Spanish Rice is traditionally a side dish in Mexican cuisine. 

Its simple ingredient list, full flavour and versatility, though, makes it more widely appealing. 

A search of Australia’s digitised newspapers on the Trove website shows that Spanish Rice was quite popular in Australia in the early 1900’s, especially the 30’s and 40’s.

And Nana Ling was on trend, recording this recipe in November 1942.

Preparing Spanish Rice

Keep in mind that this recipe uses only half a cup of rice and serves 2 people. Double (or triple) the quanitities if you’re cooking for more.

Spanish Rice: versatile side or quick and tasty lunch

It may be known as a side dish, however we enjoyed a bowl of Spanish Rice with a few tortilla chips as a quick and easy lunch.

Nana Ling’s Spanish Rice recipe

Keep scrolling for the tested and tweaked version.

spanish rice
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Spanish Rice

A versatile side dish that traditionally accompanies Mexican food (but is great with steak, chicken or even enjoyed on its own) 
Course Side Dish
Cuisine English, Mexican, Spanish
Keyword rice, spanishrice
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 429kcal


  • 60 grams butter
  • 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 2 small-medium tomatoes
  • 1/2 large onion (or 1 small onion)
  • 1 1/2 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)


  • Melt butter in a large heavy-based saucepan.
  • Add rice and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until rice browns, stirring from time to time.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and onion and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add warmed stock and cover saucepan with lid.
  • Simmer for 20 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally.
  • Season with salt and pepper and garnish with lemon and chives.


Calories: 429kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 929mg | Potassium: 399mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2150IU | Vitamin C: 19.6mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 0.7mg
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