Thursday, December 9, 2021

8 Best Mexican Rice Recipes For You To Try!

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Mexico is defined by words like spunky, colorful, and enigmatic. Its culinary culture is distinct due to a mix of ethnic variations and a vibrant history. Mexico’s cuisine has been influenced by a wide range of cultures, from the Aztecs and Mayas to modern Europeans.

Mexican cuisine mostly consists of these important food elements like peanuts, vanilla, beans, coconuts, tomatoes, and chili peppers. Later beef, pork, chicken, and goat, and cheese were also added to their culinary arts.

Because of the elaborate use of chilies, some people associate Mexican food with being overly spicy. Mexicans love chilies.

We have heard and tasted some of the famous Mexican dishes. The names – Burrito, Quesadilla, Enchiladas, Guacamole, Tacos, and Salsa are some of the familiar names we have all heard when it comes to Mexican food.

Here we are focussing on Mexican rice and some of the best Mexican rice recipes you can cook in your own space and relish.

Mexican Rice and Spanish Rice, What’s the difference? 

It is a popular perception that Mexican rice and Spanish rice are the same. There are a number of similarities between the two.

Both Mexican rice and Spanish rice derive their flavors from the stock. Both the rice can be served with Latin and Spanish dishes. Mexican rice recipes tend to be spicy and so does Spanish rice.

Spanish rice
Images by May_hikkaido from Pixabay

However, these popular main course/side dish cuisine Mexican or Spanish are somewhat distinct from each other. They both differ in their color. Mexican rice is mainly always red or orange whereas Spanish rice is mostly yellow. Spanish rice is yellow in color because of Saffron. Mexican rice gets its color from cumin spice.

Both kinds of rice taste and feel different. Spanish rice is firm while Mexican rice is soft and melting.

Although some dishes are called both Mexican rice and Spanish rice recipes, don’t give much thought to the name as both are delicious.

Best Mexican Rice Recipes

If you love Mexican rice and want to know some quick and easy recipes, this piece of reading is for you. Making Mexican rice is very simple. You need only the basic ingredients for cooking rice. Almost all the ingredients for making Mexican rice are available easily in your nearest grocery store.

Most of the Mexican rice recipes call for long-grain white rice. You can use any long grain rice for example jasmine rice, basmati rice and if you want to make it healthy you can also use brown rice. Mexican rice is also prepared with medium grain rice.

Mexican cuisine has an abundance of tomatoes. In Mexican rice, most of the dishes are made with diced tomatoes, tomato bullion cubes, fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, or tomato sauce. Without tomatoes, Mexican rice won’t stay the traditional and authentic Mexican rice.

For frying the Mexican rice you can use vegetable oil, canola oil or a much healthier option is olive oil.

For stocks and flavors, if you are a non-vegetarian you can choose to add beef broth, chicken bouillon, chicken broth, or chicken stock for cooking the Mexican rice. If you are a vegetarian, substitute chicken broth with vegetable broth.

To make Mexican rice more nutritious, you can add your favorite frozen mixed veggies such as bell peppers, peas, and carrots.

Other spices that are used predominantly in Mexican rice are garlic, cumin, and chili powder. It can be freshly minced or in the form of garlic powder. Both garlic powder and garlic cloves are easily available in the grocery store. You can also add taco seasoning to Mexican rice to add flavors.

Modern ways to make Mexican rice are made easier with the use of kitchen appliances such as rice cookers and microwaves. A Rice cooker is a very good option if you don’t like to stand and cook the rice. Also, it saves time and mishaps such as burnt Mexican rice.

  • Easy Mexican Rice

easy me
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Easy Mexican rice is a simple and flavorful side dish that goes well with beef, chicken, turkey, pork, or seafood. It also works well as a vegetarian or vegan main dish.

Adapted from a northern Mexican style of seasoning rice, the dish is a wonderful one-pot meal that feeds a large number of people for a low cost and requires very little preparation because we use already cooked rice.

Let’s look at how to make Mexican rice in this quick and easy way.

List of Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice (jasmine rice)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

You can add peas, diced tomatoes, green chilies, and other ingredients of your choice. If you want to try something different, some people have had great success by mixing in salsa instead of tomato sauce.

How to prepare Easy Mexican Rice –

Easy Mexican Rice recipe is the most basic preparation that anyone can make without many ingredients.

  1. Start by putting a large pan onto the flame and adding vegetable oil to it. Pour in the long grain rice and cook it for 3 to 4 minutes until it turns translucent.
  2. To this, add chili powder, salt, cumin, and tomato sauce and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the vessel and let it simmer for 25 minutes at least.
  3. Remove the cover and leave it for 2 -3 minutes before fluffing it with a fork.

And that’s it. Our Easy Mexican rice is done. This is a side dish you can serve with curries. It’s very healthy and easy homemade Mexican Rice.

Chicken broth gives it a very good chicken flavor. You can also add a dash of lime juice for a citrus pang.

  • Easy Mexican Rice 2

This flavorful Mexican rice is really simple to make and so full of flavor. There are no complicated steps, and the end product is so delicious.

Carrots and onions are sautéed till golden and slightly soft, releasing their flavor into the oil as they cook. Cumin and oregano are Mexican pantry staples that give the finished dish a distinctive flavor.

List of Ingredients 

  • Extra-virgin olive oil (3 tablespoons)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 c. long-grain rice
  • tomato paste (2 tablespoons)
  • 2 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14-oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 3/4 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp of dried oregano
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Finely chopped cilantro for garnish

How to prepare Easy Mexican Rice 2 – Follow these steps for a lip-smacking bowl of Mexican rice.

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add diced carrots, bell peppers, onion, garlic, and cook until onions become translucent.
  2. Add rice and tomato paste and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the broth, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Season it with salt, oregano, pepper, and cumin. Let it boil. Cover the skillet and cook on reduced heat.
  4. When the rice is done, garnish with chopped cilantro and enjoy.

This easy Mexican rice recipe can be eaten in breakfast, lunch, and dinner paired with a burrito, salad, and casserole. This has to be your new favorite Mexican rice recipe.

  • Authentic Mexican Rice

One of the best Mexican rice recipes that are very easy and simple to make. Let’s look at the authentic Mexican rice recipe.

Authentic Mexican Rice
Images by Isnt_optional from Pixabay

List of Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup dry long-grain white rice
  • (4-8) ounces canned tomato sauce
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons tomato bouillon
  • 2 cloves of minced fresh garlic

How to prepare Authentic Mexican Rice – Follow these steps for the Authentic Mexican Rice recipe.

  1. Heat oil in a big pan. Keep the flame to medium-high heat. Add rice to the oil.
  2. Cook rice until it gets golden in color, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low.
  3. Pour in the warm water and tomato sauce in the pan. Keep stirring.
  4. Add the chili powder. Now, this recipe calls for Caldo de Tomate also known as tomato bouillon cubes and minced garlic.
  5. Turn the heat to medium-high again. Give it a boil. Then reduce heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes at least covering the pan.
  6. Turn of the heat. Wait for 5 – 10 minutes before fluffing it.

If tomato bouillon is not available handy, you can substitute it with chicken bouillon. You can also use chicken broth and chicken stock for an authentic Mexican rice recipe.

To this recipe, you can add some frozen mixed vegetables like peas, carrots, and fresh corn. Authentic Mexican rice can be used as a side dish or can be used in other Mexican food such as burrito bowls, tacos, and fajitas.

Enjoy the delicious rice!

  • Restaurant Style Mexican Rice

restaurant style mexican rice
Photo by Rama Tria Wijaya from Pexels

Imagine going to your favorite Mexican restaurant and ordering a plate full of Restaurant-style Mexican rice. Add some salsa and lime juice to it and it turns into a beauty served on a plate.

The best thing about Mexican rice is that you can add and subtract some ingredients according to your taste. If you don’t want to go to the Mexican restaurant and try your hands on making it at home, here is the Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice recipe.

List of Ingredients

  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1 to 2 medium minced jalapeño chile peppers
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

How to prepare Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice – Follow these steps for the Restaurant-style Mexican rice recipe.

  1. Put the whole tomatoes and onions in a blender/ food processor and grind them into a smooth puree.
  2. Transfer 2 cups of this puree into a saucepan. To this add chicken broth, salt, and ground cumin and stir continuously. Boil on medium heat.
  3. While this mixture is boiling prepare the rice. The key to restaurant-style Mexican rice is lightly toasted rice. For this, heat oil in the pan and add rice to it. Stir continuously until it gives a golden brown color.
  4. Add jalapenos to the rice and cook it until they are soft. Add garlic and stir.
  5. Add the boiling tomato mixture to the rice and combine both. Reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes with a lid or until the rice has absorbed all the mixture.
  6. Turn off the heat and fluff the rice using a fork or wooden spatula. Wait for 10 more minutes.
  7. Add lime juice and cilantro and fluff again. Restaurant-style Mexican rice is ready to be served.

Serve Mexican rice with tamales and salsa and few more wedges of lime. This Mexican rice is very easy to make and does not take much time.

In some Restaurants style Mexican rice, fire-roasted tomatoes are also added for more flavor. Restaurant-style Mexican rice is probably not authentic Mexican rice but it is a delicious version of Mexican rice.

  • Arroz Rojo ( Mexican red rice)

mexican rice recipePhoto by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Many call this dish Spanish rice but Mexicans call it Mexican rice (Mexican Arroz) or Arroz Rojo (red rice). Another name for this Mexican dish is Sopa Seca de Arroz ( dry rice soup).

This is the best Mexican rice recipe that is packed with rich tomato sauce and that is what makes it red. Here is the Mexican rice recipe for you that is made traditionally in Mexico.

List of Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 (8 ounces) can tomato sauce
  • 1 ¼ cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

How to prepare Arroz Rojo –

  1. Heat the oil in a pot over medium to high flame. Add rice to the oil and toast it until it is golden brown.
  2. To this add the minced garlic and onion. Cook until the onions turn brown.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, chili powder, and salt. Stir the mixture.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then let it simmer down by turning the heat to low. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes with the lid on the skillet.
  5. Turn off the heat. Uncover and fluff the rice. Arroz rojo is ready to serve.

