Packed with flavor and a make ahead option for those busy week nights; Spanish Brown Rice for a good mouth party! This recipe is vegetarian, vegan and easily gluten free [see recipe card for VIDEO]
Growing up on Spanish Rice
Spanish rice (aka Mexican rice) has been a staple in my kitchen for so long, I can hardly recall when the creation of this recipe started. It’s a recipe that’s taken on many forms through the years.
But then after getting married and hardly knowing a thing about cooking, I often yielded to pre-packaged or canned Spanish rice. After-all, I wasn’t wise enough to ask my Ma for her recipe.
I was going for convenience anyway due to a full college and work schedule. And the packaged stuff looked decent enough. Little did I know at that time the importance of reading ingredient labels or preparing my own food.
Nor could I appreciate the difference between organic, local, and conventional food. Come to think of it, USDA Organic certification was just getting started in the early 1990’s. I wouldn’t have known or cared anyway at that time. Oh what I would teach my younger self.
Between then and now, I’ve learned how to cook and have tried many different Spanish rice recipes. Given my native Texas roots, I’m pretty particular when it comes to Tex-Mex food, especially when it comes to the spices. After all, this is a big factor in Mexican food.
Most Spanish rice (aka Mexican rice) recipes call for white rice and I’ve used white basmati for years. But decided somewhere down the line, brown was better. I’ve learned since, it’s only slightly higher in fiber and protein. Still an advantage in my book, but I also love the texture of brown rice.
I first tried simply subbing the white rice for brown. I tried this again and again tweaking the recipe here and there, but for some reason, I couldn’t get it to work. The rice never absorbed the liquids or cooked through. It was if the spices were impeding the ability of the rice to absorb the water.
I ended up with a mess of undercooked rice several times before I decided to cook the rice first, chill it overnight, then add the veggies and spices. Success!
Similar to fried rice, cooking and chilling prior to adding spices and veggies produces grains of rice that don’t stick together. Essentially you’re producing a lifted and separated effect here. Isn’t that what we all want? Ahem.
Spanish brown rice whips up in 17 minutes with a batch of pre-cooked rice.
Take that, week-night dinner!
More Vegetarian Mexican Food Recipes to Love
- Mexican Inspired Tofu Tacos
- Roasted Stuffed Poblanos with Smoky Quinoa, Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans
- Cheesy Vegetarain Tofu Enchiladas
- Vegetarian Stuffed Tex Mex Peppers
- Roasted Cauliflower Tinga Tacos with Chili Lime Slaw
- Skillet Vegetarian Enchiladas Verde
Spanish Brown Rice
- 1 Tbs Cooking Oil I like coconut or olive oil
- 1/2 C Purple Onion Diced, 110g
- 2 tsp Adobo Sauce** from a can of chipotle chili peppers or 1 tsp of minced pickled jalapeños, adjust to taste - look for gluten free if needed.
- 1 tsp Cumin ground
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- 1/4 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 2/3 C Fire Roasted Tomatoes 200g, one can, diced, freeze the leftovers
- 1 Tbs Tomato Paste
- 2 1/2 C Cooked and Chilled Long Grain Brown Rice* 350g, see note
Serve With (optional):
- Additional Limes
- In a large saute pan, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onions and cook on medium-low for about 8 minutes or until softened. Add the adobo sauce, cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic and salt. Stir until the onions are coated and the spices release their fragrance. About one minute. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir for another minute or until all the ingredients are incorporated. Add the cold rice and stir until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Squeeze lime juice over the rice, and stir. Warm on low for about five minutes or until heated through. Adjust salt to taste.
- Serve with additional limes, cilantro, salsa and/or jalapeños.
- Store in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to three days or freeze for up to one month.