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Mexican Rice Recipe

A big batch of Mexican Rice flavored with onion, garlic, and spices is the perfect side for tacos, fajitas, or enchiladas. Making your own Mexican Rice is far healthier , albeit a little more work, than making a packaged rice. But a homemade Mexican Rice won’t have any preservatives and you can keep the sodium level down. Totally worth the few extra minutes of prep time required.

Mexican Rice

This recipe makes a big batch. Mexican Rice, contrary to plain rice, actually reheats pretty well. Either make this when you have company over or plan to work it into two meals.

Mexican Rice


You start by sauteing onion and garlic in some vegetable oil. Next you add the rice and toast it until it turns golden brown. This gives a wonderful nutty flavor to the rice. Chicken broth and tomato sauce are the liquids the rice cooks in. Peas, carrots, and some cumin and chili powder finish off the rice.

Mexican Rice is an economical and delicious way to round out any type of Mexican or Southwestern meal. It goes great with BBQ Pork and Mango Quesadillas, Grilled Skirt Steak Fajitas, and Chipotle Maple BBQ Brisket Tacos with Sweet Potato Salsa, and smotherd burritos

For even more Mexican-style Recipes follow my Cinco de Mayo Pinterest Board.

Mexican Rice

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Mexican Rice

Mexican Rice

Mexican Rice with carrots and peas makes the perfect side for fajitas, tacos, or quesadillas.
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 25 minutes
TOTAL: 35 minutes


  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic, about 6 cloves
  • 4 cups long grain rice
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 (14-ounce) can plain tomato sauce
  • 7 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • cilantro for garnish


  • Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Saute onion and garlic for 2 minutes.
  • Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until light brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Add carrots, tomato sauce, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, decrease heat to medium-low and add peas, salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder
  • Cover and cook until liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Remove rice from heat and let sit 10 minutes. Fluff and serve.


Calories: 325kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican

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 Mexican Rice Goes Great With These Recipes

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32 thoughts on “Mexican Rice Recipe”

  1. Hi, I cannot wait to make this recipe. As a full-time working wife, it’s sometimes hard to come home and make an elaborate meal. My thanks and raves to your wonderful recipes in this episode!

  2. Amy @ Elephant Eats

    Mmm, this looks so good! My husband recently requested that I make “dirty rice” but I think he’d love this instead 🙂

  3. Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner

    I’ve never had any luck making rice like this but you make it look so easy! I’ll definitely have to try your recipe…it looks delicious! 🙂

  4. DessertForTwo

    Sorry to be really annoying and post three comments on one recipe, but I have to let you know how delicious this recipe is! I halved the recipe (of course, hehe!), and used brown rice. I toasted the brown rice for 10 minutes, and then cooked on low for 45 minutes. Perfection!

  5. Love this mexican rice, it looks amazing Christin and so much better than anything from a package! We make enchiladas and quesadillas weekly and this would go perfectly with them – thanks for an awesome recipe 🙂

  6. We eat soooo many mexican-type main dishes at our house but I actually don’t think I’ve ever made mexican rice to go with any of them. This looks delicious!

  7. Consuelo @ Honey & Figs

    This definitely looks much better than anything you can buy in a package! Oh wow, it sounds so so tasty! Thanks for sharing such awesome recipe 🙂

  8. Melanie @ Carmel Moments

    I’ve never made Mexican rice. Now I’m convinced I want to try it. Looks like the perfect side dish for dinner!

  9. Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com

    Toasting the rice before adding the broth and tomato sauce must impart such a wonderful flavor to the whole dish! Thanks so much for sharing this one!

  10. DessertForTwo

    Just a quick note: I came back to this recipe to write down all the ingredients for my grocery list, and noticed that you wrote frozen green beans instead of peas. Beans on the brain! 🙂

  11. Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps

    I have literally tried like a bazillion times to make Mexican rice, and it never turns out. Must try your version, it’s looks just like it does in the restaurants!

  12. I love making Mexican food. Quesadillas happen at our house on a weekly basis. We need a good rice recipe! Thank you for sharing such a delicious recipe, my friend! I hope you have a happy start to your week!

  13. DessertForTwo

    I’m always hunting for the perfect Mexican rice recipe. It’s not as easy as it looks! A friend at work from the central part of Mexico showed me how she makes her rice. She essentially fries all of the rice in olive oil until it’s crispy, drains the oil, and then adds water and cooks like normal. Crazy! But SO good! I’m not eager to fry rice in excessive amounts of oil, so I’d love to try your recipe 🙂

  14. Karen (Back Road Journal)

    I agree with you about making your own rice dishes. They are always healthier and the cost is much less than a box mix. Yours looks terrific.

  15. Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes)

    This mexican rice looks unbelievable. I want this for dinner! Looking to see if I have the ingredients!

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