How to make Mexican Rice


I enjoy cooking. I find it oddly relaxing to zone out while I frantically chop away at ingredients as I guide them in the process of becoming a dish. Making your own meals is also rewarding on both the sensory and financial fronts, plus you get to mess around with different ingredients and cooking methods thus you can make every cooking session a learning experience. At least that’s what I try to do. Sadly, lots of people still have no clue or interest in dabbling with this ancient practice of cookery, the one learned trait that separates us from the cockroaches. (Umm, there may be some others, but I’ve yet to see a roach pull out a mini-pan to fry up some vittles. At least not while I was sober.) So if you’re interested in some useful human habits other than opening up cans, unscrewing jars lids, or memorizing the microwave cooking time for your next boxed meal, I suggest you follow along with this next installment of my free cooking school: How to Make Mexican Rice!

This entry was posted in Chanfles, La Comida, no-recetas, This Chicano Life. Bookmark the permalink.

103 Responses to How to make Mexican Rice

  1. Jackie says:

    hey I have been trying to make mexican rice since my mom tried teaching me, it comes out hard or soupy but after using your steps it came out muy buen, my husband liked it and so did my kids, you should think about a book or something. The way you write you stuff its like you right there with me, you seem so real not fake. Thanks for good rice 😀

  2. Larry says:

    Hey: I agree with the other comments…Follow these directions and you can really make “Mexican” restaurant style rice….Not that Spanish mushy rice like my Mother always said was Mexican rice.
    THANKS for posting your recipe!!

  3. Tammy says:

    Just wanted to say how awesome my rice came out!! my husband is mexican and was soooooooo suprised it came out better than his moms!!!!!! thanl you soo much!

  4. Rich Baca says:

    Well I left out a few things like the nutritional yeast because we could not find it, and the cumin because I forgot to put it in. It was still awesome. Thanks for the great recipe.

  5. George says:

    Hey, I really appreciate your recipes and commentary on things around East L.A.! I’m living in Japan right now, but I wanted to make some Mexican rice with the ingredients I brought from home. I couldn’t remember exactly how to do it, but one search on the internet for “how to make mexican rice” brought up your recipe and that thing guided me perfectly through the whole process. My food came out great! Once again, thanks a lot for putting this good stuff out there, and good luck with everything else! Keep it up!

  6. George says:

    Oh yeah, and I also appreciate your real cool and down-to-earth way of writing. It’s nice to feel like I’m communicating with and learning this stuff from a normal person like me!

  7. Sandy says:

    3rd time I’ve made this rice … tried it about 3 months ago and then lost the link to this site. After much searching on the web, I found it again this Tuesday and made it Wed.. today is Friday.. and I am making it again! 15 minutes to go. I used to live in San Diego and had plenty of good mexican food, but the last 5 years have been in North Texas – and dang I miss it. Not so much a fan of Tex-Mex. Thank you for this recipe!

  8. Sammy V says:

    This is by far the best explanation for wanna be cooks (step by step with PICTURES). I’m trying to cook for wife and kids and this really helps. Thanks for sharing.


  9. Kathy says:

    Awesomeness! I made this and it was so easy and tastes great. You are so appreciated for posting this. Thank you!

  10. craig lanini says:

    My rice came out great next time i may ad more jalapeno. I couldnt find nutritional yeast. im probably the only white guy that can make mexican rice. I even tried to make menudo once. it wasnt bad but i need more work on that dish .Thanks for the recipe.from a person who really loves cooking.

  11. Crystal says:

    Thanks for the recipe. It sounds great and you write the directions so well. I will be making this tonight. I hope it turns out great.

  12. Sean says:

    This recipe worked out great! Thanks so much for sharing some culinary secrets with the web. The only draw back: I was cooking only for myself and now I have rice for days!

  13. Great “recipe” Chanfles!

    Worked great the first time I tried it. I made a half batch, but still used a ½ of a jalapeño. Even so, it didn’t come out too spicy. Maybe, I got a very mild jalapeño or my taste is a little more spicy than most hillbillies.

    I didn’t use the yeast, but maybe I’ll try it next time. There’s a big health supermarket near me that carries it. However, they don’t carry the sliced TVP so I can’t make your menudo. They have the flakes, but not the chunks or slices. I’d probably use the chunks if I could find them. Do you think that frozen tofu might work instead? I’d use the tripe, but I don’t like it and I’m pretty sure that my wife will not either.

