Go Back
+ servings

Easy Spanish Rice

An easy and flavorful blend of fluffy white rice, tomatoes, onion, garlic, bell pepper, and zesty seasoning.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword easy spanish rice, mexican rice, spanish rice, spanish rice recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 195kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • ½ of a green bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or pressed (or sub with ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 3 cups water or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • Optional, for serving: chopped fresh cilantro


  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan or large skillet over medium-high heat (I use this 3.5 quart cast iron braiser). Add the onion and bell pepper; cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the rice and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in water, tomatoes, salt, sugar, cumin, paprika, cayenne, and black pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the temperature to low. Cover with a lid and gently simmer until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 18 to 20 minutes. Stir frequently so that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro just before serving.


  • This recipe is specifically developed for and tested with long-grain white rice. Do not substitute with brown rice, instant rice, or other varieties of rice, since these will require different amounts of liquid and different cooking times.
  • Toast the rice in the skillet before adding the liquid. This amps up the flavor of the rice, slightly reduces the cooking time, and keeps the rice grains from clumping together. The rice should be toasted until it starts to smell nutty and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  • Total cooking time will vary depending on a number of factors, so keep a close eye on the rice. Overcooked rice will have a mushy, gummy texture, which is not ideal. If the rice absorbs all of the liquid before it’s tender, add a little bit more water to the pan, fluff with a fork, cover, and continue simmering.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork, rather than stirring it with a spoon. Stirring with a spoon compacts the grains, which can result in a dense pot of rice. We're going for fluffy and separate grains!


Serving: 1/8 of the rice | Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 653mg | Potassium: 243mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 172IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg