The aroma of baked Spanish rice, also known as arroz al horno, often fills my kitchen on a lazy afternoon as I try to evoke the streets of Valencia through flavors and smells. The dish is a hearty and fulfilling one that’s sure to make any dinner table feel alive with food and conversation.
This baked rice recipe originated in the region of Valencia, an area in Eastern Spain known for paella and other beloved rice dishes. Arroz al horno has become a beloved part of Spanish cuisine because it’s flavorful, easy to make, and filled with simple yet impressive ingredients.
I’m excited to share my version of this traditional Spanish rice dish that’s loaded with flavor and easy to prepare in your oven. Whether you’re vegan or a serious food lover, this recipe has something for everyone. With only a handful of ingredients you’ll be able to savor every bite of this hearty baked rice recipe-packed with chunks of pork belly, chickpeas and potatoes- to satisfy even the pickiest eaters.
So let’s get started, gather your arroz al horno ingredientsI and travel with me to Valencia through the art of food.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Surely, you must be wondering why you will fall in love with Arroz Al Horno! Ah, where do I begin? This baked Spanish rice packs a punch of rich and complex flavors that will tantalize your taste buds like never before. Every bite feels like a warm embrace from the Mediterranean sun, taking you on a journey to the colorful streets of Valencia.
This recipe is simple yet filled with heartiness and an abundance of ingredients that give it a robust flavor. The combination of pork belly, black pudding or morcilla blood sausage, and chorizo in the dish adds extra layers of umami to the dish, elevating it to another level. Believe me when I say this dish is not for the faint-hearted, but for those daring enough to embark on a journey of passion and excellence.
Not only is Arroz Al Horno vegan-friendly (substituting ground pork for chickpeas) but it’s also an easy recipe to make that gives stunning results every time. It’s no wonder that this staple Spanish rice dish is famously served at family feasts and special occasions all year round.
But don’t just take my word for it. You have to experience this hearty baked rice for yourself – it’s worth every taste bud. Your friends and family will forever be thanking you for introducing them to this comforting, delicious meal that will leave them contented long after their last bite. So why wait? Go ahead and give this recipe a try!
Let me tell you about the key ingredients for my recipe of Arroz Al Horno.
For a hearty and flavorful baked Spanish rice, you will need:
We will be using a short-grain, starchy type of rice known as Bomba rice.
This is essential when preparing the dish since it helps to absorb all of the flavors from the other ingredients.
1 lb of ground pork belly or lean pork is added to the dish, this ingredient gives moisture and texture to the delicious baked Spanish rice.
Tomatoes and Potatoes
You’ll also need 2 medium-sized tomatoes halved, 1 head of garlic, and rounds of peeled potatoes (about 2 medium-sized ones), which help in making the dish more filling.
To make this recipe even more authentic, I recommend adding Chorizo, Black Pudding or even Morcilla blood sausage. The latter will give more depth to your Arroz Al Horno.
Olive oil is an essential ingredient that adds richness to the dish. In this recipe we require two cups of it.
Traditional spanish arroz uses certain spices and seasonings that include saffron threads – these strands enhance the natural colors and give off an earthy taste.
I highly recommend sticking to these listed ingredients in order to get an authentic taste of Spain with every forkful of Baked Spanish Rice.
The Recipe How-To
Here’s where the magic happens – let’s get baking this delicious Arroz al Horno!
Step 1: Preheat The Oven
First things first, preheat your oven to 375°F so that it’s heated up and ready for the rice.
Step 2: Cook The Pork and Potatoes
Now that the oven is warming up, it’s time to start cooking the pork belly and potatoes. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once heated, add in 1 pound of ground pork and sauté for 3 minutes. Then, add in 2 medium-sized potatoes (cut into rounds) and continue to sauté for another 3 minutes until they start to soften.
Step 3: Add The Rice And Other Ingredients
After your meat and potatoes have cooked for a few minutes, add in 1 head of diced garlic, chopped tomatoes, a pinch of saffron strands, and half a cup of black pudding (optional). Stir everything together until combined.
Next, add in 2 cups of Bomba rice (a short-grain Spanish rice known for its starchy texture), and stir until the rice is coated with the mixture in the skillet.