    Hey, my wife loves the nopalitos. I bought two cactus pads from a local supermercado and cooked them according to your directions. My first batch was quite small, so we could test them to see if we like them. My wife is a fan of canned greenbeans drained and sauteed. So, I treated the cooked nopalitos the same way and they were quite delicious.

    I still can’t quite get over how inexpensive much of the produce in mexican supermercaods are. The nopales cost me less than a quarter for the small amount I tested. Dried chiles were also super cheap because you don’t need a heck of alot of them.

    I look forward to more recipes if you have them.

  14. edith says:

    I can t wait to try it. This is great instruction sssso easy! Thanks

  15. RustyRotor says:

    BEST recipe for Mexican rice ever!!! Tried them all and this is the best. Next time I will use a whole Jalapeno. Thanks for the very informative editorial along with the recipe.

  16. James says:

    Muchas Gracias for providing this recipe. When I was younger, my mother made some great Mexican rice. When I got married, my wife, who was of Mexican background, made even greater Mexican rice. Now, my second wife, who is of Japanese ancestry, makes decent Mexican rice (she tries), but she is visiting Japan and I am (was) without Mexican rice. I wanted to make some but did not really know where to begin. Thanks to your recipe, I just made some pretty good Mexican rice. I am happy! Do you know how to make good enchiladas?

  17. Mi’ nana makes it exactly the same :). I made it and its absolutely AMAZING!!

  18. jasmine says:

    pos wow! your recipe sounds is just like my moms but everytime i make rice it comes out like mashed potatoes! i guess i need to practice bc i love rice and i need to get it down pa cuando me case! your directions sound easy! lets see how it goes

  19. Megan says:

    I have always tried making this type of rice. I am Cuban/Italian, so I’m good at the pasta making. My husband is Hispanic, and everytime we go to his house, his mother always has this rice, and I can eat it with everything, but I was always bummed cause I never knew how to make it.

    I made this tonight with Tacos, followed all these steps.
    It turned out GREAT!

    Thanks, btw do you have any more recipes?

  20. EL CHAVO! says:

    I’m amazed by all the people that keep finding this recipe, and I’m glad it has turned out well for many of you. And yes, I do have a few other recipes, take a look over here:

  21. K . B . says:

    You rock dude. These directions were great I’ve been trying to learn how to make mexican rice forever. You def got a passion for cooking you should make a cookbook or open up a restaurant.

    Muchas gracias mi amigo

  22. Moe says:

    Hey dude that recipe is amazing, the rice came out soo delicious I added greek taziki to the side and it was an amazing recipe.. thanks alot and your style of cooking is genuine and you dont hide any goodies, you tell us everything…. Great job..

  23. Brenda says:

    Coming from someone who grew up in a Mexican border city, this is THE BEST MEXICAN RICE RECIPE ON THE INTERNET EVER!!!!

  24. Jenny says:

    i have a question. why does the bottom of my pan always burn if i dont stir the rice and if i dont stir the rice the flavor gets all burned and taste weird i does feel like you were right there with me you a great help but why does mine always burn?

  25. EL CHAVO! says:

    Yup, just as I mentioned, you need to keep stirring the rice so it doesn’t burn! Keep stirring it as it toasts, there’s way around the burning unless you stir. Maybe turn down the heat a little too.

  26. Ryan says:

    I am a white boy, my fiancée and I LOVE Mexican food, sadly around us we are surrounded by tex mex places which are ran by Chinese people, so the food lacks that Mexican flare we are looking for, and as Chevy’s is too far away, I decided to make an attempt and make some Mexican food, one at a time as I wanted to test it before jumping in and making an entire meal.
    This rice recipe is on the money, after making this rice I was confident to try more Mexican dishes. thank you!

  27. joe mom says:

    Hey Great Site, You Should Def Make More Recipes

  28. Jimmy Santos says:

    thanks man for the instructions I knew how to make it but kinda forgot some parts your site was a great help. a friend from the island of Guam

  29. george says:

    Thanks, for posting this step by step recipe for mexican rice. I will try to make it.

    Do you have the same for pinto beans?

  30. george says:


  31. liz says:

    yo fool!! this shit didn’t work i just spent my money and time ..

  32. Courtney says:

    I have never even tried to make Mexican rice before and I did your recipe (with a few slight changes due to what was in my fridge/pantry) and it came out amazing!

    I especially love all your commentary!


