It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s not from Spain! Miss Piggy was my neighbor growing up. Yes, seriously. Of course, her name was actually Peggy and she was a retired teacher, but somehow that got lost in translation when we moved in. I was four, and no one bothered to correct me for, oh, FIVE YEARS.
Life with Miss Piggy next door was delightful. We made gingerbread houses together, talked about first grade, and she let me roll down the big hill in her backyard until my shirt was just the right shade of chartreuse from grass stains.
And, of course, she let me call her Miss Piggy.
I guess what I’m saying is that sometimes we think we know something about a name when there is really more to the story. For example, Spanish rice is not a traditional Spanish dish at all – it’s Mexican. So basically, it’s not even named after the right continent, much less the country it originated from.
How did that happen, you ask? As the story goes, Spaniards brought rice to Mexico after collecting it in Asia, and this beloved recipe with its tomatoey goodness and hint of mild peppers was born. Since the rice was supplied by the Spanish, it became Spanish rice, and now the confusion over origin keeps many foodies up all night. Okay, maybe not, but now you know.
Spanish Rice Recipe
This Spanish rice recipe is delicious when served with chicken tortilla soup, ground beef tacos, slow cooker whole chicken, or fajitas. Buen provecho!
Spanish Rice Recipe
- 2 cups white rice Why white rice?
- 4 cups chicken stock or water
- 7-8 oz tomato paste
- 1 cup onion (chopped)
- ½ cup bell pepper (chopped)
- 4 cloves garlic (diced)
- ½ - 1 jalapeno (seeded and diced - optional for those who like a bit of heat)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil or ghee
- 1 tsp sea salt
- In a medium pot heat coconut oil/ghee and sautee onions, bell pepper, garlic and optional jalapeno until slightly softened.
- Add chicken stock/water and tomato paste. Bring to a boil.
- Stir in salt and rice, reduce heat and cook until tender (about 20 minutes).
- When the rice is ready taste and add salt if desired. Fluff with a fork and serve.
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Heidi Kobrin Seligman
Making tonight !
Very interesting info on link between white and brown rice:)
I’m not sure I believe this tho…..just because someone has trouble digesting it doesn’t mean it’s bad n vice versa…..don’t take my word for it tho, go google it! And while you’re at it google n research ‘is phytic acid bad’……it’s another health fad, but that of course, is my opinion:) Heather, I so enjoy your site – maybe you should tackle this sometime:)
Maritza N Elio
Mexicans actually fry the rice first and then add water/stock. 🙂
Maritza N Elio
We also add garlic powder and spices like cumin. Actually, now products like chicken bouillon are used for flavor. But since I’ve given all that up I use homemade bone broth and that’s why I add garlic and cumin and sometimes oregano. Using just plane store bought broth and no seasoning will not give it much flavor unfortunately.
thank you for your explaining. I am spanish. In Spain, always, we are cooking with olive oil; in my case, virgin extra olive oil…..
Jennifer Zajac Barker
Maritza N Elio – True! Unfortunately, I find that it often sticks and burns if not carefully watched. That’s why I call this recipe the “easy” version. Not the most traditional but still yummy 🙂
Randy N Jodie Sarchet
I have searched high and low for a recipe that tastes like the rice at Mexican restaurants. I will give this one a try.
Hope you like it, Randy N Jodie Sarchet!
I use either olive oil or coconut oil to fry the rice first, then I add the veggies if I have any on hand, also cumin, garlic, sea salt & most times tomato sauce because it is just easier that way. I use my own chicken broth. Thanks for sharing for those that don’t know how. 🙂 I love rice, I just call mine Tex-Mez rice since I’m a Texan 🙂
Jennifer Zuehlk Holland
How much dehydrated pepper would you use?
Natalie Premeaux Kemp
Thanks I’ve been looking for a good spanish rice recipe! 🙂
My mom used to make this all the time! We loved it… I’ll have to make some for Jack.
