Red, Red Rice

Red rice, or arroz rojo, is a very popular side dish for just about any Mexican or Southwestern meal around.  Red rice is also known as both Spanish rice or Mexican rice, although they do not traditionally eat red rice in Spain.  So how did it become known as Spanish rice then if they don’t eat it in Spain?  Well, there are a couple of theories.  The first is that since it was introduced to Mexico by the Spanish through their conquests in Asia and the Philippines, it was called Spanish rice.  The second theory is because they speak Spanish in Mexico, and this is a traditional dish in Northern Mexico, it is called Spanish rice. This dish is eaten almost daily by most people who live in Northern Mexico yet in Southern Mexico, the people eat white rice instead.  The red color comes from using either pureed tomatoes or tomato sauce or ketchup.   There are many different ways to make this traditional Mexican dish, but it almost always is made with chicken broth, tomatoes, garlic, chilis and onions.  Everything else is just a bonus.

I made my red rice to serve with my chipotle mushrooms Chipotle Mushrooms and empanadas.  Pork and Pumpkin Empanadas.  It made for a perfect Southwestern meal.


Red Rice

This is but one of countless versions of this dish.  This is one of the easiest ways to prepare red, Spanish or Mexican rice.


2 cans chicken broth – I made my own

1/2 tsp cumin

1 TBSP garlic

1/4 onion, chopped fine

1/2 tsp

chili lime seasoning

1 /2 tsp coriander

1 tsp each  fresh oregano and thyme, chopped fine

1 cup rice

salt & pepper to taste

3 TBSP butter

3 TBSP ketchup or tomato paste


Mix the seasonings, chicken broth and ketchup together and set aside.


Saute the onions and garlic in the butter in a sauce pan for about 2-3 minutes, then add the rice and mix it in thoroughly.  Toast it slightly for about 2-3 minutes, then add the chicken broth mixture.




Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for about 20 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated and the rice is cooked and tender.  Add the oregano and thyme to the mixture once you have reduced the heat.


When the rice is done, serve it up with your favorite Mexican or Southwestern cuisine and enjoy.  !Desfruita!







Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

14 thoughts on “Red, Red Rice”

  1. Printing this off for my wife. I cannot cook really well at all…but I am going to try one day. You explain everything so well… I will give it a try and shock my wife. Surely I could get rice right.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s