Gluten Free Spanish Rice

This Gluten Free Spanish Rice is the perfect easy weeknight meal. It’s full of vibrant flavors and colors, packed with veggies, and done in under 30 minutes. My version adds ground beef for added protein and sneaks in some extra veggies, making it a delicious and balanced meal. It’s also a great meal prep option. This recipe is sure to become a family favorite!

Spanish rice, also called Mexican rice or arroz rojo, is a type of rice pilaf cooked with onions and garlic, tomatoes, peppers, and spices. It’s commonly eaten throughout northern Mexico and the southwestern United States, and it’s the perfect side dish for a simply cooked protein or Mexican fare like.

Gluten free spanish rice

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This Gluten Free Spanish Rice is incredibly easy to make.
  • Packed with flavor.
  • Done in 30 minutes.
  • Perfect weeknight dinner.
  • Packed with protein, veggies, fats, and complex carbs making it a balanced meal.
  • Great option for meal prep.
  • Naturally gluten free and dairy free.
  • The whole family will love it – especially kids.
Ingredients for gluten free spanish rice

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Extra virgin olive oil. This is used to sauté the veggies, cook the beef, and roast the cauliflower.
  • Cooked rice. Cook the rice according to its package. I love using basmati rice. You can use any rice you prefer. My go to way to cook rice is shown below.
  • Ground beef. Ground beef pairs well with this gluten free spanish rice and adds protein to the dish making it a balanced meal. You can also use ground turkey.
  • Yellow onion. 1/2 yellow onion, diced. You can sub with white or red onion.
  • Fresh diced tomatoes & tomato paste. These will give a tangy tomato flavor and the classic red color of spanish rice.
  • Jalapeno. 1 jalapeno, deseeded and diced. This gives a little heat to the gluten free spanish rice.
  • Garlic. 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced. About 1 tbsp.
  • Spices. You will be using a mix of chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, and salt to give this meal extra flavor.
  • Cauliflower. 1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets and roasted. This is optional but a great way to sneak in some extra veggies.

How to Make

Step 1

Roast the cauliflower. If you are adding the cauliflower into the dish, preheat oven to 425. Toss cauliflower with olive oil, salt, cumin, and cayenne. Spread on a greased baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes.

Sauteed onions

Step 2

Sauté onions & garlic. Heat a large skillet with olive oil, bring to a medium heat. Add garlic and onions and sauté for about 3-5 minutes, until fragrant and translucent.

Veggies in skillet

Step 3

Add jalapenos and spices. Add the minced pickled jalapeños, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and salt. Stir until the onions are coated and the spices release their fragrance. About 1-2 minutes.

Step 4

Cook the beef. Move the veggies over to the side and add the beef. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, breaking apart, until browned all the way through.

Tomato in skillet

Step 5

Add tomatoes & tomato paste. Stir in the tomatoes and tomato paste. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated (1-2 min).

Step 6

Stir in rice. Stir in the rice and cauliflower. Mix until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Squeeze lime juice over the rice, and stir. Warm on low for about five minutes or until heated through. Adjust salt to taste.

Gluten free spanish rice

Step 7

Serve & enjoy! Serve the gluten free spanish rice with fresh lime juice and cilantro.

Expert Tips

  • Pressure Cook Basmati Rice: First, rinse the rice. Then place 1 cup basmati rice and 1 cup cold water in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. With venting knob in venting position, close the lid, then turn venting knob to sealing position. Pressure cook at high pressure for 6 minutes + 10 minutes natural release. Open the lid carefully. Fluff the rice.
  • To add some extra nutrients to this gluten free spanish rice, roast cauliflower then add in to skillet when you add the rice. It’s a great way to sneak in some more veggies.
  • Use fresh diced tomatoes over canned. This will give more vibrant flavor. If you’re in a pinch you can use a 28oz can of diced tomatoes.
  • Serve this gluten free Spanish rice with fresh lime juice and cilantro for the best flavor!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Spanish rice?

Spanish rice, also called Mexican rice or arroz rojo, is a type of rice pilaf cooked with onions and garlic, tomatoes, peppers, and spices. It’s commonly eaten throughout northern Mexico and the southwestern United States, and it’s the perfect side dish for a simply cooked protein or Mexican fare like.

Can I make this gluten free spanish rice vegetarian?

Yes! While the beef adds delicious flavor and protein, you do not need to add it. Simply skip that step in the recipe.

Is it gluten free?

Yep! This dish is naturally gluten and dairy free.

How do I store it?

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.

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Gluten Free Spanish Rice

This Gluten Free Spanish Rice is the perfect easy weeknight meal. It's full of vibrant flavors and colors, packed with veggies, and done in under 30 minutes. My version adds ground beef for added protein and sneaks in some extra veggies, making it a delicious and balanced meal.
Servings 6 people
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup fresh diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups cooked basmati rice
  • 1 cup roasted cauliflower optional

Instructions

  • Roast the cauliflower. If you are adding the cauliflower into the dish, preheat oven to 425. Toss cauliflower with olive oil, salt, cumin, and cayenne. Spread on a greased baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes.
  • Sauté onions & garlic. Heat a large skillet with olive oil, bring to a medium heat. Add garlic and onions and sauté for about 3-5 minutes, until fragrant and translucent.
  • Add jalapenos and spices. Add the minced pickled jalapeños, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and salt. Stir until the onions are coated and the spices release their fragrance. About 1-2 minutes.
  • Cook the beef. Move the veggies over to the side and add the beef. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, breaking apart, until browned all the way through.
  • Add tomatoes & tomato paste. Stir in the tomatoes and tomato paste. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated (1-2 min).
  • Stir in rice. Stir in the rice and cauliflower. Mix until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Squeeze lime juice over the rice, and stir. Warm on low for about five minutes or until heated through. Adjust salt to taste.
  • Serve & enjoy! Serve the gluten free spanish rice w

Notes

  • Pressure Cook Basmati Rice: First, rinse the rice. Then place 1 cup basmati rice and 1 cup cold water in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. With venting knob in venting position, close the lid, then turn venting knob to sealing position. Pressure cook at high pressure for 6 minutes + 10 minutes natural release. Open the lid carefully. Fluff the rice.
  • To add some extra nutrients to this gluten free spanish rice, roast cauliflower then add in to skillet when you add the rice. It’s a great way to sneak in some more veggies.
  • Use fresh diced tomatoes over canned. This will give more vibrant flavor. If you’re in a pinch you can use a 28oz can of diced tomatoes.
  • Serve with fresh lime juice and cilantro for the best flavor!
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. 
Course: Main Course

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