Red River Rice

Red River Rice Word

Shopping on a budget is a challenge. Especially with the costs of groceries.  Today I am participating in a program for the Hunger Project along with many other food bloggers.  The program is titled Food Bloggers Against Hunger.  We are each offering a recipe that costs pennies to prepare per person.  Millions of Americans are forced to shop this way to stay within their allotted budgets and we are aiming to help protect SNAP’s funding so that these Americans have, at least, this help offered to them.

The recipe I have chosen is Red River Rice.  It is simple and versatile and something I believe the whole family will enjoy.  To save money I often buy in bulk.  Especially rice because it’s shelf life is so long.  This recipe has lots of flavor and can easily be doubled and frozen for the future.  That not only would help save on the electricity or gas bill when used in cooking but also your time.

Red River Rice

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Serving Size: 1/2 cup or a bit more

Red River Rice


1 cup finely diced yellow onion - I chopped mine quickly in a food processor

2 Tablespoons of your favorite oil for sauteing

1-1/4 cups raw rice

1 can diced tomatoes (15-1/2 ounce or close to it)

If your family likes spicier dishes you can use a can of tomatoes with herbs and spices included.

1 can vegetable broth (13 ounce or close to it)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan.

Add the onion and saute until translucent - about 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir in the rice, tomatoes with their juice, vegetable broth, salt and pepper.

Heat to a boil and then cover and lower the heat to a simmer.

Cook for about 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed into the rice.

It will still be moist but absorbed.

Taste the rice for tenderness.

All set and ready to serve.

The cost of this dish is about 60 cents per person.

To make the dish a main meal you can add an avocado and one to two zucchinis (depending on the size of the zucchinis).  That would bring the cost of your main meal to about $1.20 each person.

This second recipe is called Calabasitas.  The way you prepare this meal is very similar.  Prepare the Red River Rice recipe as per the directions above.  In a separate skillet lightly sauté 1 to 2 zucchinis that have been sliced into rounds that are about ¼” to ½” thick.  Set aside.  Chop an avocado into large diced pieces.  Add the zucchini and avocado to the prepared rice mixture and heat through.  That’s It.  Now you have a main dish for dinner.

Red River Rice Twos

Red River Rice Twos

Please join us to help Protect Federal Nutrition Programs that Feed Our Nation’s Children and click on this link.  It is a simple form that takes a minute to fill out and when you click the submit button the recipients that will receive it will be

  • Your Senators
  • Your Representative
  • Targeted recipients based on your address

I will also be posting this recipe today on The Giving Tables fan page over at facebook.  I am sure you can find many more economical recipes over there.

If you would like to watch a movie that is well worth your time watch A Place At The Table.  The movie premiered on March 1st, 2013 and is in theaters now.  

1 in 4 kids don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Hunger is a growing epidemic in the US and we can fix it.  Jeff Bridges and Tom Colicchio star in this documentary.

You can also catch the documentary through these links at

itunes   and/or   amazon.



Red River Rice — 3 Comments

  1. I have made this twice, following the directions the first time and using a longer cooking time the second time. Both times, the rice was still quite “dente” and did not taste done. I’ve tried adding cooking time– is there something in the tomato juice that keeps it from cooking? When I make Spanish rice, I use just a little tomato paste in the cooking liquid, but I get better results. Any hints?

    • I am so sorry that you are having trouble with the recipe. I will remake it myself and make sure the measurements are right. The ratio seems correct though. I would increase the vegetable broth by 1/2 cup and cook 20 minutes. Please let me know how that works.

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