Mexican Rice is a perfect compliment to any South-of -the -Border menu items. It’s easy to make and can be as spicy as you like. And it’s made in one skillet for easy clean up.
If you are ever looking for a tasty side dish to go with spicy Mexican food, this is it. I’ve recently made this a couple of times to go along with some delicious tamales.
Now I’m not a tamale maker myself, but have discovered a fabulous frozen tamale made by the Texas Tamale Company. Just place the frozen tamales into a steamer basket and steam for 15 minutes and you’ve got spicy good tamales in minutes. Look for these in your grocer’s frozen food section…they are packaged in a cloth bag containing a dozen tamales.
You can also serve the Mexican rice with tacos, quesadillas, fajitas, carnitas, and along side refried beans. Anytime you need easy, spicy, and delicious.
First off, the rice to use is long grained white rice and I recommend using basmati or jasmine. These cook fast and are less starchy so the grains stay separated and easy to fluff up. They also cook in about 15 minutes.
The remaining ingredients are: canola oil (vegetable oil), minced garlic, diced onion, chicken broth, minced jalapeno pepper, salt, cumin, cilantro, and a 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes. And, it all gets cooked in one skillet.
The garlic, onion and especially the cumin give the Mexican rice it’s great flavors. For the spice, I use one good sized jalapeno pepper. If you like it spicier, you could add another jalapeno or even a bit of cayenne pepper if desired.
Give the dish a taste once it is about done to fine tune the flavor. I added a bit more cumin, (1/2 tsp.), and a pinch more salt. The canned tomatoes I used were “no salt added.”
Step By Step
Start with a good sized, high sided skillet and add the canola oil and onion. Cook on medium low for 3 or 4 minutes for them to become opaque. Add the rice and stir it around and allow for some of the grains to brown. This will take another 5 or 6 minutes.
Next, add the jalapeno and cook for a couple minutes then add the garlic. Stir that in and it will become fragrant in about 30 seconds.
Add the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, salt, and cumin. (Make it vegetarian by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth). Bring that to a slight boil, then turn the heat down to simmer, covered for 15 to 18 minutes. Check the progress every 5 minutes or so to make sure it is simmering and you have enough liquid to cook the rice. Right near the end of cooking I added 2 or 3 tablespoons of water since the broth had nearly evaporated or was absorbed.
Taste the rice and add salt and more cumin if needed. Then remove the skillet from the heat and cover to rest for 10 minutes. After that, you can fluff the rice with a fork, sprinkle with some chopped cilantro and serve.
Extra cilantro and some lime wedges can be served on the side.
Ideas for Leftover Rice
Since this recipe makes enough rice for 4 people, we always have leftovers. So here’s some thoughts on how to use them up. Or, just incorporate this recipe to make the following dishes.
- Add some protein like ground meats or black beans and make a main course meal out of the rice.
- Make burritos by mixing in black beans, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, or cheese. Wrap it in a flour tortilla with a dash more hot sauce.
- Stuffed Bell Peppers. Add some cooked ground beef or chicken and mix in some melty cheese like queso quesadilla or mild cheddar.
- Make some Stuffed Pepper Soup using this recipe from Spend with Pennies as a guide.
- Leftover rice can be refrigerated for 3 or 4 days and reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop by adding a bit more broth or water.
Here’s a few More Recipes with a Mexican Flavor:
- Homemade Enchilada Sauce
- Mexican Jalapeno Taco Sauce
- Easy Black Beans Rancheros
- Southwest Dressing Recipe
Restaurant Style Mexican Rice
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup fine diced onion, (1/2 yellow onion)
- 1 cup long grain white rice like basmati or jasmine, uncooked
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup chicken broth (vegetable broth can be substituted)
- 1 can diced tomatoes, 14.5 ounces size
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and more for serving
- Use a large, high sided skillet on medium low heat and add the vegetable oil and onions. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until they become opaque.
- Add the uncooked rice stirring occasionally until the rice begins to brown and toast, 5 to 7 minutes. Then stir in the jalapeno pepper and cook for 2 more minutes. Next add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, salt and cumin and turn up the heat to get to boiling. Once boiling, turn the heat down to simmer. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook for 15 to 18 minutes until the rice is tender. Check the skillet every 5 minutes to make sure you have a simmer and to make sure there is enough liquid to cook the rice. You may have to add 2 or 3 tablespoons more broth, (or water).
- Taste the rice and add salt or cumin as desired. Remove from the heat and keep covered 10 minutes to rest. Then use a fork to fluff the rice and then add the chopped cilantro and serve right away. Serve with more chopped cilantro and lime wedges if desired.
- Make this vegetarian by using vegetable broth rather than chicken broth.
- Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove in a sauce pan by adding a bit more broth or water.