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Barb's Favorite Spanish Rice Casserole

Updated on January 5, 2016

My Husband Loves Spanish Rice

I love it, too, because it's easy to make. It has a lot of tasty ingredients like bacon. tomatoes, and cheese, and perfectly complements many different salads. I've served it with green salad, bean salad, and broccoli salad. Corn chips or crusty bread add a final touch . The main thing is to provide an accompaniment with a contrasting color and texture to complete an attractive meal.This Spanish rice recipe makes four or five main dish servings. You will need a large skillet, a saucepan of at least two -quarts, with cover, and a 2-quart casserole. You will want to grease the casserole or spray it with Pam.

Ingredients for Barb's Favorite Spanish Rice

  • 1 cup rice. If you use brown, allow a longer cooking time.
  • Water as per rice cooking directions
  • 4-6 strips bacon
  • 1 small or medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced, pressed, or chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 1 large (28-29 0z) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup canned grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar, Monterey Jack, or whatever your favorite cheese is.

Bacon Draining on Paper Towel
Bacon Draining on Paper Towel

On one burner, cook rice in water as package directs, in saucepan.

While rice is cooking, fry bacon until crisp and drain on paper towels.

While cooking and still keeping an eye on the bacon, chop the onion, green pepper, and garlic and set aside in a small bowl. When bacon is done, drain on paper towels. Then pour the bacon grease from pan, but don't wipe it clean. The surface of the pan can still be coated to leave a bit of bacon flavor.Better don an apron before frying that bacon.

Put 3 tablespoons oil in saucepan. Let it heat about a minute, until it's hot but not smoking.When oil is hot, add the reserved onions, peppers, and garlic and saut over medium high heat until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. The onions will be nearing translucent, but nothing should be getting brown. Peppers will turn a bright green. Turn off burner.Begin preheating oven to 350F

Do You Need a Rice Cooker?

I personally use stainless steel saucepans for cooking my rice, but one has to keep a careful eye on the process of cooking rice on the stove so it doesn't boil over. If you'd rather not have to do that, you might prefer a rice cooker. The rice cooker below also allows you to steam meat and vegetables as the rice cooks.

Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD 2-8-Cups (Cooked) Digital Cool-Touch Rice Cooker and Food Steamer, Stainless Steel
Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD 2-8-Cups (Cooked) Digital Cool-Touch Rice Cooker and Food Steamer, Stainless Steel

This has the highest customer rating on Amazon and I like that it can cook rice in both large and small quantities. It has a larger cousin available you will see if you click through. That is good if you have a very large family.


When rice is done, add it to the skillet with the onion mixture. Add tomatoes, salt, and two tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese to the skillet and mix well. Then crumble half the bacon into small pieces over the skillet and add to mixture. Mix everything well.

Pour Spanish rice mixture from skillet into 2-quart casserole. You can use a round one as I have, or you can use a shallow baking dish if you prefer. Spread mixture evenly on top.

Sprinkle the cheddar cheese evenly over the top surface. If you use the shallow dish, you might want to use more cheese on top, since there is more top surface.Then sprinkle remaining Parmesan over top.Crumble the rest of the bacon into small pieces and distribute it as evenly as possible over cheeses.Bake in preheated 350F oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until Spanish rice is bubbly. The shallow dish will take less time than the round casserole such as the one I have used.I like to serve this with green salad or bean salad and a loaf of crusty bread.

Making Spanish Rice is easier when you have the right equipment.. - If you can afford it, buy quality items that will last.

I got married in 1964. My friends gave me a shower. They pooled their money to get me a good set of Farberware Stainless steel pans with lids. I am still using them today. Included were the 2 and 3-quart saucepans I'm recommending below. The have lasted me 51 years. Since then I picked up a quality non-stick 12-inch skillet and a glass lid to fit it. I like glass lids because you can see how your food is doing without removing them.I might be tempted to get a glass lid for my saucepans, as well, especially the ones I cook rice in. Then I can see when the rice is about to boil over and let the steam out before it does.

I often cook rice in the 3-quart saucepan just because there's more room for the steam before the rice starts to boil over. Either way, I normally leave the lid a bit ajar so there's a slit for the steam to escape, and once the rice boils, I turn the burner down as far as it will go for the rest of the cooking time and watch it like a hawk until most of the water is absorbed. Then I put the lid on tight.

Farberware Classic Series Stainless Steel 3-Quart Covered Saucepan
Farberware Classic Series Stainless Steel 3-Quart Covered Saucepan

This is what I normally cook rice in. I also use it to cook small amounts of pasta, since it's easier to pour into a colander from this than from the larger pots. I use it a lot. I have never had a problem with the handle getting loose or the bottom warping on either a gas or electric stove. These are built to last a lifetime.


Do You Feel about Spanish Rice? - It took me a long time to learn to appreciate it.

Have you ever made Spanish rice?

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    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      4 years ago from United States

      This sounds like a delicious recipe and one my whole family would enjoy.

    • CastleRoyLisa profile image


      9 years ago from Rhode Island

      my husband loves Spanish rice wonderful recipe I will be surprising him with it I think very soon thank you Barb

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image


      9 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Tasty Recipe! 5* My hubby would love your Spanish Rice recipe. I like how you included the photos, too. Thanks. :)

    • squid-janices7 profile image


      9 years ago

      Looks great...I love that you've included photos and step-by-step instructions. 5*

    • jennysue19 profile image


      9 years ago

      great recipe and similar ingredients to one I use, except I fry onion, garlic and pepper then add rice and liquid and cook it all together. I like to add a thread or two of saffron bruised in some boiling water or a saffron stock cube with some boiling water (Knorr make then, don't know if you can get them in the USA). Makes a great side dish with roast or fried chicken pieces too, or you can use chopped leftover cooked chicken in the dish

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      9 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Very good recipe lens. Looks yummy!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Good work! My kids love Spanish rice, but we make it without bacon because we're Jewish...


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