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Mexican Rice from Scratch

Okay, fine. 

I have no idea how authentic the actual "making the Mexican rice" process was. 

However, the taste is spot on. 

WAY spot on. 

As in, let's-drive-to-one-of-those-delicious-hole-in-the-wall joints-with-a-90-year-old-woman-from-Mexico-running-the-kitchen, spot on. It's just incredible. And those places are usually the best ones.

I've always loved Mexican rice, and whenever we go to one of my favorite restaurants, The Red Iguana at downtown Salt Lake City, I can't help but devour the pile of fluffy & light Mexican rice first. 

Okay, I lied. I'd probably eat it after their guacamole. I could probably consume more guacamole than the average human. Their guac is the best I've ever had, and somehow tastes even better every time. 

Back to the rice - I love to recreate restaurant dishes at home, but sometimes there is absolutely no time in the day to fit in something as time-consuming as this rice. Then again, what am I comparing the time to? Throwing on a box of Rice-A-Roni? It never tastes even a fraction as delicious.

This case is no exception. 

The flavor coming out of those little grains of heaven was ridiculous. 

And the secret is in the method below: 


Real Mexican Rice from Scratch
makes about 4-6 side-servings

12 oz fresh tomatoes, very ripe, cored
1 medium white onion
3 medium jalapenos, seeded and stem removed, minced
2 C long grain white rice
1/3 C canola oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 C chicken broth
1 T tomato paste
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 C fresh cilantro, minced
1 lime

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position oven rack in the middle
2. In a food processor, puree tomato and onion. Measure mixture into a measuring cups to equal about 2 cups.
3. Place rice in a fine mesh trainer and rinse under cold running water until water runs clear - about 1 1/2 minutes. Shake rice vigorously to remove excess water - do not skip these 2 steps, or your rice will not turn out properly.
4. Heat oil in the bottom of a dutch oven or oven-safe heavy bottomed pot (with a tight lid). Drop a few grains of rice in oil - if it sizzles, then you're ready. Add rice and stir fry until rice is light golden and translucent, about 6-8 minutes. Watch temperature of the oil.
5. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and 2 jalapenos and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minute.
6. Stir in broth, pureed mixture, tomato paste, and salt (and a squeeze of that juicy lime). Increase heat to medium high, and bring to a boil.
7. Cover pan and transfer pan to oven to bake until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, 30-35 minutes. Stir well after 15 minutes.
8. Stir in cilantro and minced jalapeno.

Recipe source:


  1. I have only recently come across your blog, and I have to say, its fantastic! I have bookmarked sooo many recipes to try, and have already made several. I used this recipe to make rice last night for dinner, and it turned out fantastic! We also love the rice at the mexican restaurants. The smaller, hole-in-the-wall places have the best food! Thank you so much for this delicious recipe!

    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the compliment! I'm so happy you enjoy it here, and even more excited you tried the rice! It's to die for - I wanted to just sit with a spoon and polish the dang thing. Dangerous, man. I totally agree with you about the smaller restaurants - the ones the look a little sketchy, usually have AMAZING food, and give you more of it. Happy baking/cooking, and I can't wait to hear more about your adventures in the kitchen as we go along!

  2. Those who like rice should think about buying a rice cooker. An important factor to consider when buying a cooker is whether or not it includes advanced features. I think Zojirushi best Japanese rice cookers.


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