This easy Mexican rice is the best side dish. It is made with a limited number of ingredients and made with one pan. If you are vegan or vegetarian you can definitely make this recipe. So, are you ready to learn how to make easy Mexican rice? Let’s get started!
Mexican Rice Recipe
Let’s talk about rice. One of my favorite side dishes and main dish. It seems the easiest thing to make but nothing is further from the truth.
I found out again when we were on vacation and did not have my trusted rice cooker with me. Just to get the rice perfect in a normal pan is quite a challenge.
Rice that got stuck to the pan or lightly burned. I had to learn how to cook rice again because I’m so used to cook rice in my rice cooker.
How to Cook Rice
There are a number of ways to cook rice without a rice cooker. In all cases, you need to start with washing the rice.
Put it in a strainer and put it under running water until completely clean. This can take quite some time so I usually stop as soon as the water is not white anymore to prefer water.
You can also put warm water on the rice and wash it with your hands. All of the starch on the rice will be released this way.
Method 1 – Steam Cook Rice
After you washed the rice put it in the pan with a large amount of water and bring it to a boil. Boil it for 10 minutes as instructed on the package.
Drain the rice and put it back in the pan. Put the lid on and open it a crack let the steam escape the pan.
Method 2 – Cook the Rice Dry
After you washed the rice put it in the pan and put water on top. Put water on top. To check the right water to rice ratio.
Stick your finger in the pan and the water should cover 1 finger pad. Bring to the boil and stir through.
Reduce the heat to low until all the water is evaporated (about 10-15 minutes).
Method 2 can also be applied to the rice cooker.
Method 3 – No Washing Rice
This method is applied when making Paella or easy Mexican rice. These are one-pan dishes where the rice is cooked straight in the pan and all the other ingredients are added.
The secret to cooking rice in the pan is not to let the pan get too hot.
It is really a feeling that you need to acquire but when you do it results in delicious spicy Mexican rice.
Best Rice to Use for Skillet Cooking
When cooking rice I use a long grain like Basmati, Jasmin, or Pandan rice. I prefer Basmati as it has a nice aromatic flavor and cooks dry beautifully.
Basmati also works great in this easy Mexican rice. It takes in total about 20 minutes to get cooked. The trick is to not drown your rice in a lot of water.
So, the ratio of water to rice should be about 2 to 1 or even 1½ to 1 ratio. If you put the rice into much water, it will not cook dry and it will get very sticky.
Want to see how to make this Mexican rice in one pot from scratch? Watch the recipe video with step-by-step instructions so you can easily follow along and make it yourself.
Easy Mexican Rice Ingredients
What do you need to make easy Mexican rice? It takes in all 10 ingredients that you need to put on your grocery shopping list:
- Basmati rice
- Vegetable oil
- Vegetable stock or water
- Cherry tomatoes
- Sieved tomatoes
- Cayenne pepper
How to Make Mexican Rice
To make this rice recipe start with preheating a skillet or pan with oil to medium-hot. Sauté the onion, garlic until soft.
Then add the vegetable stock, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, spring onion, cayenne pepper, and cumin. That is all.
When you cook Mexican rice do not overheat the pan. I use a nonstick pan to prevent the rice from sticking to the pan too quickly.
First, fry the onion and garlic until they are soft and translucent, before adding the rice. Just as with risotto, the rice has to absorb the oil.
So, stir continuously before adding the sieved tomatoes. Again, stir through before adding the stock and spring onion.
Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Then you can add the tomatoes and let them simmer for about 15 minutes.
Stir again before the rice is totally set.
You can put a lid on the pan but I usually do not use a lid. When done stir through with a fork to loosen the rice grains and you are ready to serve.
This rice is as hot as you want it to be. If you like really spicy rice, you can add a Chili pepper, hot sauce, or more cayenne powder.
Serve Mexican Rice With
You can eat Mexican rice with a number of main dishes like:
- Veggie frenzy stir-fry tacos – some great crunchy tacos with veggies stir fry
- Turkey tacos – easy to make and also done in no time. Great dinner recipe
- Pulled chicken fajitas – This spicy Mexican rice is a great combination with pulled chicken
- Shredded enchilada – another great combination is to eat easy Mexican rice with chicken enchilada
- Mushroom quesadillas – perfect to serve with Mexican rice and super simple to make
- Shrimp fajitas – cooked in a skillet and perfect to serve with this rice recipe
How to store Mexican rice
There are a number of ways for you to store leftover rice. In all cases let the rice cool completely before you do anything further with it.
- Refrigerator – rice stores great in the refrigerator. Put it in an airtight storage container and you can keep it for up to 3 days
- Freezer – if you want to keep it longer you can keep rice in the freezer. Again, put the cooled rice in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months
Can You Make This Rice Ahead of Time?
Yes, you can this spicy rice recipe in advance. If you make it a day in advance and store it in the fridge the flavors will intensify.
I just love those baked pieces of rice but just make sure you heat the rice thoroughly so all the rice is nice and hot.
Why Is My Rice Still Hard?
If your rice is still hard it has not absorbed the water enough and most likely the rice hasn’t cooked long enough.
When you put the rice in the pan, add the water/stock and bring it to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a simmer so the liquid is still bubbling but the rice gets time to cook and absorb the liquid.
Why Is My Rice Mushy?
Your rice gets mushy and sticky when there is too much liquid during the cooking process or your rice hasn’t had enough time to evaporate all the steam.
Your rice should be submerged in water and cook and evaporate the liquid during the cooking process. If the water can’t evaporate it will get inside the rice and it will not dry out as needed.
More Rice Recipes
If you love tasty rice dishes take a look at these easy recipes:
I hope you enjoy this easy rice recipe!
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This Mexican rice is the best and a great side dish with your tacos, burritos, enchiladas or fajitas. On the table in about 20 minutes. Try it!
- 1 cup of Basmati rice
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1½- 2 cups of vegetable stock or water
- ½ onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 scallion finely chopped
- 150 grams of cherry tomatoes
- ½-¾ cup of sieved tomatoes
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp Chili powder (if you like it more spicy you can use 1 tsp Chili powder)
- Heat the pan to medium heat
- Add the vegetable oil to the pan and let it warm through
- Fry the onions and garlic until soft and translucent
- Next the rice. Stir the rice thoroughly so it can absorb the oil and liquids from the onion and garlic
- Now add the sieved tomatoes while stiring the rice
- Add the vegetable stock and bring it slowly to a boil while adding the chili powder and cumin
- Let this boil shortly before adding the spring onions
- Finally add the cherry tomatoes
- Simmer for 15 minutes on medium heat. Stir through after about 5 minutes.
- Stir loose after 15 minutes with a fork
If the water or stock drains to fast (water is gone after less than 5 minutes) the heat is to high turn the heat down to medium. Add some water and stir through. If the rice is not dry after 15 minutes you might have used to much stock or water. Just leave the rice on longer so it can dry. Do not turn the heat up to high as it will only fry the bottom of the rice. The rice needs time to evaporate the excess liquids. You can add a lid on the pan (I hardly use it, only to keep it warm when the remainder of the meal is not ready yet). Rice stores great in the refrigerator in an airtight storage container. First let it cool down completely outside of the refrigerator before you store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Calories: 218; Fat: 7.8g; Carbs: 35.1g; Protein: 4.6g;