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Spanish Oven-Baked Rice 

(Vegan, Gluten-Free, Budget-Friendly)

Written By: Byron | March 14, 2023
a pan of Spanish oven-baked rice

Using easy-to-find ingredients, you can make this Spanish-style budget-friendly oven-baked rice recipe. It’s healthy, vegan, filling, and the perfect meal to feed a large group. 

This recipe can be made with tinned or frozen ingredients and no special rice is required. We also make our own homemade veggie stock which is healthier than most store-bought varieties. Best of all, this budget oven-baked recipe comes together in just over 1 hour, making it the perfect recipe for midweek meals or for a weekend celebration.

Gluten-Free | Soy-Free | Vegan | One-Pot | Easy Recipe | Main Meal Recipe| Mediterranean Recipe | Budget Recipe | Rice Recipe | Low Calories Recipe | High Protein | High Fiber | Low Fat Recipe

Serving:

Main 6-8 servings

Ready in:

1 hour, 20 mins

Skill level:

Easy

Serve with:

Aioli, fresh bread

Ingredients for making Spanish oven-baked rice sit on a kitchen counter.

Ingredients you’ll need 

(makes 6-8 servings)

  • 1 ½ cups of rice (we used normal long-grain rice)
  • 17oz. (500g) jar of white broad beans (strained)
  • 8oz. (220g) jar of roasted peppers (strained and cut into ⅛ inch strips)
  • 12oz. (340g) tin of artichoke hearts (strained)
  • Bunch of fresh asparagus (optional and depending on season)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, skin removed and grated
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of Nora peppers (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon of white pepper
  • Pinch of saffron (optional)
  • Olive oil

For the homemade veggie stock

(makes around 1 liter of stock)

  • ½ onion (plus skins from onion above)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 stick of celery
  • Dozen black peppercorns
  • 1-2 teaspoons of salt
  • 4 cups of water
  • A handful of fresh parsley (with stalks)

Equipment needed

  • Box grater
  • 1 small baking tray
  • 1 large flat-bottomed pan (around 12 inches/30cm) or 1 large pot and a casserole dish

 Watch step-by-step recipe video

If you’re looking for this recipe’s video and many other great recipe ideas, why not check out our Spanish Radish YouTube Channel? We’ve got everything from quick and easy tapas recipes, delicious main meals, and incredible Spanish dessert options too.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Easy to make
  • Budget-friendly
  • Vegan
  • Filling and low calories
  • High in protein
  • Low in fat

How to make oven-baked rice

Cooking note: If you want to keep this recipe at just over the hour mark, start step 2 while the asparagus is in the oven, and start step 3 while your stock is on the hob. 

Step 1 – Roast asparagus 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
  • Chop the ends off the asparagus, and slice stalks into 1-inch/2.5 cm pieces. Add asparagus to a small baking tray with a splash of olive oil. Season with some salt, garlic powder, and white pepper, and bake for 20 minutes. 

Step 2 – Prepare the homemade vegetable stock

  • Chop any whole veg into 1-inch/2.5 cm pieces. Add everything to a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. 
  • Strain and preserve the stock, and discard all the veg and husks. 

Step 3 – Prepare sofrito

  • On high heat, add some olive oil and 1 diced onion. Saute until golden and then reduce heat to medium, add the garlic and simmer for 1-2 minutes
  • Add the grated tomato and mix well, simmer for 10 minutes on medium heat. 
  • Add the spices and mix well. Allow everything to simmer for 5 minutes so the spices are absorbed. 

Step 4 – Add veg and beans

  • Remove your asparagus from the oven (leave the oven on) and add it to the pan with the remaining olive oil and 2 ladles worth of stock. 
  • Add the roasted pepper, plus the artichoke hearts and white beans. Mix well covering everything in the sofrito sauce. 

Step 5 – Add rice and stock, and bake

  • Add the rice and mix well so the rice is evenly distributed over the pan. 
  • Add more stock until everything is covered and turn the heat up to high. Once boiling, allow to bubble away for 5 minutes. Right before adding the pan (or casserole dish) to the oven, top up with a ladle or two of remaining veggie stock. 
  • Add the pan or casserole dish to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350°F/180°C. 

Step 6 – Serve

  • Serve with plenty of fresh chopped parsley and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Alternatively, make some homemade aioli (this recipe is straight from the kitchens of Valencia).

Do I need a paella pan?

Nope! This recipe can be made in any oven-safe dish that is big enough. We used an enamel-coated 12-inch (30cm) pan to make this recipe, and we used an industion hob. Alternatively, you can cook everything in a large frying pan and then transfer it into a casserole dish for the oven-baked part of the cooking process. 

A street scene showing a traditional paella shop selling a rnage of paella pans and cokking items

Best rice to use

We used standard long-grain rice that you’ll find in any supermarket. It worked just fine and was light and fluffy and not soggy when oven-baked. If you’re looking to recreate a truly authentic Spanish -style oven-baked rice recipe, we suggest using Valencian Bomba rice or Calasparra rice from the region of Murcia, Spain. 

Long grain rice

Long-grain rice is a pantry staple and for good reason. It’s cheap and readily available in virtually any supermarket all over the world. Popular varieties of long-grain rice are Basmati rice, Thai Jasmine rice, and American long-grain white. Long-grain rice is typically white, but also available as brown rice. 

Long-grain rice is prized in cooking for being firm and dry in texture, and once cooked the rice is fluffy and doesn’t stick together. It works great in this recipe and absorbs the stock and flavors nicely when oven-baked. 

Bomba rice

Bomba rice is a short-grain rice that’s known for its use in the famous Spanish paella and other rice dishes. Bomba rice is often referred to as “Valencian rice” as it is grown almost exclusively within the Valencia region and is prized for its absorbance characteristic in cooking.

When buying Bomba rice outside of Spain, look at large supermarket chains such as Walmart in the USA, or Tesco in the UK. Both stock Bomba rice. If you can’t source Bomba rice for this recipe, use long-grain rice or Italian risotto rice.

Tinned or fresh veg

We used a combination of fresh and tinned veg and beans for this recipe. Fresh asparagus works best and adds plenty of flavor when roasted, as does roasted peppers, but we used tinned roasted pepper for convenience. White broad beans from the tin help pad out this recipe and make it filling and nutritious. 

We opted to use tinned artichoke pieces and tinned roasted bell pepper, simply for convenience and keeping to a budget. 

Ñora Pepper

The one ingredient that may be difficult to source outside of Spain is Ñora peppers. The ñora is a red, round pepper that is dried in the sun. It can be found easily in Spain, either as a dried whole pepper, or ground. 

Ñora peppers have a slightly sweet flavor and pair well with garlic (why we added some garlic powder to this recipe). 

It is used all over Spain but is most commonly used throughout the Valencia and Alicante regions with its prominent use in Paella, Fiduea, and other rice dishes. It can be difficult to find them outside Spain but dried whole Nora peppers are available, even from the good folk at Walmart.

Classic Spanish Rice dishes you’ll love

  • Paella de marisco (The popular seafood paella, made with squid, shrimp, and mussels)
  • Paella Valenciana (Classic Valencian Paella recipe, made with chicken, rabbit, and green beans)
  • Paella Negra (paella with black squid ink)
  • Arroz al horno (Authentic Spanish oven-baked rice recipe made with morcilla sausage, pork, and chicken)
  • Vegan Arroz al horno (our own recipe to make it vegan, made with roasted asparagus, beans, roasted bell pepper, and a whole head of garlic). 
  • Spanish Chicken and rice with chorizo – Easy one-pot meal
  • Oven-baked rice with cauliflower (Vegan, one-pot recipe)
  • Orchard paella  – Authentic Spanish paella made with vegetables (and sometimes snails are added)
A large pan of oven-baked rice

Budget oven-baked rice

This recipe is the perfect meal for when the purse strings are tight. It makes a filling and nutritious vegan meal for 6 people using easy-to-find ingredients that won’t cost a fortune. Most importantly, this recipe is healthy and deeply satisfying to make. It also looks great so it’s perfect for a dinner party! 

Here’s a breakdown of the costs when purchasing from Walmart in the USA. Of course, you’ll have plenty of leftover spices so it’ll be even cheaper to make the next time! 

Tinned and dried goods

  • Roasted bell pepper $2.13
  • Long grain rice $0.84
  • Quartered artichoke hearts: $2.58
  • Great Northern beans: $0.78

Fresh goods

  • Asparagus bunch $2.48
  • Onions: 78¢/lb
  • Carrots, 16oz bag: $0.98
  • Celery: $1.84
  • Garlic head:​​ 67¢

Spices and herbs

  • Great Value Smoked Paprika, 2 oz: $1.74
  • Great Value Garlic Powder, 3.4 oz: $1.12
  • Great Value Organic Ground White Pepper, 2.05 oz: $3.97
  • Nora pepper substitute ( Cayenne pepper): $3.34 

TOTAL COST: $23.25 (approx. $3.80 per head)

Nutrition facts

Serving size: 200g

Servings: 6

Amount per serving

 

Calories

410

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 4.4g

6%

Saturated Fat 0.5g

2%

Cholesterol 0mg

0%

Sodium 791mg

34%

Total Carbohydrate 79.7g

29%

Dietary Fiber 11.1g

40%

Total Sugars 6.5g

 

Protein 14.3g

 

Vitamin D 0mcg

0%

Calcium 88mg

7%

Iron 6mg

31%

Potassium 485mg

10%

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

A large pan of Spanish oven-baked rice is garnished with fres hchopped parsley

Spanish Oven-Baked Rice (Budget-Friendly, Vegan)

Byron
Spanish Oven-baked rice can be made with tinned or frozen ingredients and no special rice is required. We also make our own homemade veggie stock which is healthier than most store-bought varieties. Best of all, this budget oven-baked recipe comes together in just over 1 hour, making it the perfect recipe for midweek meals or for a weekend celebration.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Course, main meal
Cuisine Authentic Spanish recipe, Spain, Valencia, vegan, vegetarian
Servings 8 people
Calories 410 kcal

Equipment

  • Box grater
  • 1 small baking tray
  • 1 large flat-bottomed pan (around 12 inches/30cm) or 1 large pot and a casserole dish

Ingredients

For the rice

  • 1 ½ cups of rice we used normal long-grain rice
  • 17 oz. 500g jar of white broad beans (strained)
  • 8 oz. 220g jar of roasted peppers (strained and cut into ⅛ inch strips)
  • 12 oz. 340g tin of artichoke hearts (strained)
  • Bunch of fresh asparagus optional and depending on season
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 ripe tomatoes skin removed and grated
  • 5 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of Nora peppers optional
  • ½ teaspoon of white pepper
  • Pinch of saffron optional
  • Olive oil

For the homemade veggie stock

  • makes around 1 liter of stock
  • ½ onion plus skins from onion above
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 stick of celery
  • Dozen black peppercorns
  • 1-2 teaspoons of salt
  • 4 cups of water
  • A handful of fresh parsley with stalks

Instructions
 

Step 1 - Roast asparagus

  • Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
    An oven dial turned up to 180C
  • Chop the ends off the asparagus, and slice stalks into 1-inch/2.5 cm pieces. Add asparagus to a small baking tray with a splash of olive oil. Season with some salt, garlic powder, and white pepper, and bake for 20 minutes.
    Bunch of fresh asparagus, Olive oil
    Asparagus spears are cut in half

