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Delicious Traditional Mexican Rice

This traditional Mexican Rice recipe is so good and easy to make for dinner! Flavorful rice for a delicious side dish.

What is Mexican rice?

Mexican rice, sometimes referred to as Spanish rice or Arroz Rojo, is a popular side dish in Mexican cuisine. It is usually cooked with tomatoes, onions, garlic and bell peppers for lots of flavor. Seasoned with cumin and chili powder for extra spice if desired.

What is the difference between spanish rice and mexican rice?

The main difference between Spanish rice and Mexican rice is the type of tomatoes used. Spanish rice tends to be made with tomato sauce, while Mexican rice is more often cooked with diced fresh tomatoes for a bolder flavor.

Additionally, Spanish rice is usually flavored with saffron, while Mexican rice gets its flavor from chili powder and cumin.

Where is a good place to serve this rice?

This Mexican Rice recipe is an incredibly versatile side dish, perfect for serving at any type of gathering or meal.

Whether you’re planning a casual weeknight dinner, potluck, BBQ or special occasion celebration, this delicious Mexican Rice will add the perfect finishing touch to your menu! Enjoy it alongside tacos, burritos, enchiladas, grilled meats or veggies.

Can you make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes, you can make Mexican Rice ahead of time. Simply prepare the rice according to the recipe instructions, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. When ready to serve, simply reheat in a pan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until heated through. The flavors will be even more delicious!

Can you freeze Mexican rice?

Yes, you can freeze Mexican Rice. Let the cooked rice cool completely before transferring to an airtight container and storing in the freezer for up to three months. When ready to serve, let the frozen rice thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until hot.

What are some helpful tips for making traditional Mexican rice?

Some helpful tips for making traditional Mexican Rice include using long-grain white rice, cooking the onions until softened before adding the other ingredients, and toasting the rice in a dry pan before adding water for even more flavor.

Additionally, be sure to use freshly prepared tomatoes for best results and adjust seasoning amounts as desired. Finally, it helps to cover the pot with a lid while cooking to help the rice cook evenly.

Can I use brown rice instead?

Yes, you can use brown rice instead of white in this Mexican Rice recipe. Just note that it will take slightly longer for the brown rice to cook and may require a bit more liquid. Also, brown rice tends to be less flavorful than white so you may want to add extra seasonings to taste.

What are some awesome recipes to serve this Mexican Rice with?

Delicious Traditional Mexican Rice
Yield: 6-8 servings

Delicious Traditional Mexican Rice

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This traditional Mexican rice recipe is a great side dish for your favorite protein or even tacos!


  • 4 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 cups white rice, uncooked
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 cups of warm water
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 4 tsp Caldo de pollo chicken bouillon
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Cilantro for garnish, fresh


  1. Add your oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or skillet with a heavy lid. 
  2. Once the oil is hot add the rice and stir. Sauté the rice for 3-4 minutes stir continuously until the rice is golden. 
  3. Add half of the water slowly, and then add the remaining ingredients. Stir and mix well. 
  4. Add the remaining water. Bring to a boil. 
  5. Once boiling, drop the heat to medium-low and cover. 
  6. Allow the rice to cook for 20 minutes. 
  7. Remove from heat and slowly remove the lid allowing the steam to exit away from your arm and body. 
  8. Fluff the rice and scrap the bottom if necessary, I love the crispy layer at the bottom personally. 
  9. Let cool for a couple of minutes then serve with some diced cilantro!

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 138Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 2mgSodium 379mgCarbohydrates 23gFiber 2gSugar 1gProtein 4g

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Thursday 6th of July 2023

I'll give this a try as I'm really searching for that Grandma version which I had from a friend's grandmother about 20 years ago, that rice changed my whole thoughts about food.

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