how to make authentic mexican rice

Do you need a simple, easy and crowd pleasing recipe that you always have the ingredients on hand for? Something easy you can whip up without putting a lot of brain power into? This authentic Mexican fits the bill. It is a Mexican recipe, but it’s a mild dish that pair really well with many kinds of dishes, with roasted meats, with stew and yes with tacos or any other kind of Mexican fare.

This rice is definitely a staple at our house.  My husband is Mexican and so we eat a lot of Mexican food on a regular basis. He’s at his happiest when dinner involves rice, beans and meat. His mama taught me how to make this rice, so this is for real real Mexican food I’m talking about here. Everyone loves this recipe, in fact I was asked by a friend to share it here on Making Home Simple.

I always keep jasmine rice on hand, in fact I buy it in bulk.  25 pound bag at a time.  That way I always always can make a cheap healthy side to feed the masses (aka the children). I do the same with other bulk, longer term storage items like oats, dried beans and flour.

How to make authentic Mexican rice

How to make authentic Mexican rice
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of jasmine rice
  • 3 cups of water or broth
  • 1/4 of a diced onion
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • some kind of veggies to add in: peas, carrots, green beans, corn
  • salt


    1. Pour about 2 Tablespoons of oil in a deep skillet, turn on med high heat.

    2. Add 1 1/2 cups of dry jasmine rice to the oil in the pan.  Stir occasionally and fry the dry rice in the oil until the rice turns golden brown.

    3. When the rice has turned golden brown, add 3 cups of water (or broth if you are using it).

    4.  Add and veggies you are using, onions, garlic and salt.

    5. Cover with lid, turn heat down to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.

    6. After 20 minutes start checking to see if the liquid is gone in the pan and the rice is fluffy and cooked.  Mine usually needs an additional 5 minutes or so.  When you see the liquid is gone turn off the heat.  If you catch it so there is just a little tiny bit of liquid still in the pan, you can turn off the heat and let it sit on the burner and it will finish cooking this way.

Some notes on making authentic Mexican rice:

1. The oil:

Any kind of oil should work here olive oil is just what I use, avocado oil would probably be a good choice if you are concerned about smoke points and all that.  Coconut oil does change the flavor of the rice, which can be nice depending on what you are serving it with.

2. The rice:

My mother-in-law always uses jasmine rice, and that is what I have always used as well, but my guess is any rice would work. Also, you can adjust the amount of rice, but for some reason I have found what cooks best is the 1 1/2 cups. If you want to change the amount of rice the rice to water ratio is twice as much water as rice.

how to make authentic Mexican rice

3. The veggies:

I almost always do peas in the rice because it’s so easy to through in a handful a bag of frozen peas and I can’t eat corn. Other good vegetable options are diced carrots, corn, small bits of green beans or a combo. Fresh is always the best, but frozen are surely so convenient.

4. The salt:

Mexicans (at least the ones I know) love to say “un poquito de sal” which means just a little bit of salt when cooking, then they proceed to dump in a large amount. This always makes me laugh!  I use Himalayan pink sea salt which I think is not quite as salty?  Anyways, I put in a good amount, about a tablespoon to tablespoon and a half. If you are using a different salt, and esp a regular iodized table salt you probably need less. If you don’t live with a Mexican you may also need less salt 🙂

5. The onions and the garlic:

My mother in law informed me the key to good Mexican food is lots of salt, onions and garlic. Using fresh onions and garlic is the best, but sometimes I need to cut my corners in the kitchen for one reason or another. So sometimes, ok a lot of times, I just sprinkle in some garlic powder and dehydrated diced onions and call it good.

Let me know how it turns out for you in the comments below!

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