Authentic Spicy & Tangy Mexican Rice Recipe

by Ishani Bose last updated -

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If you are someone who has been looking for easy weeknight dinner ideas, then wait no longer and look no further as we have the perfect recipe for you. We are talking about the authentic spicy and tangy Mexican rice recipe, which is the perfect dish that can come together easily and quickly in a single pot. All you need to do is add rice, your favorite vegetables (or in some cases the leftover vegetables) and let it simmer in some tangy tomato sauce and chicken broth, along with some spices for that extra kick in the flavor.

What is Mexican Rice?

Also known as Arroz Rojo, Mexican rice is a very popular Tex Mex dish. It is not just a signature Mexican and Southern American dish, but also an important accompaniment to have with other dishes such as burritos, ground meat tacos, and enchiladas. The beauty of this dish is that it can be custom-made to suit your taste buds. Tomatoes are the predominant ingredient in this dish. Some either make the rice with blended tomatoes, or tomato sauce. Others make it with tomato bouillons or with a ready-made Latino flavored blend of tomato, chicken, onion, parsley, and spices, known as Caldo de tomato. Once the rice is properly mixed with the tomato base, add some vegetables of your choice like peas, carrots, corn, and bell peppers and you would be good to go.

A plate of delicious authentic Mexican Rice with black beans, corn, garlic, and cilantro

Mexican rice comes together so easily and quickly in a single pot, which makes for an easy dinner idea. Picture Credit: Shutterstock

How to Make Mexican Rice?

From taquitos to tacos to burritos- Mexican rice pairs well with just about anything. And it is not even that hard to prepare it. The ingredients are quite straightforward –tomato sauce, white rice, garlic, vegetables of your choice, chili powder, or cayenne pepper, and Caldo de Tomate. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind while making Mexican rice.

  • To begin with, fry the rice. A variety of long-grain rice is the ideal choice to make Mexican rice. In a skillet, add a teaspoon of oil or lard and then stir in the rice. Allow it to cook over medium heat but continue to stir it so that it does not burn. The rice must be perfectly toasted. Just when you see it turn a bit golden brown, add in large onion chunks and saute them. This gives the rice a delicious flavor.
  • Once the onions are sauteed and the rice toasted, add the water and tomato sauce. Always ensure that you use twice the amount of water than the rice taken. Also, make sure that you cook the rice in medium heat.
  • Once that is done, add the seasoning and the vegetables. Measure out the chili powder or cayenne pepper and Caldo de Tomate. If you do not have Caldo de Tomato, use tomato and chicken bouillons. Stir them with the rice and do so till the rice is properly seasoned. Bring everything to a boil and let the rice simmer along with the spices for about 5 minutes.
  • Cover the rice with a lid and let it cook on low heat for at least 20 minutes. While it cooks, do not lift the lid. Once all the liquid has evaporated, turn the lid off and let the rice sit for another 10-15 minutes. Thereafter, remove the lid and fluff the rice before serving.

Let us take a look at the detailed recipe below.

A plate of delicious authentic Mexican Rice with black beans, corn, garlic, and cilantro

Delicious Homemade Mexican Rice Recipe

Homemade Mexican rice with authentic tangy and spicy flavors!
1.5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Accompaniment
Cuisine: Mexican, Spanish, Tex-Mex
Keyword: Mexican rice, Tex Mex, Tomatoes, Calde de Tomate
Appliance: Stove
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 5 people
Author: Ishani Bose

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces of warm water
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup of long-grain white rice
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil/vegetable oil/canola oil
  • 4 ounces of can tomatoes
  • 2 tsp Calde de Tomate or tomato bouillon
  • 2.5 cups chopped vegetables and black beans- bell peppers, corn, peas, onions.

Instructions

  • To make Mexican rice, in a pan, heat oil over medium heat. Take a cup of long-grain white rice and fry it, constantly stirring, till it becomes golden. Add onions and saute them well. 
  • Ensure that the heat is low to avoid the spattering of the ingredients. Gently pour in the warm water and the tomato sauce and stir the ingredients well. At this point, add chili powder, minced garlic, and Calde de Tomate and continue to stir the ingredients along with the rice. Add the chopped vegetables and black beans as well and allow them to cook. 
  • Meanwhile, bring the heat back to medium-high and allow everything to boil. Gradually reduce the heat and cover the pan with a lid. Do not remove it while it continues to simmer. Let it simmer for nearly 20 minutes or until all the water is completely absorbed.
  • Once done, remove the lid and let the rice sit for about 10 minutes or so. Thereafter, fluff it up and serve it hot. You can either have it as it is or serve it with tacos, enchiladas or some other delicious Tex Mex dish. In itself, it makes for an easy dinner/supper.
    Bowl of Spicy Mexican Rice With Fresh Lime Against a Black Slate Tile Background

Notes

  • If you do not have Caldo de Tomate, fret not as you can use tomato chicken bouillon as a fine substitution. You could also use chicken stock n leave the bouillon out completely. However, honestly speaking, Caldo de Tomate gives out the most authentic flavor so it will always help to have it at home when you are planning to make Mexican rice. 
  • If you are health conscious, you can use brown rice. However, do not expect it to taste the same. It also requires more water and time to cook. For every 1 cup of brown rice used you will need 2 and 1/2 cups of liquid. So if you substitute, white rice with brown rice, it takes nearly 45 minutes for the rice to become soft and tender.

Do you have your own Mexican rice recipe? Feel free to share it with us. If you have tried our recipe, do share your experience. While we cannot taste it, we would love to hear how it went! So, leave your views, experience, and feedback in the comments section below.

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About the Author

An alumnus of St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, Ishani Bose has worked as a reporter/features writer for several leading newspapers and organizations in India. It was her love for food, health, and wellness that brought her to Organic Facts. As a Content & Culinary Outreach Specialist, she is responsible for developing and managing the website’s recipe section. She is also passionate about mental health and enjoys writing about it for the website to educate more and more people about the same. An avid Instagrammer who knows the latest social media trends, Ishani helps strategize and create authentic content for the website’s social media platforms. When not writing or cooking, you’ll find her reading, traveling, soaking herself in music, arts, and culture in every way possible. Ishani has completed an online program on “Introduction to Food and Health” by Stanford University, US. Furthermore, she has completed an online course on “The Science of Wellbeing” by the Department of Psychology, Yale University.

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