Savannah Red Rice

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:

    12 to 16


Appears in

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1987

  • About

No one seems to know precisely why red rice is so firmly associated with Savannah. The connection, however, is as traditional as New England and clam chowder, Philadelphia and scrapple, San Francisco and that regional fish stew known as cioppino. Oddly enough the rice, cooked with onions, celery, green peppers, and tomatoes, is referred to in other sections of the country as “Spanish rice.”


  • ¼ pound lean bacon
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 cup finely chopped sweet green peppers
  • 4 cups long-grain rice
  • 4 cups canned tomatoes with their liquid
  • Salt to taste, if desired
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon Tabasco sauce


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • Cut the bacon into small cubes. Put the cubes into a skillet and cook, stirring, until the pieces are crisp and browned. Remove the pieces using a slotted spoon. Set the bacon aside and leave the fat in the skillet.
  • To the fat remaining in the skillet, add the onion, celery, and green peppers. Cook, stirring, until the onion is wilted. Add the rice and stir.
  • Put the tomatoes with their liquid in the container of a food processor and blend thoroughly. Add this to the rice and stir. Add the salt, pepper, sugar, and Tabasco.
  • Bring to the boil, stirring, and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Pour and scrape the rice mixture into a casserole and cover. Bake, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour, or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.