Spicy Mexican Rice

Spìcy red rice
Red rice with plenty of onion and chile pepper - Spicy Mexican Rice ElisaGH / Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Rest Time: 20 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings

This rice is not for the meek palate. It packs quite a piquant punch, so it is best paired with foods that are not so spicy, such as plain meats and refried beans or steamed veggies. The bold flavor here makes it especially well-matched with grilled meats and vegetables.

This recipe calls for chicken broth; substitute beef broth if you plan to serve it with a beef main dish.


  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil (infused with hot chiles, if you have it)
  • 1 small white onion (peeled and diced)
  • 2 shallots (peeled and diced)
  • 2 cups of uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (seeded and very finely diced)
  • 2 green onion stalks (chopped, and using the green and white parts, discarding the roots)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (homemade or from a jar/box)
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce (puréed tomatoes, canned or homemade)
  • 1/4 cup hot chile sauce (from a can or bottle, or homemade)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat the oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat and saute the diced onions. When the onions have turned translucent, add the shallots, rice, jalapeno pepper, and green onions. Saute, stirring frequently, until the rice begins to turn golden.

  2. Add the chicken broth, tomato sauce, chile sauce, cumin, and oregano; stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer. Cover the pot and continue to simmer for about 17 minutes, following the cooking instructions on the package of rice.

  3. When rice is cooked, remove from the heat, leaving the lid on. Let sit for 20 minutes.

  4. When ready to serve, fluff your delicious spicy Mexican rice with a fork and dish out with a large spoon.

Recipe Variations

  • Mexican rice is always just a little better with a vegetable or two stirred in when the water is added. Try fresh or frozen chopped vegetables (such as green pepper, carrots, green beans, squash), corn kernels, cooked beans, or diced tomatoes.
  • Fresh herbs make for a fresh-tasting rice. Stir some chopped cilantro or parsley into your rice right before serving.
  • Top your rice with something that is contrasting in texture and flavor, such as some sliced avocado or hard-boiled egg, fried plantain slices, or a good drizzle of pourable cream.
  • Place a few whole, fresh jalapeno peppers in the pot before putting on the lid to simmer; as long as they remain intact, these will be decorative and flavor the rice without adding a lot of spiciness. Serve one whole pepper in each portion of rice that is intended for a true chile lover; the diner can decide whether to consume it or leave it on the plate.

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