My family just loves this easy Spanish rice recipe. Once you make this and can freeze it, there is no reason to use those box mixes for Mexican Rice.

A white bowl full of Spanish Rice topped with fresh cilantro.

Easy Spanish Rice Recipe

This recipe is so easy and delicious! You can get plain rice very cheap so homemade Spanish rice recipe is very friendly on the wallet.

The entire family will love this easy Mexican rice recipe.

A white bowl full of Spanish Rice topped with fresh cilantro.

Better than Store Bought!

We don’t use the box mixes anymore because we can make this so much cheaper, and reheating directly from the freezer is so easy to do.

You will save so much time and money. Plus, this just tastes so much better than anything you can get from a box.

It’s the best Spanish rice recipe.

What spices do you use to make Spanish rice?

Our time saving secret is to use chunky salsa and add garlic salt and cumin. It makes the best rice!

Let’s make this easy Mexican rice recipe!

It is so easy and delicious!

A white bowl full of Spanish Rice topped with fresh cilantro on a wooden platter.

Ingredients for Mexican rice recipe:

Tip from Carrie:

If you have ever wondered Can you freeze onions, the answer is yes!

I chop onions in bulk and freeze them. It’s so nice to just grab what you need from the freezer for recipes.

How do you make Mexican rice?

It’s very simple and inexpensive. Get ready to learn how to make the easiest and tastiest side dish!

Close up of Spanish rice in a white bowl.

How to make Spanish rice:

  1. Sauté onion in oil over medium heat to high heat. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add rice into skillet, stirring often. Do not skip this step as it adds a ton of flavor to the rice. When rice begins to brown, stir in chicken broth, salsa, garlic salt and cumin.
  3. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer 20 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed by the rice.
  4. Serve immediately while warm and enjoy.
A white bowl full of Spanish Rice topped with fresh cilantro.

Spanish Rice Toppings:

Here are a few things that I love topping this Spanish rice with:

  • More Salsa
  • Green Onions
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Diced Avocado
  • Sour Cream or Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Pico de Gallo

What to serve with this rice?

This is the perfect side dish for your favorite Mexican meals. Here are a few of our favorites that we love serving with this rice.

What type of rice to use in this recipe?

Any type of long grain rice works great in this recipe. I generally use long grain white rice but any type will work.

Can you use brown rice?

Yes, you can use brown rice in this recipe. You will need to increase the chicken broth amount by ½ cup as brown rice soaks up more liquid when it’s cooking.

Can you use cauliflower rice?

Yes, you can make a low carb option by using cauliflower rice instead of white rice. If using cauliflower rice, you would not need to add the broth and start by adding just ½ of the amount of the salsa. Then stir in more if needed when serving.

A fork with Spanish rice on it with a large bowl of Spanish rice behind it.

How to Store:

Refrigerate the leftovers in an air tight container. As long as the rice is stored correctly, it should last up to 5-6 days in the refrigerator.

Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top for a few minutes and then the rice is ready to enjoy.

Can you freeze this Spanish Rice?

Yes, you can easily freeze this homemade Spanish recipe.

To freeze, allow your rice to cool completely. Then place the cooked rice in freezer bags in the amounts that your family needs for dinner.

When you are ready to eat, take the rice directly from the freezer. Place about ¼ cup of water in the container, cover and microwave for about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and then rice is ready to enjoy.,

You can also freeze this Spanish rice in cupcake pans. Just place in each individual cup and freeze. I usually use a silicone pan so the frozen rice is easy to remove.

Once frozen, pop them out and place in a freezer bag. You now have individual servings ready to reheat.

A white bowl full of Spanish Rice topped with fresh cilantro.

How much rice to make per person?

Generally, I plan approximately 1/4-⅓ cup uncooked rice per person. This amount will generally cook to be approximately 3/4-1 cup of cooked rice.

This recipe serves 6 people.

Variation Ideas:

  • For a change, try adding diced tomatoes, black bean and a little chili powder to this rice recipe.
  • You can use tomato sauce instead of salsa. We have even added a ½ cup of tomato sauce and it was delicious. Spanish rice with tomato sauce is amazing!
  • Diced tomatoes or fresh tomatoes work great instead of the salsa as well. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, garlic and cumin after the rice has browned.
  • Make a meal out of it and try Spanish rice with ground beef. It’s a great way to stretch your meat.
  • You can use minced garlic instead of garlic salt. Sauté the onion, garlic and rice in the olive oil then mix in the other ingredients.

