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An exquisite Spanish rice recipe

 The homemade Spanish rice recipe we are glad to present here is the perfect and delicious accompaniment to beef, chicken, Mexican tacos or enchiladas, and even to your favorite seafood.

This simple Spanish rice is a flavorful side dish loaded with authentic flavor.

About the origin of the Spanish rice

Despite its name, Spanish rice -which is similar to Mexican rice or red rice- this recipe is of Mexican origin. Although there are some distinctions that differentiate both rice recipes, they have in common the essential ingredients used for their cooking; namely: white rice, tomatoes, garlic, onions and spices.


In addition, you can also find other international dishes, such as Middle Eastern Istanboli Polo with similarities to Spanish rice.

However, what makes Spanish-style rice so irresistible is the tomato -usually tomato sauce. This sauce gives the white rice its characteristic crimson hue, while the onion and garlic are key to its delicious flavor. Although this dish is traditionally prepared with long grain rice, you can use other varieties if you prefer. The jasmine rice sometimes used adds an additional aromatic flavor to the traditional recipe.

Also using in this recipe integral rice, you can enjoy some nutty hints. 


What ingredients do you need to make the easiest, tastiest and foolproof Spanish rice? Below we listed the basic ingredients you need to cook this recipe:

        1 packet of long grain white rice.

        1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil plus butter, for toasting the rice.

        1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper.

        1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper.

        1/2 cup finely chopped onion.

        1 teaspoon garlic clove, minced.

        1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce or 1 cup of diced fresh or cooked tomatoes, strained.

        3 cups chicken broth or stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian version).

        1 cube beef bouillon.

        1 1/2 tablespoon of taco seasoning mix.

        Pinch of oregano.

        1 teaspoon salt.


With these amounts you will have 4 to 6 servings.

Some people like adding to this Spanish rice recipe beans. If you also do so, try adding a can of black beans before you simmer the rice. That way your rice will be more flavorful and spicy, and will get more nutrients and texture.

Also, corn can be added to this recipe, a version that has become a popular option since the corn gives the recipe a delicious flair.



For the preparation of your easy Spanish rice follow these simple directions:


        Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.

        Add and sauté the rice and the onion with the red and green bell peppers and garlic until the onion is soft and the rice gets golden brown. It is very important this browning because is provides the delicious nutty, almost toasty flavor to the rice.

        In a pot add the tomato sauce or puree, and the chicken broth. These two ingredients constitute the liquid in which your rice will cook. Their rich flavor is completely absorbed by the rice as it cooks.

        Then add the sautéed rice.

        Cover the pot and let everything simmer quietly for 30 minutes, until the rice is cooked and the liquid has almost boiled away.

        If necessary, add more water during this time.

        Next season with taco seasoning mix oregano and salt.

It goes well with seasoned sausages, pork and poultry.


Cooking in slow cooker

You can also prepare this recipe in the slow cooker. For doing that just:

        Cook the rice and vegetables, following the above instructions.

        Instead of simmering the rice in the skillet for 20 minutes, transfer it to your slow cooker.

        Then cook, covered, on high for 2½ to 3 hours, or until you see that all of the liquid has been absorbed.

        Next just fluff and serve. 

Recipe extras

Below you will find some tips for you to improve the flavor of your Spanish rice and to ease the preparation process.

        As to rice brand is concerned, it doesn't matter which one you use as long as it's long grain.

        As you have just observed, you can save time if you better brown the rice in a separate pan from the pot you use to heat the stock.

        Get exotic and succulent flavors by preparing the recipe with a Mexican-style tomato sauce instead of regular tomato sauce.

        It is important to have the package directions handy so you get the optimal liquid ratio and cooking time for your particular brand of rice.

        Add your favorite meat. It could be ground beef, turkey, or chicken, chicken breasts, shrimp, or bacon and stir it into the rice once it’s finished cooking.



Want a stronger flavor?

The Spanish rice is usually served as a side dish. In some other cases is used as a filling in other recipes like the one to prepare enchiladas. This is so because the flavor of this rice is more subtle and therefore it does not "steal" the limelight from the main dish.

However, if you want to make it the star ingredient, there are many options to enhance its flavor to make it stand out. For example, you can enhance the attenuated tomato flavor, you can substitute tomato juice for the chicken broth with spicy and aromatic herbs.


Tips on storing this dish

Store properly this Spanish rice recipe to keep it fresh for various day. For that we recommend storing leftover rice in an airtight container in the fridge and it will be fresh for up to four days.

Also you can put leftover Spanish rice simply to freeze. Let the rice cool completely and then pack it in airtight freezer bags or plastic containers.

When you decide to serve it for eating, reheat it by adding a couple of tablespoons of water and microwave the rice for about 5 minutes.


Definitely, it is quick, simple to prepare full of flavor, this Spanish Rice, perfect for pairing with your meal.

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