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Quick and Easy 3 Ingredient Spanish Rice

26 Reviews

Hooray for a quick and easy 3 ingredient spanish rice that still tastes like your local Mexican restaurant! ohsweetbasil.com

I love trying new recipes (bet you had no idea, right?) and I especially love recipes that take a little more time and effort and end up amazing. It just makes me feel so accomplished and proud of myself plus I love to devour the food. But, I’m also realistic and I know that I would be totally burned out if every single recipe was a large list of totally from scratch ingredients. So, one day we were chatting about what to have for dinner and I mentioned that burritos and Spanish rice sounded good since we rarely have those (this recipe is so delicious but definitely takes more time), but that I had like zero desire to cook and Cade was headed off to a bunch of meetings so we needed something quick. I looked in the pantry and BAM!

I saw the Old El Paso sauce packet and I crossed my fingers then proceeded to try out a quick and easy 3 ingredient spanish rice. And dudes, it totally worked.

Hooray for a quick and easy 3 ingredient spanish rice that still tastes like your local Mexican restaurant! ohsweetbasil.com

We had a really yummy dinner and then once the girls were in bed I enjoyed a little Austenland while editing photos. Oh. My. Gosh. Have you seen that movie? I died laughing!! It actually ends up kinda cute, but I was totally cracking up throughout the whole movie. Oh man, “In the evenings I stick my face in the fire” ” People who hang themselves, they feel different in the morning.  And then it’s too late.  So feel better!” Oh golly, it’s strangely ridiculous and wonderful all wrapped into one.

Hooray for a quick and easy 3 ingredient spanish rice that still tastes like your local Mexican restaurant! ohsweetbasil.com

Don’t go rent the movie expecting Pride and Prejudice. At times I was embarrassed for the characters, but it was totally worth it. Right?! I feel like I’m talking to space which I guess I am in a way, but tell me that someone else has seen this and for some strange reason kind of liked it!!

What Is Spanish Rice?

Spanish Rice is a Mexican side dish.

It is made from white rice, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and other spices.

The ingredients are then sautéd in a skillet with oil or fat until it is colored golden brown.


What Kind of Rice Is Healthiest?

Varieties of brown rice are the healthiest.

Brown rice still contains germ and bran layers, which provide a range of important nutrients including B vitamins, bone-building phosphorus, and magnesium.

What Could You Substitute For Rice?

Quinoa is the go-to substitute for rice.

Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein, and contains nine essential amino acids, vitamins B and E, and many other nutrients including potassium and calcium.

Quick and Easy 3 Ingredient Spanish Rice

Raised in the Kitchen - Carrian Cheney

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quick and easy spanish rice ohsweetbasil.com

Quick and Easy 3 Ingredient Spanish Rice

2.43 from 26 votes
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 21 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 Old El Paso Sauce Packet We like chiptole
  • 1 1/2 cup rice
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar leave out if you use any flavor other than chipotle


  • Stir together the water, sauce packet and brown sugar.
  • Add the rice to a sauce pan or rice cooker.
  • Add the sauce mixture and heat to a boil then turn down to a simmer and cover with a lid.
  • Allow to cook for 20 minutes, fluff then serve, or use the instructions on the rice cooker.


store left overs in the refrigerator for 3-4 days
Nutrition Facts
Quick and Easy 3 Ingredient Spanish Rice
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 276 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 12mg1%
Potassium 80mg2%
Carbohydrates 61g20%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 5g10%
Calcium 29mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Healthy Habits That Help Me!

About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating


  • Forget the pop ups and blather just give us a how to vid or recipe

    • Reply
  • Omg I am obsessed with Austenland! It’s hilarious LOL and I never meet anyone who’s watched it! 

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    • It is funny every single time!!

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  • I can’t find this sauce. Did they quit making it? I couldn’t even find it on El Paso website.

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    • Oh no!! They must have. I’ve seen others made by Kroger, do you have a Kroger store?

      • Reply
      • Yes, I do. I will go there next time I am out shopping. Thanks! Is it just Kroger brand cooking sauce?

      • Yes and it has great flavor. 🙂

  • Have you ever made this for a large crowd? Just wondering how it would work. I am cooking for a large crowd (100 people) and would like to use this recipe.

    • Reply
    • Hi Kristi,

      I haven’t made it for that big of a crowd, but I imagine you could just borrow a few slow cookers and make a few batches all at once.

      • Reply
  • Enjoyed reading your recipe. I wanted to try something new with white rice myself and decided to get a sauce (fajita flavored) to put in my rice for some zesty flavor. I served the rice with chopped up chicken breast with parsley on top. DELICIOUS MEAL

    • Reply
    • Thanks Randi! That sounds delicious!

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  • What sauce is it you use? The only packet I found was an 8oz liquid pouch. It seems like too much liquid for the amount of rice.

    • Reply
    • Hi Jason, I just added a photo for you. You can do any flavor you like but this is what the packet looks like. The sauce is thick and for 1 1/2 cups of rice you would normally want 3 cups of water so the amount is right. 🙂 You can always cut the sauce down if you want.

      • Reply
  • Does the fact that you add brown sugar give this any sort of a sweet taste? Could it be done without brown sugar?

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    • It doesn’t, but it helps to break up the flavor of the sauce which is slightly too harsh without the brown sugar. At least for my family, but you could always see what you think.

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  • Thanks for the recipe and I just watched Austenland a few weeks ago. LOVED IT!!! So unexpected and funny. The song at the piano?!…….had me dying!!! I am quoting it all the time!

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    • Lol!!! Totally unexpected! I can’t wait to see it again.

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  • Love the recipe! I found it on Pinterest. I do have a couple questions though. Is this white or brown rice and can I use the minute rice. You say let the rice sit for 20 minutes and idk if that would work for a minute rice.

    Thank you!

    • Reply
    • Hi Liz! It’s just regular white rice. Unfortunately minute rice wouldn’t work right. 🙁

      • Reply
      • I used instant rice successfully with delicious results 🙂

  • This looks delicious! My mom used to make spanish rice all the time. She would put cut up hot dogs in it – which I wasn’t the biggest fan of haha. Need to try this one now. Pinning!

    • Reply
    • lol!! Kind of like the hot dogs and macaroni and cheese we had. As if it somehow made it a well balanced meal 😉

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  • Love simple fixes like this!

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  • This sounds amazing!!We eat way too much Mexican food!Would this work if I make my own taco mix?

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    • Lol, same here. It never really gets old to me either. So, the sauce packet is literally a sauce in a pouch, not the taco seasoning so probably buy the Old El Paso stuff. 🙂

      • Reply
    • I successfully used the powdered mix with instant rice, I would try a batch and see! 🙂

      • Reply
      • Awesome!

  • This looks so easy and delish! I totally thought the same thing about austenland, my sister was rolling her eyes and thought it was so dumb (she’s 16) but I loved the quirky cute storyline! Plus anything Austen is amazing so I was bound to like it!

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    • Totally agree!

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  • Yummy! Sure love recipes that isn’t time-consuming anymore:):)

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    • Me too, and our other recipe really does take a while but it’s awesome.

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  • I love spanish rice. This looks yummy!

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  • Always love three ingredient meals! Now I need to check out Austenland too.

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  • I am sold on 3 ingredients! This looks amazing.

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  • I always loved spanish rice as a kid but haven’t had it in years! No time like the present to change that. I love this!

    • Reply

Healthy Habits That Help Me!