Mexican Rice – Restaurant Style

Mexican Rice - Restaurant Style

We love Mexican food and one of our favorites is plain old homemade refried beans or slow-cooker pinto beans and Mexican rice mixed together with a little bit of melted cheese on top and then scooped up with tortilla chips.

Out of all the different Mexican rice recipes we’ve tried this one is our absolute favorite.  It’s super easy to make, the flavor is delicious, the texture is always perfect {dry, not wet}, we always have the ingredients on hand, and the leftovers are good for several days.  This rice is delicious served alongside your favorite Mexican dishes ~ tacos, enchiladas, burritos, etc.


Restaurant Style Mexican Rice

Restaurant Style Mexican Rice


  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup long grain rice, uncooked
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cup (8-ounce can) tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon chicken base
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the rice and gently stir until the rice is lightly brown.
  3. Add the garlic, salt, and cumin.
  4. Stir until the rice looks golden.
  5. Add the tomato sauce, water, chicken base, and cilantro.
  6. Turn up the heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to low.
  7. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
  9. Fluff with a fork and serve.


Leftover Mexican Rice freezes well.

Recipe source: Favorite Family Recipes, adapted.

This recipe was featured on:
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6 Responses to Mexican Rice – Restaurant Style

  1. leilani February 12, 2015 at 8:17 am #

    This is indeed an authentic recipe in that it includes chicken base. We use only half a cup of tomato sauce, though. Have you ever tried fideo? It’s similar only you substitute rice for vermicelli. Mmmm

    • Lori February 12, 2015 at 11:25 am #

      Hi Leilani, the original recipe was for only a half cup of tomato sauce but I didn’t like having leftover sauce so I increased the amount of tomato sauce to 1 cup and decreased the amount of water. I’ve heard of fideo but haven’t tried it, so thanks for telling me about it. I’ll try it one of these days. Is the recipe the same except for substituting in the vermicelli?

  2. Kay February 12, 2015 at 8:41 am #

    It looks delicious Lori, I will be trying this recipe soon.

    • Kay February 23, 2015 at 9:02 am #

      Made it twice… Great recipe and easy to make. Thanks for sharing Lori.

      • Lori February 24, 2015 at 1:25 pm #

        I’m glad to know you liked this Mexican Rice, Kay. Thanks for letting me know.

  3. Jo Stone February 20, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

    I have never been able to make a good Mexican rice. I am going to give this one a try.

    I’ve added salsa to rice and do like the taste, but not quite what I was looking for. Hopefully this one will be it! The recipe sounds really good.


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