Clean Eating Spanish Rice Recipe

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This wonderfully simple, clean eating Spanish rice recipe is the perfect side dish for Taco Tuesdays!

I have a serious love affair with Mexican food. It might even border on obsession, I’m not sure. But I will say this, we have some sort of Mexican style dish for dinner around here at least once or twice a week, and I would cook that way far more often if I thought I could get away with it.

Mini Chef and I both LOVE Mexican rice. Whenever we eat at a Mexican restaurant, all he wants is a bowl of rice.

Now grant it, we don’t eat out all that often, but it’s often enough that I really do hesitate to give in to his request for the white rice dish. Especially when I can make it at home with brown rice. He loves it just as much, and I feel great about giving him the clean version.

A small, dark red casserole dish is filled with Clean Eating Spanish Rice which is shown up close.

But I’m a common sense sort of girl and I know I can’t protect him from unhealthy food 100% of the time. That’s just life. So I do give in from time to time. The guilt after he’s eaten it is usually strong enough for me to run home and cook a batch with brown rice though. So I guess that’s a good thing?

The way I see it, it’s what you do the majority of the time that counts. I aim for 100% clean, 80-90% of the time. So far, it’s worked out great, and Mini Chef gets a special treat every now and again.

But for the majority of the time, I’m happy to be able to offer him this version. With only 3 ingredients, it’s simple, clean, and just downright delicious.


Copyright Information For The Gracious Pantry


Clean Eating Mexican Rice Recipe

Clean Eating Spanish Rice

If you love Spanish rice, make it healthy at home with this delicious recipe!
3 from 7 votes
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 238kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry


  • 2 cups short-grain brown rice (uncooked)
  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth (low sodium and no added sugar if purchased)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce (no sugar added)
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder


  • In a medium pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil.
  • Stir in tomato sauce and bring to a boil once more.
  • Stir in rice, reduce heat and simmer until liquid has been soaked up. (About 40-50 minutes)
  • NOTE: This is a very basic and simple recipe. If you don't feel the flavor is what you expect from this type of rice, feel free to mix in any spices you prefer.


Please note that the nutrition data is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 551mg | Potassium: 420mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 230IU | Vitamin C: 9.2mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1.9mg

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  1. Jenni Smith says:

    That looks nice. I have made a Mexican Millet recipe before, but millet is not rice. I want to try this one. I also would cook Mexican food about 5 times a week if I could. White Bean Chicken Chili from the Eat Clean Cookbook is on deck for tomorrow!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Jenni – Yup! Mexican food is a staple. Hope you enjoy the rice!

  2. connielowe1 says:

    Oh my. Cannot wait to try this!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Connie – Fabulous! Please let me know how you like it!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Linda – This recipe, as with may of my recipes, is very flexible. If you’d like to add spices, they by all means! Add them! Make it to suite you tastes. Enjoy!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hanna – That’s wonderful! I’m not sure which link you are referring to, but I will try to find something for you.

  5. barklesswagmore says:

    I make a similar version of this myself but add in garlic and herbs and a can of rinsed beans near the end for a little protein boost. I usually serve it with some slow cooked chicken and the pickier ones never even notice the rice is brown instead of that useless white stuff 🙂

    1. Anonymous says:

      Barkless – Yum. I’ll be over the next time you cook, K?

  6. Trudefaith says:

    I love this recipe of yours Tiffany- you can do so much with it.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Trude – Yes! It’s very versatile. Glad you enjoyed it!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Sleateingright – Sure! Rice is easy to freeze. Enjoy!

  8. Hi Tiffany – could you tell me the difference between white rice and brown rice. I guess I always thought both were in their natural state (white and brown rice are grown just as, for example, there are green and purple grapes). Why is white rice not “clean”? I started eating clean 9 months ago and have lost 40 pounds. I don’t eat white rice but don’t know why I shouldn’t. Love your website!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Susie – Brown rice is the whole grain, unprocessed. White rice is processed and has the nutritious parts removed to make it light and fluffy. Rice does not grow in a “white variety”. It is processed into that state. Hope that helps!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Lillie – Sounds yummy! Thanks!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Amanda – Sounds wonderful! And now if you’ll excuse me, I have a sudden craving for mexican food…..

