Healthy Homemade Spanish Rice

It's made with brown rice and it's delicious...

Homemade Spanish rice is easy to make. If you would like to make it as healthy as possible, then this recipe is for you.

I am using brown rice for this recipe. Several people have asked me if they can substitute brown rice for regular long grain white rice when making Spanish rice.

The answer is yes of course but keep in mind, the process and end result will be slightly different. I assure you it will be delicious.

Because brown rice is less processed than white rice, we will have to cook it with more liquid and for a longer time period and in some cases more than twice as long.

The end result will be a heartier (meaning a little chewier) rice with a slightly more noticeable nutty flavor. All good things.

In keeping with the healthy version, we are using olive oil to make this rice. In my traditional Spanish rice recipe we use regular vegetable oil.

Feel free to use fresh garlic in this recipe if you wish. A clove or two minced will do the job.

I also want to mention that I use chicken stock or broth for this recipe instead of water. Why? For the flavor. If you happen to have homemade chicken stock then by all means use it. It will have even better flavor.

Watch My How -To Make Spanish Rice Video

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Okay, let's get cooking.

Homemade Spanish Rice


  • 2 cups brown rice, not instant
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 of a medium yellow onion, chopped 1 inch size
  • 1/2 of a bell pepper, any color, chopped 1 inch size
  • 2 tsp of garlic powder, or 2 cloves minced
  • 1 1/4 cup tomato puree
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder, or more

Directions For Homemade Spanish Rice:

I use a teflon coated frying pan with a lid but any heavy pan with a tight fitting lid will work.

Add the oil and butter to the pan and heat over medium high heat. Add the rice and stir, cooking for 5 to 10 minutes or until a nice golden brown.

Browning the rice is very important for flavor. Yes I know the rice is already brown but brown it some more. Then add the chopped onion and bell pepper and cook an additional 3 to 5 minutes.

If you are using fresh minced garlic, add it and cook and additional 1 to 2 minutes.

Now you are going to add all the rest of the ingredients starting with the chicken broth.

Tip For Homemade Spanish Rice

Heat your chicken broth until hot in a pan on the stove. When you add hot broth to the rice it won't boil up on you and splatter all over. If you decide to not heat it up, add it very slowly to the rice to avoid the uproar.

Continue adding the tomato puree, garlic powder, if not using fresh, and salt. Stir everything until it is well mixed and turn the heat to high.

You want everything to come to a nice rolling boil. Let it roll for about a minute then cover and lower the heat to simmer for somewhere between 40 to 55 minutes.

Check the rice after 40 minutes. Put your spoon in there and see how much liquid is left if any and then take a little taste to see if the rice is done.

If you see the rice is floating around in some liquid and the rice is a little hard, cover and cook another 5 to 10 minutes.

If the rice seems done but there is still too much liquid in the rice (unusual) take the lid off the pan and continue to cook until the liquid has evaporated. With the lid off the liquid will cook off quicker.

There you have it, homemade spanish rice that is delicious, and nutritious and it will make you ambitious! That's a quote from my dad. He used to tell his customers that when we had our restaurant. I couldn't resist saying it.

If you want to know how to make a Spanish rice recipe using white rice I have a recipe for that too.

Click here to watch my Homemade Spanish Rice video.

More Recipes

Cilantro Lime Rice
Arroz Con Pollo
Refried Beans
Steak Fajitas

Return from Homemade Spanish Rice to More Mexican Recipes

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.


Made your apple pie recipe yesterday. Absolutely the best!! And no gap! Your spice mixture was just right.

I have the apple/corer/peeler and it made perfect slices in no time. Thank you so much for your wonderful step by step instructions and for the video. Much appreciated. Lucky me! :)

-B.A. from 

Hi! I just wanted to say that your tortilla recipe/video is pretty much the greatest thing ever! I'm a college student, so it's a really great/cheap thing to make. They're especially good with butter, honey, and brown sugar.

I just have to make sure my family doesn't find out I stopped using the family tortilla recipe! Ha! Thanks again!

-C.M. from 
Queens, New York

I just have to write to you and admit something! I'm preparing your spanish rice recipe at the moment AND....I want to thank you!

I had actually given up on making Spanish rice! No one, or no recipe, until YOURS, ever said to actually BROWN the rice so much.! I think thats the taste difference!

Thank YOU so much.  I followed your recipe exactly,..and it is absolutely wonderful!

-Martha MacDonald from 
Karlovac Croatia

Just to let you know that I found your website and love it. We have very limited Mexican produce in Australia and I am enjoying making your recipes.

I have made your enchilada sauce a few times now.  We all love it and have managed to find pinto beans at our central markets. Good Job. Well done.

-Wendy Sachse from 
Adelaide Australia

Rockin' Robin, you truly rock! I live in china right now, far, far away from my beloved Mexican food. Finding ingredients is hard enough, learning how to make everything from scratch no longer is with your recipes.

Though I've only tried your tortilla recipe, I will certainly be coming back to your site to make retried beans and Spanish rice!

My tortillas were awesome, best yet, thanks for giving us a night of Mexican food all the way over here in China!

-Erin from Santa Barbara, California

THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! I stumbled upon your website today as I searched the web for flour tortilla recipes. I made these just after viewing your video, and five of us devoured them.

SO DELICIOUS. And easy to make! I am most grateful to you for this simple, tasty recipe. Your video was a useful tutorial.

I've not attempted to make tortillas prior to making yours, though we often eat tortillas. We're vegetarians, so I was looking for a recipe which used canola oil instead of lard. You delivered. Merci.

-Frances Bolte

WOW! What a great website. Love how you show what to do and how it is supposed to look. Definitely in my favorites folder.

-Terri M from Florida Keys
Where good Mexican food is hard to find.

Just made your enchilada sauce recipe and that's what I've been looking for. I like the fact it has a little heat but not too much so my kids will eat it. Thank you for posting the recipe. i am turning leftover turkey into turkey enchiladas tonight but the star is really the sauce. Thanks again.

-Tony Starks, California