Easy Mexican Rice

Easy Mexican Rice Recipe


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin


  1. Rinse the Rice:
    • Rinse the rice in a mesh strainer until the water runs clear. This step is optional but helps remove excess starch to prevent mushiness.
  2. Cook the Rice:
    • Heat the oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat.
    • Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add Ingredients:
    • Add the chicken stock or broth, tomato sauce, chili powder, garlic salt, and ground cumin to the saucepan.
  4. Bring to a Boil:
    • Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. Simmer:
    • Stir the rice once, cover the saucepan, and reduce the heat to a low simmer (slightly below medium-low).
    • Cook for 20 minutes without removing the lid.
  6. Let Stand:
    • After 20 minutes, remove the lid and let the rice stand for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Fluff and Serve:
    • Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

Secrets to Achieve the Perfect Easy Mexican Rice Recipe

  1. Rinse the Rice:
    • Rinse the rice thoroughly until the water runs clear to remove excess starch. This helps prevent the rice from becoming mushy.
  2. Proper Toasting:
    • Toast the rice in oil until it becomes slightly golden. This enhances the flavor and helps achieve a fluffier texture.
  3. Consistent Stirring:
    • Stir the rice constantly while toasting to ensure even cooking and to avoid burning.
  4. Use Quality Ingredients:
    • Use high-quality chicken broth or stock for richer flavor.
  5. Fresh Spices:
    • Use fresh spices and check their potency. Spices lose their flavor over time.
  6. Control Heat Levels:
    • After bringing the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer. This gentle cooking process ensures the rice cooks evenly without burning.
  7. Cover Tightly:
    • Use a tight-fitting lid to trap steam and cook the rice properly. Avoid lifting the lid while the rice is cooking.
  8. Resting Time:
    • Allow the rice to rest for a few minutes after cooking with the lid on. This helps the rice grains firm up and absorb any remaining moisture.
  9. Use Fresh Tomatoes:
    • If possible, blend fresh tomatoes instead of using canned tomato sauce for a fresher taste.
  10. Avoid Overcrowding:
    • Use a pan that allows the rice to spread out evenly. Overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking.
  11. Add a Bay Leaf:
    • For added flavor, cook the rice with a bay leaf, then remove it before serving.
  12. Balance the Seasoning:
    • Taste the broth mixture before adding the rice and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  13. Sauté Vegetables:
    • If adding vegetables like bell peppers or onions, sauté them with the rice during the toasting step for added depth of flavor.
  14. Use Homemade Broth:
    • Homemade chicken broth often has a richer flavor compared to store-bought options.
  15. Don’t Rush the Simmer:
    • Cook the rice on a low simmer, not a boil, to prevent the grains from breaking and becoming mushy.
  16. Add a Touch of Lime:
    • Squeeze fresh lime juice over the cooked rice before serving for a bright, tangy flavor.
  17. Garnish Smartly:
    • Garnish with fresh cilantro or chopped green onions for added freshness and color.
  18. Monitor Liquid Levels:
    • Ensure you have the right rice-to-liquid ratio. Too much liquid can make the rice mushy, while too little can leave it undercooked.
  19. Avoid Instant Rice:
    • Use long-grain white rice instead of instant rice for better texture and flavor.
  20. Serve Immediately:
    • For the best texture and flavor, serve the rice immediately after cooking and resting.

By following these secrets, you can achieve perfectly cooked, flavorful, and fluffy Mexican rice every time. Enjoy your delicious side dish with your favorite Mexican meals

Popular Questions and Their Answers Related to Easy Mexican Rice Recipe

  1. Can I use brown rice instead of white rice?
    • Yes, but you will need to adjust the cooking time and liquid amount. Brown rice typically requires more liquid and a longer cooking time.
  2. What can I use instead of chicken stock?
    • Vegetable broth or water can be used as substitutes.
  3. Can I add vegetables to this recipe?
    • Yes, you can add diced onions, bell peppers, peas, or corn for added flavor and nutrition.
  4. Is rinsing the rice necessary?
    • Rinsing is optional but recommended to remove excess starch, which can prevent the rice from becoming mushy.
  5. Can I make this recipe in a rice cooker?
    • Yes, follow the rice cooker’s instructions and add the ingredients as listed.
  6. How do I store leftover Mexican rice?
    • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  7. Can I freeze Mexican rice?
    • Yes, allow it to cool completely and store in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
  8. How do I reheat Mexican rice?
    • Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop with a splash of water or broth to prevent drying out.
  9. What can I serve with Mexican rice?
    • Serve it with tacos, enchiladas, grilled chicken, or as a side dish to any Mexican meal.
  10. Can I use a different type of oil?
    • Yes, you can use olive oil, avocado oil, or any cooking oil of your choice.
  11. Is this recipe spicy?
    • It has a mild heat from the chili powder, but you can adjust the spice level to your preference.
  12. Can I add beans to this rice?
    • Yes, black beans or pinto beans can be a great addition.
  13. What can I use instead of tomato sauce?
    • You can use crushed tomatoes or tomato paste mixed with water as a substitute.
  14. Can I make this rice without oil?
    • Yes, but the rice may not toast as well, which adds to the flavor.
  15. How can I make this rice more flavorful?
    • Add more spices, such as smoked paprika, or a splash of lime juice and fresh cilantro.
  16. Can I double the recipe?
    • Yes, simply double all the ingredients. The cooking time should remain the same.
  17. Is this recipe gluten-free?
    • Yes, as long as you use gluten-free chicken broth.
  18. Can I use instant rice?
    • Instant rice cooks faster, so you’ll need to adjust the cooking time and liquid accordingly.
  19. What type of rice is best for this recipe?
    • Long-grain white rice is recommended for the best texture.
  20. Can I add meat to this rice?
    • Yes, cooked chicken, ground beef, or shrimp can be added for a heartier dish.