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 you 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 chicken fajitas, these steak fajitas, or these salmon fajitas!
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.
Ingredients to Make Mexican Rice
These ingredients are simple and you probably already have most of them at home! Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact measurements.
- White Rice: I like to use long grain white rice in this recipe.
- Chicken Broth: Use low sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth) to add flavor to the rice.
- Tomato Salsa: Just grad a jar of this at the store to make this easy. You can easily make this rice mild, medium or hot depending on the salsa that you choose.
- Seasonings: Garlic powder, cumin, salt, chili powder (reduce the amount for milder flavor), onion powder and black pepper
How to Make Mexican Rice
This Mexican rice tastes like it’s from a restaurant! You can pair it with just about any Mexican dish so this will definitely become a staple side dish in your house!
- Combine: In a medium skillet, stir together rice, broth, salsa, garlic, cumin, salt, chili powder, onion powder and pepper.
- Simmer: 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: Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until tender, about 8-10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
There are a few ways to change this recipe up and really make it yours! Try out a few of these variations and you will figure out exactly how you like it.
- Diced vegetables: 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.
- Add some heat: For a spicy Mexican rice, use hot salsa or add a spoonful of Sriracha or hot sauce.
- Add protein: 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.
How to Store Leftovers
If you have some extra Mexican rice, you will be happy to know that this rice tastes just as good the next day! Cook up some extra and you can add it to your lunch. Once the rice has cooled then you can store it in an airtight container in your fridge. Reheat it on high in your microwave for about a minute or until it’s heated through.
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 2 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.
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.
Could you make this in a rice cooker or pressure cooker?
A rice cooker will work!
I have made this several times and think it is the best Mexican rice ever!!! I prefer it over rice I get at most Mexican restaurants! Made it exactly by the recipe, only I double it! Perfect!!
Just made it. It’s very good. I used Pace traditional restaurant style salsa. It gave it some tiny pieces of tomato. I used the full amount (1/2 tsp) of chili powder. I may or may not use less next time. It does give off some spice. So remember that when you choose your salsa as to whether you get mild or medium.
Sorry..just saw one cup of salsa@
Could this be done in a rice cooker?
Although I’ve never tried it, it should work! Toss everything into rice cooker (make sure the liquid/rice ratio is 1:1) Give it a good stir. Close the rice cooker lid and cook. Usually takes about 30 minutes. Adjust the cook time if the liquid isn’t all absorbed. Fluff the rice with a fork and enjoy!
Can this be tried in a rice cooker as well or would you not recommend?!
I haven’t tried it before but, it should work! Toss everything into rice cooker (make sure the liquid/rice ratio is 1:1) Give it a good stir. Close the rice cooker lid and cook. Usually takes about 30 minutes. Adjust the cook time if the liquid isn’t all absorbed. Fluff the rice with a fork and enjoy!
can I cook my rice first
can l use brown rice?
I haven’t tried it with that but I’m sure it would work great!
What salsa brand do you recommend, there is a myriad of salsa in store shelves?
I’ve used a lot of different brands, you can use any that you like!