Is Spanish Rice Good For You? - The Answer Is Surprising

If you enjoy discovering different cuisines in the world, you will surely hear about Spanish rice - a traditional Mexican dish. But have you ever wondered why it is a famous dish in the world? Is Spanish rice good for you? In this article, we’ll look at the health benefits that Spanish rice could bring. We also provide recipes for those who desire to cook it themselves.

What Is Spanish Rice?

Is Spanish Rice Good For You

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Spanish rice, often known as Mexican rice, is a rice pilaf with western flavors. It contains white rice, tomatoes, garlic, and other ingredients. Although the name refers to the country of Spain, the origin of this dish was from Mexico.

To cook it, first, saute the uncooked rice with onions and garlic, then simmer it in chicken broth with tomatoes. Sauteing is necessary for the rice's fragrant smell and toasted taste. The chicken stock is a crucial component, which absorbs the strong flavor of the rice during the process.

As delicious as it is, but is Mexican rice good for you? Keep reading!

Is Spanish Rice Good For You?

Spanish rice goes well with Mexican dishes, poultry, or almost everything. So, is Spanish rice good for you? - Definitely yes! It has multiple merits. Let’s have a closer look at each benefit below!

Is Spanish Rice Good For You -

Image source: Flickr

It Provides Essential Vitamins

It includes vitamins B and D, which are beneficial to metabolism and the immune system. When combined with calcium, vitamin D improves your bones' density and helps you avoid bone-related illnesses later in life.

Other veggies involved in this food, such as green peppers, garlic, or tomatoes, are also rich in Vitamin C, which could allow your body to absorb iron more effectively. 

This great combination makes the whole dish super healthy when it comes to preventing and treating iron deficiency. 

It Is A Relief For The Digestive System

White rice is highly digestible, low in fiber, and rarely causes stomach distress when prepared and eaten appropriately. It may work wonders for patients who suffer from heartburn or nausea and during flare-ups of illnesses such as diverticulitis.

It Adds Minerals

Is Spanish rice healthy? Of course, it is clear that Spanish rice contains a lot of important dietary elements, such as calcium, iron, and potassium. Each serving offers you 29 mg of calcium and 240 mg of potassium. With roughly 70% rice, the overall iron content is 2.3 mg.

It Supports Energy

Spanish rice is a low-fat, high-calorie food. Sportspeople frequently choose white rice as a preferred energy source, particularly when refueling after exercise. 

This is because refined carbohydrates provide a rapid, easily available supply of glucose, which is required to restore energy after workouts. That’s why the answer to the question: is Spanish rice good for you? is always a big Yes.

It Is A Great Source Of Choline

Choline, an essential nutrient, helps activate pain responses and boosts the brain's ability in memory and thinking. It mostly derives from food, such as chicken, cruciferous vegetables, etc. Every dish of Spanish rice contains around 9.7 milligrams of choline.

It Brings Glycemic Value

The amount of carbs is a vital factor to consider when you are trying to avoid diabetes and keep an eye on the blood sugar. To do so, the glycemic index (GI) is a perfect tool. The GI ranks foods based on how rapidly they elevate blood sugar levels.

The three GI ratings are:

  • Low: 55 or fewer

  • Medium: 56–69

  • High: 70 or more

Foods with a low GI value are the best option. They digest and absorb slowly, resulting in a slower and lower increase in blood sugar levels. 

So, is Spanish rice good for you? Long grain white rice in Spanish rice has a rating ranging from 39 to 70, indicating that it is a healthy choice for your diet.

Recipes To Make Spanish Rice At Home

Now you can answer the question: is orange rice good for you?. Why not try to make it at home? Here is the step-by-step guide.


  • 1 ½ cup of white rice cooked

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

  • ¼ onion chopped

  • 2 ½ cups of chicken broth

  • 1 cup of tomato sauce


  • Step 1: Saute rice and onions.

Heat a non-stick frypan over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Then brown the rice in the oil. Remember to stir it after every 2 minutes. Then put onion in and saute it until it turns slightly golden brown.

  • Step 2: Add in spices.

After finishing the main part, you can add garlic, chili powder, and pepper. Saute this mix in a minute.

  • Step 3: Simmer.

The next part is to make the sauce. First, combine the chicken stock, tomato sauce, salt, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a brisk simmer. 

Then you simmer and stir it occasionally for 10-20 minutes till the rice is soft. The length of this process also depends on the type of rice you choose, so make some adjustments if necessary.

  • Step 4: Serve. 

Now you've finished what you need for this delicious dish. Just mix the rice with a fork and add pepper or chili sauce. Now the food is ready to serve.

  • Step 5: Store.

You can freeze the rice and keep it for future use. Put the rice into the ziplock bag and place it in the fridge. You can keep it for about 5 days in the cooler and in the freezer for 3-6 months.

What Are Substitutes For Spanish rice?

Is Spanish Rice Good For You - What Are Substitutes For Spanish rice?

Image source: Flickr

Is Spanish rice bad for you? No way. But sometimes, you may find it hard to put your hands on this dish. So what are the best stand-ins?

The most popular alternative for Spanish rice is bomba, which could be bought by mail in the United States. You'll also have mouth-watering food using Goya's readily available medium-grain rice. Besides, arborio rice is a suitable replacement.

According to the recipes above, we use white rice for making Spanish rice. But you may use brown rice to replace the white counterpart. This is also delicious with leftover cooked rice! 

The Spanish cauliflower rice is also a great alternative where you use riced cauliflower instead of whole cauliflower.

Final Thoughts

So, is Spanish rice good for you? - Yes, of course. It offers many benefits to our health and is a tempting dish for every foodie! You can easily make it at home with our comprehensive recipes. Now it’s your turn to give it a try!

We hope this post has provided useful information to enrich your cooking knowledge. Thank you for reading, and enjoy your cooking!

1 ratings
Donna S Huff
Donna S Huff
I am a data-cruncher and bon vivant, who loves cooking, eating, and all things food.