When we go to a Mexican restaurant for dinner, one of my favorite parts of the meal is the rice. Today I am sharing a recipe for easy restaurant style Mexican rice. Packed with flavor, it is everything you want and so much more. It is so good you’ll swear you can hear the mariachi music playing!
I love how easy this is to make, sauté some aromatics together, add the rice and flavored liquids and simmer until tender. Add a few peas and cilantro (parsley if you don’t like cilantro), and scoop onto plates to serve. Most of the work is hands-off and it all comes together in about 30 minutes. Win!
Many similar dishes are lacking in flavor and can be quite boring to eat. To combat that, I’ve increased the vegetables and used stock instead of water. A little fresh lime juice brightens the flavors and seasonings wake up your taste buds without adding a lot of heat.
If you want a vegetarian version, just swap out vegetarian stock for the chicken. It