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Learn how to make Authentic Mexican Rice! It’s a simple recipe, requires just a few ingredients and takes less than 30 minutes to make. Add it to your menu for Taco Tuesday or anytime Mexican food is on the menu.

Authentic Mexican Rice on a platter

This is the best Mexican Rice recipe that is so good and so easy, it is our go-to side dish for any Mexican dinner. We serve this rice dish alongside Refried Beans or Slow Cooker Mexican Beans and with our favorite meals, like Ground Beef EnchiladasChicken Tacos and Carne Asada.

The Best Easy Mexican Rice Recipe

By far, this is one of my favorite and most requested recipes 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 and I’ve been making it almost weekly ever since. This authentic family recipe was passed down from her mother-in-law who had learned the recipe from her mother and grandmother. The ingredients are pretty simple – white rice, tomato sauce, garlic, chili powder, and Caldo de Tomate.


Get a detailed list of ingredients & instructions in the recipe card below.

  • Oil – I have used vegetable, canola, corn or olive oil. Other oils that you prefer can be used as long as they have a high smoke point.
  • Long grain white rice – I have Jasmine rice without issues, but don’t recommend a short grain because it can be too starchy. Brown rice works – see the FAQs section for tips.
  • Tomato sauce – Depending on how saucy you like your rice, use anywhere from 4-8 ounces.
  • Caldo de Tomate – This is a tomato bouillon that can be found in the Mexican aisle or with the dry soup mixes. If you can’t find it or don’t want to purchase it, you can omit.
  • Water – Substitute chicken broth if you prefer, especially if you omit the caldo de tomate.

What is the Difference Between Mexican Rice and Spanish Rice?

Some people call this Spanish Rice, but Mexican Rice and Spanish Rice are actually not the same thing. While they do use some of the same ingredients, Spanish Rice uses saffron threads and has more of a yellow color.

Whether you call it Mexican Rice or Spanish Rice, you’ll always call it delicious!

What Spices to Add to Rice

White rice on its own has a pretty neutral flavor, so adding spices is key to adding big flavor. Add garlic, tomato bouillon and chili powder for restaurant-style Mexican rice; chicken broth, onion and garlic for rice pilaf; and saffron for Spanish Rice.

Long grain white rice toasting in a pan, a wooden spoon for mexican rice
tomato sauce in a skillet with a wooden spoon

How to Make Mexican Rice

  1. 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 bright white and then golden, you’re ready for the next step, which is basically just adding the rest of the ingredients – water, tomato sauce tomato bouillon, garlic and chili powder.
  2. 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.
  3. Let it rest, covered, 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.

Top Tips and Tricks

  • 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.
  • Resist the urge to lift the lid! Rice needs steam to cook and as it steams, the grains absorb the liquid which makes them plump and fluffy. Lifting the lid releases essential steam that is necessary to cooking rice perfectly.
  • About the tomato sauce – This recipe was recently updated to use a little less tomato sauce. The original calls for an 8 ounce can, but a lot of people commented that their homemade Mexican Rice was a little too saucy. This can be a personal preference, and often depends on the cook, but you can use half of the can (4 ounces) and still have delicious, tomato-y restaurant-style Mexican Rice. Freeze the remainder of the sauce for using the next time you make this recipe.
  • Can you freeze Mexican Rice? Absolutely! Store leftover cooked rice in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-6 days or the freezer for up to 6 months. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
  • Add a chopped up Roma tomato for more color and freshness.
Authentic restaurant style Mexican Rice, being fluffed in the pan with a spoon

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I use as a substitute for the Caldo de Tomate?

I have been asked this many times so I thought it was important to address. 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. I definitely recommend Caldo de Tomate if you can easily get it because it will give the best, most authentic flavor to your restaurant-style Mexican Rice recipe.

My rice didn’t cook all the way through in the 20 minutes. What happened?

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.

Is this really authentic?

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.

What kind of rice is best for Mexican Rice?

This recipe calls for long grain white rice, which is the best for an Authentic Mexican Rice recipe. However, I have used Jasmine Rice in its place and it comes out fine. Brown rice can be used, but will require an additional ⅓ cup of water and about 10-20 minutes more cook time.

Authentic Mexican Rice recipe on a platter with a wooden spoon, a sprig of parsley

Recipes that use Mexican Rice

Even though it’s usually used as a side dish, Mexican Rice can be incorporated into a lot of different main dishes.

More Mexican Recipes

Planning a fiesta of your own? Mexican food is what we live for around here and if you want some delicious authentic and Mexican recipes, you’ve got to try our Crock Pot Chicken Tacos, Crock Pot Carnitas, Baked Salsa Chicken and my famous homemade Guacamole! Or dip your chips in some sweet Mango Salsa. My husband swears by my Shrimp Ceviche and my kids rave about my Mexican Sopes. Don’t forget the Margaritas! Want Mexican food for breakfast? Try this amazing Chilaquiles recipe!

If you’ve made this recipe, please come back and leave us a star rating or a comment below. Or, tag us on social media @yellowblissroad or #yellowblissroad for a chance to be featured.
A close up of Mexican Rice.

Authentic Mexican Rice

4.62 from 773 votes
The best Mexican rice that is fluffy and rich in flavor!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 22 mins
Total Time 27 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 servings
Calories 160kcal


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup dry long-grain white rice
  • (4-8) ounces canned tomato sauce Use at least 4 or up to 8 ounces of tomato sauce
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons Caldo de Tomate tomato bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon 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, Caldo 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.


Several people felt that the rice was a little too saucy for them. We have always used a full can (8-ounces) of tomato sauce but I have recently tested this recipe with just just half of a can (4-ounces). It still tastes amazing, just not as saucy (but still moist and fluffy). You can freeze the remainder of the sauce and use it the next time you make Mexican rice.


Calories: 160kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 3gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 283mgPotassium: 105mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 181IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Authentic Mexican Rice - as close to restaurant taste as you can get!

