Spanish Rice Recipe Using Leftover Rice


Not sure what to do with last night’s leftover steamed rice? Before you throw it out, consider transforming it from a traditional Asian side dish to a delicious seasoned Spanish rice dish in about 10 minutes.

In my family taco night is a regular occurrence, especially during the summer. I’ll typically make homemade Pico de Gallo with sun ripened tomatoes and cilantro from my garden. Then make guacamole with lots of fresh lime juice, grilled carne asada, seasoned black beans, corn tortillas I char over an open flame, and a simple Spanish rice to complete the meal.


To make Spanish rice from leftover steamed rice is quite easy. All I do is sauté onions and garlic in a little oil and then add some tomato paste, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, and chicken broth. Then I stir in the leftover rice and cook on medium heat, allowing the rice to absorb all the seasoning and ‘re-fluff’. If your leftover rice is too dried out you may need to add more broth until you arrive at the perfect texture you’re looking for.

Once you’ve made this dish a couple times you’ll be very thankful to have this recipe on hand when you need it. Enjoy!

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Carne Asada

Spanish Rice


If you have steamed rice leftover from last night's dinner, transform it easily into Spanish Rice with this simple recipe.



  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, medium dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3 cups cooked rice (white or brown)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a medium or large pot and saute the onion for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, tomato paste, cumin, coriander, and paprika and cook for one minute.
  2. Stir in the chicken broth followed by the cooked rice. Reduce the heat to medium low and allow the rice to absorb the liquid and seasonings.  Fluff the rice and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
  3. *Feel free to add more broth if needed as well.

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cook Time: 10 Minutes

Total Time: 15 Minutes

Yield: 6

Alice-Currah-169x215Alice Currah is the publisher of popular food blog, Savory Sweet Life. Her approachable everyday recipes are accompanied by beautiful step by step photos and have been featured online at Martha Stewart, Real Simple, The Pioneer Woman, Epicurious, Bon Appetit, Saveur, iVillage and many more. In March 2010, featured Alice as one of “Eight of the Very Best Food Bloggers.” You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

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