Spanish Rice

It seems like everyone I know had a magical experience during their first couple of years at college. Or maybe that’s just a stereotype and I don’t really know what everyone else was experiencing, but I do know that for me, it was hard. Like…worse than middle school (I actually have very happy middle school memories–I don’t know if that makes me freakish!). For those first two years, I felt lost, like I had no idea who I was or who I wanted to be and the expectation was that at that point in my life, I should have known. Heck, I spent the first 18 years of my life thinking that I knew and then suddenly I didn’t anymore. Those years, more than almost any other time in my life, are ones you couldn’t pay me to re-live.
It was during that time that I really started to cook. In earnest. I had always dabbled here and there in the kitchen, but I reached a point where it kind of became this cathartic therapy for me. The problem was that I didn’t have a ton of recipes and I didn’t always know what I was doing.
My roommate Sara (not Our Best Bites Sara, actually–Sara from rockin’ West Des Moines), on the other hand, came to college well-stocked with family recipes. This is one that she would make all the time and then just eat the leftovers for the rest of the week. It became one of my favorite recipes and one that, these days, I kind of forget about until I remember how much I love it.
It actually reminds me a lot of our Jambalaya; 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.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Spanish Rice

  • Author: kate jones
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8




  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 46 cloves garlic, minced
  • 68 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
  • 1/81/4 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
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Sodium: 547mg
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 31g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Cholesterol: 18mg


  1. 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?

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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. 🙂

  5. 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!!

  6. 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? 🙂

  7. 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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.