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Speedy homemade Spanish Rice

I won’t say this is true, legit Spanish rice, but I did get the general recipe from my friend Elaina, a Jewish woman married to a Mexican American.  This is my interpretation of her interpretation from her mother-in-law.  It’s like Telephone, but for recipes.

I love this recipe because it allows me to use my dutch oven (our cast iron love runs deep), and it saves well in the fridge for a few days.  The actual cooking time is long, but the hands-on time isn’t much.  I always use the cooking time to do other prep work for the week.

Spanish Rice
1/4 stick butter (mmmm)
1/2 onion, sliced
2-3 stalks of celery, diced
2 cups of rice
2 cups of chicken or  veggie broth
V8 or something similar
Garlic – go nuts.  It’s up to you

1) Heat your dutch oven and the butter over medium heat, until the butter is fully melted.

2) Add the rice.  Stir and cook until the rice begins to “toast” and brown.  Add the celery and onion, and cook for a few more minutes.  Add the garlic at the tail end of cooking the celery and onion.  If garlic cooks too long, it can burn and be nasty!


3)  Add a splash of your vegetable juice of choice.  Elaina and I had a good giggle when she told me to add a can of V8 to it and then the chicken broth,  I was thinking of the huge cans of V8 plus the chicken broth, and was picturing rice soup.  She meant those tiny little cans.  I just used a splash of the bottled stuff.  Maybe a scant 1/4 cup.



4)  Add the chicken broth.  Put the lid on, and cook for 20 minutes (stir once or twice), or until the rice has reached your desired texture.


This is the base for my “taco bowl” dinners.  Start with the rice, add black beans*, sliced avocado, salsa, sliced green onion, maybe a few tortilla chips (seek and devour Juanitas brand if you can find them.  Amazing) and a little cheese.  Delish, and ohhhh so inexpensive!  I rarely add meat to these bowls because between the beans and chicken broth, you’re getting a good deal of healthy/filling protein.

*About every three months, I make a huge batch of black beans in my giant crockpot and then freeze them in wide mouth pint jars.  Put them on the counter in the morning, and they defrost beautifully by dinner.

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8 comments on “Speedy homemade Spanish Rice”

  1. Celery? How could you!?!!?!

    Very well done, my student. My only comment is that your rice isn’t quite brown enough. Some of them should actually be brown before you add the V8.

  2. I’m always in the mood for delicious Spanish/Mexican inspired foods. Yum. We used to freeze beans too, forever. Just make a huge batch and freeze in small portions. They retain pretty much most of their texture and flavors.

  3. Ok, this is pretty off-subject, but your friend, Elaina … That’s my middle name. I was named after my aunt who died as a teenager right before I was born. No one ever asked my Gramma how she came up with the name before she passed away and I’ve always been interested. This is the first time I’ve ever “met” someone else with that name/spelling. If you ever find out any stories about the name/meaning/where it came from from your friend I’d love to hear it. Oh – AND I am pinning this recipe – Thank You!

  4. Oh, I love food with Spanish/Mexican flavors. This sounds absolutely delicious, too. So glad you clarified on the amount of V-8, though… I’d have poured the whole jug in and called it ‘soup’, too.

  5. I made this to go with our chicken fajitas last night. Very yummy! I used carrots instead of celery and tomato sauce instead of V8 because thats what I had. Will make this again for sure!

  6. I quartered this recipe (since my husband is pickier than a 5 year old with a wedgie) and it still turned out beautifully. I’m not much of a fan of cooked celery either, so I used bell pepper in it’s place. I also made your taco bowls last night using the plethora of black beans I seemed to have acquired and loved them! What a great idea! I didn’t miss the meat at all (like you said). I think I’ll be adding that to my Meatless [Insert Day of the Week here] meal options.

    You rock!

  7. I made this the other night and like a retard used brown rice. It took 45 minutes to cook and I had to add more chicken broth! LOL! I used a red pepper and added some Orzo too. It did turn out delish!!! Although, I wasn’t too happy about eating dinner at 8pm! LOL! I had also put 2 chicken breasts in the Crockpot, added some cumin, pepper, sea salt and salsa and put it on top of the bowls. Super yummy! Had lots left over to make salads this week for lunch!

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