Recipes Spanish Rice

I have lived in the Northeast, the South, and the Southwest, and have learned that everyone likes Spanish rice. My mother has her own recipe which she prepared and served throughout my childhood in New England. After I moved to Arizona, I worked at a shelter for women and children; part of my job included preparing dinners for the residents. A friend and coworker served her own variation of Spanish rice at the shelter, developed from her grandfather’s recipe.

The recipe below represents favorite aspects from my mother’s and my friend’s recipes, and I have added my own touches. I love the salty taste of the black olives in this recipe; the two kinds of peppers add heat and depth to the flavor.

Spanish Rice with Black Olives (makes about 5 cups, or 6 – 8 side dishes)


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 pickled jalapeno pepper, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon chili powder

3/4 cup uncooked long-grain rice

1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained

1 cup black olives, sliced

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

In a large skillet, heat cooking oil. Cook the onion, jalapeno, and garlic until tender. Stir in the chili powder, cook together 1 minute more. Add the diced tomatoes, diced tomatoes with green chiles, rice, olives, chicken broth, salt, and black pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender. You may add 1/2 cup of water or broth at a time if liquid cooks out before rice is tender.

My husband, who has lived in Texas for 40 years, serves this dish with his own recipe for oven-fried chicken and frijoles for a hearty meal.


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