Spanish Rice {Homemade Stove Top Recipe} - Self Proclaimed Foodie (2023)

Home » Recipes » Side Dish

Published: · Updated: · By: Krissy · 5 Comments
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Jump to Recipe Print Recipe

Making homemade Spanish Rice is super easy and the taste, texture, and ingredients far exceed anything you'll find in a box. Long grain rice is toasted in a pan to create the most amazing flavor. Sautéed onion, spices, tomatoes, and roasted green chile come together in this simple recipe to create restaurant style Mexican rice.

Spanish Rice {Homemade Stove Top Recipe} - Self Proclaimed Foodie (1)

Why this recipe works:

Spanish rice and Mexican rice are basically used interchangeably here in the states. Both restaurants and home cooks have put their unique twists on this recipe, and you'll find there are a few ingredients and cooking tips I use to make this not only delicious, but unique.

  • Easy stovetop recipe: You don't have to be an experienced cook to make this simple side dish recipe.
  • Versatile: I almost always make this Spanish rice as a side dish along something like pinto beans, but it makes fantastic leftovers. Add it to burritos, serve with fried eggs for breakfast, or toss leftovers in something like Chicken Tortilla Soup.
  • Tailor the recipe to your liking: I obviously prefer the recipe as written, but you can customize based on your preferences. This is why homemade is better than anything from a box!

Ingredients needed to make this recipe:

  • Rice: Long grain rice is preferred over short grain sushi rice. This gets toasted in olive oil.
  • Green chile: I always have roasted chopped Hatch green chile on hand in both canned and frozen form. I can't get enough.
  • Canned tomatoes: I love using the Diced and Fire Roasted tomatoes from Trader Joe's. Tomato paste is also used for thickening.
  • Chicken broth: Homemade chicken broth or store bought.
  • Onion: I use a yellow onion but white would work as well. Garlic is also used.
  • Seasonings include salt, chili powder, cumin, and dried oregano.
Spanish Rice {Homemade Stove Top Recipe} - Self Proclaimed Foodie (2)

How to make Spanish Rice:

Full ingredient list and detailed step by step instructions are listed in the recipe card below, but here is a summary.

  1. Toast rice: Using the pan you'll make the Mexican rice recipe, toast the uncooked rice in heated olive oil until it starts to turn golden brown. It will smell like popcorn.
  2. Sauté: Remove the toasted rice from the pan and set it aside. Cook the onion until it starts to brown, then add the garlic and cook for a bit longer.
  3. Add spices: Once the sautéed onion starts to stick to the pan, add the spices and allow for them to toast in the pan for a couple minutes.
  4. Mix in tomato paste: This gets stirred in and allowed to cook for a short bit.
  5. Add remaining ingredients : All remaining ingredients plus the toasted rice get added to the pot and stirred to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
  6. Cook: With a loosely fitted lid, cook Spanish rice until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.
Spanish Rice {Homemade Stove Top Recipe} - Self Proclaimed Foodie (3)
Spanish Rice {Homemade Stove Top Recipe} - Self Proclaimed Foodie (4)
Spanish Rice {Homemade Stove Top Recipe} - Self Proclaimed Foodie (5)
Spanish Rice {Homemade Stove Top Recipe} - Self Proclaimed Foodie (6)
Spanish Rice {Homemade Stove Top Recipe} - Self Proclaimed Foodie (7)
Spanish Rice {Homemade Stove Top Recipe} - Self Proclaimed Foodie (8)

Cooking tips for best results:

  • Flat bottom spoon: One of the best pieces of advice I can offer when cooking anything that sticks to the bottom of a pan is to use a flat bottomed wooden spoon. This will not scratch your pot but will easily allow you to scrape the bottom of the pan and release anything that sticks.
  • Leftovers: Store any leftovers in an air tight container in the refrigerator. They should keep for at least several days.
  • Reheating: You can either reheat in the microwave at 50% power, stirring every minute, or you can reheat over low heat, covered, on the stove. A bit of water may need to be added to maintain moisture content.
  • Substitutions:
    • Tomatoes: You can use two cups of fresh, diced tomatoes instead of canned.
    • Green chile: Your favorite salsa can replace the green chile, however I highly recommend using the chile if available.
    • Spices: All of the spices, including the salt, can be replaced with a tablespoon of taco seasoning.
    • Chicken broth: You can make this recipe vegan and vegetarian by replacing the chicken broth with either vegetable broth or water.
Spanish Rice {Homemade Stove Top Recipe} - Self Proclaimed Foodie (9)

What to serve alongside Spanish rice:

This side dish recipe is so versatile. It is fantastic when served with any of these recommendations.

  • Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Casserole
  • Shrimp Fajitas
  • Shredded Beef Enchiladas
  • Easy Ground Beef Enchiladas
  • Green Chile Enchilada Casserole
  • Elote Mexican Street Corn
  • New Mexican Posolé
  • Instant Pot Barbacoa Quesadillas
  • Chicken Fajitas
  • Shrimp Tacos
Spanish Rice {Homemade Stove Top Recipe} - Self Proclaimed Foodie (10)

If you’ve made this or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out. I love hearing from my readers!

You can also follow along on PINTEREST,FACEBOOKandINSTAGRAMto see more amazing recipes to satisfy any foodie craving!

Full Recipe Instructions

Spanish Rice {Homemade Stove Top Recipe} - Self Proclaimed Foodie (11)

Spanish Rice

Making homemade Spanish Rice is super easy and the taste, texture, and ingredients far exceed anything you'll find in a box. Long grain rice is toasted in a pan to create the most amazing flavor. Sautéed onion, spices, tomatoes, and roasted green chile come together in this simple recipe to create restaurant style Mexican rice.

5 from 7 votes

Print Pin Rate Save Add to Collection

Course: Side Dish

Cuisine: Mexican

Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes minutes

Scale: 8 servings

Recipe Created By: Krissy Allori



  • Using a 4-quart covered sauce pan, add butter and half of the oil. Heat over medium high heat. Once butter and oil are hot, add uncooked rice and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring only a couple of times, until it starts to turn golden brown. It will smell almost like popcorn. Transfer browned rice to a bowl and set aside.

    Spanish Rice {Homemade Stove Top Recipe} - Self Proclaimed Foodie (12)

  • Add remaining oil to the pan. Still cooking over medium high heat, add chopped onion and allow to slightly brown, cooking about 5 minutes and stirring only to prevent burning. Add garlic, stir, and cook for another minute. Add spices, stir to coat, and allow to toast in the hot pan for a couple minutes. Finally, add the tomato paste, stir, and allow to cook for a minute or so.

    Spanish Rice {Homemade Stove Top Recipe} - Self Proclaimed Foodie (13)

  • Add the chicken broth, entire can of tomatoes, the green chile, and the rice to the pot. Stir to combine. Increase heat so that it starts to come to a boil and then reduce heat as low as you can to still maintain a very gentle boil (simmer). Cover with a lid but allow a small space for steam to escape. Stir only occasionally to prevent sticking. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until rice is tender and all of the liquid has been absorbed.

    Spanish Rice {Homemade Stove Top Recipe} - Self Proclaimed Foodie (14)


Recipe makes at least 8 large servings.


Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 744mg | Potassium: 326mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 223IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg

Reader Interactions


  1. Toni

    Spanish Rice {Homemade Stove Top Recipe} - Self Proclaimed Foodie (15)
    This is such an amazing side dish recipe!! A new favorite dish at my house!


  2. Shadi Hasanzadenemati

    Spanish Rice {Homemade Stove Top Recipe} - Self Proclaimed Foodie (16)
    I have everything I need for this dish, can’t wait to make it this weekend!


  3. Michelle

    Spanish Rice {Homemade Stove Top Recipe} - Self Proclaimed Foodie (17)
    This turned out so delicious! Can't wait to make it again. Thank you for sharing!


  4. Lindsay Bozek

    Spanish Rice {Homemade Stove Top Recipe} - Self Proclaimed Foodie (18)
    I've never tried to make this, but I certainly order a lot if it for take out! Will be trying soon to save a bit of money, and yours looks so good!.


  5. Jill

    Spanish Rice {Homemade Stove Top Recipe} - Self Proclaimed Foodie (19)
    Toasting rice makes such a difference in the end result. This rice was so tasty, thanks!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Why is my Spanish rice mushy? ›

Mushy or soggy rice is simply overcooked rice that has absorbed too much water. Water over-absorption causes the rice grains to split open, ruining the texture and creating a starchy, gummy result.

Do you drain diced tomatoes for Zatarain's Spanish rice? ›

Mix 1 1/2 cups hot water, 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained, 1 tablespoon butter or margarine (optional) and Zatarain's Spanish rice mix in 2 1/2 quart microwavable bowl until well blended. Cover. 2. Microwave on high 5 minutes.

How to make Goya yellow rice on the stovetop? ›

  1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Turn off heat; set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onions and peppers; cook until soft and translucent, 5 – 8 minutes. ...
  3. Pour rice into pot; stir to coat. ...
  4. Fluff rice with a fork and let it sit, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.

