This One Pot Mexican Rice recipe with corn is much effortless than you would even think of!
Cook it on stove top or in Instant Pot, it is packed with flavors and makes great side dish to your best loved Mexican food.
Serve this as mains or with tacos. Or fill your burritos, wraps and quesadillas with it.
About this one pot rice dish
Do you know, why we love this rice dish so much? Let me tell you the reason!
The one main reason is this delicious rice comes together in a single pot in no time! Plus you can adapt this dish in so many ways to suit to your taste. It's gluten free and vegan!
Made with basic ingredients, this restaurant style Mexican Rice recipe is so good that you just can't resist!
Long grain white rice is cooked in broth with lots of tomatoes, peppers, cumin powder, onions and garlic.
Laden with tomato flavor, the rice is really easy to cook. And it tastes just like the ones you get in restaurants.
It is also referred to as Spanish Rice or Arroz Rojo! In Spanish, Arroz Rojo means red rice!
Either way, you make it in the Instant pot or on stove top, you will fall in love with this Homemade Mexican rice each time.
Coz, it is better than the boxed version, no matter what! Anytime and every time!
I shall be showing you through video as well as the steps photos to make it in both the ways.
So, guys, let's move ahead to check on ingredients, step by step and tips.
Long Grain White Rice : I use Basmati rice to make this recipe. Though it is not must to use Basmati rice only. But, the amount of water to rice ratio works best here in this case.
Having said that, you are free to use long grain white rice of your choice 🙂 . I like the Mexican rice with each grain separated and non sticky.
Onion and Garlic : Both of these elements infuse great flavor and taste to the rice.
Tomatoes : You will need some chopped tomatoes and a cup of canned tomato sauce or puree.
Roma tomatoes works great. But, you can use any good quality red ones as well.
You can also add tomato bullion cubes, if you have it. These cubes give nice orange hue as well as taste to the rice. 2 cubes for the below measure works good. (Then reduce the puree to 1/2 a cup).
Spices : All you need is ground cumin and chilli powder. Both of these are a must to add Mexican flavor.
I prefer adding a bit of smoked paprika or cayenne pepper instead of red chilli powder. So, add whatever you like! No harm!
I love to add jalapeño peppers, hence I have added some! You can skip it if you wish to.
Broth or Water : Broth imparts tonnes of flavor to the rice. So, I prefer adding Chicken broth.
But, if you are willing to make it vegan or vegetarian then go with vegetable stock or water.
Add Ons - I have used Corns and red peppers. You can skip if you don't like it. To add more flavor, lots of chopped cilantro is a must!
Some times, I prefer to throw in chicken pieces also. So, you can modify the dish as you like.
But, please do not deviate from the authentic flavor. Add enough diced tomatoes or sauce. And keep it simple, I am sure you will become Mexican Rice fan.
Why I love to make it in the Instant Pot?
Mexican food being our love since years, we often spoil ourselves with it. Especially, this red rice, as it's my son's frequent request for lunch or dinner meals.
And, that's the reason why it is at our table so often. So, I love to make it in the Instant Pot.
Because, IP takes much much less time and effort! And, the rice is ready in less than 20 minutes. Or I should say only 15 minutes! 🙂
Making it in the Instant pot is so much of ease. You don't need to rely on time and cooking like how we do for the stove top. Plus, the less cook time is bonus!
So, now you know why Instant Pot Mexican Rice Recipe for me is a win win!
I know, there are questions that would be hitting in your minds! Like, how to make Mexican Rice in Instant Pot without getting the burn message?
Because, using the thick canned tomatoes or it's sauce usually gets stuck at the bottom of the pot. Hence, the burn message and so, even the rice remains uncooked!
Well, you just need to keep few things in mind while using the IP to make Mexican rice with crushed or diced tomatoes, sauce or it's paste.
Believe me, in the first attempt itself I got it perfect! and there was no looking back.
I follow the same tips all the time which I shall be sharing here in the notes. And, it never failed!
Step by Step Instructions in 2 ways
Here's how to make Mexican Rice Recipe in two ways.
Method 1 - Making it in a pot on stove top
To start with, clean and rinse the rice until water turns clear. Drain all the water and set it aside in the colander.
In a heavy bottom pot or dutch oven, heat oil.
Then, add 1/2 cup of chopped onions and chopped or minced garlic. Fry for 1 minute until soft and fragrant. Photo 1.
Add the rice and sauté it on medium high heat. Keep stirring until rice is toasted well. For about 3-4 minutes. Photo 2.
Now, add chopped tomatoes, red pepper, jalapeño, corn, cumin powder, paprika, crushed or pureed tomato. Photo 3 and 4.
Now, add salt and pepper, give it a mix. Then, add the stock and give it a stir. Photo 5 and 6.
Bring to a boil and then cover the pot. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Or until done. Photo 7.
Turn off the heat and let the rice rest for 10 minutes. Lift the lid and fluff the rice gently. Photo 8.
Sprinkle chopped cilantro, dish out and serve. Photo 9.
Method 2 - Making it in the Instant Pot
Place the inner pot and switch on the IP with Sauté mode.
Once it displays 'hot' heat oil. Then, add onions and minced garlic. Sauté for 1 minute or until soft and fragrant. Photo 1.
Add the rice and sauté it for 2 minutes or until it toast well. Keep stirring to avoid it getting stuck at the bottom. Photo 2.
