The Shortcut Ingredient To Use In Your Spanish Rice

Often when we think of Spanish rice, paella comes to mind, with its 20-plus ingredients and over two hours of cooking time. Though red rice, also known as Spanish rice, isn't as complicated as paella, it can still have as many as 10 ingredients that may need chopping and sauteing, keeping you in the kitchen for up to an hour for your side dish alone. Tasty or not, many will opt for something simpler to accompany their meal, as time commitment after a day of work isn't particularly appetizing.

Fortunately, Tasting Table recipe developer Miriam Hahn has created an alternative. This Spanish rice will be on your table in no more than 30 minutes, and the active cooking time is only five! You can relax and have a glass of wine while you prepare your protein of choice, tidy up, and chat with your companions. And don't worry — there is no skimping on taste in this modern redux of a dinner classic.

Let one ingredient do the work of four

Rather than breaking down a dish into individual ingredients, Hanh uses one that contains many of the original recipe's components. Do onion, garlic, tomatoes, cilantro, and green peppers sound familiar? You guessed it, Hahn's secret ingredient is for Spanish rice red salsa. It's a super fast, tasty way to get all the goodies you expect in your red rice with a single pour.

It's still a traditional method, just much faster than doing all the chopping and sauteeing yourself. Hahn advises mixing the salsa in with the toasted rice and water, giving it a stir, covering, and waiting then 20 minutes. With a nod to Mexcian-style rice, this recipe adds cumin rather than saffron (per Difference Guru). Finally, Hahn suggests a classic garnish of chopped red onions and fresh cilantro. (Optional, of course, if you were excited the recipe requires no chopping whatsoever.) Better yet, Hahn tells us this Spanish rice makes great leftovers; Just stir in a little more salsa and pop it in the microwave for two meals in the time of one. Now there's no reason to shy away from this classic rice preparation!