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Mexican Rice Recipe

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
Author Chelsea Lords
Cost $4.13


  • 9x13-inch baking dish


  • 1-1/2 cups uncooked basmati rice (Note 1)
  • 2 cups chicken stock/broth (Note 2)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 can (14 oz) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 tablespoons 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


  • 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.



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!


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