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Portuguese Tomato Rice - also known as Arroz de Tomate. A simple and delicious rice dish that is a favorite recipe from Portugal!

Over the last few months, we’ve been trying quite a few recipes from the cookbook, “Food of Portugal” and this Arroz de Tomate – or Portuguese Tomato Rice – is now one of our go-to side dishes.

According to the cookbook’s author Jean Anderson, this recipe is a favorite all over Portugal – but best prepared in the Province of Alentejo in the South-Central part of Portugal, where plump juicy tomatoes grow red and ripe and full of flavor thanks to favorable growing conditions.

Portuguese Tomato Rice - also known as Arroz de Tomate. A simple and delicious rice dish that is a favorite recipe from Portugal!

In any case, try to prepare this Portuguese Tomato Rice using the ripest, reddest fresh tomatoes you can find! It’s a dish that is super easy to prepare – and also very delicious! Diced onions and garlic are sautéed in bacon fat and the tomatoes are then added and allowed to simmer so they too pick up the wonderful, smoky bacon flavor. Finally rice and broth are added – and it all cooks together until the rice is tender.

We’ve seen some other variations of Portuguese Tomato Rice that have green bell peppers added, as well as meat such as sausage, pork or chicken. Either way – this is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in many different ways!

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Portuguese Tomato Rice - A Family Feast

Portuguese Tomato Rice (Arroz de Tomate)

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


The original recipe adapted from ‘Food of Portugal’ calls for seeding the tomatoes before cooking. But – we didn’t seed the tomatoes, and the finished rice was still fantastic. However, if you prefer, you can seed your tomatoes.


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat (use lard if you don’t have bacon fat, but we don’t recommend using vegetable shortening since it won’t add much flavor to this dish)
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups fresh tomatoes cored and cut into large one inch chunks (save any juice from cutting)
  • 1½ cups broth (we used vegetable, but chicken or beef will also work)
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a medium pot with a tight-fitting lid, melt bacon fat in the oil over medium high.
  2. Add onions and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes with their juice, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Add stock, bring to a boil and add rice, salt and pepper.
  5. Cover and after it comes to a boil, lower to a gentle simmer and cook 20 minutes covered.
  6. Remove from heat and fluff with fork before serving.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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  • Angela wrote:

    This was so good!
    I did add a chopped up yellow pepper though and instead of salt, I added a chicken bulloin. And a a heavy hand of parsley. Served it with sauteed chicken thighs and polsa kelbasa. My guys ate it up with shredded cheddar cheese. Will make again and going to check out your other recipes.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Angela – so glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Carolann wrote:

    Very yummy looking gonna try all of themthanks carolann

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re welcome Carolann – hope you enjoy the recipes!

  • Guida Soares wrote:

    No offense but I was born and raised in Portugal and the traditional versions have absolutely nothing to do with yours. Not even the appearance is similar.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for your feedback Guida.

  • Craig wrote:

    Very nice, had with a spatchcocked peri peri chicken.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Craig! We’re glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • IFortuna wrote:

    I love this recipe. Before I met my hubby who is of Mexican heritage, this is how I made my “Spanish” rice. Of course, I had to learn the proper way to make Mexican rice but he still likes for me to make this recipe. We will call it Portuguese rice from now on. Thanks!

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome! So glad you both enjoyed the recipe!

  • Patty White wrote:

    We do not eat any pork products, ( bacon or lard ) does anyone have a good substitute that would all flavor to this dish? Would love to try it! Sounds good.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Patty – You could use butter or an extra virgin olive oil in place of the bacon fat or lard. It won’t taste exactly the same, but it will still be a delicious dish!

  • Kim Beaulieu wrote:

    I’ll be right over. This looks fantastic.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Kim!

  • Rebecca {foodie with family} wrote:

    Use bacon fat? Well twist my arm. 😀 This looks divine. I’ve never heard of Portuguese Tomato Rice but I’m going to fix that very soon!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hope you enjoy the rice Rebecca!

  • Angela |Mind Over Batter wrote:

    I love rice dishes!! I have to check out this book. I made something similar this week (for home, not the blog yet), but your version has bacon fat. I’m completely won over. Because.. Bacon fat, tomatoes, and rice.

    • Martha wrote:

      It’s a great cookbook Angela!

  • Medeja wrote:

    I think I could eat such rice alone! Looks very flavorful!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Medeja! (I agree – this is a great dish to enjoy all on it’s own!)

  • Marjory @ Dinner-Mom wrote:

    I love making recipes like this that are popular in other areas and talking about them over dinner with the girls…such fun and this looks delish!

  • christine wrote:

    This looks like a wonderful side dish. I love playing around with rice and this looks like a new one for me.

  • Jessica (Savory Experiments) wrote:

    Beautiful photos! My family loves rice and tomatoes, so I can’t wait to try this.

  • Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes wrote:

    I am a huge fan of rice dishes like this and what a great one to try at some point!

  • Renee – Kudos Kitchen wrote:

    Gosh this looks good! Love that you use bacon fat for additional flavor! Seems like the perfect side dish for just about anything!

  • Marie wrote:

    I just made this and it’s delicious. I added a pack of Goya Sazon in place of plain salt. I ate way too much of it. BTW, I love your recipes 😉 One of my favorites.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you so much Marie! We’re glad you enjoyed the recipe – and your version with the Goya Sazon sounds like a great variation! Thanks for sharing!

      • Marie Little wrote:

        What I meant to say was that I love your site and that it’s one of my favorites. 🙂

        • Martha wrote:

          Thank you Marie! We’re so glad you found us!

  • Stephanie @ Back For Seconds wrote:

    This looks so flavorful! I am not a huge rice fan but this, I would eat 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Stephanie!

  • claire @ the realistic nutritionist wrote:

    I love this!! tomato and rice are my favorites 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Claire!

  • Erin @ Texanerin Baking wrote:

    I like that you didn’t seed the tomatoes. That’s one thing that I feel no desire to do ever. 😉 And great looking rice! I’ve never tried any kind of flavored rice (I’m not very adventurous) but this really does look and sound yummy. 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Erin! (Yes – seeding the tomatoes can be a pain!)

  • Heather // girlichef wrote:

    You had me at bacon fat! This looks like a brilliant, flavorful addition to almost any meal (or you know, I’m sure I could eat it as a meal all by itself).

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Heather!

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