Restaurant Style Mexican Rice

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Tracking PixelAuthentic Restaurant Style Mexican Rice ready in 25 minutes! Or, 7 minutes when using my shortcut!

Authentic Restaurant Style Mexican Rice ready in 25 minutes! Or, 7 minutes when using my shortcut!
Authentic Restaurant Style Mexican Rice ready in 25 minutes! Or, 7 minutes when using my shortcut!

Authentic Restaurant Style Mexican Rice ready in 25 minutes! Or, 7 minutes when using my shortcut!September is National Rice Month. I am thrilled to be partnering with Minute® Rice to bring you today’s recipe to celebrate National Rice Month.  

Today’s recipe is a true labor of love and I am so excited to share it with you! My favorite food has been Mexican food since I was about 9 years old. I love the variety that Mexican food offers and especially love the complex flavors involved in each dish.

When I was about 10 years old, I was playing at a friend’s apartment complex. In the afternoon, her mother brought out homemade Mexican rice. Up until then, being a naïve child, I thought you could only get Mexican rice from restaurants, you know, where professionals make it! I was so impressed when I learned you can make it from home.

Authentic Restaurant Style Mexican Rice ready in 25 minutes! Or, 7 minutes when using my shortcut!I asked the mother how to make it, but in true authentic and genuine fashion, the directions were measurement-less. And so began my 17 year quest to make homemade Mexican rice. Yes, it took me 17 years. Simply because every Mexican friend I asked knew how to make it based on what has been passed down to them. No measurements, they just knew what to do and how much to add!

Every friend had a different recipe and I tried them all, but I could never replicate it to be anything like what I would get at restaurants. It was always too soggy or too dry or too red or something. UNTIL I landed my last job. There were many employees of Mexican descent and I knew I had good resources to finally master the rice.

Authentic Restaurant Style Mexican Rice ready in 25 minutes! Or, 7 minutes when using my shortcut!I would inquire during breaks and lunch hours and would take the bits of wisdom I learned from each person home with me to try.

The day I finally nailed it was like finding the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow! To say I was happy is an understatement. After 17 years of inquiring and trying over and over again, I was nearly in tears!

If you ever dreamt of making homemade restaurant style Mexican rice, I am sharing the tips I’ve learned over the years to help save you some time!

First thing’s first. You need to make the cooking liquid. The cooking liquid is tomato based and it’s what gives Mexican rice the characteristic orange color. I’ve been told to make it using tomato paste, tomato sauce, and fresh tomatoes. I find that using fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes (sauce, whole, or diced) imparts just the right amount of color.  Tomato paste makes the rice too saturated in color, but I know families who swear by it.

Authentic Restaurant Style Mexican Rice ready in 25 minutes! Or, 7 minutes when using my shortcut!The amount of cooking liquid you need will depend on the amount of uncooked rice you’re using. I use a 1:1.75 ratio (rice to cooking liquid). Take a 14.5 oz. can of tomato (or one whole tomato, if using fresh tomatoes) and pour it into a blender. Add about a cup of diced white onions and blend. Then, pour the cooking liquid into a measuring cup and pour in enough water to reach the volume that will get you to the volume to achieve 1.75 parts cooking liquid, based on the uncooked rice you’re using. I usually use 1 ½ cups of uncooked rice and a total of 2 ⅔ cups tomato cooking liquid.

Next comes the frying of the rice. There are stages to this, so watch closely. First pour the uncooked long grain white rice into heated oil.

Authentic Restaurant Style Mexican Rice ready in 25 minutes! Or, 7 minutes when using my shortcut!Continuously stir. The rice grains will begin to become opaque and white.

Authentic Restaurant Style Mexican Rice ready in 25 minutes! Or, 7 minutes when using my shortcut!Stir until the rice becomes tan-ish brown.

Authentic Restaurant Style Mexican Rice ready in 25 minutes! Or, 7 minutes when using my shortcut!Then, stir in the tomato cooking liquid. I also add a couple tablespoons of tomato bouillon for added color and flavor, but this step is completely optional.  

Authentic Restaurant Style Mexican Rice ready in 25 minutes! Or, 7 minutes when using my shortcut!Bring the rice to a boil, reduce the heat and bring the rice to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.

