What to Serve With Spanish Rice: 10 Best Pairings

Published Categorized as What To Serve With, Journal Tagged

Spanish rice may be scrumptious on its own, but once you pair it with a variety of flavorful side dishes, you’ll create a flavorful delight! So when you plan your next Spanish-themed dinner party, know that there are many pairings that’ll have your tongue tingling, and tummy grumbling in excitement! Have a go at some of the side dishes listed below.

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What To Serve With Spanish Rice: 10 Best Pairings

Table of Contents

What is Spanish Rice?

Spanish or Mexican rice is a Mexican side dish consisting of white rice, tomato, garlic, onions, and other ingredients. It involves the process of browning white rice in fats like lard or cooking oil, then adding in flavors with onions and tomatoes.

What Goes Well With Spanish Rice? 10 Best Side Dishes

Spanish rice is typically served with Mexican dishes like refried beans, tacos, or chips and salsa. At the same time you can serve this dish alongside a more simpler side dish to complement the rich flavors of the rice.

Take a look at some of these below:

  1. Refried beans
  2. Coleslaw
  3. Chips and salsa
  4. Mexican lime chicken
  5. Green beans
  6. Baked potatoes
  7. Fajitas
  8. Chicken tacos
  9. Sautéed prawns
  10. Carnitas

Refried Beans

Spanish rice is commonly served alongside other Mexican dishes like refried beans. They can be served hot or cold, savory or mild, depending on your personal preference in hopes for a delicious meal.

Try to go easy on the spices, otherwise this dish can quickly become overpowering, preventing you from enjoying the delicious aromatic flavors of Spanish rice.


Another side dish that can be served hot or cold, is this creamy coleslaw.

Coleslaw can be quite spicy or tangy, and it may capture the attention of your dinner guests, so much that they’ll forget about the Spanish rice entirely!

For a lighter version of this creamy side, opt for a sweeter flavor, with a hint of twang. To do this use mayonnaise and lemon juice for the dressing. This way you’ll have a side dish that’ll complement your Spanish rice, instead of overpowering it.

Chips and Salsa

Chips and salsa are a common side dish that is often served as an appetizer.

Salsa can be spicy if you add jalapenos to it, but the fluffiness of Spanish rice can help balance the flavors, preventing your meal from becoming incredibly spicy.

Mexican Lime Chicken

Scrumptious Mexican lime chicken can be served alongside Spanish-style rice, or cooked in with the rice, to make a delicious one pot meal.

To make this scrumptious side dish:

  • Simply coat chicken breasts in a zesty marinade consisting of paprika, sugar, olive oil, coriander, juice and zest of one lime.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes, and once you’re ready to bake.
  • Cover your baking dish with garlic cloves, chilies, and lime wedges, before adding your marinated chicken to the dish.
  • Roast for 35 minutes at 375 degrees F.
  • Serve with delicious Spanish rice for a delightful treat.

Green Beans

Green beans are another great side dish to serve alongside Spanish rice. They can be served hot or cold, and seasoned to your liking, to make a great addition to your entire meal.

Baked Potatoes

Potatoes are a common side dish to have with many main dishes, and for Spanish rice there is no exception. They happen to offer an incredible variety of flavors and textures, that compliment any rice dish well.

Baked potatoes can be served hot or cold, and topped with lots of cheese, for a fluffy cheesy addition to your meal.

Alternatively, you can simply mash these potatoes after boiling, and top with garlic powder and parmesan cheese, for a delicious, creamy addition to your main course.

You can find out what else goes well with baked potatoes to help plan your future meals!


While fajitas may make great appetizers, they also make quick and fantastic side dishes.

This dish requires raw peppers and vegetables, and sometimes chicken if you’re planning to take your meal to the next level.

Chicken Tacos

Chicken tacos are a great side dish to serve alongside many rice dishes like this one. The best part? They’re entirely customizable.

From mild to spicy, simply slip in some jalapenos alongside the chicken inside of your tortilla, and take a huge bite!

Sautéed Prawns

Arroz Marinero is another type of traditional Spanish dish, featuring rice and seafood. Which is why these sautéed prawns make a delicious side for your main.

You can choose to include this into your Spanish rice, or serve this as a side with some sauce.


Carnitas are a brilliant side dish to have alongside Spanish rice, because of its delicious flavors and super easy preparation.

Simply serve these atop your Spanish rice for a scrumptious flavorful explosion!

What To Serve With Spanish Rice: 10 Best Pairings

Spanish Rice Recipe

Spanish rice can be made in one pot, with additional ingredients like seafood, beans, or chicken.

Here’s a simpler version of this recipe:


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 ½ cup long grain white rice
  • 1 medium yellow onion (about 1 cup diced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (1 cup diced)
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 14 ½ oz. canned diced fire roasted garlic tomatoes (undrained)
  • 8 oz. canned tomato sauce
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper


  1. Combine olive oil and butter in a saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Heat until the butter has melted.
  2. Add rice, onion and bell pepper, then cook until the rice is golden brown, and the veggies are tender.
  3. Add garlic and cook until fragrant for 30 seconds.
  4. Then add undrained diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper; stir well.
  5. Bring this to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes. After this the rice should become tender, with little to no liquid in the saucepan.
  6. Allow the rice to sit, covered for 15 minutes on very low heat.
  7. Stir and fluff with a fork, then serve with your favorite side dish.

What to Serve With Spanish Rice – Delicious Side Dish Options!

Spanish rice is commonly served as a side dish, but can also be served as a main meal. Especially when accompanied by a bunch of fulfilling sides!


What Veggie Goes Well With Spanish Rice?

Spanish rice go well with Mexican-themed dishes such as chicken tacos, fajitas, or carnitas.

What is the Difference Between Mexican Rice and Spanish Rice?

There are minor differences between the two. Spanish rice has a firmer texture and strong aroma, while Mexican rice has a softer texture and milder aroma.

By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind CooksDream.com, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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