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Spanish Rice Skillet

Spanish Rice Skillet

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Thoroughly rinse the rice a few times in cold water to remove excess starch. 
  2. Heat oil in a medium skillet, between 10 and 12-inches wide, over medium heat. Add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, then add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until toasted and lightly golden, about 6 minutes. Stir in seasoning, tomatoes and broth.
  3. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover with a lid and cook at a bare simmer until all liquid is absorbed, around 18 to 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, remove lid, then cover pot with a clean kitchen towel. Place lid over towel and leave undisturbed to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. 
  5. Fluff rice with a fork and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro or parsley.
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Spanish Rice Skillet

3.7 / 5. 3

A favourite skillet rice dish made with onion, tomato, fragrant seasoning and a nutty, long grain rice…

  • clock icon
    30 MIN
  • 4 SERVINGS
The skillet of rice with the rice within fluffed up.

This SPANISH RICE SKILLET recipe is a tasty side dish that goes with everything!

You’ll change the way you prepare rice after making this delicious side dish recipe. Our SPANISH RICE SKILLET gets two solid, and I mean solid, thumbs up for both flavour and ease of preparation, yet this recipe delivers so much more. Here are a few of the questions we’ll answer as we share the key steps in preparing it:

  • How do you make Spanish rice fluffy and not sticky?
  • How do you keep Spanish rice from sticking to the pan?
  • What meat goes best with a Spanish rice recipe?

We’ll answer these questions, plus share an interesting fact about Spanish rice.

Here’s the deal on preparing our SPANISH RICE SKILLET from scratch:

A photo of all the ingredients needed to make a Spanish Rice Skillet.

INGREDIENTS

This recipe is built on layers of flavour, so, sure, there’s rice, a liquid and salt, but then there’s the seasoning, onion, tomato and garlic. Trust us when we say all of these ingredients are essential in creating the memorable flavour of this renowned rice dish. One thing to note is that we purposefully left out the ground beef, making this recipe a great option for vegetarians. 

Thai hom mali jasmine rice.

THAI HOM MALI RICE

We had a bit of a lightbulb moment during the testing of this recipe, learning that Thai hom mali rice, or jasmine rice, performs way better than white rice or brown. Two important steps in the preparation of the dish help keep jasmine rice fluffy and not sticky. The first trick is to give the uncooked rice a thorough rinse in cold water. Make sure to watch the VIDEO attached to this post where I rinse the rice five times. Doing so removes the extra starch from the rice which helps it stay fluffy, not gummy.

Grain of jasmine rice toasting in a skillet over moderate heat.

Next trick we learned to ensure the rice stays fluffy is to toast the rice in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Doing so not only builds the nutty flavour profile we so love, but also imparts a lovely golden colour to the rice. Most importantly though, browning or toasting the rice first with a little oil will help keep the rice as individual grains and avoid getting mushy. 

The fresh vegetable components include onion, parsley, garlic plus crushed tomatoes and vegetable broth.

VEGETABLES

Remember the fresh vegetable combination in this recipe as the triad of good taste. I mean seriously, what’s not to love about diced onion, garlic and crushed tomatoes? One thing to note; although we used canned tomatoes in this recipe instead of tomato sauce, you can use fresh tomatoes if you’d like. Just make sure you blanch them to remove the skins then, remove and discard the seeds before crushing them. 

As with many of our recipes, we invite you to make this your own. If you like beans, salsa, diced tomatoes, avocado and sour cream, you can always add these taste enhancements to the dish right before serving. Don’t forget to garnish with freshly chopped parsley or cilantro.

The sazon, a blend of salt and spices used in Mexican and Spanish cuisine.

SEASONING

Like they often say, “You learn something every day!” Today’s lesson is about SAZON aka a Sofrito. Sazon, pronounced sa-son, is a flavourful seasoning, or seasoning salt, used in Spanish and Mexican cooking. We created our seasoning blend using cumin, coriander, oregano, turmeric, salt and pepper. Tell your taste buds to get excited! 

The skillet rice with the seasoning, tomatoes and vegetable broth added.

Here’s the weird fact about Spanish rice – it might not be so Spanish after all. In Iranian and Persian cuisine, there is a similar dish called Istanbuli Polo, dating back to the Qajar Iran empire of the late 1700s. In the Western world, that dish is commonly known as “Persian tomato rice”. So you say tomato… 

The skillet of Spanish rice resting off the heat.

SKILLET

Using a thick-bottomed large skillet to prepare this easy Spanish rice recipe is a game changer. Not only is the heat evenly distributed across a wide expanse of the pan, but the flat surface also allows for an even steaming of the rice. Why is it all that important? Because once the heat is reduced to the very lowest setting, it’s the steam doing all the work, not the burner. This method for preventing the rice from sticking to the pan works like a charm.

The lid of the skillet covered with a dishtowel to absorb the moisture from the rice.

Don’t skip our “wrap the lid with a clean dishtowel step”. This simple trick makes rice even fluffier.

A side plate with a portion of the Spanish rice.

SERVE

Here comes the good part. Wondering what meat goes best with Spanish rice? We’re happy to report: they all do. Serve this super fab side dish with our GRILLED CHICKEN, this GRILLED RACK OF LAMB or our very popular BARBECUED SALMON. You can swap the vegetable broth for chicken broth or stock, but we crafted this as a vegetarian recipe on purpose; keeping it as a main course option for vegetarians is a great idea. You can also get creative and use it as filler for tacos, enchiladas, or burritos. 

Our SPANISH RICE SKILLET is outstanding!

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Spanish Rice Skillet

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Spanish Rice Skillet

Ingredients

  • cups Thai hom mali (jasmine) rice, uncooked
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • To serve:
  • fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Directions

  1. Thoroughly rinse the rice a few times in cold water to remove excess starch. 
  2. Heat oil in a medium skillet, between 10 and 12-inches wide, over medium heat. Add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, then add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until toasted and lightly golden, about 6 minutes. Stir in seasoning, tomatoes and broth.
  3. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover with a lid and cook at a bare simmer until all liquid is absorbed, around 18 to 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, remove lid, then cover pot with a clean kitchen towel. Place lid over towel and leave undisturbed to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. 
  5. Fluff rice with a fork and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro or parsley.

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