Fluffy and fragrant Mexican Spanish Rice makes the quintessential side dish for any Mexican or Latin meal.
I love Mexican food. Made at home or ordered from a restaurant, I’ll never turn down a plate of tacos, a bowl of slow cooker pork carnitas or a platter of enchiladas. Best of all, Mexican is one of the few cuisines that pleases both my palate and my picky eaters’ tastes alike.
With just a touch of spice and the tangy hint of tomato, I could probably eat a whole bowl of Mexican Rice on its own for dinner if left to my own devices. Best of all, it’s so easy to make Mexican Rice at home and customize it to your own taste!
Homemade Mexican Rice is easy, tasty and versatile. This rice recipe is a must-try and bound to become a new staple for your dinner time menus.
What’s the difference between Mexican Rice and Spanish Rice?
The terms are often used interchangeably to refer to the orange or yellow hued rice served on the side of a Latin-inspired meals. There IS actually a difference!
Spanish rice is typically flavored with saffron. This gives it a distinct yellow hue and fragrant aroma. Mexican rice, on the other hand, gets its primary flavor from ground cumin seeds. So, technically speaking this easy rice recipe is Mexican Rice. However, feel free to call it whatever pleases you–or just go with “Mexican Spanish Rice” like I did and call it a day!
How to Make Mexican Rice
Making Mexican Spanish Rice is easy, and the ingredients are simple.
This rice recipe starts by browning uncooked rice in a large pan with vegetable oil. For this recipe I use Mahatma Long Grain White Rice.
Once rice has browned, add chicken stock, water, tomato sauce, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin and chili powder. Stir well and bring to a simmer.
Cover and allow to cook for 20 minutes. Keep pot covered during cooking and do not open to stir. If desired, check around 15 minutes, but resist stirring!
Remove the lid, fluff rice and serve!
We loved this rice served with our Crockpot Fajitas, Cheese Enchiladas and Refried Beans for dinner. It’s also delicious with Chicken Nachos or Rotel Dip. I also made Churro Cupcakes and Margaritas to complete our Mexican meal!
Leftovers reheat well in the microwave and are perfect for tossing into burritos or adding to salads for lunch the next day.
- Be sure not to stir the rice as its cooking! Doing so will ruin the texture of the rice making it mushy instead of light and fluffy.
- Everyone likes their Mexican Spanish Rice a little different. Feel free to play with the spices and moisture in this recipe to find what you like best. Fresh garlic makes a wonderful substitution for the garlic powder, if you have it! For a rice with more moisture, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup more water before simmering.
- Chicken bouillon cubes added to the rice with 4 cups of water can substitute for the 2 cups of water and 2 cups of stock.
This easy Mexican rice recipe was a big hit with my family! It tastes just as delicious as my favorite Spanish rice from a restaurant and I love being able to customize the spices.
Mexican Spanish Rice
- 2 cups long grain rice I use Mahatma Rice
- 1/8 cup oil vegetable or canola
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 2 cups chicken stock or broth
- 2 cups water
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add rice to oil, stir well, cook until browned.
- Once rice has browned, add chicken stock, water, tomato sauce, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin and chili powder. Stir well and bring to a simmer.
- Cover and allow to cook for 20 minutes. Keep pot covered during cooking and do not open to stir. If desired, check around 15 minutes, but resist stirring!
- Remove lid, fluff and enjoy!