This great Mexican rice is the right side dish you need to complete your Mexican dinner. Just follow these easy step by step photo instructions.
Editor's Note: Originally Published August 10, 2014. Updated to expanded discussion and options with refreshed photos.
Mexican rice is also known as Spanish rice, red rice, or Arroz Rojo. But Mexican rice to me.
Restaurant quality Mexican rice needs three things. Texture meaning not sticky. I want each grain of rice to stand by itself. Tenderness is soft but not mushy. And last is taste; it needs a great taste. Many restaurant versions lack in at least one of these areas — many in 2 or even all three.
A 4 because it is a side dish, but a 5 otherwise. Both of us had two servings.
Pro Tips: Recipe Notes for Easy Mexican Rice
I suggest traditional white long grain rice. You may use different rice if you wish, but it may affect total cooking time.
Rinsing the rice is suggest by many. I don' t find it does much, but they fill it prevents some sticking. But the browning does that well without rinsing in my rice. If unsure, rinse.
When browning the rice, get it to a nice color. This will add a lot of extra toasted taste.
I used salsa for most of the spicing but added more garlic and cumin. I wanted lots of taste and the salsa provided that easily. You can adjust the heat of the dish by your choice of salsa.
If you want a little less tomato taste, decrease the salsa to 1/2 cup and increase the chicken broth to 1 1/2 cup.
You can add a diced small carrot or 1/3 cup of peas (fresh or frozen) if you want.
If you want a hotter taste, add a chopped jalapeno with the garlic.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
Long grain rice preferred. Some people like to rinse the rice.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat until hot. Add 1 cup long-grain rice.
Add 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and salt. Toast until nicely brown about 8-9 minutes. The last-minute of toasting, add 1-2 cloves crushed garlic.
Add 1 cup of your favorite salsa and 1 cup chicken broth. You may add optional jalapeno, peas, or carrots at this point. Bring to a boil then decrease to low heat and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes until tender.
Remove from heat and stir. Cover and let rest until serving.
Easy Mexican Rice
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 cup long grain rice - rinse optional
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 cloves garlic - crushed
- 1 cup salsa
- 1 cup chicken broth
Optional ingredients - add with broth
- 1 jalapeno - diced
- 1/3 cup peas - frozen or fresh
- 1 carrot - small, diced
- Heat 2 tablespoons of in a large nonstick pan over medium heat until hot. Rinse rice if you want.
- Add 1 cup long grain rice. Add 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and salt. Toast until nicely brown about 8-9 minutes. The last minute of toasting, add 1-2 cloves crushed garlic.
- Add 1 cup of your favorite salsa and 1 cup chicken broth. Add optional jalapeno, carrot, or peas if you want. Bring to a boil then decrease to low heat and cover.
- Simmer for 20 minutes until tender. Remove from heat and stir. Cover and let rest until served.
- You can use different rice and adjust the cooking time.
- Rinsing the rice is felt by some to prevent sticking by some people. To me, the browning takes care of that.
- Add the optional jalapeno, peas, and carrot if you want.
- Good refrigerated for 3-4 days, but I do not like to freeze rice.
- I set serving size to 1/2 cup.
- An easy recipe to increase in size.
ADJUST THE RECIPE SIZE:You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
Nutrition is generally for one serving. Number of servings is stated above and is my estimate of normal serving size for this recipe.
All nutritional information are estimates and may vary from your actual results. This is home cooking, and there are many variables. To taste ingredients such as salt will be my estimate of the average used.
Originally Published August 10, 2014.