Homemade restaurant style Mexican Rice is quick and easy to make at home. This simple recipe is healthy, vegetarian and gluten free!

Mexican rice in orange bowl with cilantro and limes

I originally created this Mexican Rice recipe for my Mom. She requested it to go with Chipotle Lime Chicken Fajita Skewers and Deconstructed Mexican Street Corn. Those are her two favorite recipes on the blog!

If you don’t know my Mom yet, allow me to introduce you. Her name is Muffet, yes like the one that sat on the tuffet! She’s always been a huge supporter of the blog.

She traveled with me on my cookbook tour. She flies from Oklahoma to San Diego to assist me on big shoot days. And if you were talking to Momma Bond right now, she would tell you that she loves this recipe for three reasons. It’s easy to make, light on the spice and deliciously flavorful!

If you love Mexican restaurants rice, you’re going to love this recipe!

Mexican rice in orange bowl with serving spoon, topped with cilantro


  1. Start by cooking the onions, garlic, and jalapeños. Sauté with olive oil in a large pot, such as a dutch oven, for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the white rice to the pot. Toast for 3-4 minutes or until slightly translucent. Sprinkle salt, chili powder and cumin into the pot to season the rice.
  3. Simmer everything. Add a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies and broth to the rice. Bring to a simmer, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 40 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
  4. Add the finishing touches. Once the rice is cooked, remove it from the heat, stir, then cover again and wait 10 minutes. Mix in fresh cilantro and lime juice, then serve.

Frequently asked questions

  • Can Mexican rice be made ahead of time? This recipe can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Mexican rice is perfect for meal prepping Mexican style rice bowls or burritos.
  • Is there a difference between Spanish rice and Mexican rice? Mexican rice and Spanish rice are extremely similar in their preparation, yet use different spices to flavor the rice. Spanish rice is flavored with saffron, whereas Mexican rice is flavored with cumin and chili powder.
  • Is Mexican rice healthy? Mexican rice is low in calories. It provides 7 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, 16% vitamin A, 27% vitamin C and 11% iron per serving. It’s also vegan and vegetarian (when vegetable broth is used) and gluten free. Serve the rice with grilled chicken, veggies, or fish for a complete healthy meal.
  • Can you make Mexican Rice with brown rice? Yes. If you’d like to substitute brown rice in this recipe, simply add 15 minutes to the cooking time. Always check to make sure the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed before removing it from the heat.

Tips and tricks

  • Use vegetable broth to make this recipe vegan and vegetarian.
  • If preparing ahead of time and serving the same day, a crock pot can be used to keep the rice warm. Once the rice is cooked, transfer it to a slow cooker set to warm. The rice will stay warm in the slow cooker without getting overcooked. If the rice seems like it’s dried out a little bit, stir in an additional 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable or chicken broth.
  • To reheat the rice in the microwave, add 1-2 tablespoons of liquid to the rice. Vegetable broth, chicken broth or water will all work. The added moisture will help keep the texture of the dish, so that it doesn’t dry out while reheating. Place the rice in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir, then microwave for an additional minute.
  • To reheat the rice on the stove, place the rice in a skillet with 1-2 tablespoons liquid. Once again, vegetable broth, chicken broth or water will work. Turn the heat on the stove to medium-low. Cover the skillet and allow to reheat on the stove for 5-10 minutes.
Mexican rice with fresh cilantro in orange bowl

What to serve with Mexican rice

Try these popular Mexican recipes to serve with this tasty rice dish!

  • Mexican Meatloaf– a classic meatloaf recipe spiced up a bit!
  • Carne Asada Tacos – not just any carne asada tacos, THE BEST carne asada tacos with the most delicious chipotle lime marinade!
  • Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa – better than Chipotle! This beef barbacoa can be used to make seriously delicious tacos, burritos or nachos! In fact, you can add this rice and the beef barbacoa to a large tortilla with cheese, salsa and guacamole to create an amazing burrito!
  • Sirloin Steak Tacos or Flat Iron Steak Tacos – both of these taco recipes are juicy, tender and flavorful! They’re made with THE BEST marinade and the sirloin tacos are topped with a tasty cilantro lime sauce!
  • Mexican Sausage Balls – this fun appetizer can easily be made into a meal when served with this scrumptious Mexican Rice recipe!
  • Vegan Tacos with Grilled Veggies & Chimichurri – If you’re looking for an amazing vegetarian meal, you’ve just found it! These tacos with this rice = so delicious and totally meatless!

More Mexican side dish recipes

And don’t miss out on these other delicious side dishes, perfect for your next Mexican fiesta!

Mexican rice with tomatoes, topped with fresh cilantro in orange bowl
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Mexican Rice

Homemade restaurant style Mexican Rice is quick and easy to make at home with this simple recipe that is healthy, vegetarian and gluten free!



  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  • When the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic and jalapeno, cook for 3-4 minutes, add the rice and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the diced tomatoes with green chilies, vegetable broth, kosher salt, chili powder & cumin.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer covered, 40 minutes or until the rice is tender.
  • Remove from the heat and stir the rice.
  • Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and add the cilantro and lime juice.


  • When vegetable broth is used this recipe is both vegetarian and vegan.
  • This recipe can be made with brown rice, simply add 15 minutes to the cooking time. Always check to make sure the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed before removing it from the heat.

Nutrition Facts

Serving 4servingCalories 442kcal (22%)Carbohydrates 84g (28%)Protein 7g (14%)Fat 7g (11%)Saturated Fat 1g (5%)Sodium 1312mg (55%)Potassium 338mg (10%)Fiber 2g (8%)Sugar 4g (4%)Vitamin A 800mg (16%)Vitamin C 22.1mg (27%)Calcium 63mg (6%)Iron 1.9mg (11%)
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