If you need a flavorful, easy, authentic Mexican style rice recipe, this recipe is exactly for you! Each grain is bursting with a spiced, herbed flavor of the seasoning done in under 20 minutes! Get the beans ready!
This Mexican style rice recipe is a childhood favorite as it pairs perfectly with almost ALL dishes! So easy to do with basic ingredients!
In just 20 minutes (or less!), this side dish will have your kitchen bursting with the aromatic smell of the herbs and spices. Yes, please!
Make sure to read the tips below on cooking this easy mexican rice recipe to master all your rice endeavors no matter the type of recipe. Rice can be tricky sometimes, but we got you covered!
This post will go over everything you need to know to create this Mexican style rice recipe.
Recipe difficulty: So, beginner…Literally one of the first recipes I learned
This restaurant style Mexican rice recipe is like the ULTIMATE rice recipe full of flavor using authentic ingredients! No need to go to the store to buy your Mexican rice as you can make it at home! There is mothing complicated in making this favorite recipe and you DON’T NEED A RICE COOKER!
Sam’s Pro Tips for this Mexican Style Rice Recipe
How to Make the Perfect Rice?
Similar to our Filipino Garlic Fried Rice Recipe and Filipino Style Spam Garlic Fried Rice Anyone Will Love, the trick with rice is not to rush it!
Browning the rice with the olive oil in the beginning will help all that flavor stick to the rice to give an incredible flavor.
Plus, by having it steam with the herbs and seasoning, this authentic Mexican rice will be soft and flavorful WITHOUT being crunchy.
Use the RIGHT Temperature of Water!
Don’t shortcut it!
You’ll find the recipe uses hot water first then cold water. The difference in temperature is needed to cook the rice in the time frame provided and to ensure NOTHING STICKS TO THE PAN!
Tomato or Salsa?
I have used either in this Mexican style rice recipe! If you don’t have salsa, plan to dice one tomato for the rice.
However, I actually PREFER to use salsa if I can as it adds a ton of flavor to the rice due to the different spices. If using salsa, try to use a chunky type of tomato salsa!
Otherwise, if it has too much liquid, it will mess with the liquid measurements in the recipe.
Key Ingredients – Mexican Style Rice Recipe
Below are some key ingredients for this recipe:
- Jasmine rice: Use a long-grain rice for this Mexican style rice recipe! Jasmine rice is a long-grain rice, very common in Asian recipes as well. Totally my favorite and the kind I only use!
- Garlic: For the best, AROMATIC smell, use 4 cloves of garlic finely diced to flavor the rice.
- Onion: Half an onion is used and is added to the herbs.
- Cumin: For a rich, earthy taste to this Mexican rice, ground cumin is a MUST! You don’t need a lot of this spice, but it totally enriches this dish!
- Knorr Caldo de Tomate: The secret ingredient for this easy Mexican rice! A tablespoon is used to spice up the rice! It also adds to the vibrant orange-red color. The Knorr Caldo de Tomate comes as a seasoning in most grocery stores!
- Salsa or a tomato: As discussed in the Tips section above, you can use either! However, my preference is actually to use a ¼ cup of chunky tomato salsa as there is so much flavor versus the diced tomato. This recipe will definitely show you how to make Mexican rice without tomato sauce!
- Olive oil: Ok, so usually I don’t call olive oil out in my recipes, but it’s super important in this rice dish! You want to make sure you’re using olive oil to sauté the rice as this will HELP MAKE ALL THE FLAVOR STICK! Browning the rice in the olive oil is essentially the first step to getting the right consistency before everything else is added.
More Variations to this Mexican Style Rice Recipe
There are a few ways you can variate this Mexican style rice recipe. Here’s how:
- Lime or cilantro please! Dress up this easy Mexican rice recipe with salsa with chopped cilantro or lime juice! Definitely add to your Taco Tuesday, buffet table.
- Shredded chicken anyone? Make this side dish your main meal and add shredded chicken for a rice bowl. Top off with the cilantro, lime, sour cream, salsa, and even some beans!
- Need another rice option? For a healthier option (good for you!), check out our 7-Minute Cilantro Cauliflower Lime Rice for a great alternative to your Mexican dishes and tastes just as good!
- What can I pair with this dish? SO MANY OPTIONS! This recipe is versatile enough to be paired with so many delicious food choices. For Taco Tuesday, use our 15-Minute Quick Carnitas Recipe Perfect for Tacos with our Mexican style rice recipe for the best combination! Or for our Easy Shredded Chicken Tacos Recipe with Green Salsa, this side dish makes this meal complete!
- Easy Mexican Chicken Salad Tostadas Perfect for a Crowd
- 7-Minute Cilantro Cauliflower Lime Rice
- Herb Infused Oven Roasted Peppers in Olive Oil
- Filipino Style Spam Garlic Fried Rice Anyone Will Love
Frequently Asked Questions
What does Mexican rice contain?
Mexican rice uses a long-grain rice with onion, garlic, cumin, salsa or tomato, and Caldo de Tomate.
Why is Mexican rice orange?
The orange-red color in Mexican rice is usually due to the tomato or salsa being added with the Caldo de Tomate.
What can I add to rice for flavor?
Add fresh herbs to your rice for added flavor or a mix of salsa and seasoning to make sure the rice isn’t bland.
How to store Mexican rice?
Keep the rice in the refrigerator and consume within 3 days for optimal flavor.