Spanish or Mexican rice? Learn how to differentiate them

Spanish and Mexican rice are both colored and delicious. They vary from dense red and orange to bright yellow. They are the perfect rice side dishes for varied meals. (

The only difference seems to be their names. So, it is not surprising they are used interchangeably. (

Slight difference  s

Spanish or Mexican rice is also known as red rice. They look the same, but their taste is slightly different. (

The reason is simple: spanish rice seasoning is made with saffron threads, while Mexican rice seasoning is usually cumin-based.

Another difference is their texture. Spanish rice has a firmer texture, and Mexican rice is softer.

Even though all colored rice is called Spanish or Mexican rice, the truth is that Spanish rice is golden and Mexican rice is red-orange.

Deep into their components  

For understanding more about these two great dishes, let’s go deep into their components.

Spanish rice includes long-grain rice, green and red bell pepper, onion, garlic, tomato sauce, chicken stock, coriander, and saffron.

Mexican rice contains long-grain rice, onion, chicken broth, tomato sauce, bay leaves, cumin, chili powder, and dried oregano.

What serve with Spanish and Mexican rice  

These types of rice are the best accompaniments to various dishes. Spanish rice goes well with curried lamb meatballs, Tabbouleh, Tandoori Chicken, grilled fish and shrimp, bake chicken, fried chorizo, and black beans.

Mexican rice can pair with typical preparations such as enchiladas, burritos, carnitas, fajitas, tacos, lime chicken, and beef barbacoa.

Recipes with Spanish and Mexican rice  

Spanish and Mexican rice are not only delicious but quite easy to cook. They also work as a base for many variations.

You can add the following ingredients to make an exquisite dish:

  • Spanish rice with shredded chicken.
  • Spanish rice with seafood.
  • Spanish with beef.
  • Mexican rice with carrots, corn, or peas.
  • Mexican rice with ground turkey.
  • Mexican rice with ground beef.

Let’s learn how to make these types of rice with beans and chicken. They are nutritious meals packed with beneficial proteins.

Spanish rice and beans  


  • ¼ teaspoon of saffron threads.
  • ¼ cup of hot water.
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • 1 chopped onion.
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper.
  • 1 chopped green bell pepper.
  • 3 minced cloves garlic.
  • Salt to taste.
  • ½ teaspoon of ground coriander.
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper.
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice.
  • 3 cups of vegetable broth.
  • 2 cans of kidney beans.
  • ⅓ cup of sliced green olives.
  • Fresh parsley.


  1. Combine saffron threads and 1/4 cup hot water in a bowl. Soak for 5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, heat olive oil and add the onions. Cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Incorporate red bell pepper and green bell pepper. Stir very well.
  4. Add garlic, salt, coriander, and black pepper. Cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Incorporate rice and sauté for 5 minutes and stir constantly.
  6. Pour the saffron threads, its soaking liquid, the vegetable broth, and drained kidney beans.
  7. Cook until the mixture boils.
  8. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  9. Serve with sliced green olives and chopped parsley at the top.

Mexican rice with chicken  


  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • 1 diced onion.
  • 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breasts.
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic.
  • 1 cup of long-grain white rice.
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes.
  • 1 cup of chicken broth.
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cumin.
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.


  1. In a skillet, pour olive oil and add onions.
  2. Cook at medium heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add cut chicken breasts and cook until they get brown.
  4. Add minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Incorporate rice, diced tomatoes, cumin, and chicken broth. Stir very well.
  6. Cook for 10 minutes and then simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Serve with shredded cheese at the top.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *