Easy Rice Recipe: Mexican Rice

There is nothing better than having some leftovers in our fridge to reheat after a long day of work or when we are feeling lazy but still want something delicious and nutritious to eat, and spend little to no money on it. This may sound impossible to happen for those who simply don’t like cooking… how am I going to have leftovers if I don’t like spending time and effort while cooking?

Today, we bring you a possible answer to your dilemma. A versatile ingredient that you may already have in your pantry and some extra things to add, that you probably also have.

We are talking about a rice recipe, but not any rice recipe. Amongst all simple rice recipes out there, this one called Mexican rice or Arroz Rojo is sometimes called Spanish rice, since Mexicans speak Spanish and it was they who brought this recipe to the United States.

What is Mexican rice?

It is important to note that rice is not native to Mexico. It was brought to Mexico by the Spaniards in the 1500s, when they invaded Mexican territory. Together with rice, the colonizers also imported other native ingredients and spices from Europe, which became part of Mexican cuisine over time.

This dish is also known as Mexican rice and arroz rojo, and it is widely consumed in northern Mexico and the southern United States of America. This dish is made of, you guessed it, rice together with onions, peppers, tomato, garlic, and other herbs and spices. Its name in Spanish, arroz rojo translates into red rice, a color that acquires from the tomato paste and spices used.

How to make your own Arroz Rojo

Today, we bring you an easy Mexican red rice recipe to make at home either as a main or a side dish; it is quick, cheap and absolutely delicious. Moreover, we will also tell you some tricks to upgrade your rice game and some ideas to improve your leftovers and make the best out of any busy weeknight meal.

Mexican rice recipe


  • 1 cup of rice.
  • 1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth.
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce.
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 red bell pepper.
  • ¼ cups of diced tomatoes.
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder.
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano.
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin.
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder.
  • 2 tablespoons of butter.
  • Olive oil.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.


  1. First and foremost, measure all your ingredients and chop your vegetables. Dice your onions and bell peppers, chop your tomatoes, measure the rice and the broth, and prepare all your seasonings.
  2. Now is the time to clean the rice. We recommend you wash the rice three to four times, to remove the excess starch. Once the water in which you are cleaning the rice comes out clean, you are ready to drain the water and let the rice rest for about half an hour.
  3. After half an hour has passed, it is time to grab your skillet or large saucepan. Place it over medium heat and add one tablespoon of butter and some olive oil.
  4. Add your chopped onions and bell peppers. Let them cook for about four minutes.
  5. When your vegetables are slightly cooked, add the rice grains and let them toast, and absorb all the flavors from the vegetables. Your rice should be slightly brown and quite translucent. It should take you about three to four minutes. Watch out for the heat, if medium heat is way too hot, lower it and avoid any burning possibilities.
  6. Once the rice is translucent, a bit golden brown and your veggies are cooked, add the chicken broth or vegetable broth (both work perfectly fine, it just depends on your taste) and your tomato sauce.
  7. Stir the broth, veggies and rice and now add your diced tomatoes and spices: cumin, chili powder, and oregano.
  8. Bring this to a boil. After it is boiling, lower the heat and let the rice simmer for about twenty minutes or until there is no more liquid and the rice is thoroughly cooked.
  9. After the rice is cooked, cover it with a lid, turn off the heat, and let it rest for about ten minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and enjoy!

Tips, tricks and ideas

  • Remember the ratio! per one part of rice, you will need two parts of liquid. This is the key to any successful rice recipe.
  • Mexican rice is perfect to store in your fridge. Just let it cool completely before placing it into a container with a lid or a bag with a seal; it will last for about four to five days.

This recipe is great to fill your burritos, as a side dish to your enchiladas, or to enhance any stir-fried veggies meal or roasted meats. If you have leftovers in the fridge and some eggs, you can even make rice pancakes stuffed with cheese. Try it and thank us later!