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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.

Close up image of Spanish Rice in a white bowl
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Easy Spanish Rice Recipe:

This recipe is an easy and delicious side dish. You can get plain rice very cheap so homemade Spanish rice recipe is very friendly on the wallet. Simple ingredients combine to make homemade rice.

The entire family will love this easy Mexican rice dish and it is one of our favorite Mexican Side dishes. This is the best Spanish rice recipe and making it from scratch allows your adjust the ingredients.

If you are looking for an easy recipe side dish to serve with your Mexican dishes, make this homemade Spanish Rice Recipe. It is flavor and cooks perfectly in your skillet.

What is the difference between Mexican Rice and Spanish Rice?

There is not much difference between these two rices. Spanish rice also has stronger flavor than Mexican Rice. Spanish rice has a firmer texture and the aroma is stronger.

Close up image of Spanish Rice in a skillet with a wooden spoon

Key Ingredients in Spanish Rice:

For the perfectly cooked Spanish Rice keep the broth and salsa measurements the same. This keeps the flavored balance and cooks the rice perfectly.

Ingredients needed - olive oil, onion, rice, chicken broth, salsa, garlic salt, cumin

Ingredients for Spanish Rice

Close up image of Spanish Rice in a white bowl

How to Make Spanish Rice:

The diced onions being browned in the skillet.

Step 1 – Cook Onion in skillet – Sauté onion in oil over medium heat to high heat. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

The rice has been added to the skillet and is being browned to make the best Spanish rice recipe.

Step 2 – Add Rice – Add rice into skillet, stirring often. Do not skip this step as it adds a ton of flavor to the rice.

The broth, salsa and seasoning has been stirred into the skillet and the mixture is coming to a boil.

Step 3 – Stir in broth, salsa, and seasoning – When rice begins to brown, stir in 2 cups of chicken broth, salsa, garlic salt and cumin.

The liquid is the skillet has been absorbed by the rice and the Spanish Rice is ready in the skillet to be enjoyed.

Step 4 – Bring to Boil – Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer 20 minutes to cook the rice, until the liquid has been absorbed by the rice.

Keep reading for all the complete step by step instructions.

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
Close up image of Spanish Rice in a white bowl

What to Serve with Spanish 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 Spanish Rice:

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.


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.

I really like to meal prep for the week. It saves me so much time and money. This Spanish rice is perfect make ahead of time. My husband and I prepare our individual containers and fill each one up with Spanish rice, a protein and a vegetable.

Can you Freeze this Spanish Rice?

Yes, you can easily freeze this homemade Spanish recipe. Anytime I make rice, I always double to recipe. Having my freezer stocked with meals and side dishes saves me so much time and money.

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.

Spanish Rice in a skillet

Reheating Spanish Rice

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.

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:

  • Add in Ingredients – For a change, try adding diced tomatoes, black bean and a little chili powder to this rice recipe.
  • Tomato Sauce – 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!
  • Tomatoes – 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.
  • Ground Beef – Make a meal out of it and try Spanish rice with ground beef. It’s a great way to stretch your meat.
  • Garlic – 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.
  • Chicken Broth – Feel free to use chicken stock instead of chicken broth if you prefer.
  • Black Beans – mix in black beans in with the spanish rice. I normally used canned black beans that has been drained and rinsed.
Close up image of Spanish Rice in a white bowl

Tips for Spanish Rice:

  • Freeze Onions – 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.
  • Cook Onion – We recommend cooking the onion before adding in the rice. This helps to give the rice flavor but having the onions cooked.
  • Stirring Rice – When you add in the rice with the cooked onion, continue to stir the rice on the skillet. This adds flavor and keeps the rice from burning.
  • Adding in Liquid – After adding in the broth, salsa, and seasoning allow the mixture to come to a boil. Then cover and allow the rice absorb the liquid. I like to stir occasionally to make sure everything cooks evenly.

Print this Easy Spanish Rice Recipe below:

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Spanish Rice Recipe

4.90 from 66 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 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Cuisine Mexican
Course Side Dish
Calories 226



  • 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 the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Serve warm and enjoy!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Refrigerate the leftover rice in an airtight container for up to 5 days.  

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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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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Recipe Rating


  1. If adding the hamburger, would you cook with the onion and just continue with the recipe, or cook separately and add in the end?

  2. You can add shrimp or I use smoked sausage and a 14oz can of diced tomatoes.. yumm

  3. 5 stars
    Made this tonight for dinner. It was so easy and delicious I’m never going to go back to boxed Spanish rice ever again!

  4. Yes, but you would not need to cook as long. I would follow the minute recipe instructions and mix in the seasonings for flavor. Thank you.

  5. The only way my rice has ever come out right is in my rice cooker. Going to try this recipe tonight. Wish me good luck! It looks delicious!

  6. I’m trying to follow the link for the silicone pans…it takes me to Amazon will tons of options…is there one particular pan that you prefer?

  7. 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!!

  8. 5 stars
    Using salsa makes it very easy to put together – one of the best Spanish rices I have ever had!

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 5 stars
    Easy Spanish rice recipe came out great! I added chopped colorful bell peppers and roasted garlic with the onions. About 1/2 cup of extra broth. My family was very happy. I served the rice with some beef enchiladas.

  20. 5 stars
    This Spanish Rice recipe is not only delicious; it is very easy and simple to make! I served it with Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas, and I happen to have everything in my pantry to make it! This will now be my go-to side dish, as well as a main option with ground beef! Thank you for sharing this ahhh-mazing recipe, Ms. Carrie!