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How To Make Mexican Rice


How To Make Mexican Rice

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How To Make Mexican Rice

How To Make Mexican Rice

Mexican Rice: A Culinary Delight

Mexican rice is a beloved dish that has transcended borders and become a staple in kitchens worldwide. Its vibrant flavors, rich aroma, and versatility make it a crowd-pleaser for any occasion. Whether served as a side dish or as a filling for burritos and tacos, Mexican rice adds a burst of authentic Mexican cuisine to any meal. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the art of crafting this culinary masterpiece, providing you with step-by-step instructions, helpful tips, and a delectable assortment of variations.


To embark on your Mexican rice-making adventure, you will require the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Rice: Begin by rinsing the rice thoroughly in a fine-mesh sieve until the water runs clear. This step removes excess starch and helps achieve perfectly separated grains.

  2. Sauté the Aromatics: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute, infusing the oil with their fragrant aromas.

  3. Incorporate the Liquids: Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Season with cumin, chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

  4. Add the Rice: Drain the prepared rice and add it to the simmering liquid. Stir well to combine and ensure even distribution. Bring the mixture back to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer again for 15 minutes, or until the rice is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed.

  5. Fluff and Serve: Remove the skillet from the heat and let it stand, covered, for 5 minutes. This resting period allows the rice to steam and fluff up. Uncover the skillet and fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

Tips for Perfect Mexican Rice:

  • Use Long-Grain Rice: Long-grain varieties, such as basmati or jasmine rice, produce light and fluffy grains that are perfect for Mexican rice.

  • Rinsing is Key: Thoroughly rinsing the rice removes excess starch and helps prevent it from becoming gummy.

  • Sauté the Aromatics: This step develops the flavors of the onion and garlic, enhancing the overall taste of the rice.

  • Season Generously: Don’t be shy when seasoning the rice. The combination of cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper creates a balanced and flavorful dish.

  • Cook at Low Heat: Simmering the rice at low heat allows for even cooking and prevents burning.

  • Let it Rest: The resting period before fluffing ensures that the rice is fully steamed and absorbs any residual moisture.


The versatility of Mexican rice allows for countless variations to suit your taste preferences. Here are a few popular options to experiment with:

  • Cilantro Lime Mexican Rice: Stir in chopped fresh cilantro and lime juice for a refreshing twist.

  • Corn and Bean Mexican Rice: Add canned corn and black beans for a hearty and colorful dish.

  • Green Chile Mexican Rice: Incorporate chopped green chiles for a spicy kick.

  • Cheesy Mexican Rice: Sprinkle shredded cheddar or queso fresco cheese over the cooked rice for a creamy and indulgent twist.

  • Arroz Rojo: Omit the tomatoes and tomato sauce, and use only chicken broth. Add achiote paste or annatto seeds for a vibrant red color and earthy flavor.


  • Can I use instant rice for Mexican rice? Instant rice is not recommended for making Mexican rice. It tends to become mushy and has a different texture compared to long-grain white rice.

  • How can I make Mexican rice without tomatoes? To make Mexican rice without tomatoes, use only chicken broth as the liquid base. Season with cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper to enhance the flavor.

  • What do I do if my Mexican rice is too spicy? If the Mexican rice is too spicy for your taste, add a teaspoon of sugar or honey to balance out the heat.

  • Can Mexican rice be made ahead of time? Yes, Mexican rice can be made ahead of time and reheated when ready to serve. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

  • What sides go well with Mexican rice? Mexican rice pairs well with various dishes, including grilled chicken, tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and refried beans.

In conclusion, mastering the art of making Mexican rice is a culinary endeavor that will reward you with a vibrant and flavorful dish. By following the step-by-step instructions and experimenting with different variations, you can create an authentic Mexican experience right in your own kitchen. Whether you enjoy it as a side dish or incorporate it into your favorite Mexican creations, Mexican rice is a dish that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving more.