I went through some of the older recipes on the site the other day. Imagine my surprise when I looked at my enchilada recipe and saw the statement “(I’ve got a killer Spanish rice recipe coming soon, too!!)” Why would a statement like that surprise me, you wonder? Because, although the recipe for the enchiladas was posted a year ago, I never shared my Spanish rice recipe. I’m not even sure why. But I do know that I needed to fix that. I love this recipe! So, I’ve decided to share it with you today.
One of the things that I love about this recipe is how much flavor it has. And, by making it from scratch I can control how spicy it is. That makes it easy to keep it tame when the kids will be eating it. It also lets me add a little extra heat when Chris and I are the only ones eating it. Not to mention that it is packed with flavor and fresh vegetables without the salt and preservatives of pre-packaged varieties.
When you make this recipe, one of the first things that will strike you is the warm, permeating smell of the cumin and the bright scent of the fresh garlic and the tomato. I, for one, absolutely LOVE the smell of cumin cooking. It’s such a deep, rich spice. The bay leaf in this recipe adds a subtle layer of flavor in the broth that cooks the rice. It’s great for infusing a ton of flavor in the rice.
If you like the flavor of Spanish rice but want the flexibility of making it fresh and controlling what goes in it, this recipe is the way to go. It’s the only way we have Spanish rice now. In addition, it’s a pretty low-maintenance dish, so you can start it cooking on one burner while you’re working on other dishes. How much easier does it get than that?When's taco night? You gotta have this quick and easy Spanish rice side!Click To Tweet
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1½ cups rice
- 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (or honey)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for spice)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Melt the butter over medium heat in a skillet.
- Add the onion and bell peppers, then cook for about 4 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and continue cooking for about 2 or 3 minutes. Stir it frequently so you don’t burn the garlic.
- Add the tomato paste and continue cooking for a minute or two to get the sharp tomato flavor out of the paste.
- Mix in the rice and let it toast over the heat for 4 or 5 minutes.
- Slowly stir in the tomatoes, including the liquid, and the vegetable broth.
- Incorporate the sugar, bay leaves, cumin, and cayenne (if using).
- Cover and cook the mixture over low to medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rice is soft.
- Remove the bay leaf.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. This will vary based on how salty the broth is.