the Best Mexican Rice Recipe

While there are many variations in the Mexican Restaurants of this “Arroz Mexicana”, this is the best Mexican Rice Recipe and the fastest to make. This is part of our Sides Recipes Category.

This is an easy 1-pot recipe for an authentic Mexican rice. It's made like regular rice but with a few added ingredients. But, those customizable additions will give it a gourmet flavor.
Mexican Rice Recipe Main

The Best Mexican Rice Recipe Restaurant Style

This being the best Mexican rice recipe, it has great authentic flavors and is extremely easy to make. You’ll save time and money on just making this with ingredients that you may already have. A lot of options on the ingredients are possible as well. Read more to see which variation you’ll want to make. We have a base recipe and then advise you of what other additions or substitutions are available.

Mexican Rice Authentic and Easy

Many restaurants will look for quick, easy, and cost effective ways to make a common recipe. Anyway, there are some great options in this authentic recipe and still having good flavor, e.g., onion powder instead of a small amount of diced onions. The point here is that you can choose for the many options of these different ingredients and still retain that wonderfully, authentic Mexican rice flavor.

Mexican Rice Recipe Authentic Ingredients

Here are a few small sections on some of the key ingredients. It might give you a feel of what substitutions or additions you can choose to make on this great tasting side dish.

What type of Rice for Mexican Rice?

To be the best, you’ll want it as a regular rice. It can be extra long grain enriched rice. You’ll definitely want to avoid using a minute rice for this recipe.

Blue Ribbon Extra Long Grain White Rice Bag for Mexican Rice
Blue Ribbon Extra Long Grain White Rice Bag for Mexican Rice

Spices for Mexican Rice

The classic ground cumin is present in this Mexican rice recipe. You’ll also find onion powder and either minced garlic or garlic powder. However, there is a distinctly positive difference in taste if you’re able to use minced garlic.

Lime and Cilantro for The Best Mexican Rice Recipe

You’ll also be using lime juice and cilantro. Those two items will give it a very special gourmet taste you’ll enjoy.

Mexican Rice Recipe with Tomato Sauce

To get the tomato flavor quickly and still have a great taste, tomato sauce will be your quickest. You can use tomato paste but you’ll need to add a little water to thin it out. And, you can also use Ro-tel, diced tomatoes, instead of just tomato sauce. Or you can use those other items to supplement the sauce.

How many cups of water for Mexican Rice?

Twice as much as the rice amount you’re using. However, this is not minute rice; this is the real deal of regular long grain white rice. So, if you’re using 2 cups of uncooked regular rice, you’ll need 4 cups of water.

Mexican Rice Recipe for a Crowd: 20, 50, 100

When you need a large volume Mexican Rice recipe for your commercial size pots, you’ve come to the right place. Just use the easy-to-use Recipe <Resizer>. You can adjust the amount of servings in multiple ways. You can tap the actual button named “Resizer” and it will prompt you for a number to enter. Just type in 20, 50, 100 or other number and the recipe ingredients volumes instantly adjust. Another way is to tap on the number next to the “Servings”. It will reveal a slider you can use to increase it as well.

However, the cups don’t convert to gallons so here’s a little info on that.

  • 4 cups = 1 quart
  • 16 cups = 1 gallon

What to Serve with Mexican Rice

This can be a side dish or a main course. Also, you can serve seasoned black beans on top and really go to town. This dish goes extremely well with many of the popular Mexican or Tex-Mex foods like Tacos, Refried Beans, Burritos, Enchiladas, Fajitas, Chicken, and other greats. This also is a super dish to have as your base layer for a Burrito Bowl. Some will even have it alongside their Tortilla Chips and Salsa or to go with their Nachos Grande or Ground Beef Tacos.

Adding Seasoned Beans to Mexican Rice Large
Adding Seasoned Black Beans to Mexican Rice

Mexican Rice Recipe Healthy

If you’re wondering how many carbs does Mexican rice have, the nutritional values are shown in the <Print Recipe> option. These values show all of the optional ingredients added as well.

Where Did Mexican Rice Originate?

Mexican Rice originated in Mexico. This question is asked because it’s also mistakenly referred and equated to “Spanish Rice”. It’s thought that this misnomer occurred in the distant past because of the Spanish language also being spoken by Mexicans. Here’s a lot more to the Mexican Rice history and etymology from Wikipedia.

Other Rice Articles


Now that you’ve looked it over, you’re ready to make your own Mexican Rice at home. And you’ll see how easy it is with everything going into a single pot.

Mexican Rice Recipe Main

Recipe for Mexican Rice Easy

This is an easy 1-pot recipe for an authentic Mexican rice. It's made like regular rice but with a few added ingredients. But, those customizable additions will give it a gourmet flavor.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 273kcal

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  • cups water
  • ½ Tbsp butter or olive/vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup white rice extra long grain; not minute rice
  • cup tomato sauce or finely diced tomatoes
  • tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp cilantro, freeze dried
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • tsp onion powder or substitute ⅓ tsp onion powder with 1 tbsp slice finely diced onion

Optional Ingredients

  • medium diced tomatoes optional
  • 3 Tbsp Ro-tel optional
  • ¼ cup corn optional


  • Boil the water and butter together. Add all the remaining ingredients and return to a boil, stirring thoroughly. Turn off the heat. Cover and leave the pot on the same burner for 25 minutes. It's important not to lift the lid.
  • After the time has passed, remove the lid, and use a large spoon to scoop up and lift the rice to let it separate. Repeat around the pot until all the rice is loosened. It's now ready to serve.


Another way of cooking this recipe (for more traditional flavor but an extra 5 minutes) is to lightly brown the uncooked rice in the oil with the diced onions, garlic, and corn for about 3 to 5 minutes, medium-high heat.  Then, you add the remaining ingredients and finish out the recipe as it’s mentioned.


Calories: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 117mg | Potassium: 146mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 160IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg
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