Mexican rice or Spanish rice is usually one of my favorite parts of dinner at Tex-Mex restaurants. I’ve had several different variations of it and like it both with the vegetables and without. Recently, I decided that I wanted to see just how easy it was to make a version at home, and boy, it is super simple!
I watched several videos on YouTube and looked at multiple recipes online before deciding on how I wanted to make mine. To make sure my recipe for Mexican rice was as easy as possible, I kept the ingredient list short. Just what I considered absolutely necessary. You can always add some defrosted frozen corn or peas to yours, but this recipe features just the basics.
One important detail about making Mexican rice is that you need to rinse the rice before frying it. This helps to remove the excess starch, so that the rice is fluffy. I did learn through my research that traditionally the rice is soaked for a few minutes in hot water, then drained and rinsed. I decided to skip that step and just rinsed the rice until the water ran clear.
I cooked my rice in water, but chicken stock would add a small amount of flavor if you want to use that. It’s totally up to you which one you want to use. In my recipe, I used white basmati rice because that’s what I keep on hand. The whole jalapeño used in the recipe flavors the rice without adding any heat. Serrano peppers could be substituted.
This Easy Mexican Rice recipe makes a quick and delicious side dish to serve alongside your homemade enchiladas or fajitas.
Easy Mexican Rice
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice (I used Basmati), rinsed until water runs clear and drained well
- 2 tbsp ghee or oil of choice
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion (white or yellow is fine)
- 1 large clove of garlic , minced
- 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
- 2 1/2 cups water (or chicken stock)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1 large jalapeño , left whole
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Heat the oil in a 10.5-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until it starts to turn translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the rice changes to a milky white color and sounds and feels heavier, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the water, tomato sauce and sea salt and place jalapeño in middle of pan. Reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and cook until water has been absorbed and rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, garnish with fresh cilantro and serve.