Light and fluffy in every forkful, this restaurant-style Spanish rice recipe is quick and easy to make at home, turning out perfectly cooked grains that don’t clump every single time.
How to Make Spanish Rice from Scratch
When you think of Spanish rice, traditional Spanish rice dishes made with meats or seafood and saffron (the distinctive Spanish spice) comes to mind. This Spanish rice is not that.
This Spanish rice recipe is the simple rice side dish served alongside beans, enchiladas, tacos, and nearly every combination plate in many Mexican restaurants. So what’s the difference between Spanish rice and Mexican rice? Not much, in fact, they’re pretty much interchangeable.
If you think grabbing a package of Spanish or Mexican rice from the grocery store is the ticket to the Spanish rice easy train, you are sadly mistaken! Making Mexican rice from scratch is totally easy to do. So let’s do it!
What Is Spanish Rice (Mexican Rice) Made Of?
Spanish rice, aka Mexican rice, is made with long grain white rice that’s quickly toasted then cooked in a simply flavored broth.
- Long grain white rice
- 2 medium tomatoes
- ½ yellow onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Kosher salt
- Chicken broth
- Canola oil
Break Out the Blender
Prep and blend the tomato mixture. Roughly chop the tomato, onion, and garlic and add to a blender or food processor with the kosher salt. Blend until smooth and set aside.
Alternately, try using salsa instead of tomatoes etc.. Feel free to blend 1 ½ cups of your favorite salsa or pico de gallo instead of using the fresh ingredients.
Get Toasty With It
Toast the rice in the skillet before adding the wet ingredients. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and cook the rice until lightly browned and toasty. Toasting the rice adds a nutty flavor and adds richness to the dish. Pick out any burned grains.
Add That Spanish Rice Flavor
CAREFULLY stir the tomato mixture into the rice. Adding the wet ingredients to the hot skillet will cause some splattering, so add them very slowly, a few tablespoons at first, to temper the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes to develop depth in the tomato and onion flavoring.
Stir in the chicken broth. Chicken broth adds saltiness and a richer flavor to this rice dish than plain water will. Or, dissolve chicken bouillon into plain water for that extra oomph.
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.
How to Reheat Rice
To reheat, microwave for 1-2 minutes, or reheat on low on the stove.
The rice can be made up to 4-5 days ahead of time, and since it lasts in the fridge for several days, it makes a great option for meal prep.
What to Add to Spanish Rice or Mexican Rice
Mexican spices or vegetables can be added to switch up this easy rice recipe, such as:
- Frozen peas, diced carrots, or corn
- Chopped bell peppers
- Fresh cilantro
- Diced green onion
- Jalapeño or roasted chile peppers
- Cumin, coriander, or oregano
What to Serve With Spanish Rice
- Baja Fish Tacos with Baja White Sauce
- Beyond Easy Chicken Mole Enchiladas
- Blackened Fish Tacos With Creamy Avocado Sauce
- 5-Ingredient Chipotle Chicken Taquitos
- How To Make The Best Steak Fajitas
- Grilled Steak Tacos
- Beef And Butternut Squash Enchiladas
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
The BEST Spanish Rice Recipe (Mexican Rice)
- 2 tomatoes , stemmed and quartered
- ½ yellow onion , peeled and quartered
- 2 cloves garlic , peeled
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- Place the tomato, onion, garlic and salt in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, then set aside.
- Add the oil to a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the rice and cook for about 5 minutes or until golden brown, stirring constantly so it doesn't burn. Add the tomato mixture to the skillet (be careful, it will sizzle and splatter) and cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Add the chicken broth, stir, and cover with a ild. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes or until the liquid is totally absorbed. Fluff with a fork to stir in the tomato bits that have risen to the top. Serve warm.
More Rice Recipes
- How To Cook Rice Perfectly Every Time
- Spanish Chicken and Rice Recipe
- One-Pot Creamy Chicken and Rice
- Easy Lemon Rice Recipe
- Thai Coconut Chicken and Rice
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Wow, I wish I had known how easy it is to make Mexican rice at home! I only had jasmine rice on hand, which took only about 15 minutes and it was cooked to perfection. Also used better than bouillon instead of a cube. Genuinely tastes like the rice you get at an authentic Mexican restaurant!