So, you might be wondering, what’s with the name? Are we making Spanish rice or Mexican rice? In truth, I had a hard time deciding what to name this recipe.
You see, I wanted those searching for both names to be able to find this blog post. For that reason, I settled on the name “Mexican Spanish Rice.” But as we’ll see, “Spanish rice” is really a misnomer. Because when people say “Spanish rice,” they’re really referring to “Mexican rice.”
Mexican Spanish Rice
Did you know that Spanish rice is not a thing in Spain? The rice Spain is known for is called Paella, and boy is it delicious! I’ll never forget the first time I had it. My friend, Elaine’s dad, who was from Spain, prepared it for us.
It was different from any rice I’d had before. Paella is cooked in a special paella pan. This pan is wide and shallow, and perfect for serving this tasty rice. The rice is yellow in color due to the saffron mixed in. Other mix-ins include peas and red bell pepper. It’s finished off with shrimp, muscles, clams, and chicken and lemon wedges. Ok, now I’m hungry!
Mexican rice, on the other hand, is usually sautéed in oil (or butter) first to add additional flavor. Diced onions and garlic are added to this mix. The rice is then cooked in a chicken broth and tomato mixture, giving it its distinct orange-red color.
Other possible mix-ins include peas, carrots, chilis, celery, and corn. You also have the option of adding the ingredients that you prefer. This time I didn’t have peas, but I usually add those too. What do I always say? Feel free to experiment, and most of all, have fun!
Mexican Spanish Rice Serving Suggestions
If I’m being real, I could eat Mexican Spanish rice by itself and be totally content. Rice is definitely my weakness! I’m usually the person polishing off the leftover rice off of my husband’s plate when we go out to eat.
You might want to show some restraint and serve it as a side dish. I like to sprinkle chopped cilantro over the rice before I serve it. Here are some possible dishes to serve with your Mexican rice: Mexican Carne Asada, Chile Verde, Mexican Lasagna, and Mexican Pickled Carrots.
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Mexican Spanish Rice
- 2 T. butter
- 2 T. vegetable oil
- 1 small onion minced
- 2 cups jasmine rice
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1-1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup corn kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned)
- 1/4 cup peas optional
- 1/4 cup diced carrots optional
- 14.5 oz canned diced tomatoes
- 2 T. tomato paste
- 1-1/2 cups chicken stock
- Add butter and oil to a 6 quart Dutch oven. When the butter melts, add the diced onion and sauté for a few minutes.
- Add washed and strained rice, corn, and carrots, and peas, if using. Sprinkle with chili powder, and stir for another minute.
- Add garlic and stir for one more minute.
- Mix the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and chicken broth into the rice. Bring to a boil, then cover and cook over very low heat for 25 minutes.
- Stir the rice halfway through the cooking time. Enjoy as a side with your favorite Mexican dishes.