Step 2 - Prepare the homemade vegetable stock

  • Chop any whole veg into 1-inch/2.5 cm pieces. Add everything to a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
    ½ onion, 1-2 cloves of garlic, 2 bay leaves, 2 carrots, 1 stick of celery, Dozen black peppercorns, 1-2 teaspoons of salt, 4 cups of water, A handful of fresh parsley, makes around 1 liter of stock
    A large pot of homemade chicken stock
  • Strain and preserve the stock, and discard all the veg and husks.
    A large pot of homemade chicken stock

Step 3 - Prepare sofrito

  • On high heat, add some olive oil and 1 diced onion. Saute until golden and then reduce heat to medium, add the garlic and simmer for 1-2 minutes.
    1 onion, Olive oil, 5 cloves of garlic
    diced onion in a pan
  • Add the grated tomato and mix well, simmer for 10 minutes on medium heat.
    3 ripe tomatoes
    tomato is added to a pan of sauteed onions
  • Add the spices and mix well. Allow everything to simmer for 5 minutes so the spices are absorbed.
    2 teaspoons of smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of Nora peppers, ½ teaspoon of white pepper
    Spices are added to a suteed sofrito sauce

Step 4 - Add veg and beans

  • Add the roasted pepper, plus the artichoke hearts and white beans. Mix well covering everything in the sofrito sauce.
    17 oz. 500g jar of white broad beans (strained), 8 oz. 220g jar of roasted peppers (strained and cut into ⅛ inch strips), 12 oz. 340g tin of artichoke hearts (strained)
  • Remove your asparagus from the oven (leave the oven on) and add it to the pan with the remaining olive oil and 2 ladles worth of stock.
    1 lemon
    Some roasted asparagus spearss are added to a pan of sauteed sofrito sauce

Step 5 - Add rice and stock, and bake

  • Add the rice and mix well so the rice is evenly distributed over the pan.
    1 ½ cups of rice
    Rice is added to a pan of sauteed vegetables and sofrito sauce
  • Add more stock until everything is covered and turn the heat up to high. Once boiling, allow to bubble away for 5 minutes. Right before adding the pan (or casserole dish) to the oven, top up with a ladle or two of remaining veggie stock. Add the saffron right before baking.
    Pinch of saffron
    Stock is added to a large pan of sauteed veg.
  • Add the pan or casserole dish to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350°F/180°C.
    An oven dial turned up to 180C

Step 6 - Serve

  • Serve with plenty of fresh chopped parsley and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Alternatively, make some homemade aioli (this recipe is straight from the kitchens of Valencia).
    1 lemon, A handful of fresh parsley
    A large pan of Spanish oven-baked rice is garnished with fres hchopped parsley

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 200gCalories: 410kcalCarbohydrates: 79.7gProtein: 14.3gFat: 4.4gSaturated Fat: 0.5gSodium: 791mgPotassium: 485mgFiber: 11.1gSugar: 6.5gCalcium: 88mgIron: 6mg
Keyword authentic Spanish cuisine, budget, budget-friendly recipe, one-pot, oven-baked rice, rice, Spanish rice, vegan, vegan meal, vegetables, vegetarian, vegetarian meal

Cooking Tips and FAQs

How long does this oven-baked rice recipe take to make?

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 50-65 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes – 1 hour 20 minutes

Is oven-baked rice healthy?

Yes, this recipe is very healthy. A 200 gram/7 oz. serving has just 410 calories. It is low in fat, high in fiber, and high in protein. This recipe is also 100% vegan-friendly. 

Is baking rice better?

Baked rice is an easy way to cook rice as the oven distributes heat more evenly. Oven-baked rice uses less stock or water, and adding some olive oil really helps get a nice, fluffy consistency. 

Do I need a paella pan to make this recipe?

No, all you need is a large flat oven-safe pan or skillet. The pan you use should be around 12 inches (30cm) in diameter and 2 inches (5cm) deep to make a meal that feeds 6 people. You can always transfer the rice and stock mixture into a casserole dish before putting it in the oven.

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