Restaurant Style Mexican Rice

Restaurant Style Mexican Rice from #mexicanrice #rice #mexicanfoodThis is a delicious and simple recipe for Mexican rice that rivals anything you can get in a restaurant (and FAR better than anything you can make from a box). I have tried different methods in my rice cooker, but cooking it over the stove is so much better. This Mexican rice is slightly on the dry side, like in restaurants (which is exactly how I like it). It doesn’t turn out wet, clumpy and sticky like some homemade Mexican rice recipes can be. The rice really absorbs the flavors yet has the perfect consistency. Really– you can’t lose.
My husband is very picky about his Mexican rice, they had a family friend growing up that made the most amazing and authentic Mexican food… he was skeptical that this rice would be as good as his friends’ Mexican rice… but to his pleasant surprise this was JUST as good (if not better)!  He actually said it is his new favorite way to make it and we have made it several times since.
This recipe goes hand in hand with our restaurant style refried beans HERE. With both of these recipes combined, you have all your sides covered for your next big fiesta! Your friends will think you had it all catered in from your favorite Mexican joint. We have tons of great Mexican recipes here on FavFamilyRecipes… if you want to browse them ALL, click HERE!

Restaurant Style Mexican Rice

Restaurant Style Mexican Rice


  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup long grain rice, uncooked
  • 1 tsp. fresh minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 c. tomato sauce
  • 1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro


  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the rice and gently stir until rice begins to lightly brown.
  • Add the garlic, salt, and cumin and stir the rice til it looks golden.
  • Add the tomato sauce, chicken broth, and cilantro and turn the heat up to medium high.
  • Bring the mix to a boil then turn the heat to low and cover the pan with a lid.
  • Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Serves 4.
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  1. This recipe was amazing! I made it tonight and it was delicious with our fajitas. I have to admit, I sucked at cooking until my husband brought home your book from Deseret Book and now I am making delicious meals daily! He is a happy hubby now! Keep the recipes coming!

    • I used brown basmati rice. The rice package required more liquid for cooking and a longer cooking time, so I just added more chicken broth and left it simmering for 45 minutes. Turned out DELICIOUS.

  2. I am a puertorican woman married to a hard core mexican man. I have tried just about every recipe available for this rice and it never quite worked. I made this today and IT’S PERFECT!! This is the way my MIL makes it. This is as authentic as it can get! Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is the recipe I will make my family from now on.

  3. -My 12 year old son AKA the pickiest eater in the entire universe “This is the BEST Mexican rice I’ve had in a long time! Save the recipe!”

    Thank you! He wanted to go out for Mexican rice and refried beans. I found your recipe and whipped it up in 20 minutes , warmed up a can of beans and scored some awesome mom points!

  4. I made this rice and it was FABOULOUS! I have never been able to replicate mexican rice like a restaurant and my husband and I loved this recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Looks amazing! I’d like to make it for an upcoming party. What is your advice about making it ahead of time and re-heating?

  6. This was a really good basic Mexican rice recipe. I have been searching for one and this is the one I will bookmark for later. Thank you!

  7. I loved the flavor of this recipe, but I tried it with brown rice (simmering for 45 min) and didn’t like the texture. I think I’ll splurge and do the long grain white rice next time!

  8. I just tried this recipe last night & it was awesome! Best Mexican rice recipe I’ve tried yet. I used brown rice & loved it.
    Thank you!

  9. This looks like a great recipe! We’re grilling carne asada and I wanted to try a new recipe for Spanish rice so yours is it. Can’t wait to taste it!

  10. I made this the other night with enchiladas. I’ve been wanting to make mexican rice for a long time but never have. So glad I found your recipe first, it was everything I was looking for. I did fry some onion in a bit of oil first before adding the rice, added a touch of taco seasoning instead of salt, and added a few chopped baby tomatoes :)

    It was beyond perfect. Thank you!

  11. In your recipe when you say heat the oil on medium heat and add the rice.. do you mean cooked or uncooked rice? I would love to make this tonight!

  12. My kids love Mexican restaurants rice. I tired you recipe the other night and they say it beats all of their former favorites.

