This easy recipe for Spanish Brown Rice (aka) Mexican brown rice is one of my favorite side dishes for enchiladas, tacos, and grilled meat. It is so simple to make and only requires 1 pot!
I highly recommend paring this Spanish brown rice with my Mexican grilled chicken recipe. And it's perfect accompanied by a salad and some spiced black beans from my cookbook for a complete vegetarian meal.
Mexican Brown Rice
This Spanish brown rice, also known as Mexican brown rice, is a flavorful side dish for many of my favorite local Tex Mex restaurants. I had a tough time believing I could recreate the same flavors at home in such an easy way. But it's possible! And I'll show you how to do it with just a few minimal ingredients.
A great recipe to have as a main vegetarian course, or to pair with fajitas, this rice stores super well in the fridge and also frozen. It's perfect to keep on hand as a side dish.
Using brown rice yields a much more chewy texture and a lot more flavor than using white rice. Plus brown rice has more fiber and antioxidants, as well as nutrients, than white rice.
This Tex Mex brown rice is vegan and gluten free as is!
Just a few simple ingredients are needed for this Mexican style brown rice!
- Brown rice - I just used Basmati brown rice, but feel free to use your favorite brand. I don't recommend substituting this with white rice.
- Shallot - Shallot lends a much softer and more elegant flavor than onion, and it also is an approved food if you're following a migraine diet.
- Chili Powder - I recommend using one without onion or cocoa powder in the ingredients. Frontier, Central Market brand, and Morton and Bassett all have good ones, but you can usually find one locally too!
- Corn - I used to insist on fresh corn for this recipe, which makes it wonderful for summer, but honestly, frozen works just as well. Obviously fresh has the best, sweetest flavor and a great texture, but don't worry about reaching for frozen!
- Vegetable broth - I recommend the homemade broth from my cookbook (page 80) or Trader Joe's Hearty Vegetable Broth. A chicken broth would work as well, but vegetable broth keeps this recipe vegan or vegetarian.
- Strained tomatoes - Sometimes called tomato puree without spices, this can be found boxed or canned. My favorite brand is Pomi, which you can find at Whole Foods and other stores.
How to Make
Step 1: Add the ingredients
Using a medium pot with a lid, add all the ingredients - rice, spices, broth, shallot, tomato puree, corn, salt and pepper.
Step 2: Bring to a boil
Over medium high heat, bring the liquid to a boil, then stir with a wood spoon. Cover with a tight fitting lid and turn the heat to "low". Simmer, covered, for about 40 minutes or until all the liquid has absorbed.
Fluff with a fork and serve warm.
Want More Flavor?
To give this Spanish brown rice more flavor, but with a little extra effort, add two teaspoons of olive oil to the pan and place over medium heat. Add the shallot and rice, stirring frequently as both cook. The shallot will soften and the rice will become toasted and nutty. Then add all the additional ingredients and bring to a boil. This packs a little bit of extra flavor.
This Spanish rice pairs so well with so many of my recipes. You can easily serve it with black beans and a side salad, dressed with Salsa Verde for a vegan meal. For other Mexican inspired dishes, see the below. My personal favorite is the Mexican grilled chicken.
- Healthy Beef Enchiladas
- Chicken Tinga Tacos
- Baked Tacos
- Mexican Grilled Chicken
- Spicy Shrimp Tacos
- Salmon with Mango Salsa
- Grilled Steak Tacos
- Ground Turkey Enchilada Casserole
- Flank Steak with Chimichurri
- Steak Fajitas
Refrigerator - This Mexican brown rice can be stored up to 5 days in the fridge. Just reheat in the microwave in 30 second intervals till warmed through. I also recommend covering with a damp paper towel to keep in moisture.
Freezer - To freeze, place the rice in a freezer safe container and store up to 6 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Or if placed in a ziplock freezer bag, place into warm water until fully defrosted. Then microwave till warm.
Frequently Asked Questions
Spanish brown rice is a tomato and spice infused rice that's also known as Mexican brown rice. Most commonly you'll find it served as a side dish with tacos, fajitas, and more in local Tex Mex restaurants.
Not at all! The chili powder provides the flavor without a ton of heat. If you'd like to add a little more kick, add in a chopped jalapeno.
I've tried this recipe a number of ways, and the last time I just straight up forgot to sauté the shallots. To be honest, I didn't really notice a huge flavor difference. You can definitely do this and toast the rice as well, and it will add a boost of flavor. But if you're in a hurry, just add everything to the pot and cook. The average person most likely cannot tell a difference and it's a lot less effort for you.
This recipe is vegan, gluten free, and dairy free as is! No changes needed.
Spanish Brown Rice
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 1 cob) or frozen
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 cup brown rice I used Trader Joe's California Brown
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ cup unseasoned tomato puree (strained tomatoes) I used Pomi brand
- kosher salt and pepper to taste
- If using fresh corn, run the corn kernels by running your knife down each side of the cob.
- In a small pot, combine rice, chopped shallot, corn, broth, chili powder, garlic powder, and tomato puree. Mix everything together and place on the stove over medium-high heat. Bring everything to a boil, stir a few times, cover the pot with a lid, and reduce the heat to low.
- Cook according to your rice package directions, mine took about 40 minutes total, until all the liquid has absorbed and the rice is soft. Stir again so everything is combined and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Use the recipe for vegetable broth from my cookbook or you can also substitute chicken broth. For store-bought, I like Trader Joe's Hearty Vegetable.
- If you're not pressed for time, add two teaspoons of olive oil to the pan and place over medium heat. Add the shallot and rice, stirring frequently as both cook. The shallot will soften and the rice will become toasted and nutty. Then add all the additional ingredients and bring to a boil. This packs a little bit of extra flavor.