Tonight I took our youngest to a movie that went through the dinner hour, so I needed a meal that I could make ahead for the rest of the family to eat while we were gone. Plus I already had some leftover taco meat in the freezer and some beef broth, so this easy homemade Spanish rice came together fast for a main dish.
Another time we had chicken tacos for dinner, and normally that’s all we would have–I don't usually make side dishes with all of our meals like my Mom did, especially if the main dish already has vegetables in it! But since my sister and niece were eating with us, I wanted something to go with it and this easy homemade Spanish rice was the perfect side dish. (I don't add the meat when it's a side dish, obviously.)
I love how versatile this recipe is!
Easy Homemade Spanish Rice
- 4 Tablespoons butter pastured butter is best
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil make sure you're using REAL olive oil, read more about that here
- 1 cup chopped celery optional
- 1 large chopped onion or 1 Tablespoon dried onion
- 1 chopped green pepper optional
- 1-2 chopped jalapeños optional — these are good if you think your family would go for a little heat
- 1 cup uncooked rice
- 1 1/2 cups beef or chicken broth see Bone Broth for Rookies for instructions, OR you can buy some awesome bone broth here if you don't want to make it.
- 1 can organic tomato sauce
- 6-8 ounces organic tomato paste preferably from a glass jar or BPA-free can
- 14-18 ounces or so of organic diced tomatoes undrained (“”)
- About 1 teaspoon each of whatever herbs and spices you think your family would like we like all of these: garlic powder, oregano, parsley, cumin for more Mexican flavor.
- About 3/4 teaspoon sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper or more to your taste
- Your favorite shredded cheese for the top if desired — I usually use cheddar
- *1 pound browned and seasoned ground beef with taco seasonings if desired, to make it a main dish! Or use chicken if you have some handy. This is also good meatless! (Find safe, healthy meat here if you don't have a good local source.)
- Sour cream for the top if desired.
- Note: for a “pizza rice” dish you could switch pizza sauce for the tomato paste and use mozzarella cheese on top. If you do that, use regularly seasoned ground beef, not taco flavor, obviously, and don't use cumin for the spices. This is always a hit too!
- Add the following ingredients: bone broth, tomato paste, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and spices.
- This will look like there’s a lot of liquid, but it will soak up as it bakes.
- Bake at 375* in a buttered glass bowl or 9 x 13 glass baking dish. This takes a while to bake so the rice gets done, for the rice I linked to above and in my oven this takes 1.5-2 hours for the rice to soften, so plan ahead. (Check it after an hour and a half and if the rice is soft, just keep it in a warm oven until you're ready to eat.) When it's almost done, throw on the cheese to melt if you want it extra dreamy — it's not shown with cheese in the picture, but we almost always add the cheese!
- *Add meat to make into a main dish! Just brown it in a skillet first, breaking it into small pieces, and then stir into the rice mixture before putting it into the baking pan.
- Serve with sour cream on top if desired — it's so good with this dish.
- This comes out very moist and flavorful!
If you have a favorite easy homemade Spanish rice, let us know how yours is different?
More you might like:
- How to Bake a Whole Chicken – Reader Question
- Chipotle Burrito Bowl Copycat Recipe — Gluten-free and Full of Flavor
- How Often Do You Repeat Meals?
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