Spanish Rice and Ham

Spanish Rice and Ham

b7-copyright-pic (That means enjoy cooking it but, don’t print it as yours).

Spanish Rice recipes do not usually have meat in them.  I have perfected my own over the years due to food allergies.  It is not Mexican rice (no cumin, etc.) and there is more sauce. It is mild but, very comforting.  I would easily substitute chicken or shrimp for the ham.

I am not sure when my mother started making Spanish Rice. I just know I have eaten and enjoyed it for over 50 years.   I know we are good old Georgia-Southern Belles, but, this just fits right in with our comfort food even though we did not eat spicy food.


Spanish Rice and Ham

I am sure there are some really spicy recipes out there for Spanish Rice.  However, my recipe can go from mild to spicy in a flash.  Or, maybe I should say dash of your favorite salsa or Tabasco added at table?  I prefer mild so even the youngest grand can enjoy (or the oldsters that do not tolerate spicy food any more).  It is easy to make and not too many ingredients needed.  If you are not serving sides of salad or vegetables this recipe yields 2-3 large servings.  If it is accompanied by sides, it will yield 4-6 servings.

Chefs Note:  I, like many, suffer from migraines* and/or allium allergies**.  These allergens trigger migraines  by ingestion and/or smelling them.  I have placed all the ingredients as optional  that are food triggers.  You do not need them.  Yes, they add lots of flavor, but, you will enjoy this recipe without them and not have to suffer.  Also note, black pepper is a culprit to migraines and high blood pressure (just like salt). Go easy on the salt. Black pepper can be added by an individual at the table and does NOT need to be introduced in the meal that is consumed by all.  I am amazed at how many heavily pepper foods as they prepare when it is not needed before the table.  (Stepping off my soapbox now.)



  • Ham steaks, cubed ham or chopped fresh cooked ham (6-8 oz per person).
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (I buy my grocery’s frozen so as not to have allergic reaction by cutting and eating.  Freezing deactivates the sulfenic acid that is released when cutting and cooking onions.
  • 1/2 to 1 stalk celery finely chopped (OR, 1/2 tsp celery flakes OR 1/4 tsp celery salt).  My hubby does not like celery.  You have to sneak it in a dish.  You can place some celery sticks in while saute and remove before he sees them if you like.  But, the celery really adds to the flavor.
  • 2 TBS Olive oil
  • 1 Clove garlic crushed (optional) Substitution of  powder, salt or flakes here
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp – 1 tsp Chili Powder to taste (optional)
  • 3 TBS Cooking Wine (this will cook off and not cause a migraine as cooking kills the aged bacteria that is the cause).
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce (note: the alergens have been deactivated by processing of the product.  So yes, there is onion, garlic, vinegar, etc. but, not a trigger for most).  Optional if you cannot tolerate ingredient.
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice per person (brown, yellow, jasmine, or basmati rice types are fine as well.  Cook per instructions). Go easy on the salt as ham is naturally salty by nature. Prepare ahead.

1 15oz can Tomato Sauce (I use Contadina Organic Sauce with Sea Salt, NON GMO/BPA).  You can use homemade or a combination of 8 oz tomato sauce and 8 oz chunky salsa.


In a 12″ x 2″ sauce pan, saute over medium heat until onions are opaque:

  • Frozen chopped onions (freshly chopped if you can)
  • White wine
  • Crushed garlic (optional) or garlic powder substitute
  • Oregano
  • Chili powder (optional)
  • Worcestershire Sauce




ADD and cook until well heated (about 10 mins):

  • Chopped ham
  • Tomato Sauce



ADD and reduce heat to low:

  • Cooked rice, mixing in until well blended. 

Keep on low heat until ready to serve.  Add to your table setting, black pepper, garlic salt/pepper, salsa and tobasco for those that want to kick it up a notch.


(Optional Add at Table)

* Migraine Triggers Aged products like cheeses, meats, very ripe bananas, pineapples, vinegar, etc.

** Allium Allergy Anything that grows from a bulb, like, garlic,  lilies, tulips, onions, etc.