Homemade Mexican Red Rice

Fluff Mexican Red Rice with fork
Fluff Mexican Red Rice with fork | Source

This is so basic. You have the Mexican entree, such as, burritos, tacos, or enchiladas and homemade Mexican red rice. This is all about the red rice or arroz rojo; one part of which goes with "rice and beans", as prepared by my husband's family.

Leer esto en espanola?

Sometimes feeling lazy, I want to skip either the beans or the Mexican rice, husband Ed, always objects. In his thinking it is one side dish; rice and beans.

Ed's sisters can make three or more cups of red rice at one time. These directions are for one cup of rice. This is my routine homemade Mexican rice recipe and it has not received any complaints.

Add this authentic Mexican rice recipe to your Mexican food routine.

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 23 min
Ready in: 38 min
Yields: 6 half cup servings
long grain white rice
long grain white rice | Source


  • Long grain white rice
  • Onion
  • Cilantro or Parsly
  • Garlic powder or minced garlic
  • Cooking oil and/or butter
  • Lemon

In a pinch, because of time restraints, the recipe may only have the Knorr tomato, chicken bouillon and garlic powder. Knorr includes monosodium glutamate. There is a version for leaving the Knorr out, below.

Browning is secret to Mexican rice
Browning is secret to Mexican rice | Source

Red Rice Instructions

  1. Add to medium pan over high heat one cup long grain white rice and half teaspoon each butter and cooking oil.
  2. Stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, watch while the rice browns and turns opaque. This will add extra flavor.
  3. Add two cups water or chicken stock and bring to boil.

Add Seasonings to Your Mexican Rice Side Dish

While water boils to a medium simmer:

  1. Add about two tablespoons diced onion
  2. Add about two teaspoons parsley
  3. One and 1/2 teaspoons of tomato bouillon.
  4. A sprinkle of garlic powder or small clove minced garlic.
  5. A few drops of lemon.

Optional: One teaspoon asafran.

For the vegan version use one of the many non-hydrogenated oils like sunflower, avocado or grapeseed with one crushed ripe tomato.

For more Mexican flavor use a 1/4 teaspoon lard instead of butter. It's healthier than butter? Why lard’s healthier than you think.

The moment you get a boil, and can see a few grains of rice dancing up, turn heat to simmer and cover tightly. No peeking at this point.

Cook as you would white rice. My stove allows for 23 minutes.

When the buzzer rings remove from heat and toss with a two prong cooking fork so the rice gets fluffy in the raising steam.

If the water is not absorbed leave on heat remove lid, toss rice with fork and gently let it dry for a moment.

Cast your vote for Mexican Red Rice

Make Mexican Rice Using One Tomato

Some cooks will not want to use the Knorr seasoning. If you have a big ripe tomato try this for added flavor. Here is how.

Finely chop the tomato and put it, and the juices, into the rice during the browning session. The tomato should add a little more red color to the rice and a richer tomato flavor. In fact, as I am retired now, adding the tomato and using the Knorr as the salt is the routine.

As you see browning on the bottom of the pan use a few tablespoons of water or broth to scrap up bits for more flavor.

Once the tomato juices have cooked off add the 2 cups water, then follow the directions above.

rice and beans
rice and beans | Source

Serve The Mexican Meal

If you want an easy refried bean recipe to go-with, my recipe has cut all the steps to the bare minimum: How To Make Refried Pinto Beans.

The night I took the pictures for this page I made a tortilla chicken casserole.

Dinner was perfect and there was enough to eat the next night. Hurray!

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 cup
Calories 330
Calories from Fat81
% Daily Value *
Fat 9 g14%
Carbohydrates 9 g3%
Sugar 0 g
Protein 5 g10%
Sodium 455 mg19%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Red Rice Tips Dos and Don'ts

Here are a few tips so you do not have to reinvent the whole cooking process.

  • Add a 1/4 cup of frozen mixed vegetables when adding water.
  • Do Not use too much oil. It just weights the rice down and will not fluff.
  • I have Not been able to get fluffy rice with tomato sauce.
  • Polished rice will not make good fluffy rice.
  • It is Not called Spanish rice anymore.
  • If you find that you prefer lard, keep the block in the refrigerator and buy a new one after the date has past a few months. Lard has less saturated fat than butter. It is good in the refried beans, as well.

Tacos, Rice, and Beans

Mexican rice and beans
Mexican rice and beans | Source

More Mexican Red Rice Recipes

Sometimes one recipe is just not enough. Different cooking styles and taste preferences require a different recipe. Here are other Mexican rice recipes to ensure you get the fluffy, flavorful and perfect rice you want with your next Mexican food entree.

Do you make Mexican rice?

  • Yes.
  • No.
  • No, but I am going to try.
See results without voting

© 2009 Sherry Venegas

Cooking Mexican Is Tasty—Always Include Mexican Rice and Beans 12 comments

ecogranny profile image

ecogranny 2 years ago from San Francisco

We like the combination of rice and beans too, but I had no idea traditional rice was not vegetarian. I always ask, when dining out, whether the beans are made with lard. Now I know to ask whether the rice is made with chicken broth. Thank you for sharing your recipe. It looks just like the rice and beans in our favorite Mexican restaurant, and now I'm hungry!

kevkev227 lm profile image

kevkev227 lm 4 years ago

This looks sooo good...we make Mexican food a lot at home, but we haven't been good about making the side dishes...maybe time to give it a try :)

intermarks profile image

intermarks 4 years ago

At first from the name itself, Mexican Red Rice, it gives me the impression that it should be spicy, so, it is spicy? I do love spicy food, so can the tomato be substitute with chili?

CCGAL profile image

CCGAL 5 years ago

I do a Tex-Mex version of the red rice - I learned it off of a TV cooking show called Two Hot Tamales. It's almost exactly the same as yours, the only difference is I use a can of Ro-Tel tomatoes. I drain the tomatoes, and add enough water to get to the 2 cups per cup of rice ratio, and toss it all in the pot. My family prefers it made with brown rice, so when I do that I need a bit more water, and it comes out nuttier, but delicious. We love Mexican food and Tex-Mex here, so we eat a lot of it.

ecogranny profile image

ecogranny 5 years ago from San Francisco

We love Mexican rice and beans at our house and serve them up in homemade whole wheat tortillas, along with homemade pico de gallo and a nice salad. We have a lot of fun making the tortillas together.

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    Sherry Venegas (paperfacets)171 Followers
    119 Articles

    Ms. Venegas experiments with Mexican foods under the watchful critiques of her husband. The recipes need to pass "when I was a kid" test.

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