Arroz Rojo

I’ve always truly loved peanuts – they’re just so easy to love! But it wasn’t until my palate matured beyond chicken nuggets, Lik-M-Aid Fun Dip, and pudding pops that I really learned to cook with peanuts.

After setting my Fun Dip down for long enough, the most important thing that I realized about peanuts is that they offer so much more than a simple snack or compliment to a sweet dish. And imagine my delight, since I learned to cook and bake from the perspective of modern Southwestern American culinary tradition, when I discovered that so many Mexican and Native American dishes involve peanuts in some form or other.

These days, one of my favorite ways to use peanuts is in fiery savory dishes that marry the creamy, nutty crunch of peanuts with the fiery heat of chiles. It’s truly a match made in heaven.

Today I’ve jumbled everything up in some rice. A go-to rice that offers something for everyone at the family dinner table. We start with a chunky sofrito-like base of onions, garlic, tomatoes and roasted, chopped peanuts. Add in some seasonings, fresh lime juice, and cooked rice and everyone’s smiling over supper. For me, that’s what it’s all about.

This post and recipe were developed in partnership with the National Peanut Board. Please take a moment to visit their Peanut Butter Fanatic Facebook Page and support their Peanut Butter For Breakfast campaign. It takes just a minute to become a Facebook fan and it’s totally free! The best part is that for every new fan and vote for a favorite breakfast recipe, America’s peanut farmers will donate $5 to help feed the hungry. Their goal is $10,000 – I know you’ll take a just minute to become a fan, make a vote, and help feed the hungry!

Arroz Rojo (Red Rice)

2 tbsp. peanut oil
1 c. white onion, diced
2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 c. peanuts, dry roasted for 5-7 minutes and roughly chopped
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
2 tsp. ancho chile, ground
1 ½ tsp. cumin, ground
1 tsp. oregano, dried, ground
½ tsp. salt
¼ c. lime juice, freshly squeezed
5 c. cooked long grain rice

Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for approximately 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and peanuts and cook for 4 minutes more. Stir in the garlic, ancho chile, cumin, oregano, and salt and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring regularly. Stir in the rice one cup at a time, finishing with the lime juice. Toss well and cook for 4 minutes more. Serve immediately.

YIELD:  approximately 8 – 10 servings


  1. 12


    We are in Thailand right now, where one of their famous dished – Pad Thai – has peanut powder in it. I love it and can totally see it work for a rice dish too.

    • Meagan says

      Paula, I used Mahatma brand extra long grain rice – it’s pretty much my go-to. I have been experimenting more with shorter grain rices lately, and they would probably be just as good in a dish like this.

  2. 8


    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe! I have a HUGE can of peanuts and I have been putting them in everything, especially love pairing them with hot & spicy, now I have to make this before they are all gone!

  3. 7


    I’m sitting here eating peanuts while I read this. Love nuts beyond comprehension. This dish is truly fab. Totally digging this.

  4. 6


    Another home run recipe and gorgeous photos. I haven’t had rice with peanuts in a long time, gotta try this out sometime. Thanks for sharing Meagan, I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  5. 5


    Funny, I never think to cook with peanuts even though I would probably die without peanut butter and the nuts themselves to snack on.
    This dish sounds tasty and would dress up my boring old rice repertoire nicely!

    • Meagan says

      You know, probably just about anything, but I think chicken would be best. You could sauté the chicken in a little peanut oil and even add just a few tablespoons of peanut butter. Really bring home the PEANUTS!

  6. 2

    Mary says

    My mother used to put peanuts in cole slaw. Your idea, Scarletta, is another great way to crunch it up! I’m going to try this – it looks very yummy!


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