This is my Cuban mother's authentic Spanish Rice Recipe made with Uncle Ben's converted rice and green peas. In 30 minutes, you can have a pot of piping hot, real Cuban Spanish rice, which goes well with almost any main dish.
My mom only uses Uncle Ben's rice to make her Spanish Rice. I've tried this recipe with every other type of white rice and Uncle Ben's is the clear winner every time. It's fluffy and the grains are separate. You're going to love it!
What You Need
- Uncle Ben's Converted Rice
- Green Pepper
- Tomato Sauce
- Frozen Peas
- Salt & Pepper
What is Uncle Ben's Converted Rice?
Converted rice is parboiled and pressure cooked, making it slightly darker than white rice. Also, it is less sticky, and cleaning the pot after your meal is a breeze!
Over the years, I've tried this recipe with Jasmine rice, short grain rice, long grain rice, basmati rice, and so many others. Uncle Ben's rice is the winner every time.
For the Tomato Sauce
Tomato Sauce, not to be confused with marinara sauce, is near the canned tomatoes in your grocery store. Look for a brand such as Pomi, from Italy, that contains only tomatoes. Most of the other brands contain preservatives, such as citric acid.
It is available in The Florida Keys at Publix.
If you can't find Pomi, you can get an 8-ounce can of Del Monte or Hunt's tomato sauce.
In a pinch, you can use marinara sauce! I've tried it and it works too!
Do I Have to Defrost the Peas?
The peas do not have to be defrosted. Frozen peas are one of the few things I keep in my freezer besides meat. Try to get organic peas, but any peas will do.
- Petite Peas
- Green Peas or Spring Peas
- Steam in the bag peas
Any of these peas will work. They should be uncooked and sodium free.
How To Make Spanish Rice with Peas
- In a 3-quart saucepan, or small pot, over medium high-heat, add oil. Let it heat for a few minutes.
- Add onions and peppers and season with a little salt and pepper. Saute for a few minutes until soft.
- Add minced garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add remaining ingredients, and mix.
- Raise heat to high; bring to a boil. Give it a stir and lower heat to the lowest setting on your stove.
- Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. Set a timer for 20 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Stir it all up and serve hot.
Is Spanish Rice Gluten-Free?
Yes, this recipe is gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
What Goes with Spanish Rice?
According to my mom, everything goes with Spanish Rice!
You can serve the rice with roasted chicken, chicken fajitas, beef tacos, juicy poached chicken, pan-seared chicken breasts, and roasted snapper, to name a few. The rice makes a great side for burgers and steaks!
Of course, you can freeze the leftovers! I've eaten many bowls of this rice the next day and it will be good in the fridge for up to 4 days if it lasts that long.
To freeze, place in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to a month. Put a date on the bag and place it in the back of the freezer where it's not exposed to warm air when you open the door.
Yes, you can easily double this recipe. Just use twice as much as each ingredient and use a 4-quart pot. The cooking time will still be 20 minutes.
I made this recipe with Uncle Ben's Whole Grain brown rice and it works great. The directions are the same; just adjust the cooking time to 30 minutes if you're using Uncle Ben's brown rice and leave out the ketchup. If you have a unique brand or variety of brown rice, follow the cooking time on the box.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion peeled and diced
- 1 green bell pepper seeded and diced
- 2 garlic cloves pressed or minced
- 8 oz tomato sauce *see note below
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 1 cup Uncle Ben's converted rice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a 3-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering.
- Add onions and peppers and season with a little salt and pepper. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 4 minutes.
- Add garlic, and cook about 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
- Add tomato sauce, water, ketchup, peas, rice, one teaspoon of salt, a few grinds of pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir and lower heat to low. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Mix and serve hot.