Mexican Rice

Mexican rice

Meal Makeover Moms / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
489 Calories
8g Fat
94g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 489
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 25mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 94g 34%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Protein 10g
Calcium 114mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Not just your average plain white rice, this Mexican-style spin boasts big flavor and texture thanks to frozen veggies and a hit of chile. Rice is inexpensive, and easy to find so you can make this dish as often as you like. To make it a main dish, add in 1-2 cups of cooked chicken or turkey.


  • 2 cups white rice (soaked for 20 minutes in warm water)
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 3 cloves garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 1 small onion (peeled and chopped)
  • 1/2 small chile (seeded and finely chopped, optional)
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas (optional)
  • 1/3 cup frozen carrots (chopped, optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Add the rice and water to the pot and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for another 10 minutes. Check rice and simmer for an additional 5 minute if necessary. Set aside.

  3. As a rice cooks, add the cooking oil to a pan and heat on medium-high. Add the garlic, followed by the onion and chile. Cook until fragrant.

  4. If using, add peas and carrots to the pan and cook until soft, stirring occasionally.

  5. Once the vegetables are ready, add the cooked rice to the pan and mix thoroughly to combine. Add salt, adjusting seasoning if more is needed.

Recipe Variations

  • Swap out the water for chicken broth, which provides extra flavor. If using salted broth, cut back on the salt that you add.
  • Increase the heat level by adding more fresh chili or by sprinkling in cayenne pepper or red chili flakes to taste.
  • For a splash of citrus flavor, squeeze fresh limes over the dish before serving.
  • Brown rice version: Swap the white rice for its whole-grain sibling, brown rice. It takes longer to cook and needs more water, so increase the water to 6 cups and allow approximately 45 minutes.
  • One-pan version: Instead of boiling the rice separately, saute the dry grains in 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and onion and saute for 1 to 2 minutes, and then add the water and cook the rice risotto-style, stirring regularly until the liquid is absorbed. Add the chili and vegetables as normal.