After removing the cover, there may be some tomato pulp resting on the top layer of the rice and it may look soggy. Give the entire pot a good stir to remove some residual steam and distribute the pulp.

Authentic Restaurant Style Mexican Rice ready in 25 minutes! Or, 7 minutes when using my shortcut!That’s it! You can serve it with your favorite Mexican dish or eat it by itself, as I find myself doing often ;) I like to squeeze some lime in it, but I was just given a tip to add a few dashes of Tapatio hot sauce. Gotta try that!

If you were on the hunt for the perfect Mexican rice recipe, I hope I was able to help save you some time.

Now for the shortcut. If you’re really short on time, you can use Minute® White Rice to cut the cook time down by more than half! The US grown, long grain white rice is enriched and precooked so that you can have great-tasting, fluffy white rice in just 5 minutes.

Authentic Restaurant Style Mexican Rice ready in 25 minutes! Or, 7 minutes when using my shortcut!Using Minute® White Rice in my recipe, you can have authentic, Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice in 7 minutes! I kid you not!  Because the White Rice is already precooked, you can skip the frying step and you only need a 1:1 ratio of rice to cooking liquid. Once the cooking liquid is brought to a boil, stir in the White Rice, cover, and remove from heat. Then, it’s just a waiting game of a whopping 7 minutes! How easy is that?  

Authentic Restaurant Style Mexican Rice ready in 25 minutes! Or, 7 minutes when using my shortcut!

 

5 from 1 vote
Restaurant Style Mexican Rice. Why settle for just a scoop as a side when you can make an entire pot of Mexican rice at home?
Restaurant Style Mexican Rice
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
Yields about 4 cups of rice
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories per Serving: 365 kcal
Author: Patty K-P
Ingredients
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) tomatoes, diced, whole, or sauce undrained*
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • Water
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cup uncooked long grain white rice, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato bouillon, optional
Instructions
  1. Blend together the can of tomatoes and onion into a blender. Pour the cooking liquid into a measuring cup and pour in enough water to reach 2 ? cups.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Once shimmery, add the rice and stir continuously. The rice will become opaque and white. Once the rice reaches the tan-ish brown stage, add the tomato mixture.
  3. Stir in the tomato bouillon, if using.
  4. Bring the rice to a boil, reduce the heat and bring the rice to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed.
  5. After removing the cover, there may be some tomato pulp resting on the top layer of the rice and it may look soggy. Give the entire pot a good stir to remove some residual steam and distribute the pulp. Serve warm.
Recipe Notes

*Alternatively, you can use 1 medium sized tomato, coarsely chopped

Restaurant Style Mexican Rice using Minute® White Rice

Yields about 2 cups of rice
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Ingredients
½ cup canned tomatoes, diced or whole
½ cup white onion, diced
1 garlic clove
1 ½ teaspoons tomato bouillon
Water
1 cup Minute® White Rice

Directions

  1. Blend together the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and bouillon. Pour the cooking liquid into a measuring cup and pour in enough water to reach 1 cup.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the cooking liquid over medium heat to a boil. Add the rice and stir. Cover and off the heat. Let sit for 7 minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon and fluff with a fork. Serve warm.

This post was sponsored by Minute® Rice. As always, all opinions are 100% my own and do not necessarily reflect those of the brand. Thank you for supporting my work with the brands I love so I can continue to bring you new recipes!

Authentic Restaurant Style Mexican Rice ready in 25 minutes! Or, 7 minutes when using my shortcut!
Authentic Restaurant Style Mexican Rice ready in 25 minutes! Or, 7 minutes when using my shortcut!
Authentic Restaurant Style Mexican Rice ready in 25 minutes! Or, 7 minutes when using my shortcut!
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8 comments

  1. CakePants says:

    Wow, that really does look perfect! I certainly have not mastered the art of homemade Mexican rice, so I very much appreciate how much effort and research you put into this – can’t wait to try it!

  2. diana says:

    I remember years of trying all your different rice renditions. the fact that this is the one that makes the cut is really saying something :) CHOMP

  3. May Paragas says:

    I can’t wait to try this! I recently found out the little one has a taste for Mexican rice! Looks delish!!!!

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