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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  1. Omg!! This was such a hit tonight! It was the first time I have made Mexican rice, and even the non-rice eater asked for more. I made it almost exactly like the instructions (I usually do with new recipes, but I did add in two extra cloves of garlic) I did chicken fajita burritos with the rice inside, and yummy!!!

  2. This recipe is amazing! Added some cumin and chipotle pepper to it as well. Love this and will keep making this rice!

  3. Could you please let me know the brand of rice you used in this recipe? I want to make it with white rice but I don’t know which brand would be the best for this. Also, do you have a substitute for bullion or can I leave it out? Thank you in advance, this recipe looks easy yet delicious!

    1. Hi, I usually buy Mahatma Jasmine rice, or I buy what’s on sale. For the bouillion, you can omit it or use chicken bouillion instead, or replace the water with chicken broth.

  4. I stumbled onto this recipe a few years ago and it has been my go to ever since. My husband absolutely loves it and requests it often. Thank you so much for helping this helpless cook!

  5. I just made this recipe for the first time and mine turned out perfect, not saucy or mushy at all. I doubled the recipe using 2 cups rice, 3 cups chicken stock, 4 oz tomato sauce, 4 oz salsa, and 1 heaping tablespoon of diced jalapeños, plus the garlic and spices. Yum! Should be hit at our Mexican themed dinner party this evening!

  6. I love this recipe!! It’s important to note that Uncle Ben’s style rice will not work, as it’s parboiled. I used it once because we were out of our regular rice, it was soupy. This is a keeper!

  7. I just wanted to say, I LOVE this recipe. It is a fan favorite and EXTREMELY forgiving. I have made it for literal years doubling the recipe (I use a total of one 8oz can) and it still turns out perfect. When I forget to pick up the tomato sauce, petite diced tomatoes and tomato paste have worked as substitutes. I do also add Sazon Goya for extra color and flavor. This recipe is the absolute best!! Thank you so much!!

  8. I have been searching for a Mexican rice recipe that we liked, and this is it! Turned out amazing – definitely saving. I’ll probably add just a dash of cumin and some salt next time, but such a great recipe. Thank you!

  9. I love the recipe. I tweaked it a little. I left the tomato sauce out. I used around a tablespoon or two of tomato paste and added a diced seranno pepper. I also used chicken broth / stock instead of water. Before adding the broth. I mixed all the ingredients up before adding it to the rice. I’ve tried over the years to make Spanish rice to no avail. This recipe has given me the ability to make a Spanish rice in which me and my family really enjoy. Thank you.

  10. Of you find the rice too saucy after using 8oz of tomato sauce it is because you should use 1 1/2 cups if water. The tomato sauce replaces the water. Do this and your rice will be nice and fluffy.

    1. Sure, you can do that. But we find that ends up with a little too much tomato flavor. As with any recipe, you may need to play around with it to find a flavor you really love.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! Yes, you can use chicken bouillon. It will just have a little different flavor, but still delicious.

  11. Been looking for a recipe as good as the Mexican rice my mom makes. And this is better! Don’t tell her haha. I put some of the garlic and some raw rice and the chili powder and grind it in my mortar and pestle to really get the flavors out of it. I add a tablespoon of tomato paste as well and it’s really really good.

  12. This is the best recipe I’ve found yet! I used 4oz of tomato sauce and it was perfect. Next I will try it with brown jasmine rice. I saw your instructions. Thanks for the AWESOME recipe!

  13. I used a half can of Rotella with chillies instead of the tomato sauce. It was very good. Could have used the whole can because the meat was dry. Having saucy rice would have been extra good!

  14. My husband loves this rice, says it’s better than any restaurant. I use chicken broth and add half an onion, one jalapeno pepper, and 1/4 of a can or so of tomato sauce. It’s wonderful.

  15. Wonderful recipe. I substituted chicken broth in replace of water and then added shreadded chicken and made it a meal. Both ways were delicious.

  16. Do you stir it during those 20 minutes? Or just leave it be like you do in a rice cooker!? My rice is ending up kinda mushy? I’m wondering if it’s be cause I’m over stirring?

    1. Hi Ashley, You should not stir the rice. Leave the lid on the entire time it’s cooking, and don’t uncover until the time is up.

  17. I’ve made this twice. Delicious!

    Has anyone tried using brown rice instead of white rice? How did you adjust the recipe? Thanks!

    1. From the FAQs section of the post: “Brown rice can be used, but will require an additional ⅓ cup of water and about 10-20 minutes more cook time.”

  18. I followed recipe as usual. Used 8 oz of tomato sauce and added 1/2 of a small onion diced. My hubby said I put my foot in that rice and called me Rosa. I’ll take that compliment any day.

  19. My whole family loved it! They said they would be happy to never eat at a Mexican restaurant again! What is the best way to reheat frozen rice?

    1. Hi Kaye, So glad your family enjoyed the recipe. I would thaw the rice overnight in the fridge, then you can microwave it (lay a damp paper towel over it to rehydrate) or cook on the stovetop. If it seems dry, add a small amount of water to rehydrate.

  20. I’ve made this twice in the last week! I like saucy rice so I went with the full 8 oz. Delicious, easy to modify, and clear instructions. Thanks!

  21. I didnt see the note about it being too saucy before I started, but just looking at the ingredients, it looked like too much liquid for the amount of rice so i made a judgement call and used the 8oz tomato sauce, mixed with water, and cut the water amount and measured a 2:1 ratio that I normally do for rice, and it came out just right.

  22. The best recipe I’ve found for good Mexican rice at home so far. I like to use 4 Oz. taco sauce instead of the plain tomato sauce, and add in a small can of drained diced tomatoes with green chilis, and green onion for garnish at the end. Family asks for it at least every other week!

