Mexican Rice

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This Mexican Rice is so easy to make! Simmered until tender in broth, salsa and a mix of spices gives it a ton of flavor, perfect for adding to any fiesta.

If you’ve had Mexican Rice at your favorite Mexican restaurant, it can be intimidating trying to recreate it at home! But let me assure that this easy Mexican Rice comes together quickly, with no chopping and just a quick simmer on the stove. It’s perfect for serving with these Sheet Pan Salsa Verde Chicken Fajitas, these Amazing Steak Fajitas or these Sheet Pan Garlic Lime Salmon Fajitas!

mexican rice in white pan

Mexican Rice

Restaurant-style Mexican Rice is a cinch to make at home, and once you try it you may not want to go back to plain old rice on the dinner table!

It’s loaded with flavor but with one of my favorite shortcut ingredients, it’s made completely without chopping (which means it’s quick to prep as well!).

Instead of crushed or diced tomatoes like many recipes call for, we’re adding salsa as part of our cooking liquid for a couple of reasons.

The salsa gives our rice a ton of flavor, way more than if we just used plain tomatoes. It adds seasoning, spice, tomatoes, peppers and onions in one cup, and it’s an ingredient most pantries are never without.

If you prefer, or you don’t have salsa, you can substitute the salsa for canned diced tomatoes and add in a little more spice.

mexican rice close up in pan

How to make Mexican Rice:

  1. Add your rice, broth, salsa, spices and seasonings to a medium skillet.
  2. Bring it to a simmer and let it cook for about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir, cover, reduce the heat slightly and let it simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is perfectly tender with just a bit of a bite.
  4. Serve! It really couldn’t be easier.

Variations on this Rice Recipe:

  • If you prefer using diced onions and peppers, you definitely can! Simply saute in your skillet with a bit of oil until softened before adding your remaining ingredients.
  • For a spicy Mexican rice, use hot salsa or add a spoonful of Sriracha or hot sauce.
  • For a full meal deal, stir in some pre-cooked ground beef or shredded chicken.
  • Got leftovers? Use it in tacos, burritos, or stir it into soup for even more flavor.

mexican rice scoop

More Easy Rice Recipes:

mexican rice close up in pan

Mexican Rice

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This Mexican Rice is so easy to make! Simmered until tender in broth, salsa and a mix of spices gives it a ton of flavor, perfect for adding to any fiesta.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 3/4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup jarred tomato salsa
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (reduce to ¼ teaspoon for milder flavor)
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper


  • In a medium skillet, stir together rice, broth, salsa, garlic, cumin, salt, chili powder, onion powder and pepper.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce to medium and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until about half of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until tender, about 8-10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.


Serves: 4

Calories208kcal (10%)Carbohydrates43g (14%)Protein7g (14%)Fat1g (2%)Saturated Fat1g (5%)Sodium787mg (33%)Potassium327mg (9%)Fiber2g (8%)Sugar3g (3%)Vitamin A386IU (8%)Vitamin C1mg (1%)Calcium37mg (4%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword mexican rice
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Ashley Fehr

Ashley loves all kinds of food: easy, healthy dinners, extravagant desserts, baked goods, and homemade breads! She believes in enjoying everything in moderation and strives to find ways to make her favorite foods a little healthier (including sneaking in those veggies occasionally!)

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