(Vegan) Easy Flavorful Spanish Rice

February 2, 2017

(Vegan) Easy Flavorful Spanish Rice

Guys, we should definitely, definitely talk about this dish.
Here, I’ll go first: I think it’s essential that you not let another week pass without making it.
I realize that you might imagine rice cooked with tomato sauce to be something bland and unappetizing.
Maybe you already had it in one of those combination plates that are served in Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants all the over the country, and its dullness is still fresh in your mind.
Maybe you cannot imagine why anyone would consider Spanish rice (sometimes referred to as Mexican rice) noteworthy, being just rice and tomato sauce — arguably two of the most generic foods out there.
But this Spanish Rice is notable for being delicious in its simplicity. And you should take notice.

(Vegan) Easy Flavorful Spanish Rice

I’ve made this flavorful dish — which we all know isn’t Spanish at all — so many times I can’t even count.
It’s fantastic in every way, and so easy to whip up.
Honestly, you won’t believe how much flavor you can get out of a couple simple ingredients.
This idea that you don’t need to lay 20 outside flavors onto things as simple as tomato sauce and plain rice to make them taste amazing.
You could coax the maximum flavor out just by toasting the rice with onion, garlic, a couple of spices, and using good tasting tomato sauce.
That’s about it.

(Vegan) Easy Flavorful Spanish Rice

This is a basic recipe open to infinite interpretations. You can amp up the spices or tone it down, add some chorizo, shredded chicken, shrimps, peas, etc.
As long as you don’t mess up with the rice-to-liquid ratio, you’re good to go.
Flavorful, a little spicy, so easy to whip up, and totally addictive.
If you have never made your own Spanish Rice, you need to try this recipe asap!

(Vegan) Easy Flavorful Spanish Rice

(Vegan) Easy Flavorful Spanish Rice                                                                                               Print this recipe!

Serves 6

2 cups white rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder*
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup vegetable broth
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes (I used Muir Glen fire roasted diced tomatoes)
1 (15.5 oz) can tomato sauce

*Chili powders vary from country to country, I recommend using one that is fairly mild and increase if necessary.


Rinse rice under cold water for 1 minute. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large pan (or skillet) over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 6 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and pepper and sauté for 1 more minute, until fragrant.
Add rice and cook, stirring, until just starting to turn translucent but not brown(rice will start making a clicking sound), about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce and give a good stir.
Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every now and then, until the rice is cooked throughout and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
The rice should be tender (but not mushy) and suspended in liquid with the consistency of heavy cream. If not, add more vegetable broth (½ cup at a time) until the rice is tender.
Remove from the heat, sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley) and serve.

Nutrition facts

One serving yields 345 calories, 5 grams of fat, 65 grams of carbs, and 8 grams of protein.


  1. Oh yum, I've always wanted to try paella! I never did simply because the portion they serve at restaurants are too big - now I can make it myself haha.

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  2. Yum! I was just looking for a recipe for this the other day. This is perfect!!

  3. My mom used to make Zataran's Spanish rice to serve with our meat, and ohhhh I could eat a lot of that stuff, haha! This is obviously way better, and I bet it tastes phenomenal!

  4. I made this tonight, and it was really good! Definitely a main dish on its own with a protein.

  5. Any info on how I could adjust this for something other then white rice? (brown rice? quinoa? barley?)

  6. This was delicious! The recipe makes a lot though, so I've been eating it for about 5 days - it definitely dries out after a day or two so next time I might make it with more liquid and/or halve the recipe.