Print this Easy Spanish rice recipe below:

Easiest Spanish Rice Recipe

4.7 from 23 votes
This recipe for homemade spanish rice tastes just like the restaurants.Try this easy Spanish rice recipe. Learn how to make spanish rice.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 6 people
Cuisine Mexican
Course Side Dish
Calories 226
Author Carrie Barnard

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup onion chopped finely optional
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice
  • 2 cups water or chicken broth -I normally do 1 or 2 cups broth
  • 1 cups chunky salsa
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp cumin

Instructions

  • Saute onion in oil over medium heat. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Mix rice into skillet, stirring often. When rice begins to brown, stir in chicken broth, salsa, garlic salt and cumin.
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes, until liquid has been absorbed.
  • I double this recipe to make a lot of rice. You do the work once and have enough to last my family 2-3 meals.
  • I let rice cool and then freeze in freezer bags, that way I only have to mess up the kitchen once for a few extra meals.

Cook from Freezer:

  • Now that you have it cooked and in freezer, you are ready to an easy night of cooking.
  • Take rice from freezer baggy and place in microwavable dish. Add a small amount of water and cover.
  • Cook for about 3-4 minutes until warm.

Recipe Notes

Add some hamburger meat to this dish to make a delicious and inexpensive dinner for your family!

Nutrition Facts

Calories 226kcal, Carbohydrates 40g, Protein 4g, Fat 5g, Sodium 700mg, Potassium 192mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 2g, Vitamin A 210IU, Vitamin C 1.3mg, Calcium 32mg, Iron 0.8mg

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This recipe for homemade Spanish rice tastes just like the restaurants. Try this easy Spanish rice recipe. Learn how to make easy Mexican Rice Recipe with salsa. The entire family will love it.  #eatingonadime #spanishrice #spanishrecipes #ricerecipes #sidedishes #sidedishrecipes
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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families.

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  1. I’ve been told by my doctor to stay away from breads, white rice, and processed foods. I really enjoy Spanish rice with my taco-seasoned chicken recipes. Can you please recommend an alternative rice (i.e. will brown rice work and taste as good)? Thanks so very much!!

  2. 5 stars
    Using salsa makes it very easy to put together – one of the best Spanish rices I have ever had!

  3. 5 stars
    We are going camping and I will be freezing the rice, how can i reheat on a stovetop without a microwave.
    Thank you!

  4. I would heat it on low on the stovetop with 1/2 cup-1 cup of water so it doesn’t dry out. Put the lid on the pot to create steam to help defrost and re-heat the rice. Let us know how it works out! Thank you.

  5. 5 stars
    I made this last night to go with the amazing Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas and everyone loved every bite of both! I made the rice exactly as written except to add 1/2 chopped red pepper sauteed with the onion. Trying to get a little more veggies in the diet! So good. Thanks so much.

  6. 5 stars
    This recipe is a true gem! Absolutely amazing and so simple. Made one batch to “try” and working on the second batch now. Bought 2 bags of bagged Spanish rice as a backup that are now heading for the trash can. Thank you so very much for sharing this. Will never do anything but this from here on out…

  7. 5 stars
    I’m never going back to box Mexican rice again. This is so easy, packed with flavor. Taste just like what you get from a Mexican restaurant.

  8. 5 stars
    I always bought the package because I never learned how to exactly make my Nana’s. After this recipe, I am not buying the package anymore.

  9. 5 stars
    My hubby loves restaurant-style Spanish rice and I always had bought the store bought stuff, he was never happy with it. Maybe tonight he’ll love it with the help of this recipe! ?
    I did make it with brown rice bc we’re trying to be “healthier” it’s not very fluffy but it has fantastic flavor!

  10. Good to know that it works great with brown rice and I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe. Thank you for sharing!

  11. 4 stars
    I thought the seasonings in this were really good–I did add a bit of cilantro, because, well because I like cilantro. The only other suggestion I have is to NOT brown the rice. Either I browned it too much or,it just is not a good idea. I don’t know. I will make this recipe again, however, I will add the listed ingredients and place in a covered bowl in the microwave for 18 mins.

  12. 5 stars
    Very very good made it today with what was supposed to be enchiladas but had to make the enchiladas into a casserole but everything was delicious and the Spanish rice was easy and tasted just like one of the Mexican restaurant we go to. Will differently make again.

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