  23. The rice was a huge hit! I read the comments about it being too saucy after I added 8oz of tomato sauce, so I just added 1/4 cup more rice and it was perfect! Thank you!!

  24. We have fajitas for our Christmas feast, and I was responsible for the rice. My son, who masters the fajitas on the flat top, demanded ‘authentic’ Mexican rice. I found your recipe, and followed it to the letter, but I did double it. Could not have been easier. came out perfect. I added frozen peas and carrots after I had fluffed the rice , and the dish was complete. It looked great, and it tasted even better. There was none left after it was all said and done. Thanks for posting the recipe, and whether or not it is “authentic “is not really important, the appearance, taste, and ease of preparation make it a keeper! Thanks again!

  25. I made this recipe tonight 😊 the flavor was so good! I’ve never used the tomato bullion before, I think that made a big difference! I also used the full 8 oz of tomato sauce. It was a little wet, so I might use 6oz of sauce next time and see. I will definitely make this recipe again. Thank you for sharing!

  26. Another score!! Perfect proportions — flavor and texture are on point. Thank you so much. Can’t wait to try out some more of your recipes!

  27. Such a fabulous recipe! My daughter picked this recipe to make for a Spanish class assignment. She did a great job and the entire family loved it. Thank you!

  28. Something isn’t right in the proportions. After 20 minutes of cooking, the rice still wasn’t close to done. Almost as crunchy as raw rice. Or maybe the toasting the rice has something to do with it. I cook white rice all the time, and 1 part rice to two parts water works just fine.

    1. I assure you the recipe proportions are just right. Hundreds of thousands of cooks agree. You may have toasted it too long or your water wasn’t hot enough to begin with.

  29. This is a great recipe! I’ve been wanting to make a good Mexican rice. The first time I made it, the rice came out mushy but good flavor. Decided to try again tonight and – perfect! As I re-read the recipe, I think where I went wrong the first time was not using 2c WARM water. I believe it was 2 c cold which would cause the cooking times to be off. This time warm water bordering on hot and it was great. Also I used the full 8oz can of tomato sauce and it was just right. Not soupy at all. After fluffing I added 3/4c corn and let it sit for 10 minutes and – delicious! Thank you for the recipe.

  30. This rice was good but I added salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. 8oz of tomato sauce was perfect.

  31. I’ve made Spanish Rice since I was 13. My Grandmother taught me, she was such a great cook before she got sick. To give your rice extra flavor, add some fresh onion, fresh cut up tomatoes and bell peppers, guarantee it adds a lot of flavor to your rice.

  32. This recipe could have been good but when I made it it was far too overcooked. Use a tad bit less water and cook for less time.

  33. Hands down, the best Mexican rice recipe I’ve tried. My husband loves it and so do I!! I make it exactly as written except I sub 2 tbsp. butter for the oil. Cook 20 mins and all the water is absorbed nicely. I also cook it in a 12 inch non stick fry pan. I’ve bookmarked this recipe and use it everytime!! Turns out perfect. Thank you Kristin!

  34. Good flavor, but very mushy. Too much liquid maybe. I simmered it for 210 minutes and it was soupy. I did another 10 still very wet. even after sitting uncovered for 10 minutes, no bueno. I am still on the hunt for a Mexican rice recipe that comes out like my friends and restaurants make it.

  35. This recipe was super simple and easy to
    Follow! The rice came out SO GOOD! The only different thing I did was cook sofrito in the oil before adding the rice, simply because I made like 3 jars of it a while back and it needs to be used! Lol anyway, thanks for this recipe, I’ll be using it from now on for Mexican rice<3

  36. I think this is a good basic rice recipe. However, red rice is an Americanized thing. I grew up in Mexico and did travel and red rice is NOT the common type of rice eaten. Most people eat rice with out the tomato sauce added. While “arroz rojo” as it is known, is eaten in some places in lieu of the classic rice, it typically is to serve the tourists in restaurants. And yes, there are various ways of making rice by region, but the truth is the closer you get to the US geographically, the more the food is made for the tourists’ palette. The recipe is good though 🙂

  37. I have made this recipe over and over and over for several years! It is the best mexican rice and tastes just like what you get in a restaurant. I have not been able to find Caldo de Tomate in my grocery store so have left it out and it’s still delicious. I do use chicken broth instead of water and I add some salt. Don’t look for other recipes – just take a jump and make this one!

  38. The above recipe is how I was taught by a Mexican friend. My husband was 1/2 Apache & 1/2 Mexican. He asked if I knew how to make Spanish Rice. I said yes, I made it for dinner that nite. He was shocked. He said, ” this tastes just like my mom’s.” After thanking him I had to leave the table momentarily as I had to wipe the tears from my eyes. That was the highest compliment a man can give a woman.

  39. Love love this recipe!! I add chicken broth instead of water and a splash of hot sauce to give it a little kick. When we make large batches we brown our rice and then toss all ingredients into a large rice cooker and it cooks it perfectly and keeps it warm!! Thanks for the recipe!!

  40. Growing up, there was a Mexican restaurant in my town that made the most amazing Mexican rice. Over the years I tried to duplicate it many times with disappointing results. THIS IS IT! Just as written. I do tend to do just 4 oz of tomato sauce, but have done as much as 8. Love this rice and it’s super easy!

  41. I’ve been looking for an easily adaptable Mexican rice recipe and this is it. Thank you for sharing this. For my family, I added a half can suggestion of tomato sauce instead of full can, and used chicken broth instead of water and a tablespoon of chili powder. It was great! Everyone raved!

    1. You could try adding a little bit of water when reheating. If you’re making it for a wedding, I highly recommend doing a test run first.

    2. After thawing (on the counter) put rice in microwave safe dish. Add 1 ice cube per 3 cups of rice and microwave to desired temp.

      The ice cube trick is phenomenal. Remoisturizes the rice via steam rather than boiling, which often leads to soggy.

