This Easy Mexican Rice Recipe is perfect for your next fiesta! It’s tender and flavorful, takes just a few simple ingredients and it’s ready in about 30 minutes. It’s so easy and delicious that you’ll never order it out again!

Easy Mexican rice in white serving bowl

Rice takes me back to my childhood because we ate it several times a week. My grandmother’s rice pilaf has been a family favorite for years, and coconut rice is a dish that I also love making often.

When it comes to Mexican food, however, I have to have Mexican rice. I’ve worked hard to create a recipe that rivals the rice at my favorite Mexican restaurants, and this is it.

My boys devour it when I serve it alongside tacos or enchiladas, and this rice is every bit as good as cilantro lime rice when it’s served up burrito bowl style.

I actually prefer it!

Easy Mexican rice in a serving bowl topped with cilantro sprig

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Mexican rice is tender, flavorful and perfect every time!
  • There’s no need to rinse the rice or soak it! Toasting the rice in oil prevents it from becoming sticky.
  • It’s an easy, gluten-free side dish, base for burrito and taco bowls, or filling for burritos.

Recipe ingredients

There are just a few basic ingredients included in this easy Mexican rice, all of which you probably have in your pantry.

Mexican rice recipe ingredients

Ingredient notes

  • Rice. Long grain white rice is traditionally used for this recipe. Brown rice may be used if you prefer it, but you’ll need to adjust the amount of liquid according to package instructions.
  • Oil. Use whatever type of oil that you have on hand. The oil is crucial in this recipe to keep the rice from becoming sticky.
  • Garlic. If you don’t have fresh garlic, use 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.
  • Cumin. Ground cumin adds color and a delicious warm, spicy favor.
  • Tomato paste. Many Mexican rice recipes include tomato sauce, but I prefer tomato paste for its deep umami flavor.

How to make Mexican rice

This easy Mexican rice recipe comes out perfectly every time following these simple instructions!

Pro tip:  Do not lift the lid to check on the rice during the cook time as this releases the steam and causes the temperature to drop.

See the recipe card below for full instructions.

How to make mexican rice collage
  1. Cook the rice in oil over medium heat until golden, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and cumin and cook 30 seconds, then add the tomato paste, water and salt.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook covered for 20 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed.
  4. Remove the heat and fluffy the rice with a fork, then cover and let stand minutes longer.
Easy Mexican rice in a saucepan

FAQs

What is Mexican rice?

Mexican rice is a rice dish that originated in Mexico. It often includes onion and garlic, along with cumin and tomato sauce or paste, which gives the rice its traditional orange color.

Do I need to rinse my rice?

I’ve never rinsed the rice for this recipe. Toasting the rice in oil prevents it from becoming sticky or gummy.

What main dish goes with Mexican rice?

This easy Mexican rice is extremely versatile, and may be served alongside tacos and enchiladas, or can be used as a base for burrito and taco bowls. It’s also a great filling for burritos!

Serving suggestions

This easy Mexican rice recipe can be served up a variety of different ways.

Recipe tips

  • Pro tip:  Do not lift the lid to check on the rice during the cook time as this releases the steam and causes the temperature to drop.
  • I’ve never rinsed the rice for this recipe. Toasting the rice in oil prevents it from becoming sticky or gummy.
  • Use chicken or vegetable stock in place of the water for added flavor.
  • Store rice in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Spoon dug into bowl of Mexican rice

More Mexican recipes you’ll love:

Did you try this recipe?

If so, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below, and don’t forget to tag @flavorthemoments on Facebook and Instagram!

Easy Mexican rice in white serving bowl

Easy Mexican Rice Recipe

This Easy Mexican Rice Recipe is guaranteed to be a family favorite! It's tender, flavorful and perfect served in burrito bowls or alongside tacos, enchiladas and more!
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Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons avocado oil or sub with your favorite oil
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 clove garlic minced (omit for Low FODMAP option)
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
  • cilantro, for garnish optional

Instructions 

  • Heat the oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring often until light golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin and cook for 30 seconds more.
    4 tablespoons avocado oil, 1 cup long grain white rice, 3 teaspoons ground cumin, 1 clove garlic
  • Add the water, tomato paste and salt to the pan and stir well to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed.
    2 cups water, 1/4 cup tomato paste, 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • When the rice is done, remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes to steam. Garnish with cilantro, if desired, and enjoy!
    cilantro, for garnish

Notes

  • Pro tip:  Do not lift the lid to check on the rice during the cook time as this releases the steam and causes the temperature to drop.
  • I’ve never rinsed the rice for this recipe. Toasting the rice in oil prevents it from becoming sticky or gummy.
  • Use chicken or vegetable stock in place of the water for added flavor.
  • Store rice in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup, Calories: 208kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Sodium: 481mg, Potassium: 166mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 179IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 25mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Did you try this recipe?Be sure to tag @flavorthemoments with the hashtag #flavorthemoments on Instagram so I can see what you made!

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