This quick and easy Spanish Rice recipe is a Midwestern twist on a traditional recipe. The combination of white rice, onion, and salsa creates the perfect side dish for any of your Mexican dishes!
This is easy Spanish rice recipe is one of my favorite side dishes to serve with tacos, enchiladas, baked chicken… the list goes on!
It’s not traditional Spanish rice, but more of a cross between Spanish rice and Mexican rice, but it’s the kind I grew up eating, and now I make it for my family. The traditional rice dish is made with saffron which is pricey. This version is budget-friendly, and I love how simple it is!
You Will Love This Easy Spanish Rice!
- You only need five ingredients to make it, and the prep time is really quick!
- It combines salsa, onion, and chicken broth. It might look basic, but it’s loaded with flavor.
- I love that it’s made with pantry ingredients – you can keep them on hand and make it whenever you need a quick side dish.
If you love rice as a side dish, be sure to save this recipe. You’re going to love how easy it is to make!
What is the difference between Spanish rice and Mexican rice?
Typically Spanish rice is a little bit firmer and heartier. Mexican rice is softer and gives the feeling of the rice melting in your mouth.
One thing we know, both of them are delicious and the perfect addition to Taco Tuesday or any Mexican inspired recipe like our favorite Beef Enchiladas.
- Oil – olive oil, vegetable, or canola oil work great.
- Chopped onion – Grab the frozen diced onion and keep it on hand.
- Uncooked white rice – Not instant rice!
- Chicken broth – If you use low-sodium broth you may want to add a little salt to your rice.
- Salsa – Use your favorite store-bought kind or use homemade salsa. This is an easy way to control the level of “heat” you want in your rice.
How to Make It
Saute – Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the onion and saute it for about five minutes or until it’s softened. Add the rice and brown it while stirring frequently. Once it starts to turn golden, stir in the chicken broth and salsa.
Cook – Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cover the pan and cook the rice for 20 to 25 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender and cooked through.
Serve It With These Main Dishes!
- We love it as a side for enchiladas like my shrimp enchiladas and chicken enchiladas.
- You can use it as a filling or as a side for chicken tacos or ground beef tacos.
- It’s also great with pork loin, steaks, or baked chicken!
- Or use it as a filling for burritos or add it to burrito bowls.
Make It a Meal
It’s a great side, but you can also turn it into a main dish:
- Spanish Rice with Ground Beef: Brown some ground beef with taco seasoning in the pan first. Take it out, and then cook the Spanish rice as instructed. Once it’s done, stir the ground beef mixture in and add some garnishes like cheese, diced tomatoes, cilantro, and avocado.
- Chicken Spanish Rice: You can also add chicken. Make a batch of my Instant Pot taco chicken meat but instead of serving it as tacos, stir the shredded seasoned chicken into the rice once it’s done cooking. Add some taco toppings for a great meal!
- Make It Vegetarian! Sub the chicken broth with vegetable broth. Saute some diced red bell pepper or other veggies you like with the onion, and then stir in some black beans once the rice is done cooking. Garnish it with some sliced green onions, diced jalapeno, and cilantro.
- If the liquid is absorbed, but your rice is still not done just add a little more broth to the pan and simmer it a little longer.
- You can make this spicy Spanish rice by using your favorite hot salsa.
- You can use brown rice instead of white rice, but you may need to increase the broth amount and simmer the rice a little longer as brown rice takes longer to cook.
When you get your shopping list ready this week, but sure to add the ingredients for this easy rice dish! It goes with so many main dishes it might become your go-to side. Enjoy!
More Easy Side Dish Recipes
- Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes is a great side dish for chicken, pork, beef, or turkey! It’s great for holidays or anytime you want a cozy, cheesy side dish.
- The next time you’re craving Fried Rice, skip the takeout and make my easy recipe instead!
- Garlic Bread goes with all of your favorite pasta recipes, soups, stews, or serve it as an appetizer. It’s buttery, toasted bread that everyone will love.
Did you make this? If you snap a photo, please be sure tag me on Instagram at @julieseatsandtreats or #julieseatsandtreats so I can see your yummy treat!
- 2 Tablespoons oil
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 ½ cups uncooked white rice
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup salsa
- Add oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in chopped onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add rice to the skillet, stirring often. When the rice begins to brown, stir in chicken broth and salsa.
- Reduce heat and cover. Simmer mixture for about 20-25 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed and rice is cooked through.
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