    1. Chicken bouillon and a little tomato paste would do the trick. Or use chicken broth instead of water and add a teaspoon of tomato paste.

  42. This is the easiest and most tasty Mexican-style rice I’ve made and served to guests! I’ve made it several times with varying levels of spice and it’s always a hit. I did find that a single recipe was great with 4 ounces of tomato sauce and a double recipe was great with 8 ounces of tomato sauce. This recipes was awesome for burritos, burrito bowls, a vegetarian meal of rice and beans, and just by itself. Once the recipe is made I like to mix my portion with a little bit of a spicy salsa just because I like that flavor profile and I tent to keep foods mild when serving friends and family so they can adjust spice as they like. This is a recipe I will be using for years to come. Thank you so much for making this so easy for me! I was nervous about making rice on my new induction stovetop but with the right pan this recipe is perfect.

  43. I make a lot of vegetarian dishes and have a handful of shortcuts saved for my favorites and this is one I come back to at least every few weeks. We love it with vegetarian fajitas. Thanks for the great post!

  44. So so good and very easy to make. Grew up eating this as a side at a friends house growing up and I never knew how to make it.

    I made this exactly as stated and used about 4 oz of tomato sauce. I’ve made it this way twice and it came out perfect both times!

    Thank you for sharing!!!

  45. My wife LOVES restaurant Mexican rice. Try as I may I could never find a recipe that came any where close to replicating that deliciousness at home. About 2 years ago I stumbled upon this recipe and the Caldo de Tomato was a game changer. I had never heard of it before but now it is a pantry staple. I have recommended this recipe to friends and on a Facebook food group. Everyone raves about it. It is definitely one of my go to recipes.

    I have adapted it to the Instant Pot. I add the oil and cook the rice on the sauté setting and when it’s ready I add the remaining ingredients, cook for 3 minutes, and let it naturally release. Turns out perfect every time. We like it so much I often make a double batch just so we can enjoy the leftovers! Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. Thank you Eric! I came upon your comment while trying to figure out how to do this in the instant pot. You’re a lifesaver.

  46. I use a porcelain lined Dutch oven. Everything is done stovetop until all ingredients have come together and mixture is hot (just before it starts to simmer). Cover and place in 325 oven for 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and fluff with fork. Just remember to stir as LITTLE as possible before placing in the oven and don’t mess with once it goes in the oven.

  47. We love this recipe! This is actually the only homemade Mexican rice my daughter will eat and I’ve tried several other recipes! Thank you Kristin!

  48. This is my go-to Mexican rice recipe! I have used it countless times and I always get amazing compliments on it when I take it places. It is both flavorful and moist and it’s good for leftovers too! Thank you so much for the easy and delicious recipe!:)

  49. Thank you so much for sharing! This is the best mexican rice and better than a lot restaurants. We’ve made this three times now with some minor tweaks the last two times and think we have the perfect version for us now.

    I double the receipe (stay with 8oz tomato sauce). I add about 1/3 cup of minced onion and the garlic to the rice about halfway thru the saute process. Then I also add a 10oz can of original Rotel tomato and chilies when adding the water. We no longer need the Chile powder as the Rotel gives a little kick. 20 min cook time is perfect for us (3700 ft elevation).

    Light, fluffy and wonderful flavor.

    Thanks again, I plan to make this 2-3 times a month!

  50. I’m not usually a rice person. Made this recipe for a family gathering.
    Great recipe! Best Mexican rice I’ve ever had! The caldo de Tomatoe was a little salty, maybe next time I’ll cut it back a little.

  51. We made this last night and it was fabulous!! We added a little bit of fresh chopped jalapeno pepper, vidalia onion, cilantro and chopped tomato. Will definitely make again – this is my new go-to recipe for mexican rice. Thank you!

  52. It works perfectly. Excellent recipe. I only changed the tomato sauce to 5oz instead of 8 oz. It will be a staple recipe for my south of the border meals.

  53. Just made this. It was very good. I used a little more than half of an 8 ounce can of tomato sauce. It wasn’t saucy at all.
    Will definitely make this again.

  54. Oh man this was so good!! I doubled the recipe!! I rinsed the rice until the water was clear. Then fried it until golden brown. Then added 8 oz of tomato sauce continued fry it until it was was evaporated and sticky. Then added 3.5 c chicken broth and two chicken bouillon cubes because I didn’t have the tomato one. Plus the chili powder, garlic, bay leaves and cilantro. 20 minutes was perfect time. It was fluffy and delicious. I did remove the bay leaves and cilantro because of my picky eaters! Everyone loves it!!
    I served it with air fried chicken thighs, refried beans and sautéed zucchini and onions for a healthier dinner!!
    So so good!! Everyone’s comments were helpful!
    I was going to post a pic but there wasn’t an option to 😫
    Thanks for the recipe. I hope you don’t mind me sharing my tweaks.

  55. Hi Kristin, I am planning on making this for my family during our vacation and am wondering what canned tomato sauce do you recommend? Thank you in advance….. I will come on back and let you know how it came out!!

    1. I have used everything from Generic to name brands and never had a problem with any brand.

  56. Hey, first of all this is a great recipe! My dad is a huge fan of Mexican food and he LOVED THIS! However, i have a huge family and i wanted to make this again but i want to make it x3 and i don’t know how to adjust the recipe 🙁

  57. It has most of the correct ingredients.. 1 side of the family is from Mexico. We use regular rice because jasmine is not authentic it gives it an off flavor and not quite the right texture.. also make sure if you cook it when you put everything together in a pan and cook it do not ever stir it until after you bring it to boil let it sit for 20 minutes then fluff but you never want to stir your rice when it’s cooking

  58. I have. Tried so many recipes over the years and finally I found this one. Such a great hit with my family. I live in Texas so I know what great Mexican rice tastes like and this one is so amazing.

