This Spanish Rice recipe is a delicious and flavorful side dish that goes perfectly with enchiladas, tacos, fajitas, and more!
You can make this entire recipe for less than $5. It costs just $4.10 to make six servings. That works out to about $0.68 per serving.
Maybe you call this popular side dish Mexican Rice, or maybe you know it as Spanish Rice. Either way, it is a delicious and easy recipe that we are sharing with you today.
We love the mild flavor that can be intensified easily according to your taste. The simple dish is made in just 35 minutes, so it is the perfect side dish for any weeknight meal.
This recipe for Spanish Rice will remind you of your favorite restaurant. It is fluffy and not mushy or soggy. Using pantry staple ingredients, you can enjoy restaurant quality food at home for a fraction of the cost!
Ingredients and Cost
RECIPE COST: $4.10
PRICE PER SERVING: $0.68
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil – $0.06
- 1 large yellow onion – $0.62
- ½ red bell pepper – $0.69
- 2 large garlic cloves – $0.10
- 8 oz can tomato sauce – $0.54
- 2 cups long-grain rice – $1.26
- 1 teaspoon chili powder – $0.03
- 2 cups chicken broth – $0.66
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano – $0.13
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin – $0.01
To find out more about how we price our recipes, check out Budget Recipes Explained.
- First, cook the vegetables in a medium saucepan until the veggies are soft.
- Next, toast the rice. Then stir in the broth, tomato sauce, and seasonings.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the liquid is absorbed.
- Finally, remove the rice from the heat and fluff with a fork. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
Recipe Variations and Substitutions
- You can make this recipe vegan Mexican rice by using vegatable broth or stock instead of chicke broth.
- Sometimes I make this into a main dish by adding shredded chicken, black beans, and corn while the rice is cooking.
- If you don’t have tomato sauce then you can use pasta sauce, diced tomoatoes, or Rotel tomatoes.
Serve: You can leave the rice out for about two hours before it needs to be refrigerated.
Store: Cover and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Freeze: Once cooled, place the rice in a freezer-safe container or Ziploc bag and freeze for 3-4 months.
Reheat: Thaw the rice at room temperature for 3-4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Once thawed, Place in a microwave-safe container and heat on high for 1 ½-2 ½ minutes or until heated through, stirring as needed.
- medium saucepan
- wooden mixing spoon
- measuring cups
- liquid measuring cup
- measuring spoons
- cutting board
- chef’s knife
Many people use the terms interchangeably. This makes sense because they have similar ingredients. However, Spanish rice is typically more firm in texture than Mexican rice.
Any Mexican dish goes well with Spanish rice. Think fajitas, tacos, taco salad, nachos, etc. Here are a few of our favorites dishes to make alongside the rice:
Green Chile Enchilada Casserole
Homemade Navajo Tacos
Instant Pot Refried Beans
Mexican Chicken Rice Bowls
Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
Zucchini Taco Boats
Get Kids Involved
Ages 2-3: Let your little one help add the seasonings into the saucepan.
Ages 4-5: Have your child measure and pour the rice into the pan to cook. Teach them how to fluff the rice with a fork.
Ages 6-8: Teach your child how to cook the vegetables. They can also help in cooking the rice.
Ages 9-11: Supervise them while they prepare the entire recipe. Remember to have them read it twice before beginning the recipe.
Ages 12+: Let them prepare the entire recipe, unsupervised, while you do the happy dance in the corner!
We like to buy our long-grain rice in bulk at Costco. That way, it serves as food storage, and we can use it to make Spanish Rice whenever it fits into our meal schedule.
More Side Dish Recipes:
- medium saucepan
- Wooden mixing spoon
- measuring cups
- Liquid measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- cutting board
- chef's knife
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large yellow onion finely chopped
- ½ red bell pepper finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves finely minced
- 2 cups long-grain rice
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
FOR SERVING: (optional)
- Green onions finely chopped
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and red pepper and cook until slightly soft, 2-3 minutes.
- Add garlic and continue cooking 1-2 minutes or until garlic is fragrant and the vegetables are soft.
- Add rice and cook until golden brown, stirring frequently about 6-8 minutes.
- Stir in broth, tomato sauce, and seasonings.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, reduce to low heat, and cover with a lid and cook until all the liquid is absorbed, about 8-10 minutes, stirring often.
FINISH AND SERVE:
- Remove the rice from the heat and fluff the rice with a fork.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve with green onions or cilantro, both optional. Serve.