  11. Anonymous says:

    Chaos – Fabulous! Nice additions!

  12. Mix in some cumin, chili powder, and garlic! Or use clean salsa instead of just tomato sauce.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Aunna – Sounds yummy!

  13. graciouspantry says:

    Sounds good! 🙂

  14. graciouspantry says:

    Graciela – I have never had a good experience with adding spices or other ingredients to a rice cooker. I always ended up with a complete disaster. I’m sure it’s possible, but do so at your own risk.

  15. graciouspantry says:

    Look at the package your rice comes in. That’s how long it will take to cook it. I would add those veggies at the same time you put the rice in.

  16. graciouspantry says:

    Sounds yummy! I’ll try it, thanks!

  17. Goreti Tada says:

    I have a question, are you suppose to cover the rice while it cooks until the liquid is absorb?

    1. Yes, you can cover it. Basically follow the package directions just without different liquids.

  18. This rice was really good! I added onion, garlic & chili powders & cumin and it tasted great. The only problem I had was with the rice staying slightly under cooked even after I cooked it way past the recommended time AND added more water to it while it was cooking. I’m guessing it was because I took the lid off too soon. Next time I’ll keep it on until the rice tests done! We added this to clean burritos and my two (adult) kids and I loved it!

    1. Tracey – So glad you enjoyed it! Ya, I think the lid would make a difference here. Let me know how it goes next time.

  19. Susan Serrano says:

    Tiffany – I wanted to let you know that I am “cleaning” my mother-in-law’s recipe for rice tonight. She is 100% Mexican. It was her mother’s recipe and her mother’s before her…you get the gist. It is one of the most requested things from her recipes. By the way the list is very long. I am beginning the work of cleaning all of her recipes (including tortillas – I have mastered that one). I don’t mind sharing if you are interested. I am going to try to do tamales at some point; that will be with her help. You can message me if you are interested in any of the recipes I work on; I will never do a cookbook myself unless it is just for my daughters, nieces, etc. That is way too much of a project. You are very brave. Looking forward to your freezer meal book.

  20. Susan Serrano says:

    Hi Tiffany,
    Ok I think I perfected it. When you try it let me know. 1 small white onion, 3 cloves garlic (I used 4 lg cloves, because the hubs loves garlic. ) sauté in a tbsp of olive oil or avacado oil until translucent, put in 1 cup brown rice ( I used long grain.), sauté with the onion & garlic, until it’s slightly brown, add 2 tbsp of tomato paste, (btw I used whole foods brand of canned goods for this recipe), I warm it through stirring, the add can of fire roasted tomatoes and diced green chilies. Then I add 2 c of your chicken stock recipe. Bring to a boil. Stir once. Cover simmer about 20 minutes. I never lift the lid or stir. My mother in law’s rule and her mother’s, and her mother’s before her etc. You get the idea. then fluff after 20 minutes. And it’s ready to serve.

    1. Susan – Sounds wonderful! 🙂 I can’t say that I have ever purchased fire roasted tomatoes before. Were they at Whole Foods as well? Were they clean?

  21. Susan Serrano says:

    Hi sorry I was out of town and hadn’t really checked responses. No they were not they were Muir Glen organic; I thought they were Whole Foods, but I double checked and much to my chagrin…well, ugh. Which I don’t believe are clean. I think I might just use the the 365 brand of regular diced. I’m not sure I will accept suggestions. I want to make sure that I don’t use unnecessary chemicals in my food and since this is a bit new. I don’t think it will hurt the taste in the slightest if I use just regular diced. Especially since that is what I used before. But, mostly you get the gist of the recipe. It ended up tasting just like it does when I made it and my mother in law makes it.

  22. Hello,
    Can this recipe be prepared in a rice cooker?

    1. David – I have never tried as I don’t have a rice cooker. If you have a rice cooker that allows other ingredients to be added in, then sure. But in my experience, most of those appliances tell you to only cook plain rice in them. Sorry, wish I could be more help!

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