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How to make Homemade Spanish Rice/Mexican Rice. whatever you call it, we’ve got the best and Easiest Spanish Rice Recipe you can find. It tastes like it came straight from the restaurant!

It’s our go-to side dish when serving Mexican food! Not only is it simple and takes under 10 minutes to prep, but it’s perfect served with our tacos and enchiladas!

Restaurant-Style Spanish Rice (aka Mexican Rice) on plate

Easy Mexican Rice

I LOVE Spanish Rice (aka MexicanRice)! As previously mentioned, I’m 1/2 Mexican. I love this family heritage so much, and am especially grateful that my family has taught me to make delicious Mexican food.

My mom has been making today’s Spanish Rice recipe for as long as I can remember and first showed me how to make it several years ago (along with empanadas, enchiladas and tacos). Now, we make it on a weekly basis because my kids are obsessed and it’s just so easy.

This recipe is actually the Spanish Rice recipe of a popular Mexican Restaurant in Mesa called Mango’s (down on Main). If you’ve ever been down there and liked their rice, then you’ll love this recipe. It really is simple, delicious and the perfect side to any Mexican dish!

How to Make Spanish Rice - browned rice

How to Make spanish Rice

One of the main reasons we love this recipe (other than the fact that it’s simple), is because we always have the ingredients on hand. Here are the Spanish rice ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious side dish:

  • long grain rice
  • oil
  • tomato sauce
  • minced garlic
  • chicken broth
  • cumin
  • garlic pepper + salt

Begin by browning the rice in the oil (we use about 1/8 but it depends on how much you like). Add the minced garlic and sauté for a minute before adding the tomato sauce, chicken broth (or water and bouillon cube) and spices.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Fluff up before serving.

FAQ + TIPS

How much rice per person? Plan on 1/4 cup uncooked rice per person. Once the rice is cooked it will end up being about 3/4 – 1 cup per person. If a recipe calls for 3 cups uncooked rice plan on it feeding about 12 people.

Which rice is best for Spanish Rice? We love to use long-grain white rice. It gets fluffy and does not get sticky like some of the short-grained rices.

Can Spanish rice be made with brown rice? Brown rice can definitely be used in place of white rice. Just add ⅓ c more water per cup of brown rice and let simmer longer- until the brown rice reaches your desired texture.

Can you use salsa instead of tomato sauce? Sure thing! Salsa can add more flavor and even a bit more spice to this mild rice recipe. It’s all about preference.

Which topping ingredients are best for this rice? You can add what you love most, but we often add chopped peppers, chopped cilantro, onions or even green onions.

Making Mexican Rice - rice, broth, tomato sauce and seasonings in a skilletOnce all your spices and tomato sauce are added, stir and let it simmer for at least 30 minutes.

REHEATING, FREEZING + MORE RECIPES

How to reheat Spanish Rice/mexican rice? Be sure to store it properly in an air-tight container. It can last in the fridge for up to 5-6 days. To reheat, just microwave or reheat on the stove for a few minutes.

Can spanish rice be frozen? Yes, it can be frozen to be used at a future time. Simply place about 3 cups of cooked rice into ziplock freezer bags, label and place in the freezer for 4-6 months.

When you’re ready to use you can thaw the rice in the fridge or cook straight from the freezer. Using a microwave safe bowl microwave the rice on high stirring every 2 minutes until rice reaches your desired temperature.

Recipes that use Spanish Rice

Yes, we use it as a side for any Mexican dish, but we also like to use it recipes too, including:

Mexican Rice Recipe on plate

And best of all, is that it’s the best side for any Mexican meal!! Below are video and printable instructions to make the Mexican rice. We hope you can enjoy it with any Mexican dish you try.

For more Mexican rice recipes, check out:

what to serve with Spanish Rice?

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4.99 from 5736 votes

Spanish Rice Recipe

By: Lil' Luna
Restaurant-Style Spanish Rice (aka Mexican Rice), that is easy to make and tastes like it came straight from the restaurant, and is the best side dish to any Mexican entree.
Servings: 8
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 45 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 6 stems cilantro (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 cups water (or 4 cups chicken lower sodium chicken broth - and no bouillon)
  • 1 cube chicken flavored bouillon
  • dash cumin
  • dash garlic pepper
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Instructions 

  • Heat oil in large frying pan on medium heat.
  • Add rice and cook until golden brown.
  • Add 1 chicken flavored bouillon cube to 4 cups water and microwave for 3 minutes.
  • When rice is brown, add water, tomato sauce, salt, garlic, cumin and garlic pepper to pan.
  • Stir and cover pan. Let simmer for 30-40 minutes or until all is cooked and there is no liquid left. Fluff before serving and ENJOY.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 90kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 447mg, Potassium: 108mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 173IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
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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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Recipe Rating




2,230 Comments

  1. Charlsie says:

    Hi Kristyn,

    Can this be made in a pressure cooker?

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Yes, we have had a few readers comment that they have done it in a rice cooker/instant pot and it has worked well for them!

  2. Marissa W says:

    5 stars
    Our family loved this in and on burritos. Thank you for a great recipe!

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      You’re welcome!! So glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Macey says:

    5 stars
    I love this so much the only thing I have to say is if u you are using home grown tomatoes they tend to be juicer so I would use a little less it came out a bit gummy but I stuck it in the fridge the next 30 min it was fine!

  4. Jenna Simpson-Oliver says:

    5 stars
    Yummy! Made this tonight for the fam. Very easy and delicious. I skipped the bullion to make it veg and just added a bit more salt and spices. Everyone loved it.

  5. Vetty says:

    Loved the rice the forts time I made it had so much leftover. If I use one cup of rice how much liquid what I use ! Thank you for the video to it was helpful too

  6. Lola says:

    5 stars
    This rice came out perfectly. Tender and flavorful. I rinsed the rice before browning and added 2 cups of water at a time. Served it as a side to our Taco Tuesday dinner. Everyone thought it was delicious.

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      So happy to hear the rice was a hit!!

    2. Donny says:

      5 stars
      Just half everything and you should be good

  7. Lola says:

    5 stars
    Rice came out perfectly. Tender and flavorful. I rinsed the rice before browning and added water 2 cups at a time. Everyone thought it was delicious.

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      So glad to hear that! Thanks for giving the recipe a try!

  8. Sky says:

    2 stars
    Rice tasted great seasoning wise, but my rice came out super mush & underdone at the same time

  9. Katie says:

    5 stars
    I’m having such a great day because of this recipe I swear it looks and tastes exactly like it came from a Mexican restaurant 10000/10

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Oh that makes me so happy to hear! So glad you enjoyed the rice!

  10. Jason Berenz says:

    5 stars
    This is just the same as my local Mexican restaurant. I had the rice on the side and in my burrito. Perfecto! Delicious and easy to make!