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Restaurant-Style Spanish Rice

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Seriously the easiest most delicious Restaurant-Style Spanish Rice recipe you will ever make. A handful of pantry staples make this recipe a flavor sensation.

scallions garnishing a pan of spanish rice

Rice is my go-to side dish so I’ve made it my mission to learn as many ways to prepare it that I can. Tex-Mex is one of my absolute favorite cuisines I had to create a delicious recipe for Restaurant-Style Spanish Rice. To me, a meal at a Mexican restaurant is not complete without a side of Spanish Rice and Pinto Beans.

What you need to make Spanish Rice

a bowl of uncooked jasmine rice

Long grain rice
Tomato paste
Chicken bouillon cubes
Garlic powder
Chili powder
Cumin
Salt
Fresh cilantro
Scallion, sliced

spices and tomato paste mixed with rice in a skillet

The best Spanish rice I’ve ever eaten is so basic. No chopped veggies to be seen. It’s just a fluffy, lightly tinted red rice with the best flavor. My attempt to recreated using basic pantry ingredients has garnered great success. I add a little bit of fresh cilantro and scallion to mine for freshness; not that theirs is lacking. Both are optional in this dish but I think it’s worth trying it.

How to Make Restaurant-Style Spanish Rice

spices and tomato paste in a skillet with white rice

To a skillet, coat the rice, with the oil, chicken bouillon cubes, tomato paste, and spices. Set the heat to medium-low and allow the seasoned rice to warm through for 2 minutes stirring constantly.

fresh cilantro added to cooked spanish rice

Stir in the water and bring the pot to boil. Turn the heat to simmer and allow the rice to cook according to the rice package instructions. Once the water is absorbed, add the cilantro and fluffy the rice to blend. Top with sliced scallion.

Microwave option
garnished rice close up vertical

This recipe can be made in the microwave for faster preparation. Simply stir together the rice, oil, spices, bouillon cubes, and tomato paste in a microwave-safe dish with lid. Next, pour in the water, stir well then cover with the lid. Microwave the rice according to the rice package instructions. Finally, when the rice is done, remove the lid, add the cilantro, and fluff to blend. Top with scallions.

Recipes to serve with restaurant-style Spanish Rice

plated spanish rice

Cheesy Beef Enchiladas
Tacos Al Pastor
Pulled Pork Carnitas
Chipotle Chicken Empanadas

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*This recipe was updated on 7/9/2020 for improved content. It was originally published on 8/14/2019.*

spanish rice in a pan with a spoon
5 from 2 votes

Restaurant-Style Spanish Rice

Print Recipe
Seriously the easiest most delicious Restaurant-Style Spanish Rice recipe you will ever make. A handful of pantry staples make this recipe a flavor sensation.
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:20 mins
Total Time:30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 c long grain rice I use quick cook jasmine rice
  • 2 1/2 c water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cube
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp cilantro fresh minced
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Scallions to garnish

Instructions

  • To a skillet, coat the rice, with the oil, chicken bouillon cubes, tomato paste, and spices. Set the heat to medium-low and allow the seasoned rice to warm through for 2 minutes stirring constantly.
  • Stir in the water and bring the pot to boil. Turn the heat to simmer and allow the rice to cook according to the rice package instructions. Once the water is absorbed, add the cilantro and fluffy the rice to blend. Top with sliced scallion.

Notes

For even quicker preparation this recipe can be made in the microwave. Simply follow all of Step 1 using a covered microwave-safe dish. Then add the water as in Step 3 and microwave according to the rice package instructions.

Nutrition

Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 468mg | Potassium: 96mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Iron: 1mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Hispanic, Mexican
Keyword: mexican rice, rice, spanish rice
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 165kcal
Author: Ty

6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hi, thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I’d like to try to microwave version. Would you recommend that I do step 1 in the microwave at 100% power for the 2 minutes suggested or a different power/time? Thank you!!

    1. Hi Kerri!
      Great question. You don’t need to do the first step with the microwave option. Just whisk all of the ingredients and microwave at 100% according to your rice package. It will probably be between 17-20 minutes.

      1. 5 stars
        wow, I can’t wait to make this. It sounds so easy. Thank you for putting in all the work so we can enjoy such an easy side! :o)

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I’ve been trying to replicate restaurant style Spanish rice for years. I’ve come up with good options, but they never seem to have that certain taste you get in a restaurant. This recipe totally does and I can’t stop eating it! I doubled the rice and cooked in microwave after Step 1. I also used one cup of chicken broth for one of the cups of water.

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