Rich in tomato flavor, this vibrant and classic Mexican Rice is made with Mahatma® White Rice and a delicious side that will perfectly complement almost any dish. Try it today!
In a blender, puree 1 cup broth, onion, tomatoes, tomato paste, and 2 garlic cloves until smooth; set aside.
Heat oil in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat. Stir in rice, carrot and remaining smashed garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 6 minutes or until lightly golden and toasted.
Stir in pureed tomato mixture, remaining broth, cumin, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Stir in peas and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender and absorbs most of the liquid. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in lime juice and fluff with a fork before serving.
For a spicier taste, add diced jalapeno or Serrano pepper to rice if desired.
One of the distinguishing factors that makes Mexican Rice so unique is its variety of color based on which ingredients are used. Some would argue that the secret to perfecting this recipe is understanding how to get that characteristic orange-red hue. However, depending on the spices and rice variety chosen, Mexican Rice can result in more than one color. Can you name each color of Mexican Rice? Put your apron on and discover something delicious with us!
The biggest difference between the traditional recipe and Mexican Brown Rice is the addition of whole grains. Although the rice will ultimately change color depending on the sofrito and seasoning mixture, it will result in a deeper and richer red tone with a subtle nutty taste.
Did you know that Arroz Rojo is Spanish for Red Rice or Mexican Rice? For that reason the traditional dish you know and love is oftentimes called “Mexican Red Rice”.
In case you were wondering, Mexican Rice and Mexican Yellow Rice are technically not the same. There are subtle nuances in the spices used to season these recipes and hence, differences in the color and flavor. While the first uses cumin for that orange-red undertone, the second is prepared with saffron for a vibrant golden-yellow hue. Nonetheless, they are both cooked with a white rice base infused with flavor – which brings us to the last color variety.
Similar to a rice pilaf, the recipe for Mexican White Rice is rather simple as you will only need a handful of ingredients. For a less spiced taste, this version cuts out most of the seasonings to maintain the original color of the rice. Grains get all the flavor from being lightly sautéed with chopped garlic and onion and then cooked in chicken broth instead of water. Some home cooks also squeeze the juice of a lime for a zesty Arroz Blanco.
Now that we’ve uncovered the different shades of Mexican Rice, it’s about time we got into the technical details of preparing this flavorful side perfectly, every time. The truth is, the classic preparation method calls for a large pot and a lid, but you can also whip it up with any of your preferred kitchen appliances.
As an alternative to the stovetop recipe, toss all of the ingredients together (except peas) in your Instant Pot or pressure cooker and stir until well combined. Then, secure the lid, seal and cook at “High Pressure” for about 3 minutes. Turn off and let the pressure release on its own. This will take about 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, stir in peas, cover and let it rest for a few extra minutes.
If you only use your rice cooker to prepare white rice, you’re missing out on half of the fun! Plus, this is the easiest way to prepare this flavorful side. Simply combine all the ingredients and cook in your kitchen appliance according to manufacturer instructions. Let it stand for a few minutes before serving and enjoy.
The casserole method has an extra layer of goodness. Prepare the Mexican Rice as directed, top with grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, and bake to melty perfection for a few minutes. And just like that, you’ve got another easy yet tasty variation of the classic dish.
Let’s talk about flavor now. Try any of these tasty recipes and surprise your family with a new take on their favorite side dish.
To make this incredible version of the classic from Chef Pati Jinich, also known as Arroz Rojo con Camarones Gigantes in Spanish, you’ll need:
Step 1. Place rice in a bowl, cover with hot water, and soak for about 5 minutes. Strain and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear; drain well. If you don’t have time to soak and drain the rice, you can skip this step…
Step 2. In a blender or food processor, puree the tomatoes along with the onion, garlic and salt until thoroughly smooth. Pass through a strainer into a measuring cup and reserve. In another measuring cup, add enough chicken broth to make altogether 4 cups of liquid, but keep the 2 measuring cups separate.
Step 3. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan or casserole, over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the drained rice and cook, stirring often, until the rice becomes milky white and feels heavy in the pan as you stir, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Step 4. Pour in the strained tomato puree, mix gently and cook until the color of the puree darkens, thickens, and is mostly absorbed, about 3 to 4 more minutes. Stir in the pre-measured chicken broth and add the parsley, carrots, peas, corn and whole chile, if using.
Step 5. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce heat, add the prawns, squeeze the juice of half a lime all over if using, cover, and reduce heat to the lowest setting. Cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed, yet there is still some moisture in the pan. The rice should be cooked and tender; if not, but the liquid is totally absorbed, add a couple tablespoons of water, cover again, and continue to cook for a couple more minutes.
Step 6. Remove from the heat and let the rice rest, covered, for at least 5 minutes before you fluff with a fork and serve.
Make your own copycat restaurant-style Cilantro Lime Rice using whole grain brown rice for a boost of flavor and a subtle chewy texture. Enjoy it as a side, burrito filling or as a base for your loaded rice bowl. Use traditional brown rice or discover new flavors with our specialty aromatic Thai Jasmine Brown Rice (just make sure to add an extra 15 minutes to the cooking time).
To enhance your rice bowl, start with a base of Mexican rice and layer with your favorite toppings like sliced avocado, fresh pico de gallo, shredded rotisserie chicken or beef, and crumbled queso fresco. Perfect for a meal on the go or meal prep.
Can’t seem to get the recipe for cauliflower rice just right? Try combining half riced cauliflower and half fluffy white rice! Along with the other Mexican Rice ingredients, this is the perfect way to add more vegetables into your meals and enjoy an incredibly tasty take on the traditional recipe. Serve it as a side dish or over salad greens for a more complete meal.
You can never go wrong with a winning combination like rice and beans. Choose from black beans, kidney beans or pigeon peas to add a plant-based protein boost to the dish. If you are using canned beans, toss in after removing rice from heat, let it sit and then stir in your beans of choice.
If you want to make your recipe a complete meal, dice chicken breast and brown it in the pan right before toasting the rice in the sofrito and follow the recipe as directed. The result will be similar to a classic Arroz con Pollo recipe but with a delicious Mexican Rice taste.
If you and your family find yourselves craving Latin cuisine several times a week, try this flavorful, Traditional Mexican Rice as a perfect side to your recipe favorites. The best about this dish is that it can be served as a tasty side or even as an own dish.
Whether you’re in the mood for vegetarian enchiladas, tasty tacos, or cheesy quesadillas, this simple and flavorful rice is sure to perfectly complement your meal. Make it for each meal, or save yourself some time and effort and make a large batch for reheating throughout the week. Don’t forget to finish the meal off with some Mexican arroz con leche!
This vibrant rice dish may seem complicated because it’s loaded with amazing flavor, but that is not the case. This tasty rice is ready in three easy steps and in just 30 minutes.
Simply puree the broth, onion, tomatoes, tomato paste, and garlic cloves. Set aside and toast the rice. When the grains are starting to toast, add the carrots and garlic. As the rice turns golden brown, add the tomato puree, chicken broth, peas, and seasonings, bring to a boil, then simmer until thoroughly cooked.
Make sure to give it a good fluff with a fork before serving and enjoy watching your family fall in love with this Latin American classic. To continue exploring with International rice classics, learn how to make the best authentic paella recipe with Mahatma® Rice.