Step 4: Add Liquids and Chickpeas
Pour in 3 cups of boiling water or chicken broth into the skillet while stirring. Add in a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas to give your dish even more flavor.
Step 5: Baking Time
Transfer everything from your skillet into an oven-safe baking dish. At this point, you can decorate the top with halved tomatoes or other toppings like olives, sliced red peppers or boiled eggs.
Place the baking dish into the preheated oven and bake the Arroz al Horno for 25-30 minutes until the rice is cooked through and fluffy. After it’s finished baking, remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes before serving.
Step 6: Enjoy Your Dish
Voila, the Arroz al Horno is ready! This recipe is great when you want to have a hearty meal filled with Spanish flavors. It’s easy to make with simple ingredients, and packed with loads of flavor. You can serve this dish on its own or alongside your favorite protein like chicken or rabbit joints or even chorizo for extra meaty goodness.
Now that you know how to make this delicious baked Spanish rice, get cooking and explore the tastes of Valencia right in your own kitchen!
Substitutions and Variations
As with most recipes, there are many substitutions and variations you can make to customize this recipe to your liking. Whether you’re looking for vegan options or want to switch up the protein, here are a few suggestions:
– Instead of ground pork or pork belly, you can use chicken, rabbit joints or lean pork cut into small pieces.
– If you prefer a vegetarian or vegan option, you can omit the meat and replace it with chickpeas. You can also swap the meat broth for vegetable stock to keep the flavors going.
– Saffron strands can be quite expensive, so if that’s a concern for you, substitute for turmeric powder – this is also a great option for those who don’t like the taste of saffron.
– While Bomba rice is traditionally used in Spain for Paella, it may not be available easily in your region. Try using Arborio rice instead which should be readily available at your local grocery store.
– You can add additional vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini or green beans. This will give an extra dimension of crunchiness and texture to your dish
– A popular Spanish baked rice dish is “Arroz con Pollo” which means rice with chicken – you can add boneless chicken pieces into the recipe to give it a protein boost and complement well with the flavors of olives and garlic
Remember that experimentation in the kitchen is always encouraged! So feel free to get creative with this recipe – it’s forgiving and loaded with flavor.
Serving and Pairing
My dear friends, it’s a true pleasure to introduce to you my latest creation and personal favorite: the Arroz Al Horno recipe. A baked Spanish rice dish that is packed with flavor and easy to make.
Now, I have no doubt that this hearty baked rice dish will be a crowd-pleaser at your dinner table. But let me tell you how to elevate your culinary experience even further by suggesting some amazing pairing options.
Firstly, let me state the obvious: this recipe is quite filling and can stand alone as the main course at any meal. However, If you’re feeling a little adventurous and want to take your taste buds on a delightful journey, then you should definitely try pairing it with a succulent grilled chicken or rabbit joints. The lean meat pairs well with the flavors of the saffron-infused rice and savory sausages.
Now, if you are looking for something vegan, bless your heart! You can still enjoy this flavorful dish by swapping out the meats for chickpeas or other plant-based proteins. Alternatively, you can follow my vegan recipe known as “Arroz Al Horno loaded with flavor,” which uses humble ingredients and packs delicious flavors into every bite.
Looking for suggestions for side dishes? My go-to choice is to serve this spanish rice dish up alongside a fresh garden salad or roasted vegetable medley. The crispness of veggies and the tenderness of potatoes rounds out every bite.
Finally, finish off your culinary treat with a glass of fruity wine such our local Valencian wine or one of any grape variety like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. The flavor notes in these wines complement the layered flavors in this dish while also acting as an excellent palate cleanser between bites.
So there you have it – my serving and pairing recommendations for Arroz Al Horno (Baked Spanish Rice) Recipe! Enjoy every bite of tender rice seasoned with saffron strands, garlic, and a blend of chorizo, black pudding, and morcilla blood sausage. Cheers!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Ah, the art of preparing and storing food to ensure its freshness and flavor- a true hallmark of any great chef. I cannot stress the importance of this enough when it comes to Arroz al Horno. This dish is truly delightful, and as such deserves our utmost care in maintaining its essence. It can be made ahead of time, stored, and reheated with the right techniques.
