The BEST, truly authentic Mexican rice! Super easy to make from home, and a necessary side dish for all of your favorite Mexican recipes.
During college my husband and I spent a semester in Puebla, Mexico for an Internship. We taught workshops to locals in the area that were interested in starting a small business. I have the best memories of our time there. It was during our second year of marriage, we had no kids, and we spent every single day in Mexico together! It was hard work, but also amazing to spend so much quality time together.
We lived in the cutest little house in downtown Puebla. We didn’t have a car, so we walked everywhere–probably a good thing because it allowed me to eat my heart out without gaining any weight. We also made some really great friends that we still keep in contact with.
One of the people that attended one of our workshops was a Chef at a well known restaurant nearby. We became friends and I asked him if he would teach us to make some authentic Mexican recipes. He invited us into his home and we spent the day there making food and getting to know his awesome family.
I dug up some photos from that day to share with you guys. This is such a special memory for me!
Some things we made include mole poblano, salsas, pozole, and this Mexican rice! This Mexican rice recipe is the real deal, and every time I make it it transports me back to the time we spent there. It has become a staple at our house any time we are making any type of Mexican food. In case you missed it, here’s a round-up of many of my favorite Mexican recipes!
A few tips to make this rice turn out perfect:
Rinse your rise first.
Rinsing your rice removes the starch film on the surface that can cause the rice to clump together.
Toast the rice.
When you add the rice to the oil, toast it really well! This extra step takes a few minutes, but it adds really great flavor to the rice.
The trick to get that great color and flavor:
The tomato bullion cubes add great flavor, and they’re what makes the rice turn that perfect orange color that you’re looking for. It should be easy to find at your local grocery store. I buy mine at Walmart, in the Mexican food aisle. You could also buy them from Amazon. They look like this.
Our friend added serrano peppers to the pot while the rice cooked. This is optional. It adds a little bit of flavor, but I make it all the time without the peppers. And don’t worry, they wont make the rice spicy. Again, these are completely optional.
Peas and diced carrots are traditional to add to Mexican rice. You can leave them out if you want to, but they are one of my favorite parts of this recipe! YUM!
- 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 of a medium onion, finely diced
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce (or 2 pureed tomatoes)
- 2 tomato bullion cubes (can be found in the Mexican food aisle at Walmart or your local grocery store)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1/2 cup peas
- 3 1/4 cup water
- 3-4 whole serrano peppers, optional
- Rinse and drain the rice in a fine mesh strainer.
- In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add the oil. Add the rice stir to combine. Stir frequently, until the rice is lightly golden brown all over (about 10 minutes).
- Add tomato sauce, garlic, and finely diced onion to the pan. Stir.
- Add the tomato bullion cubes, salt, carrots, peas, and water (and serrano peppers, if using. They add a little flavor, but not spice.). Cook, stirring, until bullion cubes are dissolved. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and cook for about 20 minutes or until the water is completely absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
I originally shared this recipe in September 2011. I recently updated the photos and recipe to be more clear.
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