Refried beans and Spanish rice, a.k.a. Mexican rice, are an inseparable combination in burritos or as a side dish. A purée of fresh tomatoes, garlic, chicken broth, and onion is added to toasted long-grain white rice, and as the rice cooks, it absorbs the mixture. Serve this fluffy, flavorful rice dish alongside Mexican favorites like cheesy Chiles Rellenos, Chicken Fajitas, and, of course, a Margarita.
This recipe was featured as part of our Cinco de Mayo recipe slideshow.
- Yield: 4 to 6 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 50 mins
- 2 cups long-grain white rice
- 1 pound medium Roma tomatoes (about 4 or 5), cored and coarsely chopped
- 3/4 to 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1/2 medium white onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 bay leaf
- Place the rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. Set the rice aside in the strainer.
- Place the tomatoes, 3/4 cup of the broth, the garlic, onion, and measured salt in a blender and blend on high until puréed. (You should have 3 1/2 cups of liquid. If you don’t have enough, add the remaining 1/4 cup of broth as needed.) Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the strained rice and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the rice is fragrant and makes a crackling sound, about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomato purée and bay leaf. Stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any stuck grains of rice, and bring to a boil. Cover with a tightfitting lid, reduce the heat to low, and cook undisturbed until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit covered for 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and fluff the rice with a fork, incorporating the tomato layer on top. Taste and season with salt as needed.