Traditional Spanish Rice
European Side Dish Recipe

  • Like 3
  • 47 Minutes
  • Serves 4
  • Easy
  • High Heat
Traditional Spanish Rice

Recipe's Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
1 cup long-grain white Rice uncooked regular rice
3/4 teaspoon Chili Powder
1 medium Onion
1 small Green Bell Pepper
1/8 teaspoon Garlic Powder
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 can Tomato Sauce 8 ounce
1 teaspoon Salt
2.5 cups Water
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese

Nutritional information for Traditional Spanish Rice

Saturated Fat

Spanish rice recipe is one of the best side-dishes ever, getting along with chicken or pork meat. Try it to have a full Latin experience.

Did you Know?

Spanish Rice is almost the same recipe as Mexican Rice.


Steps for Traditional Spanish Rice

2 Minutes

Prepare the onion and the green bell pepper

Peel and chop the onion. Cut the green bell pepper lengthwise in half, and cut out seeds and membrane. Chop the green bell pepper.

7 Minutes

Prepare the Rice

Heat the oil in the skillet over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes. Cook the onion and uncooked rice in the oil for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently until rice is golden brown.

30 Minutes

Stir in the other ingredients

Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the green bell pepper, water, salt, chili powder, garlic powder, and tomato sauce. Heat to boiling over high heat, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce heat just enough so mixture bubbles gently. Cover and cook about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender and tomato sauce is absorbed. You may have to lower the heat as the mixture becomes thicker.

1 Minute

Serving the Spanish Rice

Once the Spanish Rice is done portion it in serving dishes. Sprinkle Cheddar cheese over just before serving.

Additional Info for Traditional Spanish Rice


Spanish Rice is one of the best side-dishes I ever made. Following the recipe steps accordingly, you’ll have an extraordinary Spanish rice side dish. I got a lot of great reviews for this recipe by my clients and I was asked to write it online, so they can make it in their own kitchen. Therefore, see here how to do it properly.


About Spanish Rice Recipe Side Dish

Although it is called “Spanish rice“, this dish is virtually unknown in Spain. Maybe here is the confusion among people who search for this particular recipe. Mexicans or Mexican food lovers don’t use the term “Spanish rice”, the dish is usually known simply as Arroz  (“rice“) or Arroz-Rojo (“red rice“) in Mexico. It is 95% the same as Mexican Rice Recipe. The only difference between them is the amount of chili powder and bell pepper. Another interesting fact is that Spain’s Cuisine has yellow rice dishes, not red. Anyway, no matter how it got the name or from where it came from, the recipe is a great side dish and can be made along with pork or chicken meat. It is best to have also some tortillas at home to try and wrap them up.


As for Ingredients

The ingredient list is longer than other rice recipes, but only because there are some Spanish specific adds. Make sure you use uncooked regular long-grain white rice and green bell pepper (in Mexican form it has red bell pepper). These two ingredients are the base of this particular side-dish. The other ingredients from the list are onion, vegetable oil (don’t use olive oil), chili powder, garlic powder, tomato sauce, and Cheddar cheese. Moreover, make sure you’ll have on the table a lot of water along with this medium-spiced food.


The History of Spanish Rice

Knowing the recipe isn’t related to any rice dish from Spain’s Cuisine, maybe was given this name because Mexicans speak Spanish and make this dish, therefore the country’s language became incorporated into the name.


Another interesting history related fact is:


While there’s no clear story as to why some people refer to this tomato-flavored rice as Spanish rice (even though this exact dish is not prepared in Spain), there are some very good indications how it came to be known as such. Rice is not native to Mexico and was brought over in the 1500s when Spain started their invasion. The Spaniards began to import cattle, pigs, goats, and chickens. As the Spaniards continued their travels around the world, they visited Asia, and from there they brought back wheat and rice to Mexico. Since the Spanish originally introduced rice to Mexico, it makes sense that a traditional rice dish would be called “Spanish rice.”according to The Spruce Eats.


Notes and Tips

  1. Essential Equipment: large skillet (about 10-inch size).
  2. For extra flavor, sprinkle 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese just before serving.
  3. Out of garlic powder? If you have garlic salt on hand, use it instead. Decrease regular salt to 1/2 teaspoon, adding more if needed when the dish is done.
  4. You can serve it with warmed tortillas or toasted pita bread.

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Susan Anne Dale

Hello there, I’m Susan Anne Dale | Mother, Wife, Cook, Entrepreneur. I do not remember exactly when I started to cook, but now I cannot imagine life without the magic of this wonderful art. I hope you will enjoy my recipes written in a modern cooking style.

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