How do you make Mexican rice fluffy and not sticky? ›

How to make Mexican Rice
  1. Rinse and drain rice thoroughly. This is crucial to remove the extra starch from the rice so it doesn't cook up sticky and mushy. ...
  2. Use basmati rice for best results. Other types of rice will likely stick together and can easily get mushy (see above section).

Can you use tomato sauce instead of water for rice? ›

Follow the directions on your bag of rice to determine how much liquid to use (per 1 cup of rice) when you make your Spanish Rice. For example, if your bag of rice calls for 2 cups of water to every 1 cup of rice, substitute 1 cup chicken broth and 1 cup tomato sauce for that water.

Can you use tomato soup instead of tomato sauce for rice? ›

Although it is likely to change the flavor profile more than other substitutes, tomato soup can work as a tomato sauce substitute. A can of tomato soup can replace 1 cup of tomato sauce. However, because the soup has more liquid than tomato sauce, you should reduce another liquid ingredient by 1/4 cup if possible.

Do you leave tomato seeds in sauce? ›

If you're making a fresh tomato sauce or stewed tomatoes, the tomatoes should be peeled, cored, and seeded. The result will be a smoother sauce without any seeds, core, or peel in it.

How do Chinese restaurants make rice yellow? ›

The yellow color comes from food coloring that is added which is optional. Yellow Fried Rice is specifically from the U.S. and is not authentic Chinese fried rice. The yellow color comes from food coloring that is added which is optional.

What gives Spanish rice its color? ›

Spanish rice has a firmer texture and stronger aroma compared to Mexican rice, it gets its sweet yet savory flavor as well as its golden color from saffron.

Why is my Spanish rice always hard? ›

Maybe you didn't add enough liquid to begin with. Whatever the case, if your rice is looking dried out, or the texture is still hard or crunchy when all the liquid has been absorbed, add up to ½ cup water and return to a simmer with the lid on. Be patient.

Why do you fry rice before cooking Spanish rice? ›

Frying it first will help prevent rice from sticking together while simmering. While rice is browning, you will start noticing a nutty aroma, which will translate into the way rice will taste. This will add another layer of flavor to the whole dish.

Does adding vinegar to rice make it sticky? ›

Allow the vinegar mixture to cool, then stir it into the cooked rice. Stir until the rice is nice and sticky — it'll look wet at first, but it'll dry as it cools.

Does vinegar make rice fluffy? ›

Add a teaspoon of vinegar (apple cider or white vinegar both work) to the cooking liquid of your pot of rice. The acid of the vinegar is thought to break down more of the starches inside the rice, helping each grain of rice absorb more liquid (1). I find this particularly helpful in getting perfect, fluffy brown rice.

How much water do I need for 2 cups of rice? ›

The rice to water ratio is to use 2 cups water for every 1 cup white rice. In general, use double the amount of water than rice. If you're making 2 cups rice, use 4 cups water.

Does rinsing rice before cooking make it less sticky? ›

If you're cooking sticky rice, you might wonder if rinsing away the excess starch will reduce its tacky texture. According to Sharma, you shouldn't be concerned about that outcome. "Even with a short grain like sticky rice, washing doesn't affect the much-desired stickiness," he says.

Does lemon juice keep rice from sticking? ›

Lemon Juice Helps You Avoid Sticky Rice

You're in luck — adding a few drops of lemon juice to your cooking water helps prevent the rice from sticking together.

What causes the sticky consistency of rice after cooking? ›

Stickiness is found to increase with decreasing amylose content in the whole grain, and, in the leachate, with increasing total amount of amylopectin, the proportion of short amylopectin chains, and amylopectin molecular size. Molecular adhesion mechanisms are put forward to explain this result.

Can you use milk instead of water for rice? ›

In a large saucepan bring to boil rice, salt, and 1 cup milk on high, stirring frequently. Once it's boiling turn heat down to medium heat. As the rice cooks and absorbs the milk keep adding more milk, 1/2 cup at a time until the rice is tender.

How do you make rice taste good without sauce? ›

One of my favorite ways to add flavor to rice is by either using a cooking liquid other than water (bouillon or broth is an easy alternative), or by stirring in some fresh herbs, dried fruit, peas, nuts, or other flavor and color boosters.

What happens if you cook rice with milk instead of water? ›

Because the water in rice needs to come to a boil I would expect this to result in burnt, curdled milk. Milk doesn't withstand high temperatures without constant stirring (think custard). You can substitute broth of your choice.

