If you love Mexican food but want that restaurant-quality food at home, this Traditional Mexican Rice is for you! This recipe is easy to make and bakes in the oven, which locks in the flavor and moisture that makes this recipe so delicious. You'll never go back to eating Mexican rice any other way!
My entire family loves Mexican food. Even before living in New Mexico, I have vivid memories of taco nights, eating cheese enchiladas, and this traditional Mexican rice. The original recipe came from my grandmother and she's been making it for us for years.
After visiting her in Arizona many years ago and having it, I finally asked her for the recipe so that I could make it on my own.
There are a few reasons I love this traditional Mexican rice side dish.
- It uses fresh ingredients, like fresh tomatoes, white onions, cilantro, and jalapeños.
- It cooks in chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian version) which locks in moisture so this rice is never dry.
- It bakes in the oven, which makes it more hands-off than a stovetop version.
- You can customize the spiciness level depending on your preference.
- It is so dang tasty!
This recipe also makes a good portion of rice, so it can easily provide a side dish for a few dinners or one perfectly portioned side dish for a big crowd. When we hosted Christmas Eve dinner this year, we had this Traditional Mexican Rice, this Chicken Mushroom Enchilada Casserole and we had plenty of all of it left over!
The process to make this rice requires a few steps and a few tools, but don't let it overwhelm you. It is actually quite easy to make! And the little bit of process that's required is 100% worth the delicious outcome.
The first step of the process is pureeing the fresh tomatoes, onions, and seeded jalapeños in a food processor. I've done it before in batches with a small food processor, but it's much easier if you have a large one!
You'll need to also rinse the rice in a fine mesh strainer before frying it.
Those few prep steps take no time at all and you're ready to get your rice going!
Ready to try it out?
Scroll down for the full recipe! And hey, if you make this or are thinking about it, I'd love to know! Please comment below and leave a rating for this recipe!
- 2 medium tomatoes, cored and quartered
- 1 medium white onion, peeled, quartered (root end cut off)
- 2 jalapeños, seeded and ribs removed
- 1 jalapeño, diced with seeds
- 2 cups long grain white rice
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- In a food processor, puree tomatoes, onion, and two jalapeños (ribs and seeds removed) until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a liquid measuring cup, measure 2 cups and discard any extra.
- Dice the remaining jalapeño, including the ribs and seeds and set aside.
- Place the rice in a large fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear, about 90 seconds. Shake the rice vigorously in the strainer to remove all excess water.
- Heat oil in an ovenproof sauté pan or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid over medium high heat. Drop a few grains of rice into the oil, if the rice sizzles, the oil is ready. Add the rice and fry, stirring frequently, until the rice is light golden and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 90 seconds. Stir in the pureed tomato mixture, remaining jalapeño, chicken broth, tomato paste, and salt. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, cover the pan and transfer to oven. Bake until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring well after 15 minutes.
- Stir in the cilantro. Serve immediately.
Rice can also be frozen up to 6 months! Just allow to thaw and then reheat.
To make this vegetarian, simply substitute vegetable broth instead of the chicken broth.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: ½ cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 115Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 282mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g