Healthy Homemade Spanish Rice

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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.

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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.

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