To make this dish easier to prepare when you’re pinched for time, begin by making a large batch of Arroz al Horno ahead of time. After taking the baked rice out of the oven, add some broth or water to restore the moisture that may have evaporated during baking. You can then refrigerate it for up to 4 days or freeze it for later use.
Now that your baked Spanish rice is done, storing it correctly is vital to preserve its quality. Transfer it into an airtight container and seal it well. This will help prevent air exposure and the entry of microbial agents that could spoil your food. You want to keep your rice as fresh as possible so that you may savor its deep flavorsome aroma.
When ready to reheat the rice al horno, preheat your oven to 350°F (176°C). Place your leftover Arroz al Horno in an oven-safe dish with a sprinkle of water or broth over the top to prevent dryness. Allow your baked rice to heat for approximately 25-30 minutes for best results. Alternatively, you can reheat it on low heat on the stovetop while stirring gently occasionally until warm all through.
By following these simple steps, you can enjoy mouth-watering Arroz al Horno anytime with minimal worries about storage or reheating techniques. The essence shall remain unscathed even after several days because we take pride in crafting recipes like this Valencian classic that stand the test of time.
Tips for Perfect Results
Baked Spanish rice, or arroz al horno, is a flavorful and filling dish that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party, looking for a hearty meal to feed your family, or just craving something comforting and delicious, this recipe is sure to hit the spot. But as with any recipe, there are a few tips and tricks you should keep in mind to ensure that your arroz al horno turns out perfectly every time.
First and foremost, be sure to use high-quality ingredients. This means opting for fresh vegetables like ripe tomatoes and potatoes, and using top-of-the-line olive oil for sautéing your meat and vegetables. It also means using the right kind of rice – in this case, bomba rice is the traditional choice for Spanish rice dishes like arroz al horno.
Another key to achieving perfect results when making arroz al horno is to be patient during the cooking process. The dish takes a bit of time to come together in the oven, but it’s important not to rush it. Resist the urge to peek at the rice too often while it’s baking; instead, trust that it will cook through evenly and develop that delicious crispy top layer on its own.
When serving your arroz al horno, be sure to garnish it with fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro for an extra burst of flavor and color. It’s also a good idea to let the dish rest for a few minutes after removing it from the oven; this will help the rice set up properly and make it easier to serve.
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations of this recipe to suit your tastes. Whether you’re making a vegan version without meat or adding some heat with spicy chorizo sausage, there are endless ways to customize this dish while still staying true to its classic Spanish roots. So go ahead and let your creativity run wild – we guarantee that your arroz al horno will be a hit no matter what!
As I come to the final words of this article, I can’t help but be overwhelmed by my love for Arroz Al Horno. This baked Spanish rice dish is truly one of the greatest comfort foods I have ever had, and I am sure you will absolutely fall in love with it too.
This recipe is perfect for those who want a wholesome and hearty meal that’s easy to make with simple ingredients. Whether you want to make it vegan or loaded with meat, the options are endless. It’s a crowd-pleaser, perfect for dinner parties, family gatherings or even solo meals.
So next time you’re craving rice, give this recipe a try. Trust me; you won’t regret it. Whether you’re in Valencia or Tokyo, Arroz Al Horno will transport you on a journey through the flavors of Spain.
In conclusion, Arroz Al Horno is more than just a dish; it’s an experience. One taste of this hearty baked rice dish and you’ll fall in love with the rich flavors and aromas that come together so beautifully. So what are you waiting for? Get your apron on and dive headfirst into the world of Arroz Al Horno!
Arroz Al Horno (Baked Spanish Rice) Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, add more if necessary later
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1 potato, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 2 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
- 2 chorizo sausages, thickly sliced
- 4 cups rice
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 3 saffron strands, crumbled
- 1 head garlic
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat oil in pan on medium; sauté pork for 3 minutes.
- Add potato rounds; saute for 3 minutes.
- Add the chickpeas and tomatoes.
- Lower the heat and cook gently for 5-7 minutes.
- Mix in chorizo and rice; stir well.
- Pour in stock and crumbled saffron.
- Bring to boil.
- Place mixture in a casserole dish; cover.
- Place a halved garlic head on top.
- Bake in a medium oven for about 45 minutes.
- Remove garlic head before serving.
- Taste for salt preferences.
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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.