The BEST Authentic Mexican Rice that is so good and so easy, it will become THE side dish to make with all of your Mexican dishes.
By far, this is one of my favorite and most requested recipe to cook. We make it for any Mexican dish from taquitos, to tacos to burritos. It’s truly an authentic Mexican Rice recipe. You want to know why? Because it comes from an authentic Mexican kitchen…that just so happens to belong to my cousin’s mother-in-law!
My cousin shared this recipe with me years ago. She was taught by her mother-in-law, who is from Mexico. The ingredients are pretty simple – white rice, tomato sauce, garlic, chili powder and Caldo de Tomate (affiliate link). I realized a few months ago when I was looking for this recipe on my site to share it with someone, that I’d never shared it!
How to make Mexican Rice
The first step is to brown the rice by cooking it with some vegetable oil over a fairly high heat. When the rice starts to turn white and then golden, you’re ready for next step, which is basically just adding the rest of the ingredients.
Once it all comes to a boil, cover it up and turn down the heat. A clear lid is helpful here so you can see when the rice is done, but really 20 minutes is about all it takes. If after 20 minutes there’s still some liquid in the pan, just let it continue to cook until all of the water is absorbed and you can no longer see it bubbling to the top. Let it rest for several minutes, then fluff it up in the pan using a fork or wooden spoon, and you’re ready to serve. Sometimes I’ll add some frozen vegetables, like peas and carrots, or even chicken like in my One Pot Mexican Chicken & Rice.
Your questions about my easy Mexican Rice recipe answered:
- Use a good quality nonstick saute pan for cooking your Mexican Rice. The rice never sticks, and it has higher sides so there’s no chance or and of the rice going overboard while stirring! Do not use stainless steel pans for cooking rice.
- What can I use as a substitute for the Caldo de Tomat? I have been asked this many times so I thought it was important to share that you don’t have to use this ingredient. Chicken bouillon would be a fine substitution, although it wouldn’t have the same tomato taste. You could also simply use chicken stock instead of water and leave the bouillon out completely. BUT, I definitely recommend it since it will give the best, most authentic flavor to your Mexican Rice.
- My rice didn’t cook all the way through in the 20 minutes. Since each kitchen and stove is different, it’s hard to say what could have gone wrong. However, typically it’s just that the heat wasn’t high enough and the rice didn’t come to a full boil. Let it cook a little longer to absorb more of the liquid. Or, remove the lid, turn up the heat to medium and let any remaining liquid boil off. One of these solutions should work for most problems.
- This isn’t a traditional Mexican rice recipe! How dare you! Ok, so this isn’t a question, but I do hear this from time to time. My response to this is that each kitchen, family, and family tradition is different. Just like in the US there are about 18 different types of barbecue sauce depending on what part of the country you live in, the same goes for Mexico and authentic Mexican Rice recipes. Just because it isn’t the same as what your family cooks, doesn’t make it wrong or bad. Please be respectful of this recipe as being authentic to my family.
Easy Mexican Rice recipe:
Authentic Mexican Rice
- 2 tablespoons Vegetable or Canola Oil
- 1 cup dry long-grain white rice
- 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- 16 ounces warm water
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons Calde de Tomate (tomato bouillon)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
- Heat oil in a 5 quart saute pan over medium-high heat. Add rice. Cook rice, stirring constantly, for several minutes, until rice begins to turn a golden color.
- Reduce heat to low to avoid spattering. Gently pour in warm water, then tomato sauce and stir. Stir in chili powder, Calde de Tomate and minced garlic. Turn heat back up to medium-high, bring to a boil, then reduce to low and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until all water has been absorbed.
- Turn off heat, fluff rice then let sit, covered, for 5-10 minutes before serving.
For more Mexican recipes, try these: