Quick and Easy Mexican Rice

Quick and Easy Mexican Rice

The Spruce Eats / Mateja Kobescak

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
153 Calories
4g Fat
26g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 153
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 254mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 7mg 33%
Calcium 22mg 2%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 192mg 4%
*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.)

Mexican rice is an easy and flavorful dish that makes an excellent side to beef, chicken, turkey, pork, or seafood, but it's also a great vegetarian and vegan-friendly main dish. The recipe is adapted from a northern Mexican style of seasoning rice, a wonderful one-pot meal that feeds many at low cost and requires very little preparation, as you'd be using already cooked rice in our recipe. Be mindful that this doesn't represent the only style of rice that is eaten in Mexico, but it's an American adaptation of a way of seasoning rice. In Mexico, rice dishes are plentiful and all different.

During the Spanish invasion and conquest of Mexico, rice and wheat arrived as new ingredients. The dish that originated in Mexico is sometimes called Spanish rice, not because the Spanish eat a rice dish like this one but because they brought rice over from Asia and introduced it to America. In short, Mexican rice is seasoned rice with a tomato base, but seasonings, herbs, and vegetables vary from recipe to recipe and are also adaptable to what you have at hand. Our quick version is a convenient way of seasoning your rice and can be on your table in just 10 minutes.

Serve this recipe with your favorite proteins, or make it vegetarian fare with some beans, avocado, and pico de gallo on the side. Stuff burritos with it, top it with fried eggs, or add cooked vegetables and leftover beef or chicken for a riff on stir-fried rice.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced

  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced

  • 2 cups cooked rice

  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced

  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce

  • 3 teaspoons taco seasoning

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for quick and easy Mexican rice recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Mateja Kobescak

  2. In a saucepan or skillet over medium-low heat, heat the oil and add the scallions. Cook for 1 minute.

    Scallions cooking in a pot

    The Spruce Eats / Mateja Kobescak

  3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

    Garlic and scallions cooking in a pot

    The Spruce Eats / Mateja Kobescak

  4. Stir in rice, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning mix. Heat through. Serve hot.

    Stir rice, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning mix into the scallion mixture in the pot

    The Spruce Eats / Mateja Kobescak

  5. Enioy!

Delicious Additions

This is a great side dish as is, but you can use it as a base to add on anything you'd like:

How to Store

The prepared rice keeps well for two to three days in the fridge. Place in an airtight container when the rice has cooled off and reheat in the microwave when needed. Do not reheat more than once.