Spanish rice, red rice or arroz rojo is a Mexican side dish made from white rice, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and other ingredients. It is traditionally made by sautéing the rice in a skillet until it is golden brown. Water or chicken broth is then added along with chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce.
Spanish rice is a popular dish in the American Southwest, which sometimes refers to the dish as "Mexican rice." The version of the dish cooked throughout Northern Mexico tends to be a more homogeneous character, often with just enough tomato and chili pepper to give the distinctive red-orange color and a smoky, garlic and onion-laden flavor. It is usually served as a side dish alongside other Mexican cuisine.
Although called "Spanish rice", this dish is unknown in Spain. The term "Spanish rice" is not used by Mexicans or Mexican food enthusiasts, and its use probably stems from the fact that anglos in Texas and surrounding states often refer to Mexicans as Spanish, as in "that Spanish woman"; the dish is usually simply referred to as arroz ("rice") or arroz rojo ("red rice") in Mexico. In English, a classic rice dish from Spain, paella, may be known as yellow rice or Spanish yellow rice, as it uses saffron, which gives the dish a distinct yellow hue.