Spanish style rice is one of our favorite rice side dishes. Rice in general is such a great side dish, but this seasoned rice recipe is next-level-good.

The best part is that it takes about 5 minutes of extra prep time than plain rice. All that extra flavor with limited work? Sign us up!

large platter of spanish rice with fresh cilantro

The components of our Spanish spice blend

The seasoning of this dish is crucial to achieving the perfect flavor profile for this rice. All of the herbs and spices play a role in balancing out this tasty recipe.

What’s great about the seasoning blend we created for this recipe is that all of these spices are easy to find at any grocery store.

  • Smoked paprika, also known as pimentón, has a strong smoky flavor. To make smoked paprika, you slow roast a mix of peppers over an open fire then grind them into a powder. Paprika is native to Hungary, but many European countries have adapted the Hungarian method to make their own paprika. Smoked Paprika in particular is extremely common in Spain!
  • Chili powder is a delicious blend of ground chili peppers. Typically, chili powder includes ancho chiles and cascabel chiles. While it adds a warming flavor to your dish, chili powder is not overly spicy. This seasoning is versatile and can be used across many recipes!
  • Cumin is as tasty as it is healthy. This delicious seed comes from a plant similar to parsley and is filled with antioxidants. If you have cumin in whole seed form, you will want to grind it for this recipe so that it blends better with the other spices.
  • Oregano is a flavorful herb that is commonly found in the spice aisle, but can also be found fresh. We like to use dried oregano for our spice blend because it adds a powerful, earthy punch. Dried oregano is more potent than fresh, and it has a long shelf life! We highly recommend including it in your spice cabinet.
overhead of spanish rice with fresh lime and cilantro

What to make with our Spanish style rice

  • Our slow cooker beef birria is one of our favorite easy weeknight recipes! It is hands off, creates minimal mess, and is so tasty. We love to serve our beef birria with tortillas and rice with a nice big squeeze of lime and cilantro.
  • There is something about the combination of chicken and rice that we just love! Try serving this Spanish style rice with our roasted chicken with vegetables. It is a hearty meal that the whole family will enjoy.
  • Ok clearly we have a sweet spot in our hearts for slow cooker meals, but this one is just perfect! This slow cooker white chicken chili recipe is delicious and simple to make. We personally love adding rice to a bowl of soup for some extra texture, but you can also serve our Spanish style rice on the side!

What kind of rice should I use for this recipe?

We use plain white rice, but the beauty of this recipe is that you can really use most types of rice.

Basmati rice and Jasmine rice are great options for this recipe. They cook easily and have a lovely texture. Both basmati and jasmine rice are types of long-grain white rice. They have a fragrant aroma on their own, and pick up the flavors of this dish well!

Brown rice is another type of long grain rice, but is healthier than most other rices. It tends to have a chewier texture than most other rice and is fluffy when cooked! Brown rice has loads of vitamins and minerals and counts as a whole grain food.

If you are observing a grain free diet, you can easily swap out the rice for wild rice. That’s correct! Wild rice is not actually a grain, unlike all other kinds of rice. While it shares the same name, wild rice is not a rice at all – wild rice is an aquatic grass.

How to make Spanish style rice

  1. Drizzle oil in a deep dish pan. Heat up the pan over medium high heat.
  2. Add diced onions and cook until softened and slightly translucent.
  3. Add garlic followed by the mixture of smoked paprika, ground cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix everything together and cook over the heat.
  4. While everything is cooking, rinse your rice until the water runs clear. Then add the rice to the pan and mix together. Make sure the onions, garlic and spices are evenly distributed throughout the rice.
  5. Add the cubed tomatoes and broth. Bring the pot up to a boil and then lower it to a simmer. Cover and cook until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid.
  6. Fluff the rice with a fork or spoon and serve while hot!
    • Optional: add cilantro, or your favorite fresh herb, and a squeeze of lime.
a bowl of easy Spanish style rice

Easy Spanish Style Rice

3.34 from 3 votes
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
This simple spanish inspired rice is full of flavor and simple to make!

Ingredients  

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large chopped yellow onion
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika use regular paprika if you don’t like the “smokey” flavor
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt more or less to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper more or less to taste
  • 4 cups rinsed and drained long grain rice
  • 13.5 ounces canned diced tomatoes with chilis
  • 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth

Instructions 

  • Drizzle oil in a deep dish pan. Heat up the pan over medium high heat. Add diced onions and cook until softened and slightly translucent. Add garlic followed by the mixture of smoked paprika, ground cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix everything together and cook over the heat.
    2 Tablespoons olive oil, 1 large chopped yellow onion, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 6 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • While everything is cooking, rinse your rice until the water runs clear. Then add the rice to the pan and mix together. Make sure the onions, garlic and spices are evenly distributed throughout the rice.
    4 cups rinsed and drained long grain rice
  • Add the diced tomatoes and broth. Bring the pot up to a boil and then lower it to a simmer. Cover and cook until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid, approximately 30 minutes.
    13.5 ounces canned diced tomatoes with chilis, 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • Fluff the rice with a fork or spoon and serve while hot! Optional: add cilantro, or your favorite fresh herb, and a squeeze of lime.

Video

Equipment

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 403kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 601mg | Potassium: 264mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 467IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe?Please leave a comment!

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

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10 Comments

    1. Thank you for the feedback, Alicia! Unfortunately, the ads are how we are able to keep providing recipes for free. We don’t have control over where they are placed, but we are always working on ways to make the posts more user friendly!

      Xo,
      Alia & Radwa

  1. None Spanish dish it’s finished with cilantro and/or lime.
    We don’t use the type of rice you mention unless we are cooking dishes from other countries, we have our own rice that we use in our daily basis…and last, but not least, we don’t do this rice in Spain, it doesn’t exist.
    Smoky paprika it’s the only Spanish think in your rice.
    This looks more Mexican than Spanish.
    Spain 🇪🇸 located in Europe.

    1. Can I give us your recipe then?
      I’ve never been to Spain and I’d like to get the idea of what’s Spanish rice