This homemade Spanish Rice is a delicious, quick and easy, side dish recipe that goes hand in hand with a side of black beans or refried beans and served as a side to many Mexican dishes.
Living in Texas, Spanish rice is almost as big a deal as Mexican rice, and I love making both. I’ll serve up homemade Spanish rice with almost anything. Chicken, beef, pork – you name it, I’ll pair it with this delicious rice dish. It’s absolutely full of flavor, easy to make, and comes together quickly, so it’s always a winner. That’s exactly the kind of recipe I love, and I think you will, too. Once you give this recipe a try, you’ll fall in love with the flavors.
Homemade Spanish Rice
This Spanish rice recipe is filled to the brim with delicious flavors. White rice, chicken broth, salsa, jalapenos, and onions come together to create a bowl of richly flavored rice that tickles your tastebuds each and every time you eat it. It’s definitely one of those recipes that’s greater than the sum of its parts, offering a boatload of flavor with only a few simple ingredients. Serve it up with some veggies and a nice piece of protein like beef, chicken, or pork, and you’ve got yourself a meal that will satisfy everyone in the family.
The Perfect Side Dish Recipe
This homemade Spanish rice is the perfect side dish if you ask me. The simplicity is the key, really. It only uses a few ingredients, and all of them are perfect with almost any kind of meat, or beans if you’re vegetarian. It even pairs well with fish! A side dish that can go with anything is absolutely perfect, wouldn’t you say? Simply whip up a batch of this rice and pair it with just about anything. Choose your favorite main protein, and this rice will complement it perfectly.
This dish is just about perfect in every way, but there are a few things you can do to give it a twist if you like. These are simple changes that allow you to serve up something a little different each and every time.
Vegetables – Try adding diced bell pepper, carrots and celery to this rice for some extra flavor. You can also add green peas at the end for a nice pop, as well.
Salsa – You can control the spiciness of this dish by the kind of salsa you use in addition to the jalapenos. For an extra kick of heat, use hot salsa. If you prefer things warm instead of hot, use mild salsa with the jalapeno pepper.
No Heat at All – If you don’t like heat, use a mild salsa and no jalapenos. Or you can use diced tomatoes, a little tomato sauce with a few spices, to change up the flavor.
Brown Rice – Brown rice works just as well as white rice for this dish, but remember that you’ll have to cook it longer.
Cauliflower Rice – If you’re watching carbs, you can get all the taste and texture of Spanish rice by using cauliflower rice.
Before you dive into making this homemade Spanish rice take a moment to read over this FAQ. It answers the most common questions regarding this recipe, and as they say, knowledge is power. In this case, the power to make a delicious dish!
What’s the Difference Between Spanish Rice and Mexican Rice?
There’s almost no difference between them at all, actually. Both Spanish and Mexican rice are used interchangeably, with the only difference that Spanish rice is made with saffron and Mexican rice is made with cumin.
What Goes Well with Spanish Rice?
Spanish rice goes well with almost anything. It turns even the plainest beef, pork, or chicken into a delicious Tex-Mex feast. Of course, you’ll also love it with tacos, fajitas, carnitas, and the like. I’ve even been known to stuff it right into my burritos.
Do You Have to Rinse Rice Before Cooking?
It’s important to rinse your rice before cooking it to remove the excess starch. This helps keep the rice from getting gummy.
What’s the Best Rice to Use for Spanish Rice?
Traditionally, Spanish rice is made from long-grain white rice, but many people also use brown rice. Some people even use cauliflower rice.
Why Do You Fry Rice Before Cooking It?
Frying the rice before cooking helps it cook up into separate grains. It also adds extra flavor by caramelizing some of the starches before cooking.
Can You Make Homemade Spanish Rice Ahead of Time?
You can make this rice up to a day before you’re ready to serve it. Any longer than that, and the flavors begin to dull.
Can You Freeze Spanish Rice?
Yes, you can. Spanish rice will keep well in the freezer for four to six months.
This rice will keep well in the fridge in an airtight container for five to six days. You can freeze it in an airtight, freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bag for four to six months.
Homemade Spanish Rice Ingredients
It only takes a handful of ingredients to make this delicious recipe. All of the ingredients are kitchen staples, so it’s likely you won’t have to shop for any of them. Here’s what you’ll need.
- Olive oil
- Diced onions
- Diced jalapenos
- White rice
- Chicken broth
- Chunky salsa
- Chili powder
How to Make Homemade Spanish Rice
Making this rice takes very little work. You’ll just need to do a little bit of prep and a small amount of stovetop cooking – nothing time consuming at all – and you’ll have yourself a delicious rice recipe that everyone loves.
Step 1: Prep
Seed and dice the jalapenos, dice the onion and mince the garlic.
Step 2: Sautee
Using a large skillet, or large sauce pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and jalapenos and sauté until tender. Add garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
Step 3: Sautee the Rice
Add rice to the skillet with the onions and jalapenos, sprinkle with chili powder, and cook until the rice starts to brown. Stir frequently.
Step 4: Simmer
Add the chicken broth and salsa, bring to a boil over medium heat, then, reduce the heat, cover with a lid, and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the rice is tender.
Step 5: Serve
Fluff the rice with a fork before serving. Serve with your favorite meat and veggies or as a side to your favorite Mexican dishes, like enchiladas and black beans, tacos, burritos or Taquitos. Top it with sour cream, sliced avocado, cilantro, and cheese if desired.
Try This Delicious Side Dish Recipe Today
More Mexican Side Dish Recipes
Crock Pot Spicy Charro Beans – These spicy charro beans are made with the bacon and onions, along with the jalapeños and cilantro, which brings delicious flavor to this easy side dish recipe.
Cilantro Lime Rice with Black Beans and Corn – This delicious cilantro lime rice is definitely filling and satisfying, and is a tasty side dish recipe. This rice dish is also great when added to some whole wheat tortillas and rolling up to make a burrito the family will enjoy.
Black Turtle Beans – These black beans are so healthy and are a great source of fiber and protein, along with many other wonderful healthy nutrients your body needs. Plus, they taste delicious.
Spicy Salsa Verde Rice – This rice recipe is the perfect side dish for any Mexican dish. It’s great served with enchiladas, tacos, burritos and perfect to go hand in hand with your favorite beans.
And, here is a delicious Easy Homemade Guacamole recipe, from Deliciously Seasoned, you might enjoy too!
Spanish Rice (Quick and Easy)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 diced jalapenos
- ¼ cup diced onions
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ cups white rice, uncooked
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup chunky salsa
- ½ tsp chili powder
- Using a skillet or large frying pan, heat oil over medium high heat.
- Sauté onions and jalapeños until tender, then add minced garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
- Add rice to pan, sprinkle with chili powder and cook until rice starts to brown, stirring frequently.
- Pour chicken broth and salsa into pan, stir.
- Reduce heat, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes or until rice is tender.
- Optional: top with sour cream, sliced avocado, cilantro and cheese, if desired.
Here are a couple pics that are perfect to save to your favorite Pinterest boards.
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Spanish rice uses saffron while Mexican rice uses cumin. These distinct ingredients provide each dish with its own flavors and colors
In your comments you mentioned that Spanish rice uses saffron while Mexican rice uses cumin however you did not list saffron in the recipe. Can you please tell me how much saffron I should use and when it should be added. Thank you.
Great Grub, Delicious Treats
Hi Sheryl, for this quick and easy Spanish rice recipe I did not use saffron.