What's the difference between canned tomato soup and canned tomato sauce? ›

Tomato soup is really just thinned-out tomato sauce

When you think about it, nothing much distinguishes tomato soup from tomato sauce except its degree of thickness.

Can I substitute canned tomatoes for tomato sauce? ›

Substitute Canned Tomatoes

To make your own tomato sauce out of a can of tomatoes, you can use whatever type of canned tomatoes you have on hand, whether they be whole, stewed, diced, or crushed.

How to make 1 cup tomato sauce from tomato paste? ›

Tomato paste

For this swap, David Joachim, author of The Food Substitutions Bible, recommends you use ½ cup tomato paste and ½ cup water to replace 1 cup of tomato sauce—just keep in mind that you'll need to season your substitute to taste.

Can I leave the skins on tomatoes when making sauce? ›

Leave the skins on (they're delicious and nutritious) and you can make several batches of this fresh and flavorful tomato sauce in one easy afternoon.

Why do chefs remove tomato seeds? ›

If you're adding tomatoes to a salad, salsa, omelet or casserole: You actually want to scoop out the seeds with a spoon and toss 'em. They're the culprits that make your dish extra gooey and watery, which can ruin the consistency of the recipe.

What happens if you don't peel tomatoes for sauce? ›

But if you don't peel, you will get tough bits of skin floating about in whatever you're making. If it's just one or two tomatoes-worth in a soup, for example, you can just fish them out, but if it's a beautiful, slow-cooked fresh tomato sauce for pasta, they'll kind of ruin the effect.”

Why is Goya yellow rice so good? ›

Our Goya yellow rice has long grained rice that is seasoned with a wonderful blending of onion, garlic, spices, rich chicken flavor, and coriander. Goya yellow rice is a savory side dish for all kinds of meat, fish, seafood and poultry. And uno-dos-tres, with a few simple fixings, it becomes a marvelous main dish!

Why does Chinese restaurant rice taste so good? ›

Why does Chinese restaurant rice taste better? It tastes better because it is cooked in a mixture of chicken broth and soy sauce. Adding chicken broth and soy sauce to rice gives it a deep, savory flavor that is popular in Chinese cuisine.

What is the yellow stuff in Chinese chicken? ›

Chicken Bouillon Powder (鸡精, ji jing) is a pale yellow powdery seasoning that is salty and has a concentrated chicken broth flavor. Different from the cubed chicken bouillon stock, Asian brands of chicken bouillon powder often contain MSG, along with dehydrated meat stock.

What tastes good on top of rice? ›

Cook up a large batch of Minute® Instant Jasmine Rice and try out a few other Asian-inspired stir-ins:
  • Stir-fried, fresh or steamed veggies.
  • Chicken.
  • Shrimp.
  • Beef.
  • Tofu.
  • Ginger (ground or fresh)
  • Chili sauce such as sriracha or chili garlic sauce.
  • Sesame oil.

Can you add butter to rice? ›

Butter is an absolute flavor powerhouse and should be used to make rice taste more buttery and rich, which, in turn, makes other foods on the same dinner plate, taste that much better as well.

Does soaking rice before cooking make it taste better? ›

Soaking hydrates the grains and consequently the amylose and amylopectin inside the starch granules absorb water and swell. When it comes to types of rice that are noted for their fragrance, like basmati and jasmine, the aroma improves if the rice is soaked prior to cooking.

Why do you put oil in rice? ›

Adding olive oil to rice during the cooking process improves the texture of the rice while adding flavor and moisture. Add olive oil to the water before adding the rice. As the rice simmers, it absorbs the water and oil and is not sticky.

Why does washing rice make it taste better? ›

By washing white rice (where the bran has been milled), the excess starch is washed off, as well as the oxidized rice bran oil, which adds an unpleasant flavor to the cooked rice." Washing rice will also remove dust and debris and help the grains to be more separated, rather than sticky.

Why do you put vinegar in colored rice? ›

The vinegar helps spread and set the color. If you still have some white grains of rice, add more food coloring (and/or vinegar). The more food coloring you add, the darker the color of the rice will be.

Why is my Spanish rice always mushy? ›

Mushy or soggy rice is simply overcooked rice that has absorbed too much water. Water over-absorption causes the rice grains to split open, ruining the texture and creating a starchy, gummy result.

What is Spanish rice actually called? ›

Spanish rice (also called “bomba” rice, calaspara rice, arroz redonda) is traditional in Paella, and it's what I recommend using. It's a short grain rice that absorbs more water than regular rice, without turning mushy.

