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Authentic Mexican Rice

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This authentic Mexican rice recipe infuses garlic, onion, chicken stock, and tomatoes together to create a delicious restaurant-style rice at home.

I have been trying out different recipes for years trying to come up with one that does not taste like tomato paste with some seasonings, and this one is perfect! The tomatoes are there, and so are the chiles and cilantro, but they do not overpower the rice…or any of the other delicious foods on your plate. 

Rice, tomatoes, onions and cilantro in a large, white skillet.

If you can boil water, you can make Mexican rice, it is really easy!

Easy Mexican Rice ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • long-grain white rice
  • large white onion, chopped
  • fresh garlic cloves, minced
  • diced tomatoes and chiles in a can – you can substitute .75 pound fresh, seeded and chopped tomatoes, and 1 small can of diced green chiles.
  • chicken stock – homemade or store-bought
  • cilantro leaves
  • sea salt
Rice, onion, garlic, oil, tomatoes, cilantro, and chicken stock.

How to make Authentic Mexican Rice (Arroz Rojo)

Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan or skillet. Stir in the rice and cook until browned, about 3 minutes stirring occasionally.

Browned white rice in a large skillet.

Stir in the onion and garlic, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, still stirring occasionally.

Browned rice and chopped onions in a large skillet.

Add the chicken stock and tomatoes, stir to combine.

Browned rice, chicken stock, onion and diced tomatoes in a large skillet.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Mexican Rice fluffed with a fork in a large skillet.

Stir in the chopped cilantro and adjust seasonings if needed.

Rice, tomatoes, and chopped cilantro in a large skillet.

Serve garnished with additional chopped cilantro and hot sauce on the side.

Looking down on Mexican rice in a white cast iron skillet.

This is the perfect side dish to serve with Shredded Beef Enchiladas, Fish Tacos, Grilled Steak Fajitas, Shredded Beef Chimichangas, and Instant Pot Refried Beans. I also have an Instant Pot Spanish Rice (they are the same thing) if you prefer.

My friend Gloria {Simply Gloria} has an awesome recipe for Classic Refried Beans if you are looking for a stove-top recipe.

Recipe Notes & Tips:

  • You could easily make this rice vegan by substituting vegetable broth for the chicken stock.
  • If it is not spicy enough for you, sprinkle with crushed red chile or hot sauce!

Recipe modifications:

  • add one cup of frozen peas with the tomatoes.
  • add 0.5 cup of fresh or frozen peas and .5 cup of peeled and diced carrots with the tomatoes.

Tools used to create this recipe:

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Enjoy!!

Mexican rice in a white cast iron skillet .

Authentic Mexican Rice

This authentic Mexican rice recipe infuses garlic, onion, chicken stock, and tomatoes together to create a delicious restaurant-style rice at home.
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Mexican flavored rice, traditional side dish
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 33 minutes
Total Time: 43 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 388kcal
Author: Lisa Johnson

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups long-grain rice
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • 2 large cloves fresh garlic minced
  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with chiles drained
  • 4 cups chicken stock or homemade
  • .25 cup firmly packed, chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan or skillet. Stir in the rice and cook until browned, about 3 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the onion and garlic, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, still stirring occasionally.
  • Add the chicken stock and tomatoes, stir to combine.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Stir in the chopped cilantro and adjust seasonings if needed. Serve garnished with additional chopped cilantro and hot sauce on the side.

Notes

  • Substitute .75 pound fresh, seeded and chopped tomatoes, and 1 small can of diced green chiles if needed.
  • You could easily make this rice vegan by substituting vegetable broth for the chicken stock.
  • If it is not spicy enough for you, sprinkle with crushed red chile or hot sauce!
  • add one cup of frozen peas with the tomatoes.
  • add 0.5 cup of fresh or frozen peas and .5 cup of peeled and diced carrots with the tomatoes.

Nutrition

Calories: 388kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 240mg | Potassium: 404mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 125IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2mg
Mexican Rice | cookingwithcurls.com | #cincodemayo #fiesta

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25 Comments

  1. Yum! It looks really natural too, not artificially colored. I love rice and cilantro, so I’d try this. In fact, I’m hungry and was thinking “I wish I were sitting in front of that plate of food right now!”

    1. Thank you Seana! Have you ever seen the Jetson’s cartoon? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just push a button, and anything that we would like to eat would just magically appear! 😉 Rosie the housekeeper would be nice as well, lol

  2. I could live on Mexican food in one form or another every day for every meal. Love it! Of course, every good Mexican meal needs rice – this one sounds super, Lisa!

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