Crockpot Spanish Rice

Crockpot Spanish Rice is full of delicious Mexican spices. This savory side tastes like it came from your favorite restaurant!

Crockpot Spanish Rice tastes like our best-loved stove top Spanish Rice, just made in a crockpot. It perfect for pairing with all of our Mexican dishes!

A bowl of crockpot spanish rice topped with fresh cilantro.

Easier than ever!

Spanish Rice is a delicious dish originating from northern Mexico. Other names for this dish include Arroz Mexicano (Mexican Rice) and Arroz a la Mexicana (Mexican style rice) and Arroz Rojo (Red Rice). There is also another Spanish Rice dish that has a more yellow tint and is made with saffron instead of cumin. 

We love serving slow cooker Spanish rice with any of our best loved Mexican dishes like red enchiladas, empanadas, or chicken tacos.

Mexican food can be a little time or labor intensive. So it’s always nice when I can prep something earlier in the day to make the evening a bit smoother. This Crockpot Spanish Rice is perfect for prepping ahead of time! And it’s just a delicious as the original.

Ingredients for crockpot spanish rice on a kitchen counter.

Making Spanish Rice in a crockpot

PREP. Grease a slow cooker with cooking spray.

RICE. Heat oil in large frying pan on medium heat. Add rice and cook until golden brown (about 5 minutes).

LIQUID. Remove rice from heat and add to the slow cooker. Pour in tomato sauce, salt, minced garlic, chicken broth, cumin and pepper and stir to combine.

COOK. Cover and cook on high for 2½-3 hours or until the liquid is gone.

GARNISH + SERVE. Add fresh, chopped cilantro, if desired and serve warm.

Serving suggestions

Spanish Rice can be served IN recipes like Chicken Burrito Bowls or this yummy Caldo de Pollo.

But most often it is served as a side to many classic Mexican Dinners.  

Cooking rice in a pan for crockpot spanish rice.

Variations

Our rice recipe is mixed with tomato sauce, garlic, chicken broth and cumin. We LOVE the simplicity of the rice, as do others since we rarely have leftovers. Other Spanish Rice recipes may incorporate additional spices and vegetables. Feel free to play around with your favorite flavors to make your very own unique Spanish rice. 

  • Spices – chili powder, oregano, taco seasoning
  • Vegetables – onions, peas, corn celery, bell peppers
  • Salsa – try adding pico de gallo, red, green, or tomatillo salsa
  • Lard – using quality pork lard, instead of vegetable oil, adds a nice depth of flavor
  • Broth – Replace the chicken broth for chicken stock for added flavor and nutrients.

Cooking Rice in CrockPot

Cooking rice in a crock pot is an excellent method. However, there are a few tips that you may wish to keep in mind so that you end up with the most delicious rice. 

  • Choosing the rice. Be sure to use the rice that the recipe calls for. This recipe uses long grain white rice. If you use other types of rice, then they may not cook according to the recipe instructions. 
  • Crunchy Rice. When the allotted cook time is up and the rice is still crunchy, then the pot was not hot enough to cook the rice. In this case make sure the pot is on the HIGH setting, if needed add a bit more liquid and continue cooking the rice until soft. 
  • Mushy rice. The opposite is true as well, if the rice ends up being mushy, then the pot was too hot for the time it was cooked. Remove the lid and let some of the moisture evaporate from the rice.
Fluffed crockpot spanish rice in a slow cooker.

Storing info

STORE. This rice recipe stores really well so whether you want to make some ahead of time, or have leftovers, it can be kept in the fridge for 5-7 days in an airtight container.

FREEZE. Freeze it in a Ziploc Freezer Bag for up to 6 months. Reheat in the microwave. If needed, add a bit of water for moisture.

A spoonful of crockpot spanish rice with cilantro on top.

For More Mexican Sides:

Crockpot Spanish Rice Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Crockpot Spanish Rice is full of delicious Mexican spices. This savory side tastes like it came from your favorite restaurant!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 8 cups
Calories 66 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt (with parsley flakes)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth low sodium
  • dash cumin
  • pepper to taste
  • 6 stems chopped cilantro optional

Instructions
 

  • Grease a slow cooker with cooking spray.
  • Heat oil in large frying pan on medium heat. Add rice and cook until golden brown (about 5 minutes).
  • Remove rice from heat and add to the slow cooker. Pour in tomato sauce, salt, minced garlic, chicken broth, cumin and pepper and stir to combine.
  • Cover and cook on high for 2½-3 hours or until the liquid is gone.
  • Add fresh, chopped cilantro, if desired and serve warm.

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    I love anything that can go into the crockpot! It saves me time and effort. The rice is especially good.

  2. 5 stars
    I love the flavor of this rice. It makes a lot for my family to finish off so I always freeze half for another night.