Mexican Rice – A Family Feast

Zesty and delicious, our Mexican Rice is the perfect addition to any Cinco de Mayo menu.
Mexican Rice

Mexican Rice is a must-make side dish for any Mexican-themed menu. It’s also delicious with any meal where you want to add some fantastic, zesty flavor!
Our Mexican Rice is perfectly seasoned with onions, peppers, and a blend of spices, and fresh cilantro, lime juice, and scallions really liven up the flavors of this dish even more.

How do you make Mexican Rice?

Like all Mexican Rice recipes, our starts with the simple, key step of sauteing the rice in oil along with onions, peppers and garlic until the rice turns golden brown. This step allows the rice to absorb the delicious flavors of the vegetables, before it is simmered in chicken stock to cook through.
Mexican Rice
But then, our recipe varies a bit from most of the other Mexican Rice recipes around.
Typically, Mexican Rice is an “arroz rojo” or red rice which gets its color (and flavor) from chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, or tomato paste.  Aside from the tomato-based hot sauce we added to spice things up, our Mexican Rice recipe actually cuts way back on the tomato flavor. This allows the other ingredients to really shine through, and you can taste the jalapeños, lime, garlic, cilantro, and other seasonings among the perfectly cooked rice.
Mexican Rice

Because of this, we think our Mexican Rice is the perfect, refreshing complement to any Mexican-inspired dish, especially those that are heavy on tomato flavors.
If you would prefer a tomato-based rice recipe instead, you might enjoy our Arroz de Tomate.  (Alternately, you could simply add tomato paste or sauce to this recipe.)

Is Mexican Rice the same as Spanish Rice?

Some folks use the terms interchangeably, but Spanish Rice is actually quite different from Mexican Rice. You can click over to our Spanish Rice recipe here—where you’ll notice its vibrant yellow color. That comes from adding saffron to the rice, which both colors the rice and adds a unique and delicious flavor.
Mexican Rice

What should I serve with Mexican Rice?

We think this Mexican Rice goes particularly well with our Mexican lasagna as well as many other dishes including tacos, tostadas, enchiladas, or chimichangas.
You may enjoy these other Rice recipes:



1/3 cup canola oil
2 cups long grain white rice
¾ cup minced onion
3 medium jalapenos stemmed, cleaned of seeds and minced, about 4 tablespoons
4 garlic cloves minced, about 2 tablespoons
½ lime juiced (2 tablespoons) divided
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
½ cup fresh cilantro minced, divided
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon Rocket Fuel, or your favorite hot sauce
3 tablespoons minced scallion


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Rinse the rice extremely well under cold water until the water runs clear. (As much starch as possible should be removed from the rice by this rinsing process.) Drain well and shake off excess water.
In an oven proof 2-4 quart heavy bottomed pot over medium heat, heat the canola oil until hot.
Add the drained rice and sauté 6-8 minutes stirring frequently.
Once the rice has browned, move to the sides and add the onion and peppers and stir. Cook for 2 minutes then add garlic.
Cook for one more minute, stir and add half of the lime juice.
Stir again and add all of the chicken stock.
Turn heat to medium high and add ¼ cup of cilantro, salt, spices and hot sauce.
Stir until mixture is hot and starting to boil then remove from the heat. Cover the pot and place in the center of the oven.
Cook for 15 minutes covered.
Remove from the oven, stir and add the second half of the lime juice, second half of the cilantro, and all of the chopped scallions.
Taste and if you like it hotter, add more hot sauce and serve.


Mexican Rice

Featured in this Mexican Rice post

Meet The Author: Martha

Martha is part of the husband-wife team that creates A Family Feast. She loves to cook and entertain for family and friends, and she believes that serving a great meal is one of the best ways to show someone that you care. Martha is a self-taught home cook, who loves to read cookbooks and try new recipes. After a decades-long career in business and online marketing, she now runs A Family Feast full-time. Her specialties are baking, desserts, vegetables and pasta dishes.

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