Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice

updated Jun 3, 2023
Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice
If you love a rich and flavorful rice side dish to round out Taco Tuesday this tomatoey Mexican rice is it!

Serves6 to 8

Cook25 minutes

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The key to this recipe is to sauté the rice in sizzling oil until toasted and golden brown. This helps the grains keep some of their texture after they are cooked. Next, the rice simmers in a puree of tomatoes, onions, and chicken stock to really absorb all of those delicious additional flavors. A handful of cilantro, a few big squeezes of lime, and a light fluff with a fork guarantees the best rice ever, every single time.

I suggest playing around with it to make it your own. I love the loaded tomato flavor, but you can reduce the amount of tomatoes and sub in more stock if you want a slightly mellower taste. If you like lots of heat, go big on the fresh chiles, but whatever you do don’t skip the cilantro — I think it’s a must. (And if you need something to serve with your new favorite rice, I highly recommend a batch of Delta Hot Tamales!)

Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice

If you love a rich and flavorful rice side dish to round out Taco Tuesday this tomatoey Mexican rice is it!

Cook time 25 minutes

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info


  • 1 (28-ounce) can

    whole peeled tomatoes

  • 1

    medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped

  • 2 cups

    low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground cumin

  • 1/3 cup

    neutral cooking oil, such as canola or safflower (or rendered lard)

  • 2 cups

    long-grain white rice

  • 1 to 2

    medium jalapeño or serrano chile peppers, seeded and minced

  • 4 to 5 cloves

    garlic, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup

    finely chopped fresh cilantro

  • Juice of 2 medium limes, plus more wedges for serving


  1. Place the tomatoes and their juices and onion in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Transfer 2 cups of the tomato mixture to a medium saucepan. (Reserve any excess tomato mixture for another use, such as Tomato Sauce.) Stir in the chicken broth, salt, and cumin and bring to a boil over medium heat. Meanwhile, toast the rice.

  2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the rice and sauté, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the jalapeños and cook until softened, about 2 minutes, lowering the heat as needed. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.

  3. Pour the boiling tomato mixture over the rice and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and gently fluff the rice with the fork. Cover again and set aside to steam for 10 minutes. Add the cilantro and lime juice and fluff again to combine. Taste and season with more salt as needed. Serve with lime wedges.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.