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Bowl filled with yellow cooked rice dotted with small pieces of red bell peppers.
4.83 from 34 votes

Spanish Rice Recipe (Saffron Rice)

Infused with saffron, this simple Spanish Rice Recipe is golden, fragrant, and flavorful, and ready in under 30 minutes. Pair this beautiful saffron rice with all your favorite Spanish, Mexican, and Middle Eastern meals. Vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 142kcal


  • ¼ teaspoon good-quality saffron threads
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion - minced
  • 1 red bell pepper - stem removed, seeded, and minced
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt - plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice - (I used basmati)
  • 3 cups water - (or vegetable broth, chicken stock (non-vegetarian))


  • Start by washing your rice. Transfer your rice to a large bowl. With the water running, gently swish the rice in a circular motion until the bowl is filled with water. Drain the rice using a fine-mesh strainer or colander (with tiny holes) and repeat until the water runs almost clear. Drain thoroughly.
  • Transfer your saffron threads to a small bowl and cover with 1/4 cup hot water. Allow the saffron to soak for at least 5 minutes.
  • As the saffron is soaking, heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Add the red bell pepper and continue to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring as needed. Finally, add the minced garlic, salt, and coriander. Cook until fragrant, approximately 1 minute.
  • Add the washed and thoroughly drained rice to your pot. Mix thoroughly to combine. Increase heat to medium-high and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until rice is golden and toasted.
  • Pour the saffron threads and their soaking liquid over the top of the rice. Add 3 cups of water, vegetable broth, or chicken broth to the pot. Bring to a boil and mix thoroughly to combine. Reduce heat to low and cover with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Allow the rice to cook for 18-20 minutes. Remove from heat, but still covered, allow the rice to steam for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Gently fluff with a fork and season with additional salt if needed.


Serving size: 1/2 cup cooked rice (approx.)
Long-grain white rice is recommended for this recipe - basmati, jasmine, or standard long-grain white rice.
Saffron is pricy, but you don't need a lot. As such, it's important to buy good-quality saffron, rather than flavorless, cheap, fake saffron.


Calories: 142kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 199mg | Potassium: 78mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 310IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg
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