Jennifer Zuehlk Holland – I’ve never used dehydrated pepper, but it’s a really flexible recipe. You can probably add a little or a lot and it will turn out great.
Your recipes look so good. Am I missing an easy way to print them out?
Trying it now. Was wondering what sounded good, thank you. Improvising with what i have like using chili pepper evoo instead of gee and no bell pepper. Thx again. Its going to be yummy.
When my daughter was little, we lived next to a woman named Alma and she called her Elmo. It was hysterical. I fry my rice first in oil, then add the liquid. It seems to keep the grains separated.
I’ve been looking for new one pot rice recipes. The ones I cook regularly reflect my Indian origins. Since we just spent the holidays in Puerto Rico it’s the perfect time to give Spanish Rice a whirl!
Sheena McNeely Madore
The sticking is actually liked by some people. My mother’s husband wants the hard rice that is stuck to the sides and crispy. Haha.
I started using black rice after reading about it’s high antioxidants. Have you heard or read about black rice?…& what do you think about it?
Hahaha, at Miss Piggy story:D
Haven’t had rice in ages, but this recipe seems so delicious.. what a dilemma!
Is there any way to print off the recipe? (without all of the other stuff around it?)
Stacey, can you cut and paste it to oh an email or a plain page and then print…
i always save recipes in an email folder, not wasting paper that way 🙂
Alternatively, you can do a print preview (depends on your browser) then print only the pages you want. If you are using Chrome, (1) right click, select ‘Print’, (2) In ‘Pages’, select only the pages you want (by default ‘All’ is ticked so tick the option below it and specify the pages you want). Note, if you dont want to actually print it, Chrome allows you to do a ‘Save as PDF’. If you are using Firefox, (1) File > Print Preview (2) Click print button, find ‘Print Range’ – this too is defaulted to ‘All’ so change to change the ‘Pages From’ to what you want.
If you want to just keep an electronic copy instead of printing to paper, you may wish to download CUTEPDF. I am using the free version.
Hope that helps.
Viewing your recipe on my iPhone, and don’t see any share links–as to Pinterest. Am I missing something?
Hi Jan, I’m not sure if they work on mobile devices. I’ll check on it!
I “pin” all the time from my mobile devices–as long as there’s a button or a link… I’m just not seeing one?
You can add a bookmark on your phone that you can pin from. Google “pin it button for mobile device” and it will tell you how to add this bookmark for pages that don’t have a Pin It button.
My rice has been simmering for an hour, I’ve added 2 extra cups of water and still thick and not quiet done…I think with the added tomato paste there wasn’t enough water for absorption. I think I followed the recipe exactly too 🙁 I certainly won’t have fluffy rice. Maybe I’ll try in a rice cooker next time.
Hi Alisha, so sorry you’re having trouble with the recipe. The rice should be more gooey/sticky than fluffy so you’re good there, but I’m not sure what to say about the cooking time. Typically most rice comes with instructions to use 2 cups of water for every cup of rice – is that what yours says? Could it have been sitting on the shelf for a long time before use? Just trying to figure out why it’s not cooking – it totally should be!
Was truly ‘easy’. I added a yellow pepper, because that’s all i had, but it didn’t taste like much – red would be better. I would also probably add some extra flavoring next time, because while good, it just lacked a little something – maybe garlic and cumin like others mention.
I do find that this is better leftover! The flavor is a bit better. Thanks!
This was delicious! My husband about died:)The only thing for me was that the rice on the edges of the pot burned to a crisp, black and crunchy. I assume I had my heat too high. But the middle was fluffy, moist, and delicious! We put it in chicken burritos and had it as a side dish – it’s great both ways. Definitely will be making this again.
This looks super delicious! I can’t wait to try it!
Spanish rice is not only Mexican. It is Latin American. It’s a colonization dish intended to mimick paella, but the indigenous either didn’t have access to or weren’t able to afford saffron & shellfish. So instead, annato & chicken were used.