This Spanish Rice recipe is a flavorful side dish you can serve with a variety of main dishes. You only need one skillet and five ingredients to make it! It’s full of flavor from salsa and chicken stock and so easy to make.

Overhead shot of spanish rice in a white bowl topped with cilantro

If you’re tired of plain cooked rice as a side dish you definitely need to give this easy Spanish rice recipe a try. With just a few ingredients you can turn plain white rice into a side dish that’s loaded with flavor!

Spanish rice (or Mexican rice as it’s sometimes called) is usually made with tomatoes, garlic, onions and spices to create a flavorful dish that pairs with all kinds of main dishes like tacos, enchiladas, grilled chicken, pork, and steak. It’s a really great way to dress up rice and one of our favorite sides.

Table of Contents
  1. The Best Spanish Rice Recipe
  2. How to Make Spanish White Rice
  3. Add Some Spice if You Like Some Heat!
  4. Make this Rice a Meal
  5. Other Dinners You’ll Enjoy
  6. Spanish Rice Recipe Recipe

The Best Spanish Rice Recipe

This recipe only has five ingredients and very little prep work. Jarred salsa is the secret ingredient – it has the many of the same ingredients of the traditional dish, but easier because you don’t have to chop as many things – the work is already done!

Here’s what you need to make it:

  • Long grain white rice
  • Chopped onion
  • Olive oil
  • Low sodium chicken broth
  • Salsa

It only takes a few minutes to prep the ingredients and about 30 minutes to cook them making this a really easy side dish.

Overhead shot of spanish rice in two white bowls next to a bowl of salsa

How to Make Spanish White Rice

What makes this dish so good is the rice and how it’s cooked. Instead of just boiling it, you cook the rice first in oil until it turns toasty and golden. This step gives it an extra layer of flavor that is so good.

You only need on pan to make Spanish rice and I recommend using a large skillet. Once you add the liquid to cook the rice it will cook faster. You can use a saucepan, but the cooking time will be longer.

So, start by heating the olive in the skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook them until they soften and then add the rice.

Cook the rice with the onions until the grains start to turn golden. Be sure to stir frequently so they brown evenly. Once they start to turn golden, add the broth and salsa.

Stir it all together and then lower the heat and cover the pan. Simmer the rice for 20 to 25 minutes or until it’s tender and the liquid is absorbed.

Overhead shot of spanish rice in an iron skillet

Add Some Spice if You Like Some Heat!

You can make the rice as spicy as you like with the kind of salsa you use, but you can also amp up the heat level by cooking some spicy chopped peppers with the onions. Or, add some of your favorite hot sauce at the end before you serve it.

Make this Rice a Meal

It’s a great side dish, but it’s also easy to turn into a one-pot meal!

Before you make the rice, use the same skillet to brown ground beef, turkey or pork. Once it’s browned, remove it from the pan and drain off the excess grease.

Using the same skillet (you don’t need to clean it – the flavor from the meat will add more flavor to the rice!) make the Spanish rice following the recipe instructions.

Once the rice is done cooking, add the cooked meat back in and cook it for a minute or so to warm it through. We love to make it this way with ground turkey for a light and easy dinner!

You can also skip cooking the meat and add shredded cooked chicken, leftover sliced steak or other cooked protein that you like to make it even easier.

When we serve it as a side, we love it with our favorite tacos, enchiladas and other Mexican-style dishes. It’s also great with grilled chicken or steak!

Things don’t have to be complicated to be delicious! This five-ingredient Spanish rice is proof of that – it’s so easy and so full of flavor! We hope you love it as much as we do.

Close up overhead shot of spanish rice in two white bowls next to a bowl of salsa

Other Dinners You’ll Enjoy

Overhead shot of spanish rice in a white bowl topped with cilantro

Spanish Rice Recipe

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This Spanish Rice is full of flavor from salsa and chicken stock and so easy to make. It’s the perfect side dish for your next taco night!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Serving Size 1 serving

Ingredients
 

  • 1 ½ cups long grain rice
  • 3 tablespoons onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup salsa

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent and soft. 5-7 minutes.
  • Add rice, stirring often. Once the rice starts to brown add in chicken broth and salsa. Mix well and then turn heat down. Cover and let simmer until rice is cooked through and liquid has absorbed (20-25 minutes). Note that if you cook in a saucepan the cooking time for the rice will increase.
  • Serve hot.

Recipe Notes

  • Add a protein to the rice for a hearty meal. We like cooking some ground turkey and then adding it to the rice.
  • You can add some spicy peppers or hot sauce if you like a little extra heat.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 498mg | Potassium: 377mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 312IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword easy skillet meal, healthy side dish, spanish rice
Close up overhead shot of spanish rice in two white bowls next to a bowl of salsa and recipe title on photo

This Spanish Rice is full of flavor from salsa and chicken stock and so easy to make. It’s the perfect side dish for your next taco night!

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