CrockPot Spanish Rice Casserole

Day 106.

Growing up, this was one of my favorite dinners. Both my mom and my grandma made Spanish rice and I always ate at least two servings.

I brought up this memory the other night while talking at the dinner table, and realized that I haven't ever made it on my own. So I did. In the crockpot.

The Ingredients.

--1 lb of ground meat (I used turkey)
--1 cup long grain brown rice
--1 can diced tomatoes
--1 T dried minced onion (I tossed our last fresh onion because it went slimy)
--1 t Italian seasoning
--2 cloves chopped garlic

The Directions.

You have to brown the meat. I'm sorry.
I browned the meat with a bit of olive oil, and tossed the onion, the Italian seasoning, and the garlic in too.

After your meat has browned, toss it into the crock and add the 1 cup of rice.

open the tomato can, and drain the liquid into a measuring cup. You're going to need 2 cups of liquid, so add enough water to the measuring cup to equal two cups.

this is very scientific.

then dump in the tomatoes.

Cover and cook on low for 2-4 hours, or until the rice is cooked and tender.

I cooked this in my oval 6 qt. for 3 1/2 hours, then flipped it to warm for the next 3 hours.

The Verdict.

This made enough for 4 servings. It was plenty for us, but if you have a large family or want a bunch of leftovers, make more.

I served this with some fresh asparagus. The kids added shredded cheese and sour cream to their servings, Adam added salsa.

I really liked it a lot---the rice ended up being a little mushy. Just like I remembered.

Do you love this article?

Please share it with your friends!

Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at April 15, 2008

Sign up for the A Year of Slow Cooking newsletter and get the Top Ten Reader Favorite Recipes sent directly to your inbox!

What they say about this article

  1. Anonymous4/15/2008

    I used to have this regularly as a child! My mom would clean out the fridge and put in whatever leftover vegetables she had. She used Minute Rice, and it was always mushy. we still ate it though!

  2. My dad always buys big quantities of ground beef (like 10 pounds) and then cooks it all together. Then he freezes it in one pound portions. That way, you can pull out a portion, defrost it in the microwave or sink, and be ready to go.

    I've currently got frozen uncooked 1 pound portions (from some meat deal), and am always wishing they were already cooked.

  3. Anonymous4/15/2008

    ah, another member of the mushy rice club checking in here. i like my rice that way too, but then i don't know how to make it stick together like the rice i like in certain restaurants. mushy rice is the best for adding to vanilla (instant) pudding. spanish rice tonight, thanx to you. love your crockpotting.

  4. Great site...what are you going to do next year?

  5. Do you always have to brown ground beef before adding it to the crockpot? Just curious.


  6. ginny, I have very fond memories of eating this meal, and they flooded back last night. it was weird and neat all at the same time.

    cassandra, your dad is a smart guy! that's a great time saver.

    anon, your vanilla pudding in mushy rice sounds good!

    martin, I don't know. Sleep! The year I nap daily! lol

    ~m, I haven't tried adding raw ground meat to the crock. I probably should to test it out---but the idea of the grease floating around in there grosses me out.


  7. I browned ground beef for the first time a week ago (crazy, I know but we usually eat burgers, meatballs, or meatloaf if we are eating any ground meat). I used 90% lean meat and there wasn't any grease that I could see. So maybe try with lean ground beef or turkey or chicken. Let us know!

  8. ~M--that is so good to know! What meal did you use with the uncooked ground beef?


  9. oh that is SO right up my ally!!! trying this on the weekend - thanks!

  10. This looks great. I haven't tried cooking rice in my crockpot yet, but I will definitely have to give it a try soon. You are truly a warrior for cooking in your crockpot everyday. If I can make something 2 times a week I feel like I've used the crock a lot!

  11. Looks yummy! I've made rice in the crockpot before but I never thought of adding anything to it.

  12. Anonymous4/15/2008

    Maybe I missed something but it looks like the tomatoes are in there. Did you add them when you added the measured juice to which you had added water to make 2 cups? BTW, I made your baked ziti tonight--YUMMY!

  13. lol, anon. I forgot to say to add the tomatoes. I'll fix it---thank you for your editing skills!

    I'm glad you liked the ziti--we did too.


  14. Oh this looks really good and easy :-)

  15. Hi crockpot lady - I just found your blog and I'm lovin' it. It's really cool to see the variety and versatility of the lovely crock. (I just bought my first one from target a few weeks ago - gasp! A mom of 2 boys without a crockpot?? How DID I survive?) Anyways, this rice dish looks like something everyone would eat. Thank I need to catch up on the first 100 days, so please excuse me.

