Mom’s Spanish Rice

Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 20 min.


4 servings

Updated: Aug. 17, 2023
My mom is famous for her Spanish rice recipe, the ultimate comfort food. When I want a taste of home, I whip up this dish. Punch up the flavor with a little lime and extra chili powder. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas


  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-2/3 cups cooked brown rice
  • Chopped green onions, optional


  1. In a large skillet, cook beef, onion and pepper over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until beef is no longer pink and onion is tender, breaking up beef into crumbles; drain.
  2. Stir in tomato sauce, tomatoes and seasonings; bring to a boil. Add rice; heat through, stirring occasionally. Garnish with green onions, if desired.

Mom’s Spanish Rice Tips

What goes well with Spanish rice?

Lots of dishes go well with a Spanish rice recipe, including fajitas, enchiladas and burritos. Spanish rice can also be served as a main dish by itself and topped with sour cream and shredded cheese.

Is there a difference between Mexican rice and Spanish rice?

Although they share a lot of similar ingredients, authentic Mexican and Spanish rice use different spices. Spanish rice commonly uses saffron, which is where its yellow hue comes from. Saffron can be very expensive, but a few threads go a long way and will last you a long time! Mexican rice typically is tomato-based and uses cumin to get its distinct flavor and color. Try this easy Mexican Rice with Poached Eggs recipe for your next meal.

Research contributed by Sarah Fischer, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

Nutrition Facts

1-1/2 cups: 408 calories, 12g fat (4g saturated fat), 71mg cholesterol, 727mg sodium, 49g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 6g fiber), 28g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 starch, 2 vegetable.