Easy Mexican Rice

This easy recipe for Mexican rice is so full of flavor and better than any we've had from a Tex-Mex restaurant. Make some to go with your chicken enchiladas or tamale pie, and call it a night! 

The process is simple and the results are unbeatable. We sauté aromatic onion, carrots, and bell peppers until their fragrance is fully infused into the oil, just until they turn golden and barely tender. Rice and tomato paste then get stirred in along with the vegetables until the rice grains become slightly toasty and the tomato paste gets a little caramelized for that extra depth of savory-sweet flavor. Pour in your broth, sprinkle in your spices, then cover and let the low heat simmer the pot until the rice is perfectly cooked—lift the lid after 17 minutes or so and let one of the most amazing steam clouds to grace your nose. 

Cumin and oregano are both staple spices in the Mexican pantry and lend some essential flavor to the final dish. We love to serve the rice with a healthy dose of freshly chopped cilantro, but if you're not a fan of the herb, feel free to substitute in parsley, green onions, or even basil. (We're still partial to the cilantro, but you do you!)

This side dish is addictively delicious enough for us to eat for breakfast (maybe stuffed into a breakfast burrito), lunch (alongside a Mexican corn salad), and dinner (tossed into a bonus layer of this cheesy taco casserole), but if you manage to have any leftovers, they can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for one month. Reheat in the microwave with a splash of water to rehydrate the rice before eating.

Found your new favorite rice dish? Tell us in the comments below, and don't forget to rate it! 

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Yields: 8 servings
Prep Time: 0 hours 15 mins
Total Time: 0 hours 45 mins
3 tbsp.

extra-virgin olive oil


carrots, peeled and diced


small green bell pepper, diced


small onion, chopped


cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 c.

long-grain rice, rinsed and drained

1 tbsp.

tomato paste

2 1/2 c.

low-sodium chicken broth


(14-oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained


(8-oz.) can tomato sauce

3/4 tsp.

ground cumin

1/2 tsp.

dried oregano

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 c.

finely chopped cilantro

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add carrots, bell pepper, onion, and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add rice and tomato paste and cook, stirring, until grains are toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Pour in broth, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce and season with cumin, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. 
  3. Simmer until rice is cooked through and liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 17 minutes. 
  4. Stir in cilantro before serving.

Parker Feierbach
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