lil luna spanish rice

Easy Lil Luna Spanish Rice ( Copycat ) 2023

If you’re a fan of Spanish Rice (also known as Mexican Rice),( Lil Luna Spanish Rice ), you’re in for a treat. As a half-Mexican myself, I absolutely adore my family’s culinary heritage. Today, I’m thrilled to share our beloved Lil Luna Spanish Rice recipe that my mom has been making for as long as I can remember. She passed down the art of making this flavorful rice to me several years ago, along with other scrumptious dishes like empanadas, enchiladas, and tacos. Now, it has become a weekly staple in my household, especially because my kids are completely obsessed with it. Trust me; it’s super easy to prepare.


You Know What’s Lil Luna Spanish Rice Exciting?

This recipe is inspired by the mouthwatering Spanish Rice served at the renowned Mango’s, a popular Mexican restaurant in Mesa. If you’ve ever tasted their rice and loved it, then this homemade version will blow your taste buds away. It’s straightforward, delectable, and the perfect complement to any Mexican feast.


lil luna spanish rice recipe


So, let’s dive right into the steps to make this fantastic Lil Luna Spanish Rice!

To begin, gather these simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand:

  • Long-grain rice
  • Oil
  • Tomato sauce
  • Minced garlic
  • Chicken broth
  • Cumin
  • Garlic pepper + salt


How To Make Spanish Rise

lil luna spanish rice recipe

Start by browning the rice in a bit of oil. The amount of oil can vary based on your preference, so feel free to adjust it. Next, add in the minced garlic and sauté for about a minute until the wonderful aroma fills your kitchen. Now, it’s time to bring in the tomato sauce, chicken broth (you can also use water and bouillon cube), and the delightful spices. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and let it cook for 30-40 minutes. Once done, fluff up the rice, and you’re ready to serve!


Got Some Questions Or Need Some Tips? No Worries, I’ve Got You Covered!


lil luna spanish rice recipe

  • Wondering about the rice portion per person? Plan on ¼ cup of uncooked rice per person, which will yield approximately ¾ – 1 cup of cooked rice per serving. So, 3 cups of uncooked rice should be enough for about 12 people.
  • Opt for long-grain white rice for the best results. Unlike some short-grained rices, it gets fluffy and doesn’t get sticky.
  • Prefer brown rice? Absolutely! You can use brown rice instead of white. Just add ⅓ cup more water per cup of brown rice and let it simmer a bit longer until it reaches your desired texture.
  • Feel like jazzing it up? Try using salsa instead of tomato sauce for an extra burst of flavor and a hint of spice.
  • When it comes to toppings, go wild with your favorites! We love adding chopped peppers, cilantro, onions, or green onions


What About Leftovers?

Not to worry; you can store your Spanish Rice in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5-6 days. When it’s time to reheat, simply pop it in the microwave or warm it on the stove for a few minutes.


And Guess What?

If you end up with more than you can handle, you can freeze the extra rice for later use. Just place about 3 cups of cooked rice into labeled ziplock freezer bags and store them in the freezer for 4-6 months. When you’re ready to enjoy it, thaw the rice in the fridge or cook it straight from the freezer. A microwave-safe bowl will do the trick. Simply microwave the rice on high, stirring every 2 minutes until it reaches your desired temperature.

With this fabulous Spanish Rice by your side, you’ve got the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal! Whether it’s tacos, enchiladas, or any other favorite, this rice will make it an even more memorable dining experience.


Lil Luna Spanish Rice Recipe

lil luna spanish rice

Lil Luna Spanish Rice

If you're a fan of Spanish Rice (also known as Mexican Rice), you're in for a treat. As a half-Mexican myself, I absolutely adore my family's culinary heritage. Today, I'm thrilled to share our beloved Spanish Rice recipe that my mom has been making for as long as I can remember.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dinner / Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8 servings
Calories 90 kcal


  • 2 cup long grain rice
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 6 stems cilantro (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 cups water (or 4 cups chicken lower sodium chicken broth - and no bouillon)
  • 1 cube chicken flavored bouillon
  • dash cumin
  • dash garlic pepper


  • Heat oil in large frying pan on medium heat.
  • Add rice and cook until golden brown.
  • Add 1 chicken flavored bouillon cube to 4 cups water and microwave for 3 minutes.
  • When rice is brown, add water, tomato sauce, salt, garlic, cumin and garlic pepper to pan.
  • Stir and cover pan. Let simmer for 30-40 minutes or until all is cooked and there is no liquid left. Fluff before serving and ENJOY.


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  2. Kesariya Rice | Saffron Rice


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