It is so easy to prepare at home and is the perfect side dish for any Taco Tuesday or with your family’s favorite Mexican dish any day of the week.
This Mexican rice dish has an incredible flavor and is light and fluffy, and personally, it’s better than I’ve had in any Mexican restaurant. Our family enjoys Mexican rice with tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and taco salad, but the possibilities are endless.
This Mexican Rice is so easy!
This recipe is so easy to make and only takes 5 minutes of preparation time! With rice, oil, tomato paste, water and spices, you can prepare this delicious side dish to enjoy any time!
Do resist the temptation to lift the lid when cooking rice. Rice needs steam to cook and as it cooks it absorbs the liquid, giving the rice the plump and fluffiness you want.
If you are having company you can double, or even triple, this recipe. You will just want to make sure that your pan can hold all your rice!
This recipe is a traditional Mexican Rice recipe. But here are some other ways you can prepare this dish.
Feel free to add finely chopped onion, or frozen vegetables such as peas, carrots, or corn. Add these items as you fluff the rice at the end of the cooking time. A chopped Roma tomato will add more color and give your rice that festive look.
Not a fan of cilantro? Try different toppings such as green onions or chopped onions. Or omit garnish all together!
Spice up your rice a little by adding salsa instead of the tomato paste. If you want heat, add cayenne pepper. I suggest 1/2 tsp – 1 tsp depending on how spicy you want your rice!
Reasons your rice might have come out mushy.
There are two reasons your rice might be mushy. One is that the rice may have too much water – simply let the rice cook 2-3 minutes extra to help reduce the liquid. Second reason is that the rice may have been overcooked.
Can Mexican Rice be made in my Instant Pot?
Here is a simple way to make Mexican rice in the Instant Pot.
1. Add all ingredients except the rice, and stir the ingredients well.
2. Sprinkle uncooked rice into the instant pot and submerge into the liquid, but do not stir.
3. Close the lid and put the steam valve to the sealed position.
4. Set to “high pressure cook” for 7 minutes.
5. Allow to naturally release steam for 10 minutes when done.
6. Lift the lid (it will open easily if the release is finished).
7. Fluff the rice with a fork, then serve.
Can Mexican Rice be frozen?
Yes! Although it will not be as good as it is fresh. Mexican rice can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-6 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
To reheat, drizzle a little water over the top of the rice, and then cover while reheating – this will give a “steamy” effect and your rice will taste like it did on day one.
Oil – Vegetable or Canola oil
White rice – long grain white is the best rice and more traditional for a mexican rice. Short grain rice is too starchy and tends to stick more.
Tomato paste – used to intensify the flavor in this recipe
Chili powder – the dried fruit of chili peppers
Caldo de pollo chicken bouillon – delicious, versatile chicken bouillon used in Latino dishes (available at most grocery stores, including Walmart, and online at Amazon.com)
Garlic powder – dehydrated garlic is used to enhance the flavor in dishes. You can use minced garlic if that is what you have!
Ground cumin – has a strong, zesty flavor yet, earthy and nutty
Cilantro – fresh is best. You can omit cilantro if it’s not a favorite of your family (it is in ours!).
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 stir 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 chopped cilantro!
My grocery list!
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Supplies I used for my Mexican Rice recipe!
For my Mexican Rice, I used this Cast Iron with a lid. I highly suggest cooking your Mexican Rice in a cast iron if you have one! It helps to cook your rice evenly while keeping the moist steam inside. Cast iron’s get very hot which makes for a great rice recipe! If you’re in the market for a new cast iron, I suggest this one linked below.
For leftovers, I suggest these containers! Not only are they cute and functional, but are perfect for your Mexican rice! I prefer glass food storage containers as they are low toxic, and don’t stain!
Pro tip: to warm up rice in the microwave, put 1 piece of ice on top of your rice. Your ice won’t melt, but will keep your rice moist while it heats up!
To cook your rice, and then to serve it, I suggest using a wooden spoon, especially using a cast iron. Metal will scratch your cast iron. I love this set because they are so aesthetically pleasing, while being fully functional!
Try some of these other recipes to go with your Mexican Rice!
Air Fryer Al Pastor Pork Tacos – Al pastor tacos are absolutely mouth-watering, and will be a big hit at any family gathering – or any Taco Tuesday!
Air Fryer Tilapia Fish Tacos – Air fryer fish tacos are so quick and easy to make – dinner is ready in 20 minutes and you get to enjoy amazing flavors as the fish and the spices combine with the coleslaw!!
Air Fryer Pork Carnitas – Pork carnitas are healthy and nutritious, easy to make, and taste heavenly, so if you are looking for a new tradition for Taco Tuesday, you will be amazed by this dish!
- Air Fryer Focaccia
- Air Fryer Korean-Style Beef Ribs
- Air Fryer Starbucks Copycat Kale and Mushroom Egg Bites
- Jalapeño Cheddar No Knead Artisan Bread Loaf
- Air Fryer Popcorn
- Dutch Oven
- Heavy Lid for dutch oven
- Wooden spoon
- 4 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
- 2 cups white rice uncooked
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 cups of warm water
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 4 tsp Caldo de pollo chicken bouillon
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Cilantro for garnish fresh
- 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 stir 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 chopped cilantro!