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Spanish Rice is an easy and delicious side dish that goes well with any Mexican or Mexican-inspired meal. 

Spanish Rice with two lime wedges in it in a dark bowl.

Where is Spanish Rice from?

Spanish Rice is a bit of a misnomer because the dish does not originate from Spain. It’s actually a Mexican side dish of white rice cooked in a flavorful tomato based sauce.

What is the difference between Spanish Rice and Mexican Rice?

Nothing! Spanish Rice and Mexican Rice are just different terms for the same dish. Depending on where you grow up, or what location you are in, it will be called something different, but they both refer to the exact same thing.

Can I make Spanish Rice with brown rice?

Yes, you can, but the cooking time will change significantly. Brown rice will need to simmer for at least 50 minutes in order to absorb all of the cooking liquid.

Bird's eye view of Spanish Rice with two lime wedges in it in a dark bowl.

PRO TIP: Be sure to use a long grain white rice in this recipe to ensure the proper rice to liquid ratio. Quick rices and instant rice require a different ratio of liquid, as well as shorter cooking times and will turn into a soupy, mushy mess in this recipe.

What does Spanish Rice go well with?

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTubeFacebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Spanish Rice with two lime wedges in it in a dark bowl.
Spanish Rice is an easy and delicious side dish that goes well with any Mexican or Mexican-inspired meal.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
  • 2 vine ripened tomatoes quartered
  • 1 white onion quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic whole
  • 1 jalapeño roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce
  • cup olive oil
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Lime for serving
  • Cilantro for garnish
  • Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeño, and tomato sauce in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Set a heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat, add in the oil and rice. Continue to cook, stirring frequently until the rice is golden and toasted.
  • Add in the tomato puree, broth, and salt. Bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling reduce the heat to low to maintain a simmer and cover. Cook 20 minutes then turn off the heat, let it sit for 10 minutes before uncovering. Garnish with cilantro and a squeeze of lime.


Calories: 355kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 734mg | Potassium: 299mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 410IU | Vitamin C: 16.6mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Side
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: Spanish Rice

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will it be ok to use microwave rice as when I cook it from scratch it alwsys goes wrong

Heather R

5 stars
Made this for the first time tonight, increased it by 1/2 and it worked perfectly, as Rachel’s recipes always seem to do. Best Mexican rice I’ve had since leaving AZ 15 years ago and moving to MN. I get desperate for good Mexican food sometimes, and this made me so happy!


Love the Spanish rice, With the fried pork chops and my family ate it with gusto! Thank you for sharing, Rachel…

Gretchen Morones

5 stars
I made this rice, it came out absolutely perfect! Love the new website too!

kathryn wilson

This is delicious and really easy to make!I added 4 Tbsp of cilantro into the puree- gives just a bit more “pop”… Great recipe! Thank you!


Besides doubling the ingredients, do I need to cook longer if I want to make 12 servings? Or what should I do differently?

Nathalie morton



What do you mean by tomato sauce? Passata? Here in Australia tomato sauce is what we say for ketchup. Its that what you meant? Thanks

This is a good recipe and nearly exactly the way my Abuela from Zihuatanejo causes it to be I’m excited to try out some of the additional recipes Kristin! I really like your answers how everyone has gaps in their own kitchen and that you aren’t scared to step outside the box. Keep this up! For your”women” who bashed; pity you! What happened to others!

Valerie Singh

This was so yummy + so easy to make! I’m so glad I found your site! Thank you:)

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