice can be enjoyed as is as a flavorful side dish. It can be used in burritos, salads, and other delicious recipes. You can also top this rice with sour cream, jalapeno, fresh cilantro, onions, fresh parsley, or a bit of salsa.

Can You Use White and Brown Rice Interchangeably?

Yes. Both white and brown rice work well in this recipe. However, brown rice is a bit chewier and nuttier in flavor than the white rice.

There is a difference in cooking white and brown rice. When making white rice the liquid to rice ratio double the liquid to the uncooked rice; 1 cup rice to 2 cups liquid. However, for brown rice add ½ cup more liquid and additional cooking time. In general, I cook the brown rice for an additional 15 minutes and check for doneness.

Which rice is best for Spanish Rice? 

We have tried short-grained rice and that tends to be a bit stickier. Therefore, we opt for long-grain white rice. However, long-grain brown rice can be used. Just adjust the water by 1/3 more and cooking time, at least 15 minutes more.

Storing and Reheating This Rice Side Dish

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to six days.

To reheat, add a drizzle of olive oil or a dab of butter and microwave or reheat on the stove for a few minutes. I find that the added oil helps add back moistness to the dish when reheating.

Spanish Rice Side Dish
Spanish Rice Side Dish

Can Mexican Rice Be Frozen?

Yes. This is a great way to make this recipe ahead of time and serve it on your busiest days. Place 2-3 cups in an airtight freezer-safe container. Label and freeze up to 6 months.

To reheat in the microwave, there is no need to thaw, just make sure that you are using a microwave safe container and heat for 2 minutes at a time until the rice reaches the desired temperature, stirring between. 

Alternatively, you can thaw and reheat on the stovetop if you prefer.

Pork Carnitas with Refried Beans and Spanish Rice
Pork Carnitas with Refried Beans and Spanish Rice

Make this Part of a Delicious Meal

Serve this Spanish rice with Pork carnitas and refried beans. Easy and delicious.

Mexican Rice “Spanish Rice”
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Mexican Rice “Spanish Rice”

It is so easy to make Mexican Rice “Spanish Rice” so if you are looking for a recipe for basic restaurant style Mexican rice, this is it. Once we learned a bit more on how to flavor this recipe, it has become one of our favorite recipes to make.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: easy recipe, holiday recipe, restaurant food, side dish
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 253kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 2 cups Long-Grain Rice
  • 1 pound Tomatoes quartered or a large can of diced tomatoes approximately 2 cups when pureed
  • 1/2 cup white onion half an onion quartered
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt or to taste
  • ¼ Teaspoon Cumin or to taste
  • 2 Cups Chicken Stock That is well-seasoned or use chicken or vegetable soup base mixed with water.
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Cilantro or Parsley
  • 2 tablespoons Lime Juice About the juice of 2 limes
Text Ingredients to Phone

Instructions

  • In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the rice and sauté until the kernels are lightly toasted and golden in color. Approximately 5 minutes.
    Browning the Rice in the Skillet
  • In a blender or food processor, puree the tomatoes along with the onion, garlic, and salt until smooth. Measure out 2 cups of the tomato puree and add this to the rice.
    Heirloom Tomatoes White Onion and Garlic
  • Next add the well-seasoned chicken broth. Add the salt and cumin and bring to a boil stirring occasionally.
    Stirring in the Chicken Stock
  • Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and gently fluff the rice with the fork. Cover again and set aside to steam for 10 minutes.
    Simmering the Ingredients
  • Add the cilantro and lime juice and fluff again to combine. Taste and season with more salt as needed.
    Spanish Rice Side Dish

Video

Notes

Adding More Flavor to the Spanish Rice

Add a few tablespoons of picante sauce to ramp up the flavor a bit more.
You might be wondering Can you use salsa instead of tomato sauce? Yes, you can. Adding salsa will add even more flavor and a bit more spiciness too.
Adjust your recipes to your taste buds.
Adjust the cumin to your taste liking. Another option that will add a bit of heat is chili powder.
Finishing this rice with lime juice and cilantro adds another level of freshness to this dish that we just love.

Storing and Reheating This Rice Side Dish

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to six days.
To reheat, add a drizzle of olive oil or a dab of butter and microwave or reheat on the stove for a few minutes. I find that the added oil helps add back moistness to the dish when reheating.

Can Mexican Rice Be Frozen?

Yes. This is a great way to make this recipe ahead of time and serve it on your busiest days. Place 2-3 cups in an airtight freezer-safe container. Label and freeze up to 6 months.
To reheat in the microwave, there is no need to thaw, just make sure that you are using a microwave safe container and heat for 2 minutes at a time until the rice reaches the desired temperature, stirring between. 
Alternatively, you can thaw and reheat on the stovetop if you prefer.

Nutrition

Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 383mg | Potassium: 277mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 484IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg

Environmental Information

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