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Spanish Rice

Our homemade Spanish Rice Recipe is simple to throw together and makes an amazing side dish next to your next taco, burrito, enchilada, or fajitas night! Comes together in under a half an house, and uses ingredients that you probably have in your pantry right now.

Spanish Rice

Homemade Spanish Rice Recipe

I’ve been working on this recipe for a long time. Since like 2007, several years before this recipe was originally published back in 2012. I love Rice-a-Roni in almost all varieties. Rice-a-Roni, Pasta-Roni. All of it. I even have a special place in my nostalgic heart for Hamburger Helper. Chicken Helper. Betty Crocker was my bff as a teenager.

There was a time in my life when any of those would be an acceptable dinner. Rice-a-Roni with some form of meat tossed in. Simple, quick, and easy.

Actually, when I met and was dating my now husband, a common dinner of mine was Betty Crocker Scalloped Potatoes. I cooked them on the stove top, and then covered them with seasoned bread crumbs. That was it.

I know, you’re probably really questioning all of my life choices now, but when we learn better we do better, right?

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Spanish Rice

Spanish Rice shopping list

Wondering if you have to hit the store? Here’s the list of items you’ll need to make this recipe. For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Bacon grease or butter
  • Long-grain white rice
  • Bell pepper
  • Yellow onion
  • Salsa
  • Taco seasoning
  • Rotel
  • Mild green chiles
  • Hot water

How to make homemade Spanish Rice

Wondering what you’re getting yourself into when you make this dish? Here’s a quick overview of the process! Make sure you follow the instructions at the recipe card at the bottom of the post while you’re cooking.

  • Brown the rice
    Sauté the rice in bacon grease or butter until it is light golden brown.
  • Add peppers and onions
    Add in the peppers and onions with the rice and continue to cook until the onions are translucent.
  • Simmer
    Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan. Stir to combine. Cover and reduce heat to low.
  • Cook
    Let cook for 10-15 minutes. Check near the end to see if you need to add some more water. Give it a stir and a taste. If the rice is tender, it is done! If not, and the liquid has all been absorbed, add some more water. 1/2 cup usually does the trick.
  • Enjoy
    Serve hot with your favorite Mexican main dish!

Have some Cilantro Lime Rice!

Spanish Rice

Spanish Rice FAQ

Can this recipe be made in advance?

Yes! This is an excellent recipe to make ahead of time! It keeps and reheats really well.

What’s the best way to store and reheat this recipe?

Store it in an airtight container or a freezer baggie for 4-5 days, max. Make sure to get the rice into the fridge ASAP after you’re done serving it!

Reheat it in the microwave until it is steaming.

Substitutions and Variations

Like more spice? Toss in some cayenne powder or extra chili powder. Like less? Skip the green chiles and make sure to use a MILD Rotel!

Do you really want to get that Rice-a-Roni flavor? Toss in some orzo when you’re browning the rice!

Spanish Rice
Yield: 6 servings

Spanish Rice

Spanish Rice

Flavorful, easy, delicious Spanish rice that is better than any San Francisco Treat.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 1/4 cup bacon grease or butter
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 - 14.5 oz can Rotel
  • 1 - 4 ounce can mild green chiles
  • 3 cups hot water


  1. Preheat bacon grease and add rice. Stir frequently until browned. When almost to the desired color, add in peppers and onion. Cook until soft.
  2. Add the salsa, taco seasoning, Rotel, green chiles, and hot water to the pan. Stir to combine. Cover and reduce heat to low.
  3. Cook for approximately 10-15 minutes or until rice is tender.
  4. Watch for doneness and moisture level! You may need to add 1/4 - 1/2 cup more water near the end.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 194Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 394mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 3g

Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate. If you are tracking these things for medical purposes please consult an outside, trusted source. Thanks!

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Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience to their followers.

Homemade Chicken Rice-a-Roni | Or Whatever You Do

Thursday 26th of June 2014

[…] sure why it has never occurred to me to make it at home before tonight! I’ve revamped the Spanish Rice version, but never my favorite chicken or […]


Thursday 8th of March 2012

This looks way better than anything from a box. Thanks for sharing it!

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