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This Mexican Rice is a simple, authentic recipe that makes the perfect side dish! It’s made with fluffy white rice, tomato sauce, garlic, peas, and spices—a quick and easy recipe that’s packed with flavor.

overhead of a bowl of Mexican rice topped with two lime wedges.

Easy Mexican Rice Recipe

There’s nothing better than a tasty rice side dish to go with any entree. That stands true in many different cuisines…Mexican food included!

This homemade Mexican rice is a quick and easy recipe that tastes like you ordered it at your local Mexican restaurant. The rice is so flavorful thanks to the broth, tomato sauce, and seasonings, and the texture is perfect every time.

Whip this rice up in just a few minutes and enjoy!

What is the Difference Between Mexican Rice and Spanish Rice?

Turns out, Mexican rice and Spanish rice are actually pretty different rice dishes!

Spanish rice is yellow in color and flavored with saffron. Mexican rice is orange/red, flavored with tomato sauce and other seasonings, and often includes peas!

a hand touching a bowl of rice topped with lime wedges.

What is Mexican Rice Made Of?

Homemade Mexican rice requires just a few basic ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Rice: You can use long grain white rice or white jasmine rice.
  • Tomato Sauce: Make sure you use un-seasoned tomato sauce. Jarred tomato sauce like marinara is already seasoned for other types of recipes.
  • Broth: You can use veggie broth to keep it vegetarian or use chicken broth if that’s your preference.
  • Garlic: Freshly minced garlic is best.
  • Seasonings: We’re adding some flavor with a simple combination of fine sea salt, ground cumin, and black pepper.
  • Peas: Peas are optional, but do add some color and a delicious, sweet pop of texture.
Mexican rice ingredients in separate containers.

How to Make Mexican Rice

This quick and easy Mexican rice recipe tastes totally authentic, but takes just a few short minutes to make at home!

  • Toast the rice: Rinse the rice in a strainer, then set aside. In a saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add in the rice and cook, stirring often, until golden-brown.
  • Season and boil: To the pot, add garlic, seasonings, tomato sauce, broth, and peas. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, and cook until the liquid is absorbed.
  • Rest, fluff, and serve: Once the rice is cooked fully, take it off the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, adjust the seasonings as needed, then serve.

How Do You Make Mexican Rice Not Stick?

Rinse the rice! Rinsing the rice is key, because it removes the excess starch from the grains. This gives them a little bit more of a bite and keeps the grains separate and fluffy!

a bowl of Mexican rice topped with two lime wedges from above.

Tips and Notes

  • Toast the rice. Toasting the rice for a few minutes before actually cooking it adds a rich flavor depth that’s so worth the extra step.
  • Leave the lid. As the rice cooks, avoid lifting the lid off the pot. Removing it will let the steam release. That steam is necessary for proper cooking.
  • Let it rest. Just 5 minutes of resting time allows the rice to soak up any excess moisture.
  • Fluff, don’t stir. Before serving, use a fork to gently fluff the rice up. Do not stir it. Stirring will make it mushy.

Serving Suggestions

Homemade Mexican rice can be used as a base for a burrito bowl or rice bowl, wrapped up in a burrito, or served as a side dish with any of your favorite Mexican recipes.

Here are a few favorites:

a fork being used to scoop a bite of Mexican rice in a bowl.

How to Store

Leftover Mexican rice will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 4-6 months.

To enjoy again, thaw the rice overnight in the fridge if frozen, then warm on the stove or in the microwave.

More Mexican Inspired Recipes You’ll Love

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overhead of a bowl of Mexican rice topped with two lime wedges.

Mexican Rice

This Mexican Rice is a simple, authentic recipe that makes the perfect side dish! It's made with fluffy white rice, tomato sauce, garlic, peas, and spices—a quick and easy recipe that's packed with flavor.
Servings 4
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice or jasmine rice
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1 cup peas frozen or fresh; optional


  • Rinse the rice in a fine mesh strainer and set aside.
  • In a large saucepan or pot over medium-high heat, add the oil. Once hot, add the rice and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the rice is lightly golden-brown (about 5-8 minutes).
  • Add garlic, salt, cumin, pepper, tomato sauce, broth, and peas (if adding). Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon if needed.
  • Bring the mix to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and cook for about 20 minutes or until the liquid is completely absorbed.
  • Remove from the heat, allow to rest for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Taste and adjust the salt as desired.


Serving: 1gCalories: 222kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 7gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 1021mgPotassium: 350mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 547IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 38mgIron: 2mg
Course: Side
Method: Stovetop
Cuisine: Mexican

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