Spanish Rice

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Similar to Jambalaya, this Spanish rice is packed full of flavor. Bacon, tomatoes, and veggies come together in this easy one-pot meal. It makes a great dinner for cold nights and leftovers reheat really well.
It has rice, bacon, onions, garlic, green peppers, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder (definitely not in Jambalaya before someone goes and calls the Louisiana State Police on me!).

Cut the bacon into 1″ pieces and cook over medium heat.

While the bacon is cooking, chop the onion and pepper and mince the garlic.

When the bacon is crips, remove it from the pan and drain on paper towels. Add the onions, garlic, and pepper

in a little of the reserved bacon grease and cook until the onions are tender. While the onions are cooking, place the tomatoes in a blender jar…

and pulse a few times until the tomatoes have broken down. Add the seasonings…
Tabasco sauce…
and Worcestershire sauce.
When the onions are tender, add the tomato mixture, rice, and some water. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20-25 minutes (at a low elevation, closer to an hour at high elevations) or until the rice is cooked. Super easy, right?
And perfect for fall. And the leftovers are awesome, especially if you have access to a microwave at work where you can re-heat them.

Spanish Rice

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic minced
  • 6-8 ounces uncooked bacon 1/2 package
  • 28 oz. stewed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups long-grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoons Tabasco sauce


  • Cut bacon into 1" pieces and cook until crisp in a Dutch oven if possible. Remove from pan and drain the grease, reserving 2 tablespoons in the pan. Return the pan to medium heat and add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook until the onions are translucent and fragrant. While the onions are cooking, place the tomatoes in the jar of your blender and pulse 2-3 times to chop them. Add the seasonings, Tabsco sauce, and Worcestershire sauce to the tomatoes and then, when the onions are done cooking, add the tomato mixture, seasonings, and rice and and bring to a boil. Stir, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20-25 minutes at low elevations or closer to an hour for high elevations or until the rice is cooked, stirring occasionally to make sure the rice is not burning. Serves 6-8-ish and makes great leftovers.




Calories: 252kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 18mg, Sodium: 547mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g
Calories: 252kcal
Author: kate jones
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Sara Wells
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. I have a few suggestions for those wondering how keep the rice from being sticky. First off fry your rice until brown with your pepper, onions, etc. Then add your liquids. Also, instead of using water for your rice use chicken broth. I worked in a Mexican restuarant for 5 years back in the day and this is how they would make theirs (and this is what I do when I make mine). I love the idea of bacon in the rice and I must try this real soon! 🙂

  2. Added extra water even though I am not at a high elevation (just cuz of so many people claiming the rice was crunchy) and I let it simmer for an hour and a half and the rice was still crunchy! There was plenty of moisture still in the pan. Here’s to another hour I guess . . . Bummer

    1. I’m at sea level and after 45 minutes, the rice was still crunchy. What would happen if you cook the rice first and then add it to the sauce/bacon/onions/etc? Would it taste the same?

  3. Jen–just add it in the step where it tells you to add the remaining ingredients. Hope that helps! 🙂

  4. This sounds delicious! What happens to the bacon? Does it get mixed back in with the rice, or do you just use it for the bacon fat and then use the bacon for something else?

  5. Thanks! I made it, but used brown long grain rice (New Years resolution!). It took way longer to cook because of the type of rice, but it was soo worth the wait!! I added some corn and blackbeans to the leftovers and my daughter just hoovered it up! I'm making it tomorrow too!

  6. Kim–Not dumb at all! 🙂 It will say it right on the package–my favorite is Mahatma.

  7. I tried this tonight and was the best spanish rice I have ever made. I have tried a few recipes too. Used prosciutto instead of bacon, 1 cup brown rice and had to add an extra cup of water and a bit more cooking time. But delicious, thanks.

  8. Allie–I think at my elevation, I need less water than most people. I was actually a little worried that there wasn't enough water in there, so I changed the recipe to add a bit more water and I think that will be better for most people. I'm so sorry it turned out crunchy! That's the worst!

    1. I made this last night with the creamy chicken taquitos WHICH WERE TO DIE FOR, thank you very much! I have just found your site and am dreaming about all the yummy stuff I’m going to be making in the VERY near future.

      Anyhow, I made this last night and mine was also nowhere near done after the 25 minutes…it probably took 40 to soak up all the water and it was also very crunchy. What did I do wrong?

      Also, I have just discovered that I have possibly been using the wrong type of rice all along. I have always used Uncle Ben’s non-instant white rice. I went to a friend’s house and borrowed some rice to make your recipe…it wasn’t Mahatma, it was Hinode, I think…but it was long grain. Can I use Uncle Ben to make your rice recipes? Next on my list to try is the Pineapple Cilantro Lime rice with the teriyaki bacon skewers…but I want to make sure I’m not gonna screw up the rice again. Any pointers?

  9. K I just made this and the rice wasn't done after the 25 mins. I cooked it for almost an hour and the rice was STILL kind of hard and crunchy! I even added a little more water to see if that would soften it up. What did I do wrong?

  10. I've been searching for a good Spanish Rice dish…Lipton packets just aren't cutting it. Looks different and yummy, can't wait to try it out!

  11. Anna–you can use any heavy pot or skillet as long as it has a lid.

    Kelli (and Roommate Sara)–Failed cheese fondue. And Hollandaise sauce. In one night. It was epic. 🙂 I'm glad to know I wasn't the only one!

  12. Man, I can totally relate to the difficulties of the first two years at college! Maybe it's because we have happy middle-school memories, but I swear those years were the hardest of my life so far. 🙂
    I also remember yummy foods that brought solace (as well as plenty of attempts that were utter failures!) Ahh…so nice to be just a little bit older and wiser. 🙂
    The recipe looks great! Thanks for sharing.

  13. Sara–I think we should totally get bonus points for that…and for the fact that I'm using the BHG dishes that I totally bought with my own pennies. 🙂

    Michelle–You could go either way. Really, it's plenty for us to serve as a main dish; I usually just serve it with cornbread.

    ilovecroc–Yep, you can totally make this without bacon (although as soon as you get un-pregnant, you need to try it with bacon because it's SO good!); just use olive oil in place of the bacon drippings.

  14. Have you ever made this without the bacon? I am pregnant and for some reason this baby wont let me eat meat…but this looks so yummy I want to make it! Yet I would leave the bacon you think it would taste ok?

  15. Looks delicious! Do you use this as a main course or as a side? If a side, what do you serve it with?

  16. Oh, I forgot to mention: I got the recipe from my mom, who adapted it from a Better Homes & Gardens cookbook! Does that get you any bonus points in the competition (not that you need them!)?

    And yes, there are a lot of things I wish I could redo, but I'm not going to start listing them on a public forum!

  17. Sara–So many. Hahaha. I kind of wish I could go back and do it again knowing what I do now, you know?

    Shanna–I'm totally rocking the Walmart here. 🙂 No, they are actually Better Homes and Gardens at Walmart and I've been ogling them in the seasonal section for the last few weeks until I finally broke down and bought them. They have a whole bunch of super cute colors.

    Carrie–I hear you on the sticky, mushy rice! Here are a few tips:

    –Use long-grain rice (I use Mahatma)

    –Most instructions tell you to use twice as much water as rice, but mine does tend to get mushy that way, so usually take out about 2 tablespoons per cup of water. So…if I'm using 1 cup of rice, I use 2 cups minus 4 tablespoons of water.

    –Try adding a splash of vinegar when you add the water; it helps keep the grains of rice separated.

  18. Any tips on non-sticky rice? I made your jambalaya this week, and it was great but the texture of my rice was awful! I've always been an instant rice user, but I'd love to make the switch. 🙂

  19. I have such a random question for this post. What kind of dishes are in that last pic of the finished spanish rice? Which looks so yummy – making me hungry!! Btw – I love love love your blog!!

  20. I started reading and thought I should tell you to try it with stewed tomatoes instead of regular — but it looks like you figured that one out, too! We did have some interesting… uh… adventures in the kitchen back in the day, didn't we? 🙂

  21. I have never heard of bacon in spanish rice before. We love homemade spanish rice, and we are going to try this recipe this week!