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Easy Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice

This easy Mexican rice is so easy to make, and comes out so tender and delicious! Made with fresh tomatoes, spices, tender rice, and more, this Mexican rice is the perfect side dish for all your favorite Mexican main dishes.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time23 mins
Total Time38 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: easy mexican rice, mexican rice
Servings: 6 people
Author: Tania


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups long grain rice (uncooked)
  • 2 roma tomatoes, seeds removed and small diced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 ¼ cups chicken broth
  • Cilantro and lime wedges (for garnish)


  • In a large deep skillet or pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Add the rice and combine with the onion and garlic. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring, until it smells a bit nutty and aromatic. This process is called “toasting the rice,” and adds lots of aromatic flavors. Tip: Stir the rice as it toasts so it doesn’t burn at the bottom.
  • Add the fresh diced tomatoes, tomato paste, cumin, oregano, salt, and ground black pepper. Stir to combine. Season with more salt and pepper, if needed and to taste.
  • Add the broth and bring to a boil. Then, reduce to a simmer over low heat, and cover with the lid tightly. Cook for 20-23 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid water. Tip: try not uncover the pot until the cook time is up, otherwise the steam will escape, resulting in undercooked rice.
  • Optional: Fluff the cooked rice with a fork and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. This step will help redistribute the flavors and heat for even better texture and flavor.
  • Serve with cilantro garnish and lime wedges on the side. Enjoy!


  • Liquid to rice ratio: Usually, for long grain rice, I do 1.5 cups of liquid per cup of rice. This ensures the grains are separated and tender (not mushy or wet). In this recipe, I use 2 cups of rice and 3 ¼ cups of liquid. The extra quarter cup of liquid is to account for the diced tomatoes.
  • Try not to open the lid until the cook time is up, otherwise the steam will escape, resulting in undercooked rice.
  • Make ahead: This rice can be made the day before and stored in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave oven.
  • Storing leftovers: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.