Vegan Spanish Rice

The other day I had a craving for this most delicious side dish at Mexican restaurants. Unfortunately, most restaurants make this with chicken broth, and I really wanted to create a vegan version. I also wanted to add some substance to this dish, so adding more texture with diced onions and tomatoes was purposeful.

The first batch was swiftly approved by both of my daughters, and my older daughter wanted me to make a new batch right away. Well, it’s been almost a week, but I did make more, making sure that my proportions were what I estimated, because as with most cooking, I just add a dash of this and that. But the second batch was equally delicious, so I’m ready to share the vegan goodness! And although not quite like the side dish at your favorite neighborhood Mexican restaurant, I love the depth of flavor.

Keep in mind that I prefer a sticky rice. If you like your rice drier, I would reduce the water by about ¼ cup. Additionally, if you don’t have the Better than Bouillon paste, you can sub vegetable broth or stock for the paste and water.

Ingredients for Vegan Spanish Rice, minus the garlic!

Vegan Spanish Rice


  • 1 T olive oil
  • One small onion, diced
  • One glove garlic, minced, or equivalent (Dorot cube or 1 tsp. jarred minced garlic)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp Better than Bouillon vegetable paste
  • ½ can petite diced tomatoes (about ¾ cup)
  • ½ can tomato paste (about 2 generous tablespoons)
  • 1 cup rice (I like basmati or jasmine)
  • 2 cups water


In a large saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Next, sauté the onions and garlic together until they are translucent. Add all the spices, including the vegetable bouillon paste, and tomatoes and tomato paste, stirring to combine. Add the water and rice, stirring to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, and then simmer on low heat, covered, for 15-17 minutes, until rice is tender and most liquid is absorbed. Serve as a base for burrito bowls or as a side dish.

Cooking the onions and garlic. I used refrigerated minced garlic this time.
After adding the dry spices.
After combining the tomatoes and tomato paste.
Finished rice! I love the depth of flavor using the bouillon paste, rich tomato paste, warm cumin, and smoky paprika.

If you try making this dish, I’d love to hear about it! Post and tag me on Instagram @annecreates. As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.

Published by annecreates

I am a physical therapist, wife, mom, runner, artist, and vegan. I'm passionate about helping others find wellness, speaking about the human experience, and in fighting for social justice. Assistant Coach for the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team. Current ambassador for: Boco Gear, SaltStick, SPIbelt, Goodr, Noxgear, and Switch4Good.

3 thoughts on “Vegan Spanish Rice

  1. YUM! I could eat this every day! I’ve wanted to try the bullion paste so I’m glad you highlighted it here. Plus, I’m assuming it lasts longer than having to open a bottle of regular broth? Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Anne the Vegan

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