Dress up the holidays with this arroz navideño (Christmas rice with raisins and almonds). Each family seems to have its own version of this traditional Christmas dish, and you can find here other ways you can adapt my favorite rice dish for Christmas to your own taste.
By- Last reviewed . Published Dec 30, 2011
Why we ❤️ it
I know you'll love my Christmas rice with raisins and almonds, but before I get another word out, let me clarify something: This is not like the arroz navideño you know. And I know this because I have yet to taste two that are the same. Everybody seems to have a different idea of what it contains and how it should taste.
One of my favorite Christmas rice dishes is this easy-to-make pilaf with almonds and raisins, and it not only looks very festive, but it also goes great with any of our favorite Christmas centerpiece dishes.
Rice recipes for Christmas dinner
This is a very tasty, beautiful colorful rice dish that will complement your holiday season menu, and is gluten-free and perfect for vegans too. It's one of my favorite Christmas feast side dishes.
If you're looking for the perfect rice dish for Christmas, check out this Rice with cranberries, our classic Moro de guandules rice and peas, and my easy yellow rice with onion and carrot made with leftover rice. For something tropical, try this Rice, sweet corn, and pineapple salad also made with leftover rice, or our classic Arroz con maíz rice with sweet corn pilaf.
Dominican Christmas rice (rice with raisins and almonds).
You can see it above served with our favorite Dominican Christmas chicken roast (it looks quite fancy, don't you think?), but it can also be served with our Lechón asado (Christmas pork roast), or our Pavo navideño (Christmas turkey roast). For vegan guests (this dish is vegan), serve our Vegan Christmas centerpiece eggplant dish.
- I love the many contrasts in this dish, the crispy, toasted almonds, the sweet raisins, and the flavorful rice. You can add extra ingredients and spices if you feel adventurous.
- If you don't need this to be a vegan dish, you can melt butter (3 tablespoon butter) and use it instead of oil and use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth. They give it a nice taste that I quite enjoyed.
- You can add a tablespoon of soy sauce to the water for a darker color and a lovely touch of flavor. If you have guests who keep a gluten-free diet, be mindful that soy sauce may not be gluten-free. It also adds extra sodium to the dish.
- You can make this dish a day ahead – or have leftovers – leave it in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container. Then before serving, add two tablespoons of water to the rice, cover it in a microwave-safe container, and reheat for two minutes.
- If you plan to refrigerate or freeze it, do not mix in the toasted almonds until after you reheat the rice in the microwave because they will get soggy and stale.
- As with every Dominican recipe, this is made with long grain rice, but it also works wonderfully with Basmati rice or Jasmine rice.
- I used raisins and sultanas for the dish, but you can make it with just regular raisins if you wish.
About this recipe
This recipe yields 6 servings of about 1 cup of rice each.
As I mentioned above, there isn't a recipe for Dominican Christmas rice, every home does its own version, but this has the most common elements in them. Do you make your Arroz navideño differently? I'd love to hear your version. Share it in the comments!
This awesome free recipe contains Amazon affiliate links, we receive a small commission from any purchase you make at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!
1. Toasting almonds
- Heat the oil over medium heat. Stir in the almonds and cook stirring until they turn a light golden color. Remove the almonds from the oil and set them aside.
2. Cooking rice
- Add the raw, unrinsed rice to the heated oil, cook stirring until the grains are coated with oil, and turn a slightly yellow color. Pour in the vegetable broth, stir and salt to taste.Boil over medium flame, stirring often, until the liquid has almost all evaporated. Add the raisins and sultanas and stir to combine. Lower the heat, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir the rice and simmer covered for another 10 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through.Uncover, fluff with a fork, and mix in the toasted almonds. Remove from the stove.
- Place the rice in a serving platter and sprinkle with fresh parsley.
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutrition information.
Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email & I'll send it to your inbox. Plus, get great recipes from me every week!
Crunchy rice is the rice stuck to the pan or pot when cooked on the stovetop and is very popular because of the crispy texture and concentrated flavor. Crunchy rice is called concón in the Dominican Republic, pegao in Puerto Rico, socarrat in Spain, nurungji in Korea, tahdig in Iran, hkaka in Iraq, raspa in Cuba, cocolón in Ecuador, guo ba in China, graten in Haiti, pegado and cucayo in Colombia, kanzo or emo asi in Ghana, tutong in Philippines, xoon in Senegal, koge in Japan, etc.
Rice and meat are a fantastic combination. Whether you cooked them together, with your favorite spice mix, vegetables, and herbs, or you serve a sauce-rich beef, pork, or chicken dish over white rice, it'll be the perfect combination of carbohydrates and protein.