Fishing & Boating in the Northwoods

Spanish Rice Recipe

spanish rice

This is a superb recipe for Spanish rice that goes well with just about any fish dish. It’s easy and lends itself well to most of the Northwoods resorts or cabins that come equipped with only basic kitchen facilities. I guarantee you’ll get lots of positive comments on this one! Photo show Spanish rice with Mesquite-Grilled Margarita Pike.

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  • ½ lb. hickory smoked bacon, coarsely chopped
  • ¾ C. white rice, uncooked
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 ½ t. dark brown sugar
  • 1 – 14 ½ oz. can stewed tomatoes, Mexican recipe
  • 12 oz. water
  • 2 T. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 t. cumin
  • ¼ t. chili powder
  • ½ t. coriander seeds, ground (preferably with mortar & pestle)
  • 1/8 t. baking soda
  • 1 T. red wine vinegar

Assembly Instructions

Depending on your tastes * and/or your caloric fears * coarsely chop and fry about 1/3 to ½ a pound of bacon until it is very crisp in a heavy aluminum or cast-iron pan; discard all but about 2-3 Tablespoons of the fat.

Sauté the rice in the fat over medium heat (almost as if you were making fried rice, just until it turns an almond color. Then add the onions and garlic and sauté and stir until the onions & garlic are just translucent (about 3-4 minutes). (If you like your rice even spicier, simply dice some Jalapeno peppers and sauté them along with the onions and garlic.)

Add the tomatoes and about 8 oz. of water. Add about half of the chopped green peppers and half of the bacon pieces. Add the cilantro and other spices and simmer the mixture, covered, until almost all of the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes or so.

The tomatoes and water will deglaze the brown bacon and onion residue from the bottom of the pan, as well as add lots of additional flavor to the dish. Stir and mix thoroughly. Place in an oven that has been pre-heated to 350 degrees.


Bake, covered, for about 20 minutes. Uncover the rice and stir in the remaining chopped green peppers and bacon pieces and return to oven – uncovered – for an additional 10 minutes. The green peppers added last will be just tender but should remain bright green.

If you don’t have the time, you can take the shortcut of putting together the entire recipe and then simply baking in the oven for an hour. Make sure to remove the cover for about the last 10 minutes of baking.

As I said, this rice dish goes well with just about any fish, but it is particularly good with Mesquite Grilled Northern Pike!


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R. Karl

Angler, Author & Epicure

Fishing since the age of eight.  Seriously writing since the age of 16. Chef and foodie from the age of 22 years… and counting. So much to learn and so little time. I have enjoyed every minute of it all.  Whether on the water (where I like it best), in the kitchen, or at the keyboard, churning out content, I feel like I have found my place.  I am sharing it with you in the hope that some of what I love to do will rub off on you. I hope to see you On the Lake!

R. Karl