Recipe: Semi-Homemade Spanish Rice

by Cate on October 23, 2013

Yellow rice packed with flavor from briney green olives, caramelized onions, garlic, and chorizo. Let’s dig in.


There are a couple of things I took away from the thirteen give or take years that The Ex and I were together.

Adding green olives to yellow rice.

And an introduction to chorizo (a spicy, cooked Spanish sausage).

Of course, there are likely a few more things, but today, we’re talking about take-aways in terms of the kitchen and rice. Focus.

The Ex used to take forever to make rice. He used a rice cooker and made a mess in the kitchen that he didn’t clean up, but rice was unequivocally his domain and I was a-ok with that.

Since the first time he made it, adding green olives to yellow rice was forever a thing. I can’t think of not doing it, and the kids are just as much a fan of it as I am.

Ok, well, it turns out just one kid. Because as Madeline informed me last night, “Mom, you know I don’t like green olives,” and she carefully picked them all out.

That’s ok, Nick and I covered for her.

I don’t own a rice cooker (gave it to The Ex when he moved out), and I don’t have the patience to make rice on the stove. Mostly because I usually have two other things on the stove at the same time, and burned rice at the bottom of a pot is no joke.

So instead, rice is one of those short cuts I am happy to take, via Old El Paso and Goya packages.

But, of course, I can’t leave well enough alone, and that’s where this Semi-Homemade Spanish Rice dish came about.

Adding the green olives, natch, and chorizo, along with a bit of garlic, and a caramelized onion.

All combined, it makes for a flavorful rice dish that leaves you feeling reasonably accomplished. You might have started with a box, but you made it your own with other homemade mix-ins.

And as the kids know, taking a shortcut here and there in the kitchen, means more time for baking, and I promised Nick another batch of the Cinnamon Crescent Rolls.

So everyone is happy.

But man cannot live by Semi-Homemade Spanish Rice and Cinnamon Crescent Rolls alone.


Which is why I made these Steak Quesadillas as a main course. They’re part of a new line of frozen entrees released by the folks at Old El Paso. Although I do a lot of from-scratch cooking, I’d be lying if I said it was every.single.meal. With work, school, homework, scouts for both kids, and, you know, life, it’s just not realistic for three meals a day, seven days a week. I probably cook from scratch about eighty percent of the time. The other twenty percent sometimes relies on quick freezer-to-table meals like this one. Add the semi-homemade rice and a fresh, chopped vegetable salad, and I’ve got all my bases covered. It meant I didn’t spend a ton of time in the kitchen, but everyone was well fed and out the door in time for a play date pick-up and a Boy Scout meeting drop-off.

Tomorrow? September Instagram photos in review.

Semi-Homemade Spanish Rice
Recipe courtesy of Cate O’Malley

1 package of yellow rice, prepared following package instructions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 3.5 oz package of chorizo, rough dice
1/4 cup green olives

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add one tablespoon olive oil and the diced onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is slightly golden. Add the diced chorizo, and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until warmed through. Remove pan from heat and add the onions, garlic, chorizo, and green olives to the cooked yellow rice. Stir to combine.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne October 24, 2013 at 6:27 am

The chorizo and olives definitely add something extra to this rice!!
Joanne recently posted..Vegan Puffy Tacos with Cumin-Spiced Hummus #thenewsouthwest #cookbookspotlight


patsyk October 24, 2013 at 8:42 am

I love how you made this so much more than just rice by adding the olives and chorizo! I’ve wanted to try adding chorizo to some of my dishes… but, can never locate it when I’m looking for it (if I didn’t want it, it would be staring at me as soon as I walked in the store!).
patsyk recently posted..Little Italy – Da Gennaro {review}


paula October 24, 2013 at 3:02 pm

You and I are still traveling on the same waevelength lol. I didn’t make rice with green olives but I did whip up a batch of hummus with green olives last night andI just had some for lunch.


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