Mexican Rice, or Arroz Rojo, is a flavorful rice made with tomatoes, spice, and broth! This easy to make rice dinner is perfect for weeknight meals or large gatherings! Serve this side dish along with Sheet Pan Steak Fajitas, Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas, Chicken Enchiladas, Carne Asada and Birria Tacos.
I can be quite the creature of habit. I like what I like and I don’t apologize for it! That doesn’t mean I don’t like to try new things but I do enjoy having a steady routine and a solid rotation of go-to meals.
Having simple recipes around that always hit the spot is key to stress-free dinner prep! Mexican Rice is a recipe I make all of the time. And when I say all of the time, I really do mean it.
The ingredients are easy to grab, it doesn’t take much work from me, and dinner hits the table in under an hour! This smoky-sweet, fluffy, and filling rice dish that I know y’all just won’t be able to get enough of.
What Is Mexican Red Rice?
Mexican Red Rice is a staple in Mexican cuisine, and is probably the most commonly served side. The effortless, flavorful rice is made using white rice, seasoning, and diced tomatoes. Variations of the recipe call for aromatics like onion and garlic or veggies like diced carrots and peas.
I never order Mexican food without getting an extra side of rice. It’s so soft and fluffy! I dressed my recipe up a bit so it serves more as a well-rounded meal than a side but no matter how you serve it, this rice is crazy delicious.
How To Make Mexican Rice
Mexican Red Rice made at home takes under an hour to make and most of that is hands-free cooking! This is definitely a staple weeknight recipe for me and the fam.
- YELLOW ONION
- GREEN PEPPER
- CHILI POWDER
- DICED TOMATOES WITH GREEN CHILES
- SALT + PEPPER
- COOK CHORIZO- to release the fatty flavor from the chorizo we’re going to fry it up in a little olive oil. If you’re not using a pre-crumbled option, use a spatula to finely chop the meat up as it cooks.
- SAUTÉ AROMATICS- once the chorizo is just about done, add the onion, pepper, and garlic. Let everything mingle and get nice and tender. This should only take about 1-2 minutes.
- TOAST RICE- add the rice and chili powder to the pot and mix thoroughly. Toasting the rice and spice helps to develop depth of flavor.
- ADD BROTH- slowly stir in the broth, then add the diced tomatoes and season to taste. There isn’t anything raw here so feel free to give it taste!
- COOK, COOL, + SERVE- bring the rice to a boil, then drop it to a simmer. Place the lid on the pot and cook for about 25 minutes. I like to let the rice rest in the pot with the heat off and lid on for 10 minutes before opening it up and fluffing with a fork.
This recipe is hearty and fully capable of standing on its own but you’re welcome to serve it as a side to anything you’d like. Mexican Rice pairs well with steak, roasted chicken, pork chops, and even seared scallops!
These are a few GBC recipes that I love to serve with this rice:
There’s a wide variety of ways you can adjust this recipe to suit your own taste. I added chorizo and chicken broth to my rice to add body and bold flavor. You could swap the chorizo for chopped up ham, sausage or bacon. Chicken broth can be easily swapped with beef or vegetable broth or stock instead.
If you’d like to make vegetarian Mexican rice, omit the meat completely and use vegetable broth.
What To Do With Leftovers
Let Mexican Rice cool to room temperature and transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate the leftovers for up to 5 days.
This easy red rice recipe can also be frozen. To freeze, completely cool the rice and transfer it to a freezer-safe bag or airtight container. If using a bag, try your best to squeeze out any excess air. Label and freeze for up to 3 months.
How to Reheat Refrigerated Rice
Microwave: Place the rice in a microwave-safe container and add a tablespoon of broth or water for every cup of rice. Break up any clumps of rice using a fork and cover the container with a lid or a damp kitchen towel. Heat the rice on full power for a minute or two, stirring the rice to make sure it’s heated all the way to the center.
Stovetop: Add the rice to a small saucepan and add a tablespoon of broth or water for every cup of rice. Break up any clumps of rice using a fork and cover the pan with a lid. Cook the rice over low heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is heated through.
How to Reheat Frozen Rice
Place frozen rice in a baking pan. Sprinkle lightly with water (no more than ½ tablespoon per cup of rice). Cover with tinfoil and bake at 300°F for 30-40 minutes, or until warmed through.
NOTE: Frozen rice can also be partially thawed and reheated using any of the methods mentioned.
Grandbaby Cakes’ Best Mexican-Inspired Recipes
Mexican food is my absolute favorite! If I’m not ordering it out, I’m cooking up one of my favorite south of the border recipes at home!
Try out a few for yourself:
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 oz chorizo sausage crumbled or thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup yellow onion finely chopped
- 3/4 cup green pepper finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 1/2 cup long grain rice
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 14.5 oz diced tomatoes with green chiles
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add the crumbled chorizo and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant and almost cooked through.
- To the chorizo, add the onion, green pepper, and garlic, stirring to coat in oil. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the rice and chili powder to the pot and mix to combine.
- Continue to toast the rice and cook the veggies for about 3-5 minutes, or until the rice is fragrant and browned and the onion is translucent and tender.
- Stir in the broth, tomatoes, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer with the cover on for 20-25 minutes.
- Allow the rice to rest with the cover on and heat off for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve!