The BEST, truly authentic Mexican rice is an easy recipe to make for a crowd and it’s 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 there. We became friends and ended up asking him if he would teach us how to make authentic Mexican recipes. He invited us to 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 all. This is such a special memory for me. (Our friend is in the photos below, in the green shirt. You’ll notice me at his kitchen counter taking detailed notes, like the food nerd that I am 😉 ).
Some things we made together include mole poblano, red and green salsas, and pozole. He also taught us how to make this authentic 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!
How to make Mexican Rice:
- Rinse and drain the rice.
- Add oil to a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the rice and stir to combine. Cook the rice until lightly golden brown all over.
- Add tomato sauce, garlic, and diced onion to the pan.
- Stir in tomato bullion, salt, carrots, peas, and water
- Cook until bullion cubes are dissolved. Bring it to a boil, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Tips for perfect Authentic Mexican Rice:
Rinse your rice first.
Take an extra second to rinse your rice with water to remove 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:
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, the peppers wont make the rice spicy. Again, these are completely optional.
Add Peas and Carrots:
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!
Try making Mexican rice in the Instant Pot!
What to serve with Mexican Rice:
Authentic Mexican Rice
- 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
- 1/4 cup oil (vegetable or canola oil)
- 1 teaspoon garlic , minced
- 1/4 medium onion , finely diced
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce , or 2 pureed tomatoes
- 2 tomato bouillon cubes , chopped (these can be found in the Mexican food aisle at Walmart or your local grocery store)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 carrot , diced
- 1/2 cup peas (frozen or fresh)
- 3 1/4 cups 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 and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the rice is lightly golden brown all over (about 10 minutes).
- Add tomato sauce, garlic, and 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 completely 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.
- Serve this with one of my favorite authentic Mexican meals.
Have you tried this recipe?!
RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.
I originally shared this recipe in September 2011. I recently updated the photos and recipe to be more clear.
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