Last updated on March 20th, 2023
If you come to think about it, few recipes pair so well with so many dishes, and Spanish rice is definitely on the top-five list. Easy to make and easier to combine, this dish with many different versions is versatile and quite appetizing.
In fact, even though it is generally made as a side dish, Spanish rice can be a main dish too.
Here, you’ll learn how to make Spanish rice and the story behind this classic meal.
Spanish, Mexican or red?
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This particular dish is not only a delicious one, but it also holds quite an interesting and, at times, confusing story behind it.
It’s not uncommon to hear that Mexican, Spanish, and Red rice are all the same. But is this truly so? It is not.
The original dish has faced many changes and variations, and even though the core steps are the same, depending on the ingredients you use, you’ll be making one or the other.
So, there lies the real difference, Mexican rice tends to get a reddish color because of the tomato sauce used in the making. Besides, true to their gastronomy, this is a spicier version.
Spanish rice instead uses saffron, so it tends to be more yellowish. Moreover, in a vegan version of this dish, the broth in which you cook can be a vegetable broth, but this is another element that can vary according to your preferences.
You can use soy sauce (soy sauce keto) as an additional ingredient in a keto version.
In any case, red rice is the general name of this dish, and, as it is, this recipe is perfect for you to experiment with and find your own version of it.
What rice to use?
Typically, red rice is made with long-grain white rice. However, brown rice is also a good option in the spirit of what was said before.
However, brown rice takes longer to cook, so take that into account when choosing your favorite type of rice.
Jasmine rice is a less common but still great option, bringing that floral fragrance factor to the final taste.
Remember, Jasmine rice takes less time and less water to cook. Adapt the quantities of this recipe if you choose this specific type of rice.
How to cook Spanish Rice?
To make genuine Spanish rice, you shouldn’t cook rice as you always do. The secret is cooking the rice in the broth and the tomato sauce, should you use it.
This will impregnate the rice with the flavors coming from those ingredients and the seasoning you use.
Moreover, the final step, letting it sit so that it cooks on the steam of the pot, is key to getting a more creamy and soft dish.
The benefits of Spanish Rice:
Considering this dish’s versatility, it can be either a main or a side dish. In this case, there are no rules, and you can make it a more or less caloric meal.
The recipe described here is a vegan version, as the broth used is a vegetable broth. If you make this as a main dish, try adding some beans to the recipe.
Leaving the health facts aside, this recipe is very simple to make. It only uses one pot, and it takes twenty minutes tops.
It is a great option for meal-prepping as it can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for a week and frozen for over a month!
- ● 2 cups of white or brown rice.
- ● 1 tbsp of olive oil.
- ● ½ green bell pepper.
- ● 1 onion.
- ● 1 carrot.
- ● Saffron.
- ● 4 cups of vegetable broth.
- ● Salt.
- ● Pepper
- ● Paprika.
- ● Oregano.
- ● Cumin.
- Wash and chop all the vegetables, but don’t mix them yet. Set the chopped green pepper, carrot and onion aside.
- In a medium or big-size sauce pan, pour some extra virgin olive oil and pre-heat it.
- Start by sauteing the onion. Salt it and cook until it is translucent. Add the pepper and the carrots. Cook for a few minutes.
- In the same pan, add the rice and lightly toast it. Quickly add the vegetable broth and mix everything together.
- Add the saffron and integrate everything.
- Bring the mix to a boil and heat to a simmer immediately.
- Season everything to taste with salt, pepper, paprika, oregano and cumin
- Once it’s over, a simmer, cover the pan with a lid and let everything cook for at least fifteen minutes.
- After that time, uncover and check if the rice is fully cooked and the liquid is fully absorbed.
- If it is, turn the heat off and let the rice sit for ten extra minutes with the lid still on.
- Check if the seasoning is right, add whatever you deem necessary, serve and enjoy!
How to reheat a frozen batch?
If you are planning your meals ahead and choose to make this recipe for that sake, the recommendation is not to fully cook the rice.
Why is that? Because the reheating process involves adding more broth to the rice and letting it cook as it heats up.
If you fully cook the rice, freeze it and then re-cook it, you’ll probably overcook the rice and get an over-creamy dish.
On the contrary, if you make this dish for the day and you happen to store leftovers, reheat it over the stove with almost no broth at all.
Place the saucepan over medium or low heat and stir continuously so that the rice doesn’t burn.
Spanish rice is a popular dish in many parts of the world, and for a good reason. This rice recipe’s combination of spices and flavors makes it both flavorful and nutritious.
Whether you are cooking this rice for yourself or serving it as a side dish to an entrée, you will surely enjoy its unique flavor profile. Be sure to give this Spanish rice recipe a try soon!
Is Spanish Rice Vegan?
No, it is not vegan because it contains fish. But it can be vegan.
What Is Vegan Rice?
Vegan rice is typically brown or white rice that contains only rice grains.