Authentic Mexican Rice

Growing up, my mother always made Spanish rice as a side dish to any hispanic oriented meal we ate.  I’m not sure why it was called Spanish rice or if it’s more proper name is Mexican rice, but from my poor memory, they seemed about the same.

And although I’ve made Mexican/Spanish rice many times, it never seemed very authentic and always came out a bit too tangy.

So when I came across this recipe for Authentic Mexican Rice, I knew it was much more authentic than what I’d been making and it tasted delicious.  None of that tangy taste I usually get when I’ve made it in the past.

This Authentic Mexican Rice is a simple dish that whips up in one pot and is the perfect side to any dish you make. 

Not sure what to make to go with this?  Why not try these Empanadas or Chicken Tamale Bowls.  They are both amazing and both are family friendly recipes!

My kids love this rice and it reheats well for the next day.  Why not whip up this easy one pot Authentic Mexican Rice dish at your next meal?

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Authentic Mexican Rice

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 6 Servings


  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 1 cup raw rice (I used Jasmine, but that's because it's my favorite)
  • 1 - 2 cloves of garlic, minced or 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 1/4 cup diced onions, yellow or white
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1 (8 ounce) can of tomato sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried cilantro (optional)


  1. In a bowl, add 1 1/2 cups of hot water and chicken bouillon cube. Set aside and let bullion dissolve.
  2. In a deep skillet over medium heat, add oil to pan and let oil get hot - about 3 minutes.
  3. Once oil is hot, add dry uncooked rice and onion. Stir constantly until rice begins to turn golden and onion is cooked.
  4. Add garlic and cook for another 1 - 2 minutes stirring frequently so garlic doesn't burn.
  5. Pour in chicken bouillon water to rice mixture.
  6. Add tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Thoroughly mix.
  7. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally so rice doesn't stick to bottom.
  8. Once mixture comes to a boil, reduce to low heat, put lid on pan and cook for 20 - 25 minutes until rice is done and liquids have been absorbed.
  9. Serve Immediately.

Recipe from: Martha Price at Just a Pinch


Items recommended for this recipe include…



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24 Comments on “Authentic Mexican Rice

  1. Shelby

    My mom would make Spanish Rice often and would put ground beef in it. This is another thing she used to make that I never do! I need to make it. I’m sure Grumpy would love it.

  2. Christine

    My dad had a version of Spanish rice that we all loved, authentic or not:p We would eat it for dinner, just that. But this looks like a great side, might have to give it a try some night with our tacos.

  3. Kelly

    This is really similar to my Mexican rice recipe – I usually cut up tomatoes or use some canned diced tomatoes in mine though. My ex was Mexican, and taught me how to make it!

    1. Janelle

      So glad you liked it! I have tried a LOT of Mexican/Spanish rice recipes over the years and this one beats them all! Thanks for the feedback!

  4. Meghan S

    Tried this tonight but changed a few things since I didn’t have the tomato sauce. I did add salsa and maybe that’s what’s wrong. I used the jasmine rice and did add more water to compensate a bit for not having the tomato sauce. Did everything else you said and when I went to check on it, all the liquid was gone so I tried it and the rice was still a bit hard. Added another 1-1/2c of water and let it cook longer and it was much better.

    I’ve never used jasmine rice before, does it normally take longer. And this is also the first time actually using real rice, not the ‘instant; so maybe all these things add into it, haha.

    1. Janelle

      Hi Megan! Thank you for trying our rice dish! I have never made this dish with salsa, however if you don’t use the tomato sauce, you’d need at least 8 ounces of liquid to compensate for the missing liquid in the tomato sauce. That should take care of the crunchy rice. If you get a chance, try the recipe as originally written with the tomato sauce and let us know what you think! Oh and Jasmine Rice does not normally take longer to cook than other rice. It merely adds a different flavor to the dish. Thanks again for your comment!

    1. Janelle

      Hi Beth!

      Yes you should be able to prepare this a day in advance. We love to eat it fresh but love the leftovers too so it does store well! Hope you enjoy it!

  5. Sheryl

    Added this to cooked sausage meat, stir fried mushrooms, zucchini and sweet peppers with some Italian seasoning and sprinkled with parmesan. Delicious !

    1. Janelle

      Sheryl, that sounds absolutely delicious! Thank you for leaving a comment so that other readers can see how you adapted this recipe to your own tastes!


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