Authentic Homemade Mexican Rice

This Authentic Homemade Mexican Rice recipe is easy to make. It’s made with simple ingredients, and way better than storebought or anything from a package. It’s the perfect side dish for your favorite Mexican foods. Authentic Homemade Mexican Rice is a staple side dish of just about every Mexican meal. It also accompanies just about every main dish that you order from restaurants.

In only 40 minutes, this rice is perfect and ready to serve with Mexican and Tex-Mex favorites. Put it alongside Chicken Enchiladas, Chile Rellenos, Guisado de Res, and Carne Asada.

Authentic Homemade Mexican Rice is that perfect side dish you’ll want to make again and again. I’m sure it will turn into your new go-to recipe.

This flavorful dish is a beautiful blend of rice, tomatoes, aromatic spices, and sometimes even vegetables. It’s also often referred to as “Arroz Rojo” or “Spanish Rice”. This Mexican rice recipe will most definitely elevate your any Meal plan.

Historical Roots of Homemade Mexican Rice

Before we dive into preparing authentic Mexican rice, let’s appreciate the historical context that makes this dish unique. Mexican rice, or “arroz Mexicana,” originated in the Spanish colonization of Mexico in the 16th century. During this time, Spanish settlers introduced rice to the indigenous population. They, in turn, adapted it into their culinary traditions.

Regional Diversity

One of the fascinating aspects of Mexican cuisine is its regional diversity. Different regions across Mexico offer their unique twists on this classic dish. As a result, we see more of the country’s culinary versatility.

Seasoning your rice with cumin, results in a smoky but mildly spicy flavor. This also pairs wonderfully with grilled meats, such as carne asada.

Cooking Homemade Mexican Rice: The Essential Techniques

Now that we’ve explored the historical and regional facets of Mexican rice, let’s uncover the key techniques for creating this flavorful dish in your own kitchen. Follow these steps to achieve authentic Mexican rice perfection:

Toast the Rice to Golden Perfection: Start by toasting the rice in a hot, dry pan until it turns a rich golden brown. This step enhances the nutty flavor of the grains. Sauté the Aromatics: In the same pan, sauté onions and garlic until they become translucent, infusing the rice with their savory essence.
Incorporate the Tomatoes: We’ll do this with tomato sauce. This forms the deep color and the flavorful base of the dish.


Add Stock and Seasonings: Pour in chicken or vegetable stock and seasonings such as cumin and bouillon. These ingredients are the secret to achieving that unmistakable Mexican rice taste.
Simmer and Fluff: Reduce the heat, cover the pan, and let the rice simmer until tender.
After 30 minutes, fluff it with a fork to create a light, fluffy texture that’s perfect for serving.

Ingredients for Homemade Mexican Rice

  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 4 cups broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons tomato or chicken bouillon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
  • Lime wedges, for serving (optional)
homemade mexican rice served in a bright orange casserole dish


  • First: Toast the rice.
  • Then, in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet or pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
  • Now, add the rice to the hot oil and stir continuously until the rice turns golden brown. This toasting step is essential for achieving the desired flavor and texture.
  • Add the chopped onions and minced garlic to the toasted rice.
  • Sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the onions become translucent and aromatic.
  • Pour in the tomato sauce, puree or crushed tomatoes, stirring to combine with the rice and onions.
  • Sprinkle in the cumin, salt, chicken bouillon,
  • Continue to stir and cook for about 5 minutes until the tomato mixture thickens.

Now add the Broth:

  • Carefully pour in the broth. (chicken, beef, or vegetable broth) Of course, it’s ok to use water too.
  • Stir to ensure even distribution of the tomato and spices.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot.
  • Simmer for about 25-30 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.
  • Fluff and Serve the Homemade Mexican Rice
  • Once the rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork to separate the grains. Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired. You can also serve it with lime wedges for a zesty touch.


Whether served alongside tacos, Chicken Fajitas or Charro Beans or as a stand-alone treat, your Authentic Homemade Mexican Rice is sure to delight friends and family. Mexican rice stands out as a staple side dish because it complements a wide range of main courses.

So, put on your apron, embrace the spices, and savor the magic of Mexico in your own kitchen.

Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you think!

Happy cooking and bon appétit!

Mexican rice served in a bright orange casserole dish

Authentic Homemade Mexican Rice

This Authentic Homemade Mexican Rice is the perfect side dish to all of your favorite Mexican recipes. Use chicken stock in place of water for even more savory flavor.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6


  • 1 skillet


  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 2 cup long grain white rice
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth or water (optional)
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon tomato or chicken bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin


  • Heat oil on medium high heat.
  • Add the rice, onions and garlic. Saute until the rice has an opaque color and is fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the broth, salt, tomato sauce, bouillon. Mix well to incorporate evenly.
  • Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until rice is ready, about 25-30 minutes.
  • Fluff with a fork and serve immediately.


Calories: 275kcal
Carbohydrates: 41g
Protein: 4g
Fat: 10g
Sodium: 394mg
Potassium: 164mg
Fiber: 1g
Sugar: 2g
Vitamin A: 1865IU
Vitamin C: 8mg
Calcium: 23mg
Iron: 0.7mg
Keyword authentic homemade mexican rice

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