Basic But Still Perfect Mexican Rice Recipe

Here is the perfect Mexican rice recipe, which while basic, tastes as good as in a restaurant and does not have too much tomato, like many recipes.

mexican rice recipe
My husband and I love to eat at Mexican restaurants, and for years we tried to figure out how to make Mexican rice that tasted like it came from a restaurant in our own home, for our taco and fajita nights.

Unfortunately, all the recipes we could find, even on the Internet, basically interchanged Spanish rice and Mexican rice, and basically glopped a bunch of tomato sauce over the rice which in our opinion is not tasty, and definitely not what the rice in the restaurant tastes or looks like.

My husband finally hit upon this recipe, tweaked and refined it, and now that it has been perfected he is sharing with us.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups medium grain rice*
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 finely chopped red, orange or yellow pepper (optional)
  • 2 cups frozen or fresh vegetables, chopped, such as corn, peas, green beans, carrots, lima beans or whatever else you prefer**
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 ounces tomato sauce

* It really does need to be medium grain rice for this dish to work right.

** Choosing which vegetables you want is one way to spice up and add some changes to this basic mexican rice recipe. We generally change the vegetable mix a bit each time, just using what we have around.


mexican rice recipe
Place the chicken broth in a pot to bring to a boil on the stove. While the chicken broth is heating do the tasks below. You want the chicken broth to be done by the time the rice has toasted, so there is no waiting period between the steps.

Heat the vegetable oil in a separate large sauce pan you can later cover. Once the oil is hot place your rice, uncooked, into the pan and stir continuously to toast the rice.

After about four minutes you add the chopped onions and let those cook while the rice is continuing to toast for approximately four more minutes.

You can see a picture of this step above, on the right.

Around this time when the rice is finished toasting your chicken broth should also be at a boil. Add the salt and tomato sauce to the broth and stir to mix.

Reduce the heat on the rice to a simmer and add the vegetables. We generally add frozen ones and my husband just throws them in there frozen, without even bothering to thaw them out.

mexican rice recipe
Next, add the chicken broth and tomato sauce mixture to the rice and vegetables and stir to combine. Then, quickly, before you lose too much heat cover the pot and let it sit on simmer for approximately 20 minutes. The heat should be barely on at this point.

Right before you cover the pot you can see what it should look like at this stage, on the left.

During those 20 minutes is when the rice cooks, and during this period do not stir or touch your rice. Just leave it alone.

After the allotted time you will know when your basic Mexican rice recipe is done because all the liquid will be absorbed into the rice.

Turn off the heat and move the rice around to make sure all the parts of the rice get cool and dry out a bit. Let it sit for an additional 8-10 minutes, and then serve hot.

I hope you and your family enjoy this perfect Mexican rice recipe as much as we do!

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