Can you overcook Spanish rice? ›

If your rice is both mushy and hard, it is likely that you either overcooked or undercooked the rice. If you overcooked the rice, it will be soft and mushy because the extra water breaks down the grains. If you undercooked the rice, it will be hard and crunchy because not enough water was absorbed by the grains.

Why does my Spanish rice taste bland? ›

Seasoning the water is the key to making sure your dish doesn't turn out bland—the way the water tastes before the liquid is absorbed into the rice is the way your rice will taste when it's done! If your water tastes bland, your rice will too.

What is the ratio of water to rice? ›

Add 2 parts water and 1 part rice to a large pot. For slightly firmer rice, use 1 part liquid to 2/3 parts rice. Bring the water to a boil. Once it's boiling, add a big pinch of salt.

Why is it important to leave the lid on the pan while cooking rice? ›

A big reason that it does such a good job: The lid locks tight. That's crucial when you're cooking via the absorption method, which means there is just enough liquid in the pot to hydrate and gel the rice's starch.

Should I wash my rice for Spanish rice? ›

Tips & Suggestions. Wash the Rice: Before starting your Spanish rice be sure to thoroughly wash and rinse your rice of choice with water. This will help remove the surface starch from the rice meaning it will get fluffy when cooked and not gummy.

Why is my rice mushy when I cook it? ›

Mushy or soggy rice is usually caused by two things: the rice is overcooked, and too much liquid is absorbed into the rice. When the rice overcooks and absorbs excess water, the grains can split open, increasing the starchy and sticky texture.

Is Spanish rice supposed to be soupy? ›

Recipe Tips & FAQs

Because this is supposed to be a wet (soupy) rice dish, it's best served right away while the rice is perfectly cooked. If you leave it too long or eat it the next day the rice will be a bit overcooked.

Why is my overcooked rice mushy? ›

If the rice is only a little sticky, it can be saved. Turn it out into a colander and rinse it under cool water, separating the grains with your fingers. But if it's extra mushy, the best thing to do is start over, make a new batch, and use the overcooked, leftover rice for another purpose.

Why is my Spanish rice so sticky? ›

Why is my Spanish Rice sticky? If you don't take the time to cook the rice in oil until translucent, the starch that is coating the rice creates a sticky texture instead of a fluffy one.

Does mushy rice mean too much water? ›

The main reason that rice turns mushy is cooking it with too much water for too long. Get your rice to water ratio wrong or follow an improper cooking time or temperature, and you're bound to end up with moisture-laden rice, often with a slimy, stickiness to it.

Does less water make rice less mushy? ›

Add the right amount of water.

For every cup of rice, use about 1 ½ or 1 ¾ cups (350 or 400 ml) of water. Short grain rice needs slightly less while brown rice needs slightly more. Avoid adding too much water, however. Too much water may make the rice mushy.

What is the difference between Mexican rice and Spanish rice? ›

One of the main differences between these two rice dishes is that Mexican rice is fluffier and tends not to stick together. Whilst Spanish Rice is known for that rich yellow color, Mexican Rice is best known for its reddish orange hue that it gets from being cooked with cumin.

How much water do I need for 1 cup of rice? ›

What is the ratio of water to rice? For basmati and all kinds of white rice, we recommend a ratio of 1:2 when cooking on the stove. So this would mean for every 1 cup of rice, you add 2 cups of water.

How long should I cook rice for? ›

Simmer until water is completely absorbed and rice is tender – about 15-25 minutes (will depend on size and freshness of rice). Drain off any excess water if there is any (there shouldn't be).

What goes with Spanish rice? ›

The best side dishes to serve with Spanish rice are cashew chicken, orange chicken, pineapple chicken, Swedish meatballs, Venison roast, picadillo, Korean beef, Grape Jelly meatballs, Jewish brisket, fish curry, fried chorizo and potatoes, garlic grilled shrimp and sauteed prawns.

Why is Mexican rice so fluffy? ›

The rice grains are extra long, which means it contains less starch and cooks to a super fluffy & drier texture which is the desired outcome. If you are craving a snack try these Mexican Rice and Cheese Balls.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Msgr. Refugio Daniel

Last Updated: 20/11/2023

Views: 6269

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (54 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Msgr. Refugio Daniel

Birthday: 1999-09-15

Address: 8416 Beatty Center, Derekfort, VA 72092-0500

Phone: +6838967160603

Job: Mining Executive

Hobby: Woodworking, Knitting, Fishing, Coffee roasting, Kayaking, Horseback riding, Kite flying

Introduction: My name is Msgr. Refugio Daniel, I am a fine, precious, encouraging, calm, glamorous, vivacious, friendly person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.