How to Make Spanish Rice

Cooks have learned how to make Spanish rice for centuries. You can find these dishes throughout Central America, South America and the United States. The great variety of herbs, spices and ingredients are what make them so popular. Some include a variety of meats and served as a main entrée. Others are meatless and can be served as a side dish or an entrée.

How to Make Spanish RiceHow to Make Spanish Rice

Rice was brought to the Americas by the Spaniards long ago but their recipes differ greatly. You will find a big difference in taste when you learn how to make Spanish rice. Besides being called Spanish rice you might find it called “Mexican”, “Bolivian” or etc. Each country incorporates their own local ingredients like peppers, tomatoes, garlic, corn or whatever is available. Rice dishes are not as popular in Spain. What rice is cooked is very different; mainly referred to as yellow rice flavored with saffron.

When I first learned how to make Spanish rice, I simply focused on the savory dishes. There are also many sweeter versions originating from Central and South America. These recipes also utilize local ingredients from those areas. Great tasting vanilla, cinnamon, fruits and chocolate are only a few. Copies of these recipes can also be found throughout the United States. 


Zesty Rice and BeansZesty Rice and Beans

I learned how to make Spanish rice with this easy “converted” recipe using Uncle Ben’s rice and Campbell’s soup.

  • 2 Slices bacon
  • 1 Small onion (Chop fine)
  • 1 Clove garlic (Chop fine)
  • ½ Cup Uncle Ben’s converted rice
  • 1 Can (11 Ounces) Campbell’s condensed tomato soup
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ Teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ Teaspoon hot pepper sauce (Or as desired)
  • 1 Can green chilies
  • 1 Can (16 ounces) pinto beans (Drained)

Over medium heat cook bacon until crisp; drain on paper towels and crumble.

Add onion garlic and rice to hot drippings; cook stirring over low heat 3 minutes.

Stir in the soup, water, bay leaf, cumin, pepper and hot sauce; heat to boiling.

REDUCE heat to low, cover and simmer 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and let stand covered until liquid is absorbed about 5 minutes.

Add and stir in bacon, beans and chilies; heat thoroughly.

REMOVE bay leaf and serve.


Chili Cheese Rice RecipeChili Cheese Rice Recipe
Chili Cheese Rice RecipeChili Cheese Rice Recipe
Chili Cheese Rice RecipeChili Cheese Rice Recipe
  • 1 Cup chopped onion
  • 3 Gloves minced garlic
  • ¼ Cup butter
  • 4 Cups cooked long grain rice
  • 2 Cups sour cream
  • 1 Cup cream style cottage cheese
  • 1 Bay leaf (Crumbled)
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 Cans (4 Ounces each) chopped green chilies (Drain)
  • 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper sliced
  • 1 Cup crushed tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 375F degrees; grease 2 quart casserole dish.

Melt butter in a large saucepan; sauté onion and garlic until tender.

Remove pan from heat; stir in rice and next 6 ingredients.

Spoon half of the rice mixture into prepared dish.

Top with half of the cheese; top with remaining rice mixture.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes; top with tortilla crumbs.

Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top; top with pepper slices.

Return to oven; bake until cheese melts; serves 8 to 10.


  • ½ Cup chopped onion (Sautee in a little butter)
  • 4 Cups cooked rice
  • 1 Can mild jalapeno peppers (Chopped)
  • 2 Cups sour cream
  • ½ Pound cottage cheese
  • ½ Crushed bay leaf
  • Salt/ pepper to taste
  • ½ Pound grated Longhorn cheese

Preheat oven to 375F degrees; butter a 2 quart casserole baking dish.

Combine and mix all ingredients except for the cheese.

Dump into prepared casserole baking dish; sprinkle cheese over top.

Bake for 25 minutes; serves 6 to 8.


  • 3 Tablespoons chopped onion
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped green pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped celery
  • 2 Teaspoons melted butter
  • 1 ½ Cups cooked rice
  • 1 ½ Cups canned tomatoes
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ Teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Melt butter in skillet; sauté onion, green pepper and celery until tender.

Blend in rice, tomatoes and seasonings.

Cook slowly until thick stirring occasionally about 5 minutes.

Place mixture in a greased casserole baking dish.

Bake about 15 minutes; serves 6.


Learn how to make Spanish rice with this simple recipe.

  • 1 ½ Cups long grain rice
  • ½ Cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 Clove minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 ¾ Cups chicken broth (Heated)
  • 1/3 Cup picante sauce
  • 1 Small carrot (Peel and dice fine)

Combine in skillet over low heat the onion, garlic, rice and oil.

Cook and stir until rice is lightly browned.

Stir in the hot broth, picante sauce and diced carrot.

Cover and simmer until all liquid is absorbed about 20 minutes.

Makes 6 side servings.


Learn how to make Spanish rice to serve as entrée.

  • 1 Pound ground beef
  • ¼ Cup vegetable oil (Divided)
  • 1 Cup long grain rice
  • 2 Cloves minced garlic
  • ¼ Cup chopped celery
  • 1 Green bell pepper (Seed and cut in strips)
  • 2 Cups canned tomatoes
  • 1 Can (6 Ounces tomato paste)
  • 3 Cups hot water
  • 1 Can (10 ½ Ounces) beef bouillon
  • 1 Teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 Teaspoon sugar
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Heat 1 TABLESPOON of oil in large heavy skillet.

Add ground beef stirring until brown; remove beef to warm plate.

Add REMAINING oil to the skillet; add rice and stir until browned.

Add garlic, celery and green pepper stirring until tender.

Combine tomatoes, tomato paste, hot water and beef broth.

