Yellow Spanish Rice | Arroz Amarillo

by Chef Zee

Yellow Spanish Rice aka Arroz Amarillo is one the biggest staples of Hispanic and Latin cooking! The saffron infused rice is out of this world and it’s no wonder that this yellow rice is a huge fan favorite! Now like many traditional Hispanic and Latin dishes, there’s a million and one ways to making this delight. All of which are unique and delicious in their right. This dish is also one of the easiest dishes to make and great way to alternative to white rice.

Depending on where you’re from determines how exactly you make your Yellow Spanish Rice. In some countries, people start off by using chicken stock and saffron– which is honestly my favorite way of making this rice. You can also use bacon oil, or rendered fat from chorizo to infuse a smoky flavor into the rice. Vegans love this dish because you can also make this rice with a hearty vegetable stock! Mom’s in hurry can simple boil water and add a sazón packet– and viola: Yellow Rice is served!


Regardless of how you make your Yellow Spanish Rice, always remember to have fun with this dish. You can make it as plain or as robust as you want to! Nonetheless, here are some tried and true tips to getting the perfect Yellow Rice no matter how you make it!

Tip#1: Infuse as much flavor as you can to give the rice flavor dimension. This means either using chicken stock or vegetable stock as your base. If you don’t feel like using stock, then be sure to incorporate other forms of flavor like fresh onions, peppers, and garlic.


Tip#2: If you’re adding onions, peppers, and garlic into your Yellow Spanish Rice, make sure to finely dice up the onions and peppers. You want to dice them up small enough so that cook through all the way into rice practically disappearing. If you have picky eaters in the house, the smaller you cut the veggies, the better! If you really want ensure that the onions and peppers cook melt away into the rice, feel free to dice them up in a food processor so that they’re extra fine. If possible, always opt to use yellow or orange bell peppers when making this dish so that they blend and melt seamlessly into the rice. 


Tip#3: The secret to Yellow Spanish Rice is saffron! However, saffron can either be hard to find or insanely expensive! Feel free to use “Sazón con Azafran” (Sazón with Saffron) to get that quintessential vibrant yellow color. If you use Sazón con Achiote (Sazón with Achiote/Annatto) you’re rice will come out more on the orange side vs. yellow side


Tip#4: If you want your rice to have a smokey undertone and flavor, frying up bacon or chorizo will do the trick! Simply fry up the bacon or chorizo, and use the rendered fat/oil as the base of flavor for your rice!


Bonus: If you make your Yellow Spanish Rice with seafood or shrimp stock, you’ll end up with a delicious paella-like rice!


Don’t forget that you can watch me make this dish step-by-step on my YouTube Channel: Chef Zee Cooks!

And now for the recipe….



Yellow Spanish Rice | Arroz Amarillo | Made To Order | Chef Zee Cooks

Serves: 5-6 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 3.7/5
( 19 voted )


  • 3 cups White Rice
  • 1 White Onion
  • ¼ Yellow or Orange Bell Pepper
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 tbs Sazón Azafran (saffron)
  • 2 tbs Sopita
  • 3 cup Water


  1. Finely dice onions, peppers, and garlic
  2. In a large pot over medium flame, add olive oil
  3. Add onions, peppers, and garlic and saute until soft and translucent
  4. Add chicken bouillon cube, seasoning salt or adobo. Mix until well combined
  5. Now add Sazón con Azafran/Saffron and continue to mix
  6. Add 3 cups of water and stir
  7. Once water begins to boil, add 3 cups of washed long grain white rice and mix
  8. Let water and rice boil together until water dries up
  9. As soon as the water dries up, mix rice and cover with lid. Reduce heat to lowest possible setting
  10. After 25 minutes, uncover rice and fluff up before serving


If rice is undercooked, add ¼ cup more of water and cover with lid. Cook for additional 10 mins. If you'd like to make this dish Vegan, substitute Chicken Bouillon Cube for regular Adobo or Seasoning Salt

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