Deliciously packed with flavor, this traditional rice and tomatoes dish from Portugal is ready for serving in thirty minutes. Easy-peasy preparation, try Arroz de Tomate for tomorrow night’s dinner! You will not regret it!
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Portuguese Tomato Rice is such a versatile dish. It can be served as an appetizer, a side dish, or as a base for a filling seafood entre.
It does not matter if it’s the height of summer, and it just came out of the kitchen, just pair it with a glass of chilled white wine, and you’re good to go!
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE ARROZ DE TOMATE
WHAT STOCK SHOULD YOU USE?
I use chicken stock because that’s what I always have on hand. But you can use also vegetables, beef or fish.
If your stock already contained salt, then go easy when you’re first adding seasoning to the tomatoes. You can always add more when you are simmering the rice.
WHAT TYPE OF RICE IS BEST FOR THIS DISH?
I always use long-grain rice like basmati because it does not release too much starch in the mixing (and cooking process). I prefer my tomato rice to have that pilaf texture with sauce, and you only get this result with long-grain rice.
If you like a bit more creaminess, then use medium-grain rice like arborio (commonly used for risotto) or bomba rice (generally used for paella).
I have to say though, the memorable ones that I have tried in Lisbon, they were all using basmati rice. So, there you go. 🙂
HOW TO MAKE TOMATO RICE – STEP BY STEP
Place a medium-sized or large pan on medium-high heat. Pour and heat the olive oil. Once the oil is ready, add finely chopped garlic and cook until the garlic becomes fragrant (photos 1 & 2).
Add finely chopped onion and cook until it becomes soft. Add the tomatoes and season with salt, pepper, and a dash of chili flakes. Mix to combine (photos 3 & 4).
Turn the heat down to medium and cover the pan with a lid. Cook until the tomatoes become soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add rice and mix to coat the rice with the liquid in the pan (photos 5 & 6).
Add stock and bay leaves, mix and then cover with a lid. Turn up the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil (photo 7).
Add parsley and mix. Cover with a lid and turn down the heat to low. Simmer until the rice is ready, about 20 minutes (photo 8).
Taste and season. Mix. Take the pan off the heat and serve.
TOP TIPS FOR THIS EASY RICE AND TOMATOES RECIPE
- Use long-grain rice for better results.
- Go for the ripest (and juiciest) kind of tomatoes that you can find. I usually use cherry tomatoes because those tend to be excellent in Stockholm the whole year-round.
- Stick to fresh tomatoes, do not substitute with canned tomato sauce or paste.
- If you think that there is not enough liquid, do not hesitate to add more stock and then adjust the seasoning.
- Do not skip the parsley. There is a noticeable difference in flavor if you skip it. So, if you’re a fan, add more.
YOU WANT ANOTHER PORTUGUESE DISH? THEN CHECK OUT Portuguese Salt-Crusted Baked Potatoes!
IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR MORE TOMATO-RELATED POSTS, THEN YOU MIGHT LIKE –
- Tomato and Mozzarella Pastry (Rustico Leccese)
- Panzanella (Bread and Tomato Salad)
- How to Make Marinara Sauce
IF YOU NEED MORE RICE DISHES, THEN CHECK OUT MY RICE COLLECTION!
OR PERHAPS YOU WANT MORE IDEAS FOR A SIDE DISH? THEN MY SIDE DISHES COLLECTION IS PERFECT FOR YOU!
Portuguese Tomato Rice (Arroz de Tomate)
- 2 & 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 & 1/2 cups tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup long-grain white rice
- 3 & 3/4 cups stock, (or more if needed)
- 2 pcs dried bay leaves
- salt and pepper, to season
- dash chili flakes
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped (or about a handful)
- Using a medium-sized to a large pan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is ready, add finely chopped garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add finely chopped onion and cook until it has softened.
- Add chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Mix to combine. Cover the pan with a lid and cook until tomatoes are a bit mushy. This typically takes about 5 minutes.
- Remove the lid and add rice. Mix to coat the rice with the liquid in the pan.
- Pour the stock into the rice and add bay leaves. Mix and put the lid back on. Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring rice to a boil.
- Add parsley and mix. Cover and turn heat to low. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the rice has cooked. Mix the rice a couple of times during this cooking time to make sure that nothing is sticking.
- Adjust the seasoning if needed. Mix and take the pan off the heat.
- Serve. Garnish with more parsley, if desired.
- You can cook this in a skillet, a non-stick pan or pot, or even a dutch-oven.
- Always use long-grain rice for a better result.
- You can use whatever flavor of stock that you want -- chicken, beef, vegetable, or fish.
- If your stock is already seasoned, go easy the first time you add salt with the tomatoes. You can always add more when you're simmering the rice.
- Use the juiciest kind of fresh tomatoes that you can find.
- Do not substitute canned tomato sauce or tomato paste for the fresh tomatoes.
- Add more stock if you notice that there is very little liquid left with the rice.
- Parsley provides a very distinct flavor to this dish, so do not skip it. If you love parsley, use more.