Stir in chili powder, sugar, bay leaf, salt and hot sauce.

Add cooked beef and tomato mixture to skillet; blend well.

Bring mixture to a boil and REDUCE heat.

Cover skillet and simmer about 40 minutes stirring occasionally.

NOTE: Can also place in oven to cook. If dries too much add a little more water or tomato juice.

REMOVE bay leaf and serve; serves 4 to 6.


This is how to make Spanish rice using for entrée.

  • 1 Pound link smoke sausage (Cut ½ inch pieces)
  • 1 Cup cubed cooked ham
  • 1 Cup chopped onion
  • ¾ Cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 Clove minced garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 ¼ Cups water
  • 1 Can (28 Ounces) whole tomatoes (NOT drained; break up tomatoes)
  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 4 Chicken bouillon cubes
  • 3 Teaspoons paprika
  • ¼ Teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ Teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ Teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Pound medium shrimp (Raw, cleaned, deveined, tails ON)
  • Hot pepper sauce

In large Dutch oven combine sausage, ham, onion, bell pepper and garlic in oil.

Cook and stir until sausage browns; stir in remaining ingredients except shrimp and hot sauce.

Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes.

Stir in the shrimp; cook Uncovered about 7 minutes until liquid is almost absorbed.

If desired garnish with parsley to serve; serve with hot pepper sauce.

Serves 8.


  • 2 Cups cooked wild rice
  • 1 Can (16 Ounces)
  • Whole kernel corn (Drain)
  • 1 Can (4 Ounces) diced green chilies (Drain)
  • 2 Cups salsa (Use favorite spiciness)
  • 1 Cup grated Cheddar cheese
  • Tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Combine wild rice with corn and chilies; spread in greased 11X7 casserole dish.

Spread salsa over the top and sprinkle with cheese; cover and bake 30 minutes.

Serve with basket tortilla chips; serves 4.


Learn how to make Spanish rice and pork chops for entrée.

  • 1 Cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 Pork chops (1 Inch thick)
  • 3 Cups coarsely chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Green bell pepper (Chopped)
  • 1 Small onion (Chopped)
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon pepper
  • ½ Teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1/3 cup water

Heat oil in large heavy skillet; stir in rice.

Cook and stir rice 5 minutes or until browned.

Spoon rice into a bowl; add tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, salt, pepper and mustard.

Place pork chops in skillet and brown on both sides; spoon rice mixture chops.

Add the water, cover and simmer 45 to 50 minutes until chops are tender.

Serves 4


Learn how to make Spanish rice with this flavorful Mexican recipe.

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 Cloves minced garlic
  • 1 ½ cups thick salsa
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 Large shredded carrot
  • 1/3 Cup frozen peas
  • 1 Cup long grain white rice
  • Fresh sliced jalapeno peppers (Garnish)

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.

Add onion and garlic; sauté 2 to 3 minutes until tender.

Stir in the salsa, water, carrot and peas; bring to a boil.

Add rice and stir to blend; reduce heat to low, cover and simmer.

Cook for 25 to 30 minutes until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.

Garnish with jalapeno; serves 8.


Learn how to make Spanish rice with this versatile recipe as a side or with chicken.

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Medium onion (Chop fine)
  • 1 Green bell pepper (Seed and chop fine)
  • 1 Can (16 Ounces) tomatoes (Drain and chop)
  • 3 Cloves minced garlic
  • 1 ½ cups brown rice
  • 3 Cups Chicken broth
  • ¾ Teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon turmeric
  •  ¼ Teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 2 Tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1 ½ Cups chopped cooked chicken OPTIONAL

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add onion and bell pepper; stir and sauté 5 minutes until tender.

Add tomatoes and garlic to skillet; stir and sauté for 2 minutes.

Add the rice, broth, thyme, salt, turmeric, black pepper and bay leaf.

Bring mixture to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer until rice is tender.

NOTE: Stir occasionally about 35 to 40 minutes and liquid is absorbed.

Remove from heat and discard the bay leaf; garnish with parsley.

Serves 6.


Learn how to make Spanish rice from Valencia, Spain.

  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Chicken (2 ½ to 3 Pounds; cut in pieces)
  • Salt
  • ½ Pound lean pork (Chopped)
  • ½ Pound fresh squid (Clean and chop)
  • 1 Small chopped onion
  • 1 Red bell pepper (Broil all sides, peel seed, chop)
  • 3 Small tomatoes (Peel, seed, chop)
  • ½ Pound live mussels
  • ½ Pound chorizo sausage
  • 2 ½ Cups boiling water
  • ½ Pound fresh shrimp (Clean, devein, tails on) 1 Cup green beans (2 Inch pieces)
  • 1 ½ cups frozen peas (Thawed)
  • 5 Cloves minced garlic 
  • ¼ Teaspoon saffron
  • 2 ½ cups long grain rice

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.

Add chicken pieces and season with salt; brown pieces on both sides.

Add the pork and squid; cover and cook slowly for 10 minutes.

Add onion and bell pepper; cook until vegetables begin to brown.

Add tomatoes; simmer uncovered 10 minutes until tomato liquid evaporates.

Add mussels and sausage; cover and cook until mussels open (3 minutes).

REMOVE from heat and set aside.

Heat ¼ cup of the oil in a large Dutch oven; stir rice in oil until browned.

Add chicken mixture into the Dutch oven; stir to blend.

Add the boiling water to the Dutch oven; add shrimp, green beans and peas.

Stir in garlic, saffron and remaining oil; cover and cook 15 minutes

Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes; serve from Dutch oven.

Serves 8 to 10.