  33. Lisabel says:

    Well Im a 24 yr old latin mom (quoting my mother) lol and I cant cook a dish to save my life… I tried once before to make mexican rice and it was beyond terrible! I love your pics and to the point directions- thank you so much!!!!!!! I now know how to make a delicious mexican dish lol- side dish.
    Ms. “B”

  34. Tessa says:

    This recipe looks awesome! I’m going to make it tomorrow night for my daughter’s birthday dinner along with chicken tacos with a variety of toppings. I really like your writing style. You should write a cookbook! 🙂 Tessa

  35. Zoey says:

    Enjoyed reading your step by step on making mexican rice LOL,Hope I enjoy eatting this rice even better,Wish me luck! Thanks

  36. Sarah says:

    I am really excited to try this recipe tonight, I’ve been searching for something like this, as I’m a white girl growing up near the mexican border, I would like to have at home what I’m tasting at the delicious mexican restuarants. What type of boullion do you use? I have beef, but was wondering if I should use a chicken boullion instead.

    Thank you!


  37. EL CHAVO! says:

    I use vegetarian boullion cubes which works well but the most common way is to use chicken broth. But I care about chickens so would never recommend that. 😉

  38. Mari says:

    Te ventantes! Awesome,
    How about some chile verde recipe, mine never comes out quite right 🙁

    Thank you so much from NorthCali.
    All the best!

  39. Char says:

    Hi! I’m soooo glad I found you again! I found your beans recipes two years ago and couldn’t find it again until today. Thank goodness! But now, I have a question. My husband is of Mexican descent, and his grandma makes good Mexican rice. Only different between yours and hers is that she uses fresh tomatoes. Do you know if there’s a difference between using fresh and canned tomato sauce? Do you think canned is better? I’m going to try yours because it looks delicious, but right now, I only have fresh roma tomatoes. Would you happen to know how many tomatoes I should use for this recipe, for today? I’d really appreciate your help. Thank you for sharing your time and recipes! It’s great to learn from such down-to-earth people. 🙂

  40. Char says:

    Oh, I forgot to ask one more thing:
    Since you cook the veggies first before you add the rice, do you ever have a problem with the garlic burning a bit? And if it does, will it end up tasting bad? I burned the garlic (not the rice) once, when I cooked the veggies first and then had to cook it some more while I was browning the rice. Is there a trick to it or do I just need to NOT cook the veggies for too long before I add the rice in? Sorry, I hope I’m not annoying you. Just trying to make sure I do this right.

  41. EL CHAVO! says:

    It’s better to use fresh tomatoes if you have them and the time. I would cook them in boiling water for about 5 minutes and then blend them and strain. The can is just a short cut. I put in the garlic last but don’t worry too much if it burns either. I guess I don’t mind the flavors! Oh, 2 or 3 tomatoes should do.

  42. Char says:

    Oh okay! Great! Thank you so much for your help. I’m doing my best to please my husband (and the in-laws). Fortunately, I’ve had *some experience with it since I grew up eating homemade Mexican food (thanks to my best friend’s mother & grandmother). Your pictures (and funny blog) help me with my cooking adventures more than you know! Thanks again!

  43. La Flaca says:

    I love the step by step process! Its like I can hear ur voice when I’m following along. Great instructions! Loved it!

  44. gi says:

    Do you always use long grain rice? Seems like the Mexican rice at the restaurants are short and fat and they are dry, light and fluffy. It almost looks like the individual grain of rice is kind of split up, not whole and round. I have been using long grain but thought I would try short grain instead. Plus long grain is very firm. My rice always tuns out mushy for some reason. Next time, I am going for 1/2 the liquid.

  45. ashley says:

    made this recipe and came out amaing will be making it again soon.

  46. Hollie says:

    Love it, its awesome

  47. A.M. says:

    wow, pretty easy and damn good!Gracias!

  48. Case says:

    Too sticky!

    I didn’t want to bother following this recipe so I used some japanese sticky rice and threw it in the rice cooker with some chili powder and tomatoes.

    When it was done it tasted pretty good but I couldn’t get all of it off the serving spoon.

  49. EL CHAVO! says:

    ^^ Seriously?

  50. johnk says:

    Chili powder? Mexican rice is a tomato rice pilaf. You have to use a long grain rice.

    If you’re going to make a tomato rice from Japanese rice, you use ketchup as the base flavor. You make egg fried rice, and add ketchup to sweeten it. Lookup “omurice”.

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