  16. I tossed our last fresh onion because it went slimy

    how do you usually store your onion? I got so sick of mine going bad on me that I somehow (by miraculous means perhaps) found an awesome way to keep them. I use a salad plate, place the cut side of the onion on the plate and place a bowl that is large enough to fit over the onion and simply set it in the fridge. I've not had an onion go bad since! w00t! pretty cool beans... ;)

    PS sometimes I have to cut both ends because the bowl isn't tall enough but I think I should find a better bowl at the thrift store because it seems to me that cutting both ends dries it out quicker. anyhow, plastic will ruin all produce so I use the inside part of the cereal holder, the wax part, you know... this has saved my food tremendously!

    so, about your food. dang girl you're good!! :p Ima gonna try one of these recipes as soon as I can remember. I think for my next big shopping trip I should pick out a few of these yummy delights and get all the ingredients I will need so I can make them too! your chimichanga looks amazing!

    you rock girl

  17. I had all the ingredients and I made this last night. I was FAB!! Hubby's suggestion was to add kielbasa (we buy turkey kielbasa) or turkey smoked sausage.

    That suggestion reminded me of good ol' South Carolina Chicken Bog. I've done that in a crock pot before and it's yummy!

  18. making this one for dinner tonight! thanks for all the great recipes, this is great.

    one of the things I love too is that most of the items are things I stockpile anyway, so I don't have to run out to the store.

  19. Anonymous5/01/2008

    oh my, made this today. Delicious. We're all fighting for the leftovers.

  20. I made this last night without the meat and sauteed up the onion and garlic (way more garlic) with a couple of stalks of diced celery and then slammed it into the crock pot with brown rice. I'm always trying to eat more brown rice since it's healthier, and this was a great recipe, because the tougher brown rice wasn't mushy. Thanks Crock Pot Lady!


  21. I made this meal last night in the crockpot. I had a few issues with it. The first is that this didn't taste like Spanish rice. It has Italian seasoning in it. Maybe I am thinking of a different dish or something, but I was expecting it to have a different taste. I would have instead called this meal Italian Rice.

    Also, in your description you wrote to cook it 2-4 hours on low. Then you go on to say you cooked it for 6.5 hours total. I agree with that last figure instead of the 2-4 hours. It could have also used some more salt for my taste.

    I am not trying to be picky, just wanted to add my feedback about this one. Thanks! I am looking forward to eating some more of your recipes!

  22. I usually make something similar to this in a skillet (a household staple), but have been crockpot crazy, since reading your blog (I love it btw, thank you!). So, you inspired me to make this in a crockpot today. I will use turkey sausage instead, and throw some black beans and green olives with pimentos in (to be closer to the recipe of my Puerto Rican grandma). I hope it comes out ok as i am a crock pot newbie! I bet it'll be super yummy. My grandma usually uses chicken so I beat that would be really great too!

    Thanks for opening my eyes to the dusty thing that used to sit in the back of the cupboard *lol* :).

  23. This is delicious! I pre-cooked the beef and used 1C water, but it was a little too runny so I think we'll stick with 1/2C water next time. Plus a little more pepper. But otherwise it was really tasty and it didn't make a ton so that we had multiple containers left over (there's only two of us). We'll definitely do this again!

  24. I was just reading through comments and was shocked to discover my comment directly above. This was meant to go with the Shepherd's Pie recipe (I had them bookmarked next to each other). Oops! Haven't tried the Spanish Rice yet but am doing so tomorrow. Sooooo yeah, the one above was supposed to be with Shepherd's Pie. Sorry! :-)

  25. Anonymous2/24/2010

    I made this tonight and didn't care for it. I thought the whole dish was a bit too mushy. I also thought it was way too bland. I think if I make this again I'll add the beef the last half hour. Here's what I added to give it some kick. I added frozen southwest corn, some beef bouillon cubes, cayenne pepper, celery salt, onion powder and extra garlic to give it some more flavor. Then served it with tortillas, cheese and sour cream.

  26. I'll be making this one soon. However, I'll add some saffron for colour & flavouring and may add some shrimp in the last half hour. I'll let you know how it goes.

  27. I made this last night. It was great. We don't do diced tomatoes so I used 15 oz tomato sauce and added 1 1/2 cans of water. I also used 1 1/2 cups of brown rice and cooked on low for 3 hours in my 4 qrt. It probably could have used another 30 min since some of the rice was kinda hard.

  28. Thank you so much, I remember this too from growing up but never got the recipe from my mom before she passed away and hadn't thought of it for years until the other day when I thought about making it for my wee grandsons. I know they will love it. My mom also put niblet corn in it and it was great

  29. Two questions; 1) can I use chicken pieces in place of the hamburger and 2) why do you use italian seasoning in a spanish (mexican) dish? Wouldn't you use cilantro and/or cumin? Just curious...