Easy Mexican-style Rice

Easy Mexican-style Rice

Whenever I am making a more complete Mexican-style meal, I like to include Mexican rice. I choose to keep the rice simple because I like it to compliment the meal rather than competing for attention. It’s nice to have a taste break from spicier dishes.

Generally I use long grain white rice, onion, garlic, salt, chicken broth, and a tomato product–this time I used tomato paste; although I have used tomatoes in the past. Depending on my mood, I may add any combination of other ingredients: a little chili powder, cumin, or cilantro.  All of these are added “to taste”. Some people like vegetables such as peas, corn, or carrots in their rice, but I prefer the rice without the vegetables. Like I said, this is a simple Mexican-style rice.

An important step in making Mexican rice is to brown the raw rice kernels in oil or melted lard. I have to confess that I really like the wonderful taste of lard in the rice, but I most often use canola oil instead of the lard. Every now and then, when I am really craving the lard flavor, I give in to the craving and use a couple of tablespoons of lard to brown the rice. It is so hard to be good all of the time.

Washing the rice prior to cooking will keep the rice from being sticky. I have a hard time making myself wash the rice simply because I know that I am washing away vitamins and minerals. So, the rice I make is somewhat sticky, but still tastes great. To wash or not to wash, that’s entirely up to your personal preference. For photographic purposes, I chose to wash the rice in these photos.

Easy Mexican-style Rice

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes


  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or lard (I used canola oil)
  • 1 onion, small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder (I used chipotle)
  • chopped cilantro, optional for garnish


  1. In a skillet, heat oil or lard over medium heat. (Lard is solid at room temp, but melts easily when heated). Add rice. Stir often until rice is light golden brown.
  2. Add onion, garlic, and chili powder and cook, stirring often, until the onion is almost translucent.
  3. Stir in 1 cup of the chicken stock, tomato paste, and salt. Cook, uncovered, until broth is almost absorbed.
  4. Transfer rice to a sauce pot and stir in remaining chicken stock.The rice cooks much better in a sauce pot. I have found that in a skillet the cooking liquid evaporates too quickly, which causes the rice to be undercooked.
  5. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to low, and cover the pot with a well fitting lid. Cook until stock has been absorbed and rice is tender, about 15 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro, if desired.


Easy Mexican-style RiceHeat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or lard in a skillet or pot that has a lid.
Easy Mexican-style Rice Easy Mexican-style Rice
 Cook, stirring frequently, until rice is a light golden brown.
Easy Mexican-style RiceStir in the onions, garlic, and chili powder.  Can I just tell you how much I REALLY like chipotle chili powder?  It’s amazing how much flavor even a small amount can bring to a dish.
Easy Mexican-style RiceCook, stirring frequently until the onions are nearly translucent.
Easy Mexican-style Rice Measure out the chicken stock.  You will notice of course, because I know how observant you all are, that I have pictured here only 2 cups of chicken broth.  There is a good reason for this.  I’ll let you know the reason just as soon as I can think it up.
Easy Mexican-style RiceStir 1 cup of the stock into the rice and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Easy Mexican-style RiceStir in the tomato paste and the salt.
Easy Mexican-style RiceStir in the remaining chicken broth. Although this photo shows that I did all of this in the skillet, it would be a lot easier to stir these remaining ingredients into the rice after the rice has been put into the sauce pot. You gotta give me a break on this one, though, because I was trying to get everything done before I left for work. My brain was thinking ‘hurry, hurry, hurry’ instead of ‘what’s the best way to approach this so that it will make sense to my readers’. But hey, I can only be logical for x number of hours every day and I had to reserve logic for work.
Easy Mexican-style Rice
 Sooooo…at some point transfer everything into a sauce pot with a well fitting lid. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to low (very important, otherwise I guarantee that the liquid will boil off too fast and the rice will burn). Simmer for about 15 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
Garnish with some chopped cilantro if desired.  Don’t tell anyone, but I like a little bit of grated cheese and a touch of sour cream with mine.  As a matter of fact, I’m pretty happy with a plateful of this rice and some refried beans.
Easy Mexican-style Rice

You may also like:

Refried Beans
Refried Beans
Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup
Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup
Taqueria-style Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken
Taqueria-style Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken


  1. says

    This rice recipe and your refried beans recipe look amazing! I have to try these! My favorite part of goint out to a mexican restaurant is the rice and beans…if I could make them right at home, my hubby would be so much happier 🙂

    By the way, I love your blog! Your recipes look delicious!

  2. says

    Thank you, I’m glad that you enjoy the blog. It’s great to have someone else out there who goes for the rice and beans first!

  3. says

    I know a good recipe when I read one and this looks to be a very good one, I can not wait to try it ! In fact I was searching for a good ham glaze and while checking yours out I just kept reading and I am also a beans and rice person, have to have it anytime I eat mexican food and flavor comes from within so I know what You mean about lard and also agree with not washing the rice, sticky is fine for me too! I love the detailed recipes TY will be making real soon!!!


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