Mexican Spanish Rice

Mexican Spanish Rice

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.


Mexican Rice

Mexican rice, on the other hand,  is usually sautéed in oil and 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. Feel free to omit any of the mix-ins that you don’t like. This time around I only added corn, because that’s all I had on hand. I usually add carrots and peas too. What do I always say? Feel free to experiment, and most of all, have fun!


Mexican Spanish Rice


Mexican Spanish Rice Serving Suggestions

If I’m being real, I could eat the 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: Chile Verde, Mexican Lasagna, and Mexican Pickled Carrots.


Mexican Spanish Rice


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spanish rice


5 from 1 vote
Mexican Spanish Rice
Mexican Spanish Rice
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins

Over the top Mexican Spanish rice recipe.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican, Spanish
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 370 kcal
  1. Add butter and oil to a 6 quart Dutch oven. When the butter melts, add the diced onion and sauté for a few minutes.
  2. Add washed and strained rice, corn, and carrots, and peas, if using. Sprinkle with chili powder, and stir for another minute.
  3. Add garlic and stir for one more minute.
  4. 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.
  5. Stir the rice half way through the cooking time. Enjoy as a side with your favorite Mexican dishes.
Nutrition Facts
Mexican Spanish Rice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 370 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 15%
Sodium 910mg 38%
Total Carbohydrates 59g 20%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 10g 20%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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