A Revised Childhood Favorite: Spanish Rice

When I was a kid, one of my favorite weeknight dinners that my mom would make was her “Spanish Rice,” which consisted of that boxed “Spanish Rice” mix with ground beef and a can of diced tomatoes added.  I know what you’re thinking, strange, but to a kid, it was delicious!  Back when I first got married (year nine is coming up in February) I started to revisit some of my favorite childhood recipes and revise them for today.  I’ve found that I’m no longer a fan of that boxed stuff on the grocery store shelves.  I know, I know, they’re simple to make during the week, but turn the box over and look at all of the chemicals, additives, salt, and other things that your eating for the sake of saving a few minutes.  This is my own opinion, but there is a better way.

My Spanish Rice recipe is one that will appeal to a wide variety of taste buds.  However, you have to remember that every person has different tastes and the spice amounts can be adjusted to suit your own palate.  This recipe is one that can be made on a Saturday or Sunday with leftovers there for the taking over the next few days.  When I eat a bite of this, I still get that comfort food feeling of something made by my mom.  I hope you enjoy it too.

My Spanish Rice


  • 3 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, diced (DON’T use peppers that are all green…it just doesn’t taste right)
  • 1 onion, diced (I prefer red, but yellow would work)
  • 5-7 cloves of garlic, minced (depending on your taste)
  • 1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes (no salt added, if you can)
  • 2 lbs. ground turkey (93/7 seems to work best)
  • 2-3 cups low-salt chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. garlic granules
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. oregano
  • 1-2 Tbsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsps. cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
  • 6 cups cooked white rice (Don’t use the instant stuff…cook your rice with 2-3 Tbsp. turmeric)


  • Heat olive oil in a large, deep pot (you will need a lot of space).  Toss in the peppers and onion with salt and pepper.  Cook them until they are softened, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Once the peppers and onions have softened, toss in the garlic and cook for about a minute.  Now add the ground turkey and cook until it’s thoroughly cooked.
  • When the turkey has been thoroughly cooked, toss in the paprika, garlic granules, chili powder, oregano, turmeric, cumin, salt, and pepper.  Mix them and cook for a few minutes.
  • Now add the white rice and tomatoes, mixing to combine and warm through.  This is where you really have to make sure to watch this mixture.  Add in enough of the chicken stock so that the mixture begins to take on a creamy texture.  This is what really sets this mixture apart from that boxed stuff.
  • When the mixture has a creamy texture, remove it from the heat.  Now taste, taste, taste.  Adjust the seasoning to suit your own palate.
  • Now dig in and enjoy.  By the way, leftovers can be kept in the fridge for a few days or even frozen for reheating in the future.

It’s great when you can take a food memory from your childhood and remake it in a new, better (sorry, Mom) way.  This is a great dinner to enjoy with your friends and family, no matter what the time of the year.  So take some time this weekend and give it a try!


One Comment Add yours

  1. Jillahug says:

    YUMMMMO…sounds great. I’m not a big fan of white rice anymore- prefer brown rice. Adding this to my recipe box!

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