Easy Mexican Rice Recipe

Mexican rice in a dish on a wooden table


Homemade Mexican Rice so Delicious it Puts Restaurant Versions to Shame

A casual-restaurant side so familiar it borders on comfort food, Mexican rice is known to induce severe cravings. Next time you get that craving only tangy, piquant Mexican rice can satisfy, don't go out – stay in, and save. Mexican rice from a casual-theme joint costs $2 or more per serving, whereas homemade Mexican rice costs around 50 cents per serving – arriba!

Total Time: 25 minutes | Prep Time: 5 minutes | Serves: 6 to 8


  • 2 cups long-grain rice

  • 1 (28 ounce) can peeled tomatoes

  • 1 Spanish onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • Pinch ground cumin
  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • 1/4 cup butter or vegetable oil

  • 2 cups long-grain rice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 cup cojita cheese, room temperature (optional)


  1. Add the rice to a large bowl, and cover it with a couple inches of water. Jostle and swish the rice until the water clouds; drain, and repeat until the water stays clear. Drain the rice, and set it aside.
  2. Pulse the tomatoes and roughly chopped onion in a food processor until almost smooth. Transfer 2 cups of the pureed onions and tomatoes to a saucepan. Reserve the remaining tomato mixture for another use.
  3. Add the stock and cumin to the saucepan. Season the tomato mixture to taste with kosher salt, and bring it to a simmer.
  4. Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the rice, and sauté it until golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Set the heat to low, and add the garlic.
  5. Sauté until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the simmering tomato mixture, and cover the pot.
  6. Cook the rice for 15 minutes and check the doneness; it should still have a bit of hardness in the center. Stir the rice and take it off the stove. Cover the rice and let it stand for 10 minutes.
  7. Stir in the cilantro, lime juice and cojita cheese, if using, just before serving.