Spanish Brown Rice (also called Mexican Brown Rice) is one of my favorite Mexican sided dishes to make to serve with tacos, quesadillas and just grilled chicken. I even love it served with fried eggs. This healthy side recipe is made with long grain brown rice, chicken broth, tomato sauce, onion, celery and seasonings and it comes together in a pinch.

bowl of Mexican brown rice

If you’re looking for simple Mexican side dishes to make, this recipe is definitely one you’ll want to try. It’s made with long grain brown rice requires little effort to make. 

Mexican side dishes ingredients

Brown rice is a light tan color and has a nutty flavor and a slightly chewy texture. This Mexican Brown Rice has all of the same deliciousness and regular Mexican Rice, but it’s more nutritious for you.

Mexican Brown Rice Recipe

This recipe is made with super simple ingredients.

  • Extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • Long-grain brown rice
  • Tomato sauce
  • Chicken broth (or vegetable broth of you want it vegan)
  • Onion (brown or yellow – don’t use sweet)
  • Celery
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried parsley

Variations

  • Add 1-2 finely minced garlic cloves 
  • Sprinkle in 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Toss in 2 slices of jalapeno without seeds to simmer as the rice cooks
  • Add a couple tablespoons of frozen peas and chopped carrots (if you add vegetables then add another 3-4 tablespoons broth to the pot)

How to Make Spanish Brown Rice

This recipe comes together in about 45 minutes and it’s one of the easiest Mexican side dishes to make!  Perfectly cooked brown rice will be plump and a little chewy with a lot of flavor. Brown rice takes a little longer to cook than white rice, because it still has the outer bran coating.

  1. Rinse. This step is important for removing starches on the outside of the rice which will cause the rice to clump and stick together as it cooks. Add rice to a fine mesh strainer and run under cold water until the water runs clear.
  2. Saute:  Heat oil in saucepan. Add onion, celery and cook for about 2 minutes, then stir in the brown rice with the onion and celery and cook another 3-4 minutes or until the rice starts to turn golden.
  3. Tomato Sauce:  Stir in the tomato sauce, onion powder, garlic powder and dried parsley.
  4. Chicken Broth:  Pour in the chicken broth and stir.
  5. Cook:  Bring pot to a boil then reduce heat to a low simmer. Place lid on pot and simmer rice for 25-30 minutes or until the liquid has absorbed. It will still look a little moist with the tomato sauce on top. This will settle after the rice sets for 10 minutes.
  6. Rest  Remove pot from heat, and leave the lid on the pot and let the rice finish steaming in the pot for about 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

pot of long grain brown rice

pot of Mexican side dishes ingredients

Is Brown Rice Good for You

It’s rich in fiber (providing 3.5 grams of fiber per cup while white rice contains less than 1 gram of fiber per cup) and it’s considered a heart-healthy food. Brown rice has the high-fiber bran coating and gem that’s been removed in white rice during processing, making brown rice is more nutritious than white rice. Comparing brown rice nutritionally to white rice is similar to comparing whole-wheat bread to white bread.  Diets high in fiber may have a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease and respiratory disease. Brown rice also contains compounds called lignans, which may also reduce coronary heart disease. Diets high in lignan-rich foods (like flax seeds, nuts and whole grains) have been linked with lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Besides being high in fiber, brown rice is also rich with vitamins, minerals and phenols and flavonoids (types of antioxidants). (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

Is Brown Rice Gluten Free

Yes Brown rice is naturally gluten-free.

bowl of cooked long grain brown rice - Mexican side dishes

How to Serve Mexican Brown Rice

This recipe is great on its own or serve it with beans, grilled vegetables or with any dish you want!

bowl of cooked long grain brown rice - Mexican side dishes

Looking for more healthy Mexican side dishes to serve? 

Want more ideas? Check out all my healthy side dish recipes.

bowl of Spanish brown rice
Yield: 4-6 Servings

Spanish Brown Rice

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Spanish Brown Rice (also called Mexican Brown Rice) is one of my favorite Mexican sided dishes to make to serve with tacos, quesadillas and just grilled chicken. I even love it served with fried eggs. This healthy side recipe is made with long grain brown rice, chicken broth, tomato sauce, onion, celery and seasonings and it comes together in a pinch.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 cup long-grain brown rice, rinsed under water
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium tomato sauce
  • 2-1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth of you want it vegan)
  • 1/4 cup brown onion, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup celery, finely minced (mince a tablespoon of celery leaves to add as well if you have any - they add a ton of flavor)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley

Instructions

  1. Add brown rice to a fine mesh strainer and run under cold water until the water runs clear. (This step is important for removing starches on the outside of the rice which will cause the rice to clump and stick together as it cooks).
  2. Heat oil in saucepan. Add onion, celery and cook for about 2 minutes, then stir in the brown rice with the onion and celery and cook another 3-4 minutes or until the rice starts to turn golden brown.
  3. Stir in the tomato sauce, onion powder, garlic powder and dried parsley.
  4. Pour in the chicken broth and stir. Bring pot to a boil then reduce heat to a low simmer.
  5. Place lid on pot and simmer rice for 20 minutes or until the liquid has absorbed.
  6. Remove pot from heat, and leave the lid on the pot and let the rice finish steaming in the pot for about 10 minutes before fluffing. 
  7. Fluff rice using a fork and serve.

Notes

The brown rice will look a little moist with the tomato sauce on top. This will settle after the rice sets in the pot for 10 minutes.

Variations

  • Add 1-2 finely minced garlic cloves 
  • Sprinkle in 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Toss in 2 slices of jalapeno without seeds to simmer as the rice cooks
  • Add a couple tablespoons of frozen peas and chopped carrots (if you add vegetables then add another 3-4 tablespoons broth to the pot)

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 119Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 672mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g

theharvestkitchen.com attempts to provide accurate information, however, this nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. The nutritional information provided comes from online sources and calculations.