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Entrees/ Recipes/ Vegan Recipes/ Vegetarian Recipes

Veggie-Packed Spanish Rice Recipe By Oh My Veggies

Veggie-Packed Spanish Rice

Veggie-Packed Spanish Rice

Let me introduce you to my new favorite version of Spanish rice (or otherwise known as Mexican rice). So often when I have this side dish at a restaurant I find it lacking in flavor. But when you make it at home? You have complete control.

Now, I am by no means saying this version is authentic, but it sure does make an excellent side to any sort of Mexican fare. It is full of diced vegetables, like onion, carrot, pepper and corn. However, you can easily customize the veggies to your taste. Don’t like peas? Leave them out. Want a little more kick? Add in a jalapeno. There are also plenty of spices and a good amount of tomato flavor in the mix, making this rice anything but bland.

Veggie-Packed Spanish Rice

One of the best parts about this rice is that once you have it going and all the ingredients are added to the skillet, it is very hands-off. You can let the rice simmer gently (and then rest after cooking) while you take care of your main dish.

One of the key components of this recipe is lightly browning the rice in the skillet before you add the cooking liquid. You want to make sure you keep an eye on the rice and do not walk away during this process. You’ll need to stir fairly often at first, and then almost constantly toward the end so that it browns evenly and doesn’t burn.

Veggie-Packed Spanish Rice

When the rice is cooking in the liquid, you also want to make sure that it is gently simmering. Otherwise, if you have the heat going too strong, the rice will absorb the liquid too fast and will not be fully cooked.

And lastly, make sure you don’t skip the step to let the rice sit covered with the heat off after it’s finished cooking. This rest time helps give it the perfect texture.

Veggie-Packed Spanish Rice

Veggie-Packed Spanish Rice

A simple, hands-off side dish filled with peppers, carrots, corn and peas. Infused with plenty of tomato and spices!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8 servings


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 medium green pepper diced
  • 1 large carrot peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes*
  • 2 2/3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish


  • Add the olive oil to a large skillet set over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add in the onion, pepper and carrot. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the rice. Cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently (and then almost constantly toward the end of the 6 to 8 minutes), until the rice is lightly golden brown.
  • Add in the tomato paste and stir to combine, then stir in the tomatoes, the broth, corn, peas, cumin, chili powder and salt. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and let gently simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the rice stand covered for 5 to 10 minutes untouched.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork. Taste and season with additional salt if needed, then garnish with the cilantro.


*Measure out the 1 cup from a can of crushed tomatoes. You can refrigerate or freeze the rest for another use.
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  • Reply
    April 29, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    omg I’ve never heard of spanish rice before and I’m from Spain hahahaha looks amazing tho!!!

    • Reply
      Ashley Jennings
      May 3, 2015 at 3:06 pm

      Thanks Anna! I’ve always called it mexican rice (calling it Spanish rice was new to me!)

  • Reply
    April 30, 2015 at 1:53 am

    This looks amazing, I would totally eat it as the main course. I love how simple it is too, more foolproof recipes for busy weeknights when I can’t think straight anymore 🙂

    • Reply
      Ashley Jennings
      May 3, 2015 at 3:07 pm

      Thanks Lucie! Ha! I hear you – weeknights need something easy and hands-off!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2015 at 9:22 am

    This looks so flavorful! It will be on my menu for Cinco de Mayo.

    • Reply
      Ashley Jennings
      May 5, 2015 at 2:32 pm

      Thanks Jillian! Hope you enjoy!

  • Reply
    May 3, 2015 at 11:06 am

    I love that with all the veggies mixed into this, it can almost be a meal on it’s own!!

    • Reply
      Ashley Jennings
      May 3, 2015 at 3:09 pm

      Yes! I ate all the leftovers for lunch as a meal on it’s own!

  • Reply
    May 12, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Hey I made this today, and it was amazing. Once i put everything in, it practically cooked itself….perfect for a weeknight.Thank you for the recipe.

    • Reply
      Ashley Jennings
      May 14, 2015 at 7:46 am

      So happy to hear this Appy! Thanks for letting us know!

  • Reply
    August 29, 2015 at 9:28 am

    The tomato/rice recipes I grew up with included Spanish rice & Shrimp Creole (not bad for Northern European heritage). Thank you for including veggies in your recipe.

    • Reply
      Ashley Jennings
      September 1, 2015 at 8:30 am

      Thanks Nan! Hope you enjoy!

  • Reply
    September 17, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    I am waiting to eat this right now! I am just now seeing that this is a meatless blog…. but I eat meat and have been looking for the right spanish rice one-pot meal, so I added a pound of browned chorizo at the same time as the tomato paste, and then added extra veggies and used the whole can (15 oz) of crushed tomatoes and some extra tomato paste that had been in my freezer that I wanted to use up.. And I also used brown rice since that’s what I had; I don’t think you can really tell the difference; except that I think it takes a little longer to cook, so people may want to look at their rice’s cooking instructions. It looks like a lot of food!! I will probably be eating it for the next 3-4 days (depending if my bf eats some). I think I will be putting this into the regular rotation. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Reply
      Ashley Jennings
      September 19, 2015 at 7:25 am

      Hope you enjoyed Caitlin! Love the idea of using brown rice!

  • Reply
    December 15, 2015 at 9:37 am

    I will like to subscribe to receive the recipes thanks, have a nice day

    • Reply
      Ashley Jennings
      December 17, 2015 at 7:36 am

      Hi Grisel! You can sign up to receive emails by entering your address in the box above the comments or the one on the sidebar (it says oh my veggiemail)!

  • Reply
    Daniela @foodrecipeshq
    April 30, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    The only spanish rice i know is paella, I’m that ignorant 🙂 This recipe is simple and veggie loaded, perfect for me!

  • Reply
    May 1, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    O I love this. I have made Spanish rice (or a version of it) before but that was when I still ate meat. For some reason there are a couple of recipes I just sort of forgot when I went vegan (which is really not that long yet) I don’t know why I didn’t think of making this earlier! But i have saved this recipe now . It’s also easy to adapt to add meat (my husband still eats meat every once in a while) or change the veggies. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Reply
      Ashley Jennings
      May 19, 2017 at 1:19 pm

      Thanks Simone! Yes! It can be a great base for anything!

  • Reply
    Stephanie A
    May 5, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    This recipe was so good! To make it a more complete main dish, I added a 30 oz. can of rinsed pinto beans. Thank you for such an easy meal idea 🙂

    • Reply
      Ashley Jennings
      May 19, 2017 at 1:18 pm

      So happy you enjoyed Stephanie! Love the idea of the pinto beans!

  • Reply
    Sheetal Soni
    June 21, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Can i use Brown Basmati Rice for the same ? will the taste change ?

    • Reply
      Ashley Jennings
      June 21, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      You could definitely try using it (although we haven’t tested that ourselves). Just keep in mind that it will take much longer to cook and you may need to adjust the amount of liquid as well.

  • Reply
    Vicky molina
    March 17, 2020 at 1:52 am

    Would it freeze well?

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