If you are looking for a super easy and flavorful Authentic Mexican Rice, look no further. Not only is this recipe easy but it requires only 4 major ingredients with a couple of additional optional ingredients. I know people are intimidated by making Mexican rice but I promise it’s so simple! In fact, it was one of the first dishes my mami taught me to make and soon it became the dish I was in charge of for our meals. This rice always made an appearance at Sunday dinners at my abuelita’s, (grandma’s), and it will forever bring the best memories. It took me lots of trial and error to perfect my Mexican rice. By perfect I mean make it as good as I possibly can but not just like grandma’s because, let’s be real, that takes a special touch!
This Authentic Mexican Rice will always bring back memories of being in the kitchen with my mom. Anytime my mom wanted to make rice I would be in charge of helping her with this, starting with rinsing the rice to get rid of excess starch. I will be honest, the task of helping with dinner in anyway was tedious to me at the time. I wish I knew then what I know now: those moments in the kitchen with my mom were invaluable. Not only did I learn to cook from her but the memories we made while cooking together are some of my favorite. Not only does this rice bring back memories of my mami but it also brings memories of my abuelita. To this day I stand by the fact that my grandma makes the best Mexican rice I have ever had and I have come to terms I don’t have her touch. However, this rice is always a hit and will be a staple for your Mexican dinner nights.
The only major ingredients you need:
-Long grain rice
-Chicken broth (or water and chicken bouillon)
Let’s talk about the rice first. Long grain rice is all my mami and abuelita ever used and it’s the only kind I use for this. My mom would not always rinse the rice before using it but when she did, the rice wouldn’t really stick together as much and it fluffed much better. Highly recommend rinsing the rice until the water runs clear. This gets rid of extra starch. If you’re able to do this ahead of time to let it dry, do so. If not, no big deal. It will still turn out delicious! The one thing I that is key for flavor and do not recommend skipping is browning the rice slightly. My mom always made sure I browned the rice only until slightly golden. This give it a nuttier, richer flavor. Do not skip this step!
Now to use chicken broth or water and chicken bouillon. I grew up eating the version made with chicken bouillon. It added so much flavor and some extra color. This is the bouillon my mom and grandma have always used and I also use for this rice recipe and my fideo recipe. If you don’t want to use bouillon the chicken broth will work just fine, don’t you worry! Another optional ingredient is this sazon and it is something my mom always put in her rice and fideo to give it a little more color and added flavor. Let me make it clear though, you do not need this to make a delicious Mexican rice. It is purely optional and something I always grew up eating but don’t always use myself. The onion will always add great flavor to the rice and the tomato sauce adds some depth and color.
Biggest advice when cooking the rice: do not take lid off until most, if not all, water is absorbed. This means you are just going to let it cook for 15 minutes without touching it. After 15 minutes check to see if all the water is absorbed and if not, leave it covered and cook for additional 2-3 minutes. Once all of the water is absorbed, remove lid and remove from heat. Gently fluff rice with a fork but don’t mix it around too much otherwise it will turn into mush.
This Authentic Mexican Rice is so easy to make and made with simple ingredients you probably already have on hand. I hope you give it a try ASAP and, as always please let me know if you give it a try!
Authentic Mexican Rice
- 2 cups long grain rice
- ¼ onion chopped
- 1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
- 4 cups water or chicken broth
- 1 tbsp chicken bouillon *only if using water and not broth
- 1 tsp sazon *optional
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Rinse rise in a strainer until water runs clear. If able to prep ahead, leave to air dry overnight. Otherwise, set aside.
- In a medium sauce pan add water and bouillon or chicken broth and place over medium heat. Bring to simmer or slow boil and turn heat off.
- While broth simmers, place large pan over medium heat and add oil and onions. Once oil is hot and onions are fragrant add rice. Cook until rice is slightly golden being careful to not brown too much.
- Bring heat down to medium low and add tomato sauce and broth to rice. Add in sazon if using. Carefully stir only to combine everything. Cover with lid and cook for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes check to see if all water is absorbed. If not, leave on for another 2 minutes and check again. Once all water is absorbed remove from heat and fluff rice with fork.