Mexican Rice (Ultimate Recipe Swap: Mexican Food)

Mexican food is a cuisine near and dear to my heart. Growing up in Southern California, my family loved, loved, LOVED to visit Downtown Los Angeles and the historic Olvera Street. The original neighborhood of the City of Angels, Olvera Street features some of the best eating I’ve had in my life. The corner restaurant, La Luz del Dia is my favorite.

Carnitas Tostada, por favor — y dos tacos de carnitas.

And a 7-Up. (I was a French major, remember?)

Such a creature of habit, I order the same. thing. every. time.

But, we can’t go to Olvera Street every week, can we? So, over the years I’ve learned to make many things myself: tortillas, tamales, salsa, and today’s recipe: Mexican Rice. This is very versatile; it’s great as a side dish, but can also make a frugal, meatless main dish, like beans and rice. This is an easy rice pilaf that will astonish you at its simplicity. Promise.

And if you’re truly a visual person, here’s a video to help you through the steps.

What’s a favorite Mexican dish that your family makes? We’d love to hear about it!

Here’s how to participate in Ultimate Recipe Swap:

1. Post your recipe on your blog. Please mention in your post so that your readers know where all the other good recipes are hanging out. Then, come back here to add the link to your post to Mr. Linky below. (Find instructions for Mr. Linky here.)


2. If you don’t have a blog, simply post your recipe or tell us about it in the comments section.

3. Above all, please stick to topic. Today is Mexican food. So if your recipe doesn’t fit the theme, it will be deleted. Thanks for understanding.

Have a story to go along with your recipe? We’d love to hear it!

If you have a topic suggestion for future swaps, go here.

Looking forward to seeing what you have to share!


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  1. Anonymous says:

    For the Mexican Rice, do you use “minute” rice or the longer cooking rice? The minute rice is probably not as frugal, but CAN you use it?


  2. Liz@HoosierHomemade says:

    Thanks for hosting! The rice looks great!

  3. I make mexican rice very much like this. But I put some seasoning in mine like cumin. I think the trick is frying the rice.

  4. Your rice recipe looks simple and delicious. Thanks for sharing it.

  5. I goofed! I put just my name in the widget above for the recipe swap, and forgot to add the recipe name…I tried to delete it and redo it but don’t know how to. Please delete the Gina Koston link and leave the second one I put in that has the Mexican Breakfast Casserole recipe title in it. Thanks so much and sorry for the goof!

  6. It’s great to have a simple yet delicious side dish like this for all those heavy mexican dishes! Thanks for hosting the exchange.

  7. This is the first time I have read your blog & I LOVE your Ultimate Recipe Swap! Great idea :)

  8. Amy @ Finer Things says:

    I didn’t add one this time, but Mexican is a fave here. Can’t wait to check out some of these recipes!

  9. Marshall says:


    We have just added your latest post "Life as Mom: Ultimate Recipe Swap: Mexican Food" to our Food Directory . You can check the inclusion of the post here . We are delighted to invite you to submit all your future posts to the directory for getting a huge base of visitors to your website and gaining a valuable backlink to your site.

    Warm Regards Team

  10. My Mexican rice (which my husband who normally hates rice absolutely loves) is made like this: Saute 1 cup parboiled rice and some chopped onion (usually 1/2 onion) in some oil till the rice is somewhat browned and the onions are translucent. Then stir in one can of Rotel, one cup water, and half a package of taco seasoning. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until most of the liquid is absorbed. You can have it just like that, but what we usually do is grill a couple chicken breast tenderloins on the George Foreman, chop them into small cubes, and add to the rice mixture as it cooks…then pour a little italian dressing over it right before eating it…YUMMY!!

  11. Whew! That was close. I had been browsing your site so intensely that I didn’t realize that my laptop battery was about to die. I almost lost your site…which I love!
    My husband and I have been debt free for 3 years now (oh man, it feels gooooooooood!) and with recent prices at the grocery store going back into an upswing, we’ve had to tighten the budget’s belt a bit. Beans and rice sounds like the perfect answer. You’ve really inspired me with frugal meals, and I’ve started to look into Once A Month cooking too.
    Thanks for such a fabulous blog! I will be back often.

  12. Serenity says:

    Does this anyone know if this recipe works with brown rice?

  13. sounds great – I would only make one change. I would use salsa instead of the tomato sauce.

  14. Sarah G says:

    I just made the Mexican Rice last night and it was fabulous! I am so excited b/c making from scratch (using a very easy recipe) is going to save me lots of money over buying the Uncle Ben’s ready to go Spanish Rice…plus, I know exactly what’s in my rice! Thank you so much for sharing – like one poster mentioned, I added chopped onions to mine, and will try it with salsa and corn next time – gotta sneak in those vegetables whenever I can! Thanks again for sharing!

  15. I came across this recipe over a year ago, and it has NEVER FAILED ME! For the rehearsal dinner before our wedding, my husband and I cooked a meal for everyone that included this rice, and we got rave reviews! Thank you for sharing this amazingly simple dish!

  16. I have tried this recipe many times. I love this recipe and so does my family, but I continue to get crunchy rice instead of soft, cooked rice. What am I doing wrong?

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      I’ve had that happen before, usu when I’m not patient enough to cook it the entire time, or if there isn’t enough liquid.

      • I figured it out! My lid wasn’t sealed tight enough (it’s from another pan)-so I put foil between my lid and pan. And I got that yummy rice you talked about! Yeah! Not a rice-cooker-failure after all. :) about to surprise the fam at dinner

  17. made the rice today..had the slow cooker pinto beans cooked from yesterday. what a great make ahead meal! had a good amount of ‘liguid’ with the beans and so i drained that out and plan to use IT for something else. mashed the beans alittle and fried them up before serving with shredded cheese on top and green tabasco sauce. topped the rice with sour cream and green tabasco. very good! anyone have any ideas for what to do with the leftover ‘liguid’ from the beans? has a nice flavor to it..must be good for SOMETHING! thanks!

  18. Oh my cow. This was FANTASTIC! I just made it tonight along with your Pintos and tostadas and my whole family raved. This is definitely in our rotation now! Thank you!!

  19. This was an awesome dinner! I made this rice with your pintos that I’d cooked in the slow cooker yesterday. I added generous amounts of cumin, chili powder, garlic and onion powder, etc. to it because that’s how we like it. Sooooo much better than those Knorr rice packets I was using. This is fine eating, I tell ya! You’re my dinner hero, as usual!

  20. I made this months ago and let the race burn in the oil. Ruined it! I gave up trying to make it until yesterday. I made it correctly & watched it so I wouldn’t burn it. It turned our fabulous! We all loved it! Hubby & all 5 boys! My daughter is 3 & picky. LOL. I will be making this simple dish many times to come.


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