This authentic Mexican rice recipe is so easy to make, and a necessary side dish for all of your favorite Mexican dishes. Fluffy rice is seasoned with chili powder, chicken bouillon, garlic powder, cumin, and cilantro.
Easy Mexican Rice
This Mexican side dish is absolutely delicious! It is very simple to make and makes a great addition to any dish. The rice is smokey and savory with a little bit of a kick. I like to add cayenne or chopped-up chilies to make it a bit spicier. This is a recipe that you won’t be able to stop making!
Key Ingredients You’ll Need
White Rice: I love using white rice, but you can use brown or wild rice if you prefer.
Tomato Paste: This will not only add flavor, but it will make the rice rich and savory.
Seasonings: I use a combination of chili powder, Caldo de Pollo chicken bouillon, garlic powder, ground cumin, salt, and cilantro to top it off.
How To Make Mexican Rice
Step 1. In a dutch oven or skillet with a heavy lid, put in the oil and cook on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, put in the rice and mix. Allow the rice to cook for 3-4 minutes while mixing constantly until light brown. Pour in 1/2 of the water gradually, put in the rest of the ingredients, and combine. Put in the rest of the water and allow it to boil. When it is boiled, turn the heat down to medium-low and cover it with a lid.
Step 2. Let the rice cook for another 20 minutes. Take off the heat and gradually move the lid letting the steam release away from you. Use a fork to fluff the rice and scrape the base of the skillet if needed. I prefer using the crispy rice at the bottom for an extra crunch. Allow the rice to cool for a few minutes before topping it with some diced cilantro. Serve and enjoy!
What is the Difference Between Mexican Rice and Spanish Rice?
Some people tend to call this Spanish Rice, but Mexican Rice and Spanish Rice are not the same thing. While they do use some of the same ingredients, Spanish Rice uses saffron threads and has more of a vibrant yellow color.
What To Serve With Mexican Rice?
This Mexican dish is best served with other Mexican-style dishes. I love enjoying a big serving of this rice with Tacos, Burritos, Fajitas, Quesadillas, Tamales, Taco Salads, Soups, etc.
Tips & Tricks
- Keep it shut! Rice needs steam to cook and as it steams, the grains absorb the liquid which makes them fluffy. Lifting the lid releases essential steam that is necessary to cooking rice perfectly, so it’s best to keep it shut!
- Serving: Although, there are plenty of ways to enjoy this recipe as a side, you can also add it into different recipes as well that call for rice like Burritos, Quesadillas etc…
- Storing: Any leftovers should be stored in an airtight container for the best storage method.
- Reheating: To reheat, break up the rice with a fork and add the rice into a pot over low heat and cook for 3-5 minutes.
- Can you freeze Mexican Rice? Absolutely! Store leftover cooked rice in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-6 days or the freezer for up to 6 months. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
More Mexican Recipes:
- Mexican Macaroni Ham Salad
- Instant Pot Mexican Corn Dip with Jalapenos
- Pork Carnitas (Mexican Slow Cooker Pulled Pork)
- Mexican Hot Chocolate Bombs (with Tequila)
Mexican Rice (Easy Recipe)
- 4 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
- 2 cups white rice uncooked
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 4 cups warm water
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 4 tsp chicken bouillon Caldo de pollo
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Cilantro fresh, for garnish
- Add your oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or skillet with a heavy lid.
- Once the oil is hot add the rice and stir. Sauté the rice for 3-4 minutes stirring continuously until the rice is golden.
- Add half of the water slowly, and then add the remaining ingredients. Stir and mix well.
- Add the remaining water. Bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, drop the heat to medium-low and cover.
- Allow the rice to cook for 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and slowly remove the lid allowing the steam to exit away from your arm and body.
- Fluff the rice and scrap the bottom if necessary, I love the crispy layer at the bottom personally.
- Let cool for a couple of minutes then serve with some diced cilantro!
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