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. For a beef dish, try the Mexican rice with roasted tomatoes, cooked in beef broth. 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 04

    Easy Mexican Rice

    Mexican Rice (Spanish Rice)

     The Spruce

    This is the perfect basic rice recipe for beginners. It is flavored with chicken broth, tomato sauce, 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 2 parts of liquid per 1 part of rice.

    The rice is ready in 30 minutes and you don't have to break a sweat. In many Hispanic cuisines, cooks sautee 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 totally cooked.

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

  • 02 of 04

    Spicy Mexican Rice

    Spanish Rice.

    This rice brings a punch of heat! If you're not keen on spicy foods, you can omit the jalapeños, but it wouldn't be the same! Cumin, garlic, oregano, and chile sauce give the rice a bold flavor Mexican flavor that pairs really well with grilled meats like carne asada or basic beans. Adjust the heat with the type of chile sauce you use, but beware, it's hot nonetheless.

    Use vegetable broth to make it completely vegetarian and serve it with steamed vegetables, sliced avocado, tortillas, and one of our Mexican sauces.

  • 03 of 04

    Mexican Garlic-Pea Rice

    mexican rice

    Meal Makeover Moms / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

    In Mexico, white rice is often cooked with vegetables, giving it additional color, texture, and flavor. Although you could substitute vegetable broth in this garlicky rice, the original recipe calls for water. To use brown rice, add 1/2 cup of additional water so it fluffs out and doesn't stick, and simmer for an extra 10 minutes.

    Use carrots, corn, celery, onion, bell pepper, green chiles, or zucchini if you want to make this a veggie rice. Serve with bold-flavored meats like this Mexican shredded beef.

  • 04 of 04

    Arroz con Pollo

    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 dark 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.

    Finish off the meal with Mexican rice pudding.