Mexican Rice Recipe

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This Mexican Rice Recipe is deeply savory with a hint of spice and an insane amount of flavor! Good news: it couldn’t be easier to make! We throw everything (uncooked rice included) into a casserole dish and bake to fluffy rice perfection.

This Mexican Rice pairs incredibly well with so many recipes — it’s a great side dish to your favorite Mexican meals or the perfect addition to burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, stuffed peppers, and more!

Overhead image of Mexican Rice

A Great All-Purpose Mexican Rice Recipe

This rice is going to be a new staple recipe in your home! It’s the perfect accompaniment to all your favorite Mexican dishes. Since creating this recipe, we’ve had a container of this rice near constantly in the fridge (and portioned out packets in the freezer in case we run out!).

I am constantly scooping out this rice to serve on the side or throw it in a main course like a burrito or taco (more info on this below!).

Since we use this rice so often, it’s important to me that it be quick and easy to prepare with minimal hands-on time. This recipe certainly checks all the boxes. Look at the quick overview below for how simple this recipe is to prepare!

QUICK TIP

This is not an authentic Mexican Rice recipe — in fact, we’re baking rice which isn’t traditional in any way — we’re going for ease here! That said, this recipe is inspired by Mexican flavors and the seasoned rice we enjoyed while traveling through Mexico earlier this year!

Process shots-- images of the rice, tomatoes, tomato paste, seasonings, green chiles, chicken stock, butter, and cilantro

How To Make Mexican Rice 

The full written recipe is included on the recipe card below, but here is a quick overview of preparing this Easy Mexican Rice recipe:

  • Generously grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. We recommend ceramic or glass — metal can sometimes react with the tomatoes and spices, delivering a slightly metallic flavor to the rice. (This is our favorite baking dish ever!)
  • Dump everything in. That’s right — add everything to the greased dish: the rice, tomatoes, seasonings, green chiles, butter, and chicken stock.
  • Cover and bake! The bake time is long on this dish, but it’s all hands-off. Don’t try to rush the process; you may end up with unevenly cooked or mushy rice.
  • Rest. Once the rice is baked, it needs a rest period. Just like cooking rice in a pot on the stovetop, it needs time to stand and steam, which keeps it from getting mushy. This recipe is no different; allow time for the Mexican Rice to rest and become fully tender.

Images of the Mexican Rice while baking and while resting.

How To Serve This Mexican Rice 

  • Serve with protein: Our favorite thing to serve with this rice is a hot seasoned rotisserie chicken or grilled chicken right off the grill — so good! Vegetarian option: black or pinto beans and frozen corn. If you have leftover chicken that isn’t hot, throw it on top of the rice right out of the oven, cover the entire pan with foil, and this will give the chicken the opportunity to heat through while the rice is resting. (Same applies to black beans and corn! Any of your favorite Mexican proteins should pair nicely with this rice– especially when it’s served with this rice and you drizzle loads of this cilantro-lime sauce on top and a warmed tortilla for scooping!)
  • Alongside a favorite: Serve in or on the side of your favorite enchiladas, burritos, tacos, fajitas, taquitos, etc.!
  • Add to stuffed peppers or serve alongside these unstuffed peppers.

Overhead view of Mexican Rice on a plate, with lemon wedges and cilantro.

Serving Suggestions, Continued

  • In a burrito. This is my favorite quick recipe with this rice. I quickly cook some unbaked tortillas by TortillaLand® (We love these tortillas — not sponsored.) I toss the cooked Mexican Rice with 1 cup frozen corn and 1 can drained and rinsed black beans and then add this filling to the tortillas. Next, I add in some warm rotisserie chicken and a handful of cheese. Finally, I roll everything up tightly, spray the entire burrito with cooking spray and brown it on all sides in a dry skillet. We serve these burritos with lots of guacamole, sour cream, and salsa.
  • In a taco: Similar to the burrito recipe above, I cook some unbaked tortillas by TortillaLand®. I toss the cooked Mexican Rice with 1 cup frozen corn and 1 can drained and rinsed black beans then add this filling to the tortillas. I add in some warm rotisserie chicken and a handful of cheese, which melts quickly from the residual heat of the rice and chicken. Then I add in loads of guacamole and sour cream and serve it up.
  • Make a burrito bowl/salad: Serve as the base and layer in chicken/beef/pork/shrimp bowls or salad. Add in cheese, lettuce, and your favorite toppings, finishing off with sour cream and guacamole or avocado. Bonus points for drizzling on this amazing Cafe Rio Dressing!

