Spanish Rice Recipe: a Nutritious Family Favorite

spanish rice

One of my favorite rice dishes is Spanish Rice. I think this may be partially due to the fond memories I associate with it. My mother was a really good cook, and I remember her Spanish Rice recipe very well.

Mom had this great trick for getting us kids to eat more vegetables. She would hide the veggies in various dishes. Some dishes are more accommodating to this technique than others. The beauty of Spanish Rice is that you can easily add a few more veggies to the usual sauce.

Here is my favorite Spanish Rice recipe


2 Tablespoons butter [for vegan alternative use coconut oil or avocado oil]

1 ½ cups dry (uncooked) rice

¼ cup chopped onions

1 cup chunky salsa

2 cups chicken broth

parsley for garnish

optional additions:

¼ tsp. chile powder

¼ tsp. cumin

red or green bell peppers

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

If you want to use my Mom’s trick, try this: put a little finely grated carrot and chopped celery in the blender with some of the liquid from the salsa. Blend until smooth. Add this mixture back into the salsa and use per original directions.


Heat butter in a skillet. Cook the chopped onions until translucent. Remove the onions to a small bowl. Place the dry rice in the skillet and cook over medium heat until lightly browned and rice kernels begin to “pop”.

Add the broth, onions, salsa, and optional seasonings to the rice and bring to a boil. Cover with a tight fitting lid, turn heat to low, and cook until liquid is absorbed.  (About 20 minutes)  Remove pan from the heat and allow it to “rest” for 5 to 10 minutes before you remove the cover.

Garnish with parsley and serve.

Optional: place the prepared rice dish in a heat proof, shallow serving bowl, top with the grated cheese and heat in the oven until the cheese is melted.