Then, add rest of the ingredients, salt pepper and stock. Give a stir. Photo 3 , 4 and 5.
Close the pot with and seal. Press manual or pressure cook button and cook on 'Low' for 6 minutes. Photo 6.
Once the cooking is over, let the pressure release naturally for 3-4 minutes and then do the quick release.
Open the Pot and cover it with glass lid. Let the rice rest for few minutes. Photo 7 and 8.
Finally, sprinkle cilantro leaves and fluff the rice gently. Photo 9 and 10.
Add more veggies of your choice to give it taste, crunch and nutrition. You can add chopped carrots, peas and some more peppers, if you like it.
Do you want to make chicken version of it? Then, go ahead! Throw in some leftovers or grilled chicken into the rice.
You can replace rice with quinoa or couscous as both of them works too good.
Add some red beans or black beans for more protein and flavor.
Mexican Cauliflower rice : Replace the rice with grated cauliflower. Just that, there will be no water or stock used in this case. We just need to do the tossing.
Rest of the process remains the same. Reduce the puree to 1/4 cup.
Make it for your weekend parties or get togethers. Serve it as a sides to tacos or burrito. Or just as a main course with some guacamole on the side.
It makes a great meal in itself, we love to pair it with fajitas as well as Salsa or 3 Bean salad.
We just love to eat it as is. At times I just serve it topped with a bit of sour cream, avocados, lots of lemon and cilantro. It makes a great base to Rice bowls or Burrito bowls.
How to Store it?
Store the rice in a clean air tight container. It stays well upto 5 days in the fridge.
Just before serving, either microwave it or reheat it on the stove top for few minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I freeze the Mexican rice?
The answer is Yes! You can freeze it and for later use.
Place the rice into clean freezer safe box and freeze it in portions. Or simply, pack it in clean ziplock bags, and keep it in the freezer. It stays good upto 6 months.
Whenever you wish to serve the rice, thaw it in the fridge, reheat and use.
Can I make it using Brown Rice?
Absolutely! For healthier version, you can use brown rice instead of white rice.
Just follow the ratio of 1:2.5 for brown rice to liquid. That means, the amount of water for 1 cup of brown rice should be 2.5 cups. Rest of the steps is the same.
Can I make it without tomato sauce or it's paste?
Yes, you can make it without tomato sauce or paste. Simply use freshly pureed tomato and you are good to go.
Can I use tomato salsa instead of sauce?
Yes, absolutely! In fact salsa adds nice flavor and a bit of spice to the rice.
At times I do replace the sauce or puree with salsa. It's all about the personal choice. 🙂
How to make Mexican rice using caldo de tomato?
Well, caldo de tomato is a strong seasoning mix with dried tomato and chicken. When you do not have fresh or canned tomato paste or sauce handy, you can use this instead.
All you need to do is replace the paste or sauce with 4 teaspoons of this for 2 cups of rice. You can add an extra teaspoon for more taste.
How to make it in the rice cooker?
This is a perfect dump and go method of cooking Mexican rice.
Simply add all the ingredients in the cooker and give it a good stir. Close the lid and let the cooker do the rest.
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Mexican Rice Recipe
- 2 cups Long Grain White Rice (400 grams) preferably Basmati rice
- 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
- ½ cup Onion chopped
- 2 teaspoons Garlic minced
- ½ cup Tomato chopped
- ½ Red Bell Pepper chopped
- 1 Jalapeño chopped
- 1 cup Corn
- 1 teaspoon Cumin Powder
- ¾ teaspoon Paprika or Cayenne Pepper (optional)
- 1 cup Tomato Puree or Sauce
- Salt and Pepper To Taste
- 4 cups Vegetable Stock or Chicken Stock (2.25 cups for Instant Pot version)
- Cilantro chopped
- To start with, clean and rinse the rice until water turns clear. Drain all the water and set it aside in the colander.
Making It In Pot On Stove Top
- In a heavy bottom pot or dutch oven, heat oil.
- Then, add chopped or minced garlic and 1/2 cup of chopped onions. Sauté for 1 minute until soft and fragrant.
- Add the rice and sauté it on medium high heat. Keep stirring until rice is toasted well. For about 3-4 minutes.
- Now, add chopped tomatoes, red pepper, jalapeño, corn, cumin powder, paprika, crushed or pureed tomato, salt and pepper.
- Then, add the stock and give it a stir. Bring to a boil and then cover the pot.
- Turn the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Or until done.
- Turn off the heat and let the rice rest for 10 minutes. Lift the lid and fluff the rice gently.
- Sprinkle chopped cilantro, dish out and serve.
Making It In the Instant Pot
- Place the inner pot and switch on the IP with Sauté mode.
- Once it displays 'hot' heat oil. Then, add minced garlic and onions. Sauté for 1 minute or until soft and fragrant.
- Add the rice and sauté it for 2 minutes or until it toast well. Keep stirring to avoid it getting stuck at the bottom.
- Then, add rest of the ingredients, salt pepper and stock. Give a stir.
- Close the pot with and seal. Press manual or pressure cook button and cook on 'Low' for 6 minutes.
- Once the cooking is over, let the pressure release naturally for 3-4 minutes and then do the quick release.
- Open the Pot and cover it with glass lid. Let the rice rest for few minutes.
- Sprinkle cilantro leaves and fluff the rice gently.
- Dish out and serve. You can sprinkle some lemon juice if you wish to.