Mexican Rice being scooped with a wooden spoon

STORAGE

Storing Mexican Rice

Another thing we love about this Mexican Rice Recipe is how much it makes. Leftovers store nicely in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days. Let rice cool completely then transfer to an airtight container. Reheat gently in the microwave or on the stovetop, adding a dash of water or leftover chicken stock.

Leftovers freeze great! We like to portion leftovers, 2 cups at a time, into individual freezer bags. Let rice cool completely before adding it to the labeled bags. Freeze for up to 3 months, thawing bags of rice overnight in the fridge. Transfer rice to a microwave-safe bowl (or small saucepan) and drizzle in 1-2 tablespoons of water. Cover bowl or pan and heat in 30-second bursts until warmed through (or place sauce pan over low heat until warmed through).

More Mexican-Inspired Favorites: 

QUICK TIP

Be sure to use Basmati Rice. This is non-negotiable in this recipe; we haven’t found another variety of rice that works properly with this baking method.

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Mexican Rice Recipe

5 from 2 votes
This Mexican Rice recipe is deeply savory with a hint of spice and an insane amount of flavor! Good news: it couldn't be easier to make! We throw everything (uncooked rice included) into a casserole dish and bake to fluffy rice perfection.
This rice does have some heat, but you can make it milder by omitting the chilis and reducing the chili powder!
Print Recipe

Mexican Rice Recipe

5 from 2 votes
This Mexican Rice recipe is deeply savory with a hint of spice and an insane amount of flavor! Good news: it couldn't be easier to make! We throw everything (uncooked rice included) into a casserole dish and bake to fluffy rice perfection.
This rice does have some heat, but you can make it milder by omitting the chilis and reducing the chili powder!
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Healthy, Mexican, Vegetarian
Keyword Mexican Rice, Mexican Rice Recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8 as a side
Calories 129kcal
Cost $4.13

Equipment

  • 9x13-inch baking dish

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups uncooked basmati rice (Note 1)
  • 2 cups chicken stock/broth (Note 2)
  • 1 tablespoon (20g) tomato paste
  • 1 can (14 oz; 411g) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 tablespoons (60g) mild chopped fire-roasted green chiles, well drained
  • 2 teaspoons ground chili powder (Note 3)
  • 1 teaspoon each: ground cumin, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Fine sea salt & pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Optional: fresh cilantro, fresh lime
  • Make this rice a main course -- See Note 4

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Very generously spray a glass, ceramic, or glass (not metal) 9x13-inch pan. Cut butter into 6 thin slices and set aside.
  • BAKE: Add all of the ingredients except the butter into the pan. Season to taste with salt & pepper (I add 1-1/4 tsp fine sea salt & 1/2 tsp pepper). If desired, add a few full sprigs of cilantro on top. Stir with a wooden spoon until ingredients are well incorporated (make sure the tomato paste is integrated). Add cut pieces of butter evenly on top of the dish. Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Then, remove the foil (save foil -- just set aside for now) and bake for 15 more minutes.
  • REST: Remove from the oven. Don't stir the rice even though it looks like it didn't work out! Top with the foil again and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. This is very important to avoid mushy rice! Remove the cilantro sprigs and discard.
  • ENJOY: After 10 minutes, add some freshly chopped cilantro and fresh lime juice. (If adding, add to taste; we add about 1/3 cup cilantro and 1-2 tablespoons lime juice.) Gently mix everything together and lightly fluff rice with a fork. Taste for seasonings, adding extra salt/pepper if needed.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Rice: We tested this recipe with all different kinds of rice and the only one we found success with is basmati rice. Other varieties of rice gave very inconsistent results -- ranging from very mushy to unevenly cooked (some hard grains/some mushy).
Note 2: Chicken stock: The stock is very important to flavor -- use a full-bodied (not low sodium) stock. We love Swanson® stock best.
Note 3: Chili powder: Be sure to use chili powder — not to be confused with chilli powder which is very hot. We’re using American chili powder (I use McCormick which is very mild).
Note 4: Make into a main course: This rice is a great side dish, but if you'd like to make it into a main course, browse through the ideas in the blog post (there are a lot!). We love adding a can of drained and rinsed black beans and 1 cup frozen corn into the rice then loading it into a tortilla to create tacos/burritos/quesadillas-- with cheese sprinkled on top. Then serve with sour cream, salsa, and guacamole!

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 14.4g | Protein: 2.5g | Fat: 6.6g | Cholesterol: 17.1mg | Sodium: 176.5mg | Fiber: 0.8g | Sugar: 2.1g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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