Arroz Rojo is an excellent main course side dish cuisine Mexican that is very easy to cook at home. You can add frozen mixed vegetables to Mexican rice. Some of the best that go with red rice are bell peppers and peas and carrots. You can always choose to put in your favorite vegetables and enjoy a Mexican hearty meal.

  • Mexican Tomato Rice and Beans recipe

mexican rice and beans
Photo by Chitokan from Pexels

A healthier option for the Mexican recipe is the Mexican Tomato rice and Beans recipe. In terms of protein and fiber, beans are a good choice because of their abundance. This Mexican rice recipe uses medium grain rice for a starchy and creamy texture.

List of Ingredients 

  • 1 cup medium-grain white rice
  • 1 14-1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium fresh jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, thoroughly rinsed
  • 2 tsp. kosher or fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

How to prepare Mexican Tomato Rice and Beans Recipe –

  1. In a vessel, pour in 2 cups of water and add rice to it. Boil on medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and cover the vessel. Let it cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it rest with the covered lid for 5 minutes.
  2. In a fine sieve, drain the can of tomatoes and procure the tomato juice equal to 1 cup mixed with water.
  3. For the next step, heat some oil in the skillet and stir fry the garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute.
  4. To this, add the black beans, salt, cumin, and chili powder. Cook for another 30 seconds.
  5. Pour in the tomato juice mixture and bring it to a boil.
  6. Let this mixture boil gently for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. For the next step, add the tomatoes, oregano, cilantro, and cooked rice. Stir for 1 to 2 minutes.

Mexican tomato rice and beans are ready to serve!

Enjoy this protein-packed Mexican rice recipe with salads and salsa. This Mexican rice is slightly different from the above-mentioned recipes as it is not fried rice but boiled rice. Cook it for lunch or dinner, this Mexican rice recipe is the best one.

  • Arroz Con Pollo

Mexican Rice
Images by catceeq from Pixabay

There are different versions of Arroz Con Pollo in many different cultures. Arroz Con Pollo is a very easy Mexican rice recipe and is a one-pot meal. This is an authentic Mexican rice recipe that can be changed and adapted to your taste.

List of Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 1/2-to-4-pound chicken, cut in small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce

How to prepare Arroz Con Pollo

  1. Combine salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, garlic powder, and cumin to make a spice mix.
  2. Coat the uncooked chicken completely with this spice mix.
  3. Heat the oil in a skillet and brown the chicken, taking 6 minutes for each side. Keep it aside on a plate.
  4. To the same skillet, add onions, green and red peppers. To this, add half a teaspoon of salt and cook the vegetables on medium heat.
  5. Add rice and garlic to the vegetables and cook until the rice turns golden.
  6. Make a mix of tomato sauce and chicken stock. Add this mix and 1 cup of water to the skillet.
  7. Add the chicken to rice and bring it to a boil. Cover and let it simmer.
  8. It would take about 35 minutes for cooking rice and chicken.
  9. Serve after another ten minutes of resting.

Arroz Con Pollo is a very healthy and nutritious Mexican rice with chicken and vegetables. If you want to make a vegetarian recipe, substitute chicken broth with vegetable broth and add more vegetables like peas and carrots. Taste-wise this Mexican rice is super yum.

  • Arroz Con Leche or Mexican Rice Pudding

How about some Mexican rice dessert? It is a rich and creamy dessert made with Mexican rice. It is the easiest, best Mexican rice recipe by far.

List of Ingredients 

  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup rice (short or medium grain)
  • 2 stick cinnamon sticks
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweeten condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup soaked raisins
  • Ground cinnamon and butter

How to make Arroz Con Leche –

  1. Boil the milk and water in a pot on medium-high heat.
  2. Add the uncooked rice, cinnamon sticks. Let it simmer, uncovered for 20-30 minutes until rice softens.
  3. Pick the cinnamon sticks out when the rice is done.
  4. Add raisins, condensed milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Keep stirring.
  5. Turn the heat to simmer and let the pudding cook for 10-15 minutes more. Stir occasionally for a creamy consistency.
  6. Serve Mexican rice pudding with sprinkled cinnamon and butter on top.

People with a sweet tooth will enjoy this easy-to-make dessert. Arroz Con Leche is a very rich dessert and it melts in the mouth. Mexican rice pudding does not use long-grain white rice as it would not bring out the smooth texture. If you love sweets, this Mexican rice recipe is for you.

Mexican rice is mainly served with or in Mexican food such as tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and taquitos. Mexican rice is a healthy and low-fat dish that can be eaten for lunch and dinner. Mexican rice is also a big hit for Taco Tuesday and other hosting affairs.

You will find much ready-to-eat Mexican rice and other Mexican food on the Mexican food aisle in a grocery store such as chicken fajitas and tacos. However, it takes much less effort to make authentic Mexican rice in less time.

Follow the Mexican rice recipes and experiment. Put everything in the rice cooker and forget about it. It is hassle-free and gives the same delicious Mexican rice.

If you are a Mexican food enthusiast, do try out these easy-to-make Mexican rice recipes.

And let us know about your experience in the comment down below! Bon Appetit!

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