  13. I have been using this recipe for many years and take it to Mexican themed parties. I took it to a party recently and it was a hit and my friends thought our Mexican friend had made it. Best compliment ever. I have never tried adding cilantro. I will have to try that. :-)

  14. Ok so i followed this recipe’s instructions fairly well except that I used a rice cooker – that’s right! And it turned out amazing! I still dry toasted the rice in the hot rice cooker and mixed in oil to let it heat, then garlic and dry herbs, then liquid and cilantro and set it – 20 minutes later I had Mexican rice that guests were raving about. It was almost a letdown when I explained that I used a rice cooker, but I’m very proud of it too! Thank you so much!

  15. I am going to be making this tonight. Could I stir in some canned veggies like peas and carrots? The last few times I went to a Mexican restaurant there were peas and/or carrots in it. And if so when would be the ideal time to stir them in? Thank you for a simple and delicious recipe!

    • You could definitely try it! I am sure it wouldn’t hurt. If it were ME, I wouldn’t do canned. I would do frozen, saute them separately and stir them in at the end…

  16. try switching the tomato sauce for the Mexican hot tomato sauce and only use a 1/4 cup of it . while the rice is browning put the HOT TOMATO sauce and half of a onion. brown the rice. when it comes to add chicken broth. that’s where you get all the flavor. trust me i’m 100% Mexicana from San Diego I grew up cooking from 7 of my tias and nana cooking constantly. I post my recipes on pintrest all the time I make dinners for my Caucasian husband because he LOVES Mexican food. I make it most of the time because w live in florida. there is close to none authentic Mexican restaurants. love your recipes ladies!! keep up the Great work!!

    • Thank you so much for your advice! I will DEFINITELY be doing that next time I make this! What is the link to your Pinterest page? I would love to try your recipes!

      • its Ashley slager. I don’t have a blog up. im not that special lol but for the larger batches of rice use the 1/4 cup for smaller use 1 tablespoon. i eye ball it only because it is spicy. you can get it at Wal-Mart in the Hispanic isle. Its called “Conchita tomato sauce salsa de tomate” :)

  17. This recipe looked so delicious. I decided to make it tonight and it smelled sooo bad. I could not eat it. Also, there was not enough liquid and the rice didn’t fully cook. Not sure why though, followed the instructions exactly. :/

  18. Can I blend tomatoes for my tomato sauce? Having people over for dinner tonight, making fajitas. Was looking for a simple easy recipe for Mexican rice.

  19. I just tried this recipe tonight and it was GREAT!! It’s just what I have been looking for. We had this with fajitas and it was better than at a Mexican restaurant. I have put this into my recipe book and will most definitely be making it for every mexican meal! Thank you!

  20. I made this recipe tonight. It was so easy and awesome!!! Very close to my favorite Mexican restaurant. Better than any packaged rice you buy at the store. Other than the cumin I had everything on hand. Used the dried cilantro and it tasted really good. This is definitely a keeper! Thanks for sharing.

  21. We made this last night as a side dish, and everyone loved it. We are thinking about trying it with a little bit of salsa for a little extra oomph, but it was just like the rice that I’m used to getting at some of my favorite Mexican restaurants!!

  22. Can you use instant white rice? If so should I cook it before or cook it like the recipe says? Also I have rice a roni..would the rice from that work? Thank you!!

  23. Turned out perfect! Great recipe. I used a big nonstick frying pan with a lid. When it was time to let it steam I put a piece of foil on top of the pan and then put the lid on top. That helps every piece of rice to get done perfectly. <3

    • Thanks for the tip! I always have trouble getting the rice to cook evenly – never thought of this before!

  24. Who needs a box of Spanish rice with a bunch of ingredients that you can’t pronounce when you can make this recipe from scratch? It was easy and tasted totally authentic. Loved it!

  25. Made chicken lime taco meat in the crock pot. We ate the shredded chicken over this rice. Was wonderful. Added some black beans and corn to the rice.

  26. For those wanting to use brown rice, I tried this with Trader Joe’s quick cooking brown basmati and it was perfect. I just shortened up the cooking time to correspond with the package directions.

  27. Just wanted to say that this mexican rice recipe is the one I have been looking for forever! It complemented black beans perfectly for delicious vegetarian burritos. Thanks so much for putting this out there.

    • So glad to hear that you liked it!!! We are SO picky about our rice so this is the only recipe we use… you must have great taste ;)


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