Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

mexican rice

(12 ratings)
Blue Ribbon Recipe by
Emma Menchaca
San Juan, TX

This recipe is so easy and classic. Another recipe passed down from generation to generation. I hope you enjoy it!

Blue Ribbon Recipe

Member's Choice! Quick and delicious, this Mexican rice is a delicious side dish for your next fiesta. By toasting the rice before cooking, you'll add a nuttiness that complements the fresh pop of onion. Seasoned just right, cumin adds a subtle, traditional flavor. Much easier to make than many Mexican rice recipes, this dish pairs perfectly with anything from simple tacos to fancier enchiladas.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
(12 ratings)
yield 8 -10
prep time 15 Min
cook time 25 Min
method Stove Top

Ingredients For mexican rice

  • 1 1/2 c
    long grain rice, uncooked
  • 1 tsp
    ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    garlic powder
  • 1 can
    tomato sauce (8 oz)
  • 4 c
    water (or 32 oz chicken stock)
  • 1/2 md
  • 1 Tbsp
    lard or vegetable cooking oil
  • 1 Tbsp
    salt (don't overdo it!)
  • cilantro, fresh - optional if you like it

How To Make mexican rice

  • Mexican Rice ingredients gathered.
    In Mexican cooking, there are some key ingredients that will always make it Mexican food: cumin, garlic, onion, and tomatoes or a variation of these ingredients. Get these together in a meal and you will likely have Mexican food.
  • Onion sliced on a cutting board.
    Slice your onion and have it ready. See picture.
  • Cooking the onions.
    In a large fry pan, heat your oil/lard on high. (Lard is a key Mexican cooking ingredient but not necessary. It does add to the flavor but I have used vegetable oil many times.) Add onion. Cook for about a minute or so.
  • Long-grain rice added to the onions.
    Add long-grain rice and stir. In this step, you are browning your rice. It will smell delicious. I don't know why these 3 ingredients do but it is so nice. You will be toasting the rice to a nice golden/brown.
  • Water, tomato sauce, garlic powder, and cumin in a measuring cup.
    In the meantime, prepare your water with the garlic powder, ground cumin, and tomato sauce (of which you will only need about 6 oz, you can try to use the whole can but I have found it is just too much). Get the lid to your fry pan ready.
  • Water mixture added to the toasted rice.
    Once your rice is toasted nicely, you will add your water mixture quickly.
  • Lid added to the pan.
    Cover with the lid immediately. It will smell sooo good!!! Now, why do I do it this way? My mother and grandmother said it was to capture ALL the flavor, so I do. :) (Some folks use chicken stock, try it if you want; it is a nice flavor. With this recipe I just don't think you need it. My grandmother or mother never needed it.)
  • Cilantro sprinkled over the Mexican rice.
    After 10 minutes remove the lid. Lower heat to medium/low. Add 1 tablespoon of salt by sprinkling it around the pan. DO NOT STIR. At this time if you like cilantro, add a couple of sprigs of cilantro just to the top of the dish and let it cook with it in there. (Some folks add corn or mixed vegetable too. Once you're comfortable make it your own!)
  • Lid back on the pan and rice continues to cook.
    Cover and simmer on low to med/low depending on your stove. I have a glass top stove and put it on low. You may need to "push" it gently around a bit once or twice while cooking. If you are cooking it too high, you may need to add more water. It should cook for about 25-30 mins.
  • Consistency of what Mexican Rice should be after cooking.
    See the consistency of the rice in this picture. This is what you are looking for. Your rice should be nice and tender, but not mushy. Please feel free to message me for more help. I think this should do it. There is a way to use fresh garlic, cumin, and tomato. You need a stone mortar and pestle or molcajete (Spanish word). Message me if you want to know. It is so delicious and easy this way. I hope you enjoy it. My family loves it! Add chicken to the mix and you have arroz con pollo (Mexican rice with chicken, which is why some use chicken stock). That easy! SOOO DELICIOUS! I hope you like it. It really is nothing like what you find in Mexican restaurants. It's like what you find in the Mexican kitchen. Love.