  59. This is my go to rice! It’s amazing!! My dad is a Mexican food connoisseur and I made your rice for him over the weekend. He loved it! He even ate the leftovers for breakfast the next morning. My sister in laws-mother (confusing, I know) is Hispanic and she said this rice is better than what her mom used to make when she was growing up!

  60. My hard to please husband who grew up in west Texas loves this rice. And it is so easy to make. Yummy!

  61. I followed instructions to a T or so I thought and it didn’t turn out. I LOVED the flavor of the rice and not too saucy but the texture of the rice was gritty. Not the crunch of under done rice, and when fluffing the rice the grains were breaking. Only thing I can possibly think of was maybe I made the rice too golden? Maybe some can troubleshoot.

    1. I only used half a can or a splash of the tomato sauce. My rice turned out fluffy and perfect. I think half – to a full van may make the rice too soggy and cause it to break.

  62. The best Mexican rice ever!! This is now my go to for Mexican Rice. I made it as directed and it came out perfectly. The first time I used this recipe I had to use chicken bouillon and it was still delicious 😋

  63. Hi there! Coming from a Mexican family, I should know how to make it not problem, but I still seek out a recipe from time to time just to refresh my memory! I made this with chicken bouillon (sodium free) and added a tsp salt, because thats all I had.(I know my parents use the tomato bouillon for more flavor). I also only used 1/4 cup tomato sauce, and added it to the fried rice and let it cook down before adding 2 cups chicken broth. This gives it tomatoey flavor without it being too saucy, as it cooks into the rice a bit. Otherwise I appreciate the recipe 😋 I love Mexican rice soooo much!

  64. Fantastic site. Education is one of the most powerful things in life. It allows us to find the meaning behind everything and helps improves our lives in a massive way.

  65. As a general rule, rice is a 2:1 ratio-liquid to rice. With 2C water & 8oz tomato sauce, you’re @ 3:1. That will certainly give you a soupy/saucy end product. Other than that, I REALLY liked this easy, hassle free preparation… THANKS

    1. Hi Tim, while that is true with straight water/broth, tomato sauce is much thicker and doesn’t result in anything resembling “soup.” Glad you like it though.

  66. I am a good cook and yet I seldom make rice well. This is by far the best rice I have ever made, and my family and I agree it is also the best tasting! That you from saving me from bad rice!

  67. This mexican rice is sooo delish! 😋 My husband and I loved it! 💓 Thanks for sharing! 😊

  68. I’ve used canned enchilada sauce instead of tomato sauce. It adds a little extra flavor. We like the medium but it’s pretty spicy so I’d recommend the mild if you don’t like it too spicy.

  69. This would be excellent with some white onions tiny bit thinly diced in the water mixture.
    TIP**** 8 ounces of tomato sauce is too much stick to 4 ounces and it’s perfection. I followed this perfectly and it was amazing. My whole family loved it. This is a great recipe I fully recommend. Garlic is also not necessary and can be omitted if needed. I suffer parosmia after covid. So onions and garlic make food smell and taste strange for right now. So that’s only thing I skipped 10/10. I bought petite diced tomatoes and had just a few teaspoons and fluffed it in. 👌

    1. You can double it, but it’s a little tricky. I’m working on testing this one out, but basically, you can double the amounts in the recipe and still it should cook in 20 minutes. But don’t use more than 8 ounces of tomato sauce.

  70. So good! I wanted a healthier alternative to packaged Mexican rice in a box, and this is it. Tastes very similar to the rice at my favorite Mexican restaurant. I will definitely make it again!

  71. I used 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes instead of tomato sauce. I reduced the water to 1.5 cups warm water with 2 chicken bouillon cubes as I did not have Caldo de Tomate tomato bouillon. Thanks for the recipe. I will no longer buy boxed Mexican rice!

  72. Instead of tomato sauce, I used 14.5 diced tomatoes. I reduced the water to 1.5 cups, with w 2 chicken bouillon cubes as I did not have Caldo de Tomate tomato bouillon. It tasted fantastic! Thanks for the recipe.

  73. I only did the 4oz of tomato sauce because I like my rice fluffier instead of saucy. But this rice was still way too liquidy. I tried to cook off the rest of the liquid and burned the bottom. The flavor was great but definitely should take out some water next time, probably take away a whole cup of water. I will try it again without so much water. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. I’m going to assume that the heat was too low, that’s usually the reason the water is not all absorbed. I cook this with 4 ounces at least once a week and never have leftover water.

  74. Tried this recipe quite awhile ago and my family, myself included loved it so much I have been making it ever since. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  75. You said at the beginning look for tips to use brown rice, it may just be me but I was unable to find any tips at all.

    1. Hi Hershel, Under the section titled FAQs, there’s a line that says “what type of rice.” You have to tap to drop down the answer. But it says “Brown rice can be used, but will require an additional ⅓ cup of water and about 10-20 minutes more cook time.”

    1. Hi Lee Ann, my experience has not been good with rice in a stainless steel pan. But that’s just my experience.

  76. I love this recipe because it is simple and requires little ingredients. It has great flavor, but if you like spicy add a teaspoon of cayenne powder instead of chili powder.

    1. Hi Christina, instead of the tomato sauce you can use 1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste. Just make sure to stir it really well.

    1. Easy and delicious. My whole family loved. This just became my go to Mexican rice recipe. I will definitely check out some more yellow bliss road recipes.

  77. Love this recipe. Made it for the 2nd time tonight. Made a few tweaks; chicken broth instead of water, double chili powder, double garlic. Browned the rice on saute in the instant pot, threw everything in, hit the rice button and turned out perfectly! Thank you!

  78. delicious and simple! I substituted a veggie bouillon cube and used only 4 oz tomato sauce, made some beyond sausage links to add in…yum!

  79. Just made this to go with my enchladas. Thanks for the great recipe. To avoid the “saucy” texture that many mentioned, I simply used 1.5 cups of rice instead of 1. Left everything else the same and it came out PERFECTLY. Easy solution and it allowed me to use the whole can of tomato sauce and not waste half. Thanks again for the

  80. I have been looking for a Mexican rice recipe for a long time, and this one ended my search. My girls love this recipe; I use salt instead of the Caldo de Tomate, and it still turns out great! We use it in burritos and bean and rice bowls. Delish.

  81. Loved this recipe..the rice was excellent. Everyone loved it. I never knew tomato bouillon existed lol I am definitely a fan. Although they only had tomato w/ chicken bouillon…it was great. Keeping this recipe. Thank you so much

  82. I cannot thank you enough for this recipe! It was easy and my family loved it. We have been trying to find an authentic rice recipe like this for so long and I am so thankful to you for sharing it with us!

    We added carrots, peas, a drained can of diced tomatoes and used chicken broth and it is now a family favorite! Thank you again for sharing!!

  83. Going forward, this is the only Mexican rice recipe I’ll use!!! My family scarfed it up. I didn’t have tomato sauce so I used about half can of Rotel.

  84. This is easy to prepare and makes very tasty rice. I’m not sensitive to MSG, but be aware that the Caldo de Tomate that I used (Knorr) has it second on the ingredient list.

    1. Yes, as someone being sensitive to MSG, I would not add the Caldo de Tomate tomato bouillon. Plus, this product contains many other ingredients that are on my “do not eat” or “avoid” list. Other than that, the recipe is good, just substitute with onion and a little bit of salt.

  85. Turned out very well!! Personally I think 4oz of tomato sauce wouldn’t he enough, but 8oz was a little saucy for me. Also, I used chicken bullion and it turned out delicious. I didn’t have tomato bullion. But seriously, very good!

    1. It’s definitely a personal taste, which is why I added the notes on the 4-8 ounces. Chicken bouillon also adds a great flavor.

  86. Made it for the first time and it was excellent, and very easy to make, except I used powered garlic instead, I do not like vegetables and I figured the garlic powder was just as good as it turned out really well.

    1. Sure! Just let it cool and then refrigerate. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave. You might want to add a tablespoon of water just to make sure it doesn’t dry out.

  87. I make almost the same rice, I use 1 1/3 cups rice and a 14.5 ounce can of chicken broth and 4 oz of El Pato hot tomato sauce, everything else the same.

  88. This will become my new go-to recipe for Mexican rice. It was delicious! I didn’t change a thing other than doubling the recipe and it was perfect. Great recipe!

  89. This is the best Mexican rice recipe I have found to date. I prefer the less saucy version with 4 oz of tomato sauce but it’s fantastic either way. This is the real deal.

  90. This sounds delicious! I’m having family over for “Mexican Monday” and I was wondering if this is something that could be made ahead and reheated to save time the day of the dinner.

    1. Absolutely, you can make this ahead of time and reheat. If the rice seems dry you could add a splash of water when you reheat.

  91. Great recipe! My family loved it and I’ve got picky family members. My husband does not like a lot of tomato flavor so I didn’t use the tomato sauce, I used my stewed tomatos 1\2 quart and instead of just water, I used chicken bullion also. It really turned out awesome! Thank you soooo much!

  92. This sacaldo de tomato sauce was wonderful. As a vegetarian I used better than bouillon vegetable flavor in place of the calde de tomato. Used 2 8-oz cans sauce. It cooked up mice and fluffy and not saucy. Love it. Added a little cumin.

  93. This is the only recipe that is gosh darn close to my mother in law’s who is from Mexico. I took your advice after the first time with 8 oz. and have always used 4 oz. ever since. Been using it for over a year now. Seriously, I LOVE THIS RECIPE. So easy and yes, absolutely delicious!!

  94. Family favorite! My bf literally asks me to make this every week or 2. Definitely a staple that goes with so many dishes. Thank you!

    1. Oh and I use Kroger’s Chili Ready or Fire Roasted (diced) tomatoes. The caldo de tomato makes a difference and thanks for adding that to your recipe. Always fun and tasty trying something new! Have used chicken/beef/bone stock instead of water and it is worth it.

  95. Mine ended up so much more red than the pictures. I used the exact measurements and it was very tomato-y..
    Taste was good. Just not the Mexican rice I was expecting.

    1. Hi Dominique, did you use the 4 ounces or 8 ounces of tomato sauce. That would definitely make a difference. The spices brand could also make a difference.

  96. Cooked the rice covered for 20 minutes and it wasn’t done. I cook a lot of rice, but this had more liquid than usual, so maybe that was the reason.

  97. Using this recipe and method, I have impressed my Mexican American in-laws with “the best rice they ever had”! I ended up using Goya brand tomato sauce for best flavor, and modified slightly by adding a dash of paprika and a dash of cumin, and it is perfect for our taste! Definitely not too saucy if cooked in the right pot. Thank you for this post!

  98. Hi! Absolutely love the recipe and use it all the time! I was curious as to what a serving size is considered? Thank you!

    1. It really depends on what you’re serving it with. If you have a heavier main dish, like big burritos or enchiladas, you can stretch it further. Typically we get about 6, 1/2 cup servings.

  99. This recipe is always such a hit with everyone, and I have picky eaters! I love when it’s a night that I can make this rice! Thank you so much!! We use the better than bouillon from Costco and it’s delicious!

    1. Yes but it will take longer to cook and the flavor will be different than what you’d get at a restaurant.

  100. making your rice again. I did finally find tomato bouillon in the grocery store can’t wait to taste the difference. I will make sure not to take the lid off this time. I recently discovered sofrito but haven’t tried it yet. I bought a jar of it and from what I have been reading online jarred sofrito is bland. I may try a little in the rice though. Curious if you have used it in any of your recipes. I also read that you should rinse the starch of rice before you cook it so to avoid with your rice being mushy. Have you heard of this. I’m going to try this as well.

    1. Hi Billie – I have not tried sofrito, but let me know what you think. You do not need to rinse the rice. Frying it in the oil helps with the starch.

  101. Can you use diced tomatoes instead of the bullion. I have never seen tomato bullion in any store here?? Trying this today.

    1. Hi Dinah, you can omit the tomato bouillon and use chicken bouillon instead, or use chicken broth instead of water. It’s just infusing more flavor.

  102. Hi! This recipe looks so simple and delicious. What do you recommend as a vegetarian substitute to the Caldo de Tomate? Thanks!

    1. I fixed it for a vegetarian friend, I used vegetable broth. I simmered carrots, celery and green beans. For the broth, and used the veggies in the rice.

  103. Best homemade mexican rice I’ve tried! Was worried about it being too saucy, so cut down a bit on the liquid. Used 8 oz. tomato sauce and enough water to make 2 cups total. Was almost not enough liquid, next time will add 1/4 to 1/2 cup more liquid to test. Still came out edible, and the taste was amazing. Thanks!

    1. Hi Julie, you definitely need a full 2 cups of water. The tomato sauce isn’t part of the liquid to rice ratio. Glad you liked it though!

  104. I’m doing a Mexican feast for my daughter’s graduation. I plan to serve about 100 people. Can you help me with a recipe? Or should I make it in small amounts?

    1. Hi, I’ve never had to make that much rice, so I’m not sure how to increase to that many servings. I’ve tripled the recipe in a large pot but not more than that. It would serve about 15-20. There are recipes you can google to bake it, that might be your best option for a larger batch.

  105. I substituted the tomato ingredients with homemade tomato salsa, used half amount of chicken stock. Sauted onions and garlic while pre-browning rice. Added diced carrots and peas. Topped with cheese and fresh cilantro. Ate it with black bean and corn salsa so good.

    1. Yes you can use brown rice. Just adjust your time according to the package instructions. I don’t know about wild rice because I’ve never tried that.

  106. This was WAY too much liquid! The flavor was great though. I followed the recipe (doubled) to the “letter” too. The rice was not fluffy but soggy. I will make it again bit try less water.

    1. Hi Amy, if you doubled the recipe you didn’t follow it to the letter. There is also a section in the post that talks about what to do if your rice didn’t cook through in 20 minutes. But honestly, I don’t talk about doubling in my post or in the recipe card I still need to do some testing on doubling the recipe, because I haven’t perfected it yet. I have double the recipe as is, using 8 ounces of tomato sauce, and the rice was fluffy, a little on the moist side, but definitely not liquidy. Because rice steams and absorbs only some of the water, doubling everything isn’t necessary. So, when you double a recipe, there are a lot of things you need to consider and it won’t always work like the recipe intended.

    1. Yes you absolutely can. If using chicken broth, I’d recommend cutting the tomato bouillon by half, so it’s not too salty, or use a salt free broth.

  107. I made this tonight to go with fajitas. I had everything except tomato bouillon, so used Better than Bouillon chicken. I opted for using a whole 8oz can of tomato sauce and once it was done cooking, it was perfect. In fact, I think this tastes better than the standard rice served as a side at most Mexican restaurants I’ve gone to.

  108. This was amazing and easy! Followed the recipe exactly as written, I used the handy double (2X) tab provided and there were no leftovers! My family loved it!

  109. I don’t have any tomato bullion so I’m wondering if a small amount of tomato paste would add that depth of flavor that the bullion creates.

  110. Not sure if it is a Pinterest controlled thing or a user controlled thing, but there is a quick view of the required ingredients that you can get without actually clicking on the pin for the recipe. It does NOT have the tomato sauce listed as an ingredient. A lot of times when I’m making my shopping list online, I look at the quick list to avoid all the annoying adds that pop up when I’m trying to find out what I need. Tomato sauce was not listed so I didn’t buy it and so I can’t make this for my fajitas tonight without another trip to the store just for the tomato sauce. Very annoyed.

    1. Hi Beth, guessing that’s either a Pinterest glitch or you missed it when you first looked at it, because that recipe has always included tomato sauce. It’s always best to click over to the site and spend the few seconds it takes to scroll past the annoying ads to read the actual recipe. I spend a lot of time testing recipes and writing out all of the information that you might need to have a great experience with my (free) recipes. When you don’t click through and just count on third party sites, you don’t get the benefits of countless hours of testing plus tips for success. The ads provide the income necessary to keeps my site running so I can continue providing these recipes to you (for free).

  111. Great recipe! I added onions and instead of the caldo tomate I used vegetable”better than bouillon”. I didn’t know the other one had chicken in it and we’re vegetarian. I used 8 oz of tomato sauce and it was perfect.

  112. Came out great! Based on my personal tastes I amped up the flavor a bit by adding the following: 1/2 tsp more of caldo de tomate bouillon, 1/4 cup diced white onion, 1 tbsp of fresh chopped cilantro, instead of water I substituted chicken broth, instead of chili powder I substituted Goya Sazon con Azafran, and also added one and a half teaspoons of Tajin Chile and Limon powder to give a nice hint of tanginess. I kept the lid on the whole time and cooked it for 30 minutes and it came out perfect!!! This will be my go-to recipe forever!!

  113. Followed the recipe to the letter and the rice was not fully cooked and chalky. I had to add a lot more water in order to get it to be fluffy.

    1. Hi Steven, if you followed to the letter the rice would most certainly be fully cooked. The biggest reason rice doesn’t cook properly is that the lid isn’t right fitting and lets steam escape, or if you lifted the lid at some point. Steam is essential to cooking rice. The only other thing I can think of is you used a short grain rice (like sushi rice) instead.

    2. the key to making good rice is the type, the kitchen appliance, and the time. I use my instant pot and I make long grain rice along with Italian rice, jasmine, and basmati and it takes a MINIMUM of 12 min for only 1 cup and that’s faster than a normal pan on the stove. I can only assume what was being used is minute rice, I never use it since I am about the quality of what I cook. Several minutes can only be minute rice, which is cheap and not something I cook with since I make rice that I can be proud of.

      1. I would like to add I am Asian (Japanese) and Spanish. I know my rice very well.

        Penny Calla you’re lesson on rice has nothing to do with the original comment or her reply. No you can’t use minute rice for this recipe why would you even suggest that’s what is being used…? Unless you’re being sarcastic. Obviously it’s long grain white rice. When you add in the tomato sauce, the bouillon and other ingredients that changes everything. Yes in my Zoji rice cooker (because I too am about the quality of rice….) I cook jasmine rice it only takes a short time. But with this recipe which I know very well you need to cook the rice for a set time usually 18-20 min. Especially since you’re most likely going to be making 2 cups of rice not just one to feed your family. Because of the ingredients, if you cook it too high the rice will stick and burn, cook it for only 12 minutes your rice will not be cooked properly because of the added ingredients. You don’t cook Mexican rice in a slow cooker by the way so all your talk about your slow cooker was pointless. I’ve never cooked rice in a slow cooker…either pan or rice cooker, because I want to make rice I can be proud of, I can’t be proud of my rice knowing I cooked it in a Slow Cooker…. Haiya!…

    3. Boil the Rice on high heat until the rice is just visible above the water line and then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. I learned this from a Professional Asian Cook.

      1. That may work for some recipes, but this recipe the rice would stick to the bottom. I strongly recommend to cook as directed.

      2. Great recipe Kristin!

        Btw Benjamin you’re using the knowledge you learned from an “Asian Chef” for a “Mexican recipe” like Kristin said it depends on the recipe. Pretty sure you’re chef was cooking plain white rice.

  114. I’ve made this many times and enjoyed it most with the full 8oz of tomato sauce. Thank you for the recipe!

  115. I had always wanted to try my hand at Spanish rice, so I tried tonight. I am SO glad I found this recipe! From the flavor to the texture of the cooked rice, the taste is simply fantastic!

    Thank you for sharing!

  116. This is basically how my family has always made spanish rice and your recipe IS written correctly! I don’t know how people are misreading the tomato sauce. Making tonight for dinner along with pinto beans.

  117. Amazing! I’m 41 and have never made Spanish rice in my life lol. I like the sauciness of the full can of sauce. Also subbed the water for chicken stock and omitted the bullion since I didn’t have that. But I added in sautéed onion, cumin and oregano and it’s delish!

  118. I’m reading your recipe as 4 cans of 8 oz sauce.
    I did this and it’s too much liquid to rice. Please correct this recipe as it ruined a lot of ingredients I used

    1. Hi Nichole, the recipe is written correctly. When there’s a dash it connect the two pieces of information, in this case it means 4(to)8 ounces. If the dash was between the number and the word ounces (8-ounces) if would mean to use 8 ounces. The notes beside this ingredient, in the notes of the recipe, as well as in the post, explain that you can use at least 4 ounces and up to 8 ounces, depending on the sauciness desired. I’m sorry that you misread it but the recipe is written correct as it is.

  119. Absolutely delish!! Used chicken bullion in place of the tomato bullion and chicken both instead of water

  120. I compared this 5 star recipe with another 5 star recipe. This one is the very clear winner! Thank you for sharing it!

  121. I just ruined dinner by using four 8 ounce cans of tomato sauce in my “rice”….what a mess….please either check your writers with good editing or else don’t offer receipts.

    1. Not sure how it’s an editing issue when you obviously misinterpreted the recipe. It clearly states 4-8 ounces (as in at least 4 and up to 8 ounces). This is explained on the line, in the notes and in the post. Make sure you read all of the information rather than just quickly skimming a recipe. And I’m not sure what “receipts” you’re referring to.

    2. Made this as written few weeks ago and my family loved it! Making it again tonight, tripling the recipe, and I might add a bit of cilantro and/or lime. So good! We are using it in carne asada burritos.

  122. I made this in my rice cooker. I sautéed the rice in the cooking oil, until golden. I then put in the pot of the rice cooker, replaced the water with chicken broth, added the other ingredients, used 6oz of tomato sauce. It turned out so good! In the rice cooker, it can keep for a long time, and still taste great!

  123. This rice has the thumbs up from my family! I made the rice with 4oz tomato sauce and it came out a bit dry, but it was still very good, I will use 8oz next time.

  124. I made this using the full 8 oz of tomato sauce. It was perfect. It seems like with any less, the rice would have been too dry before it fully cooked. I ordered the tomato bouillon from Amazon. With a recipe this simple and delicious, no more box or bag mixes for us!

  125. This rice really isnt authentic, however, it is close. In the states people tend to use tomato sauce. I’ve lived and have family in several different parts of Mexico and have never see anyone use tomato sauce. EVER. Don’t get me wrong this is a good rice dish but to be authentic you have to use real tomatoes that are crushed or blended and sautéed in the rice and oil, after browning of rice. Also traditionally most people use actual chicken broth and Knorr tomato bouillon. This feels like Tex Mex version to me more than an actual Mexican version.

    1. Hi Katherine, while I appreciate your insight, this recipe is from a person who’s family is from and has always lived in Mexico. It’s most definitely NOT Tex-Mex.

    2. Hi Katherine, I think that personally depends on the people in Mexico and how they like it. My family from Mexico makes the rice with out chicken stock and tomatoe bouillon. My grandma makes the sauce by blending tomatoes with garlic, onions, and salt. However, here in the US my Mexican family adds chicken bouillon and tomato paste with the blended tomatoes, garlic, and onion.

  126. I first made this Mexican rice for a 90th Birthday party. I had a large Taco bar and this recipe was a HUGE hit!
    I have made it numerous times since. It continues to be a favorite of all ages!

  127. I used Goya tomato sauce. Not sure if that made a difference, but I’ll always use Goya tomato sauce now.