Mexican Rice Recipes

Learn how to make one of the most popular Mexican side dishes

Rice is a staple in Mexico and a popular side dish when served with beans. Although unseasoned white rice often seems to be the go-to partner for heavily seasoned beans, there are ways to prepare and season the rice, too, so it becomes much more than just an accompaniment.

Try to pair the rice recipe with a main dish. If you're serving chicken or pork, our easy Mexican rice is perfect. And if your dietary needs or those of your guests require avoidance of animal products, try our vegan Mexican rice. Start with these recipes, and mix and match to create your own tasty and healthy dish.

  • 01 of 03

    Easy Mexican Rice

    Mexican Rice (Spanish Rice)

     The Spruce Eats

    This is the perfect basic rice recipe for beginners. It is flavored with chicken broth, tomato puree, and garlic. Once you've learned what's needed, you can start trying your own combinations, like adding other vegetables. This recipe is very versatile and follows the basic two parts of liquid per one part of rice.

    The rice is ready in 30 minutes, and you don't have to break a sweat. In many Hispanic cuisines, cooks sauté their rice with onions and garlic before adding the liquid. Once it's golden brown, you can add water or broth. The hot rice absorbs the water quickly and becomes fluffier and looser once it's fully cooked.

    Use this flavorful rice with pollo verde (green chicken).

  • 02 of 03

    Arroz con Pollo

    Arroz con Pollo

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Estrada

    Many different cultures in Latin America have a version of arroz con pollo. Some use shredded chicken that's been poached separately, others cook the chicken in the rice in whole pieces, and others simply grill the chicken pieces and place them on top of flavored rice. But they all have the same name, and arroz con pollo, no matter where you are, is a dish to try.

    Mexican arroz con pollo takes many forms, but this basic recipe will give you an idea. A one-pot meal, this rice is rich, thanks to the pork lard and chicken meat, and colorful because of the tomato puree. Add carrots and peas, celery, or peppers, but avoid vegetables that, when cooked, become too soft, like zucchinis. The beauty of this rice is its texture, and soggy vegetables won't do it any good.

    Serve it with avocado slices and lime wedges, and garnish the rice with fresh cilantro, onion, or diced chilies.

    Finish off the meal with Mexican rice pudding.

  • 03 of 03

    Vegan Mexican Rice

    Vegan Mexican Rice

    J. Hackett

    Vegetarians and vegans will enjoy this vegan Mexican rice recipe. This is a simple rice dish that is ready in 45 minutes. Garlic and onions are lightly sautéed, then combined with spices including ginger and coriander, then the rice is tossed in for a wonderful, savory flavor. Chopped tomatoes, either fresh or canned, and vegetable broth are added, and the dish is slowly simmered on the stovetop until the liquid is gone. 

    Add additional vegetables if you'd like, including bell peppers, chiles, peas, or carrots. Garnish the rice with some fresh chopped cilantro for a finishing touch.

    Serve this rice with vegetarian bean and rice burritos or vegetarian portabella mushroom enchiladas.