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Mexican Rice in a white casserole dish.

Mexican Rice

Learn the secret to making restaurant-style Mexican Rice at home. And it's always perfect: Tender, delicious, never sticky.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12 servings (1/2-cup each)
Calories 174kcal



  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a food processor or blender, puree the tomatoes and onions until smooth. Measure 2 cups of puree, pouring off and discarding any excess.
  • In a large Dutch oven or a 3-quart saucepan, heat oil until shimmering. Add the rice and sauté, stirring frequently, until light golden in color, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato mixture, broth or water, tomato paste, and salt to taste (I like 1 1/2 teaspoons). Bring to a boil.
  • Cover (or transfer to a baking dish and cover) and bake until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Stir halfway through baking time.
  • Fluff rice with a fork. Fold in cilantro or parsley (if using) and season to taste with salt. Serve with lime wedges.



  1. Tomatoes and onions: So many readers love using their favorite salsa instead of the tomato/onion mixture. You can even use canned tomatoes, Rotel, or a couple cans of El Pato tomato sauce, a zesty tomato and chili purée found at Mexican grocery stores. As long as you have two cups of liquid, you're good to go.
  2. Rice: Any long-grain white rice (including Basmati and Jasmine) work well here. To substitute brown rice, add 10 minutes to the baking time.
  3. Tomato paste: If you don't want to open a small can of tomato paste, look for a tube at the grocery store. In Mexico cooks use one cube of Consomate brand tomato bouillon instead of tomato paste.
  4. Cilantro: Or substitute parsley. In truth, no one in Mexico ever does this (but let's be honest: they would never make rice in the oven, either).
  5. Yield: This Mexican Rice recipe makes about 6 cups rice, enough for 12 (1/2-cup) servings.
  6. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  7. Freezer: Spread the cooked rice out on a rimmed baking sheet to cool it quickly. Then, scoop it into freezer-safe plastic bags. Then, when you need a quick side dish, just pull a bag of rice out of the freezer, defrost, and reheat. It works like a dream!


Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 156mg | Potassium: 98mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 21IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg