Spain on a Fork > All Recipes > Main Dishes > Irresistible Rice with Broccoli | The Secret is how you Cook the Broccoli
All Recipes, Main Dishes / July 2, 2021

Irresistible Rice with Broccoli | The Secret is how you Cook the Broccoli

Spain has a ton of great rice dishes, and this Spanish Broccoli Rice sits right up there with the best of them. Packed with flavors, super easy to make and done in 30 minutes. Serve it as a main course or even as a side dish next to some Patatas Bravas.

Spanish Broccoli Rice
What makes this dish so good, is the technique the broccoli is cooked in. First you sautée it until it gets a nice crust, then you remove it from the pan and add it back into the pan towards the end. This way it has an incredible texture and absorbs all the flavors.

Spanish Broccoli Rice
What really flavors this dish is the saffron. Using the best saffron is what makes all the difference. I also added some chickpeas, as they add a great texture and a punch of protein.

Spanish Broccoli Rice
TIPS & TRICKS to Make this Recipe: At the end of the cooking stage, I added some grated Manchego Cheese over the rice. But you can use any cheese you like. I also used vegetable broth to cook the rice, as it adds an incredible depth of flavor. However, you can also use water with a pinch of salt.

Spanish Broccoli Rice

Key Ingredients & Cookware I used in this Recipe:

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Watch the Video Below on How to Make Spanish Broccoli Rice

5 from 3 votes

Spanish Broccoli Rice

Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 2
Author Albert Bevia @ Spain on a Fork


  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 head broccoli
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup round rice 220 grams
  • 15 oz can cooked chickpeas 425 grams
  • 3 cups vegetable broth 710 ml
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads .17 grams
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Manchego cheese 30 grams
  • handful finely chopped parsley
  • sea salt & black pepper


  1. Cut 1/2 head of broccoli into small florets and roughly mince 4 cloves of garlic

  2. Add 3 cups of vegetable broth into a sauce pan, pinch in 1/4 tsp saffron threads and heat with a medium-high heat

  3. Meanwhile, heat a large fry pan with a medium heat and add in 2 tbsp (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil

  4. After 2 minutes add in the florets of broccoli, mix with the olive oil and then place them in a single layer, cook for 3 minutes without mixing, after 3 minutes flip the florets and cook for another 3 minutes without mixing, then remove the broccoli from the pan and set aside

  5. Using the same pan with the same heat, add in 1 tbsp (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil and the minced garlic, mix with the olive oil, after 10 seconds add in 1 cup round rice, a 15 oz can (drained & rinsed) of chickpeas and season everything with sea salt & black pepper, mix together, then pour in the hot saffron infused vegetable broth, raise the heat to a medium-high heat and mix together so everything is evenly mixed

  6. After simmering for 8 minutes and most of the broth has been absorbed by the rice, add the broccoli back into the pan, place a lid on the pan and lower the heat to a low-medium heat

  7. After 4 minutes and there is virtually no broth left in the pan, remove from the heat

  8. Finely grate in some Manchego cheese over the rice and sprinkle with finely chopped parsley, enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Get the Saffron Threads I used to to make this recipe

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  1. Mark Wilkinson

    5 stars
    Hi Albert, I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but I’m sure it’s going to be up to your usual super-high standards.
    Just one question here: your total cooking time for the rice seems to be around 12 minutes. In the U.K. the round Spanish rice we can buy in an everyday supermarket is usually a 20 to 25-minute cook time. Q: should we cook the rice in your recipe for, say, an extra eight or nine minutes before putting the broccoli back in and covering it with a lid? I seem to remember most of the rice you cook needs 18-20 minutes, so I’m not sure why the time seems to be so short for this recipe.
    Thanks for all your wonderful ideas and recipes – we love them!

    All the best,

    Mark W in London

    16 . Jun . 2023
    • Spain on a Fork

      All times I use are approximate, but can typically be longer, just add in the broccoli towards the end of cooking the rice and you should be ok 🙂 Much love

      17 . Jun . 2023
  2. Joy

    5 stars
    I’ve made this three times. So delicious every time. Thank you!

    10 . Sep . 2021
    • Spain on a Fork

      So happy to hear that! Thanks for the comment 🙂 much love

      10 . Sep . 2021
  3. Carmen+Judith+Arroyo

    Made this Monday evening (8/9/2021) didn’t have saffron – have never used it, instead used smoke paprika. Loved the recipe.

    11 . Aug . 2021
    • Spain on a Fork

      Sounds great! Much love 🙂

      12 . Aug . 2021
  4. Doris Butler

    5 stars
    Hi Albert,
    I made this for dinner, this evening. It was delicious. I actually went to your Amazon store an bought the Golden Saffron that you use. It is wonderful. Looking forward to making more of your healthy, delicious dishes!

    26 . Jul . 2021
    • Spain on a Fork

      I am so happy to hear that! thanks for the comment 🙂 much love

      27 . Jul . 2021
  5. Faisal M Kashmiri

    Hi Albert Bevia, I enjoy your recipes very much, however, your use of oil (any kind of oil) is very bad, I always cook with stock or water, I follow a “Whole Plant Based Diet” not because I am un-health, its because all oils are un-healthy.

    You should look up “Dr Caldwell Esselstyn Jr – Dr Coin T. Campbell – Dr Michael Greger.

    Faisal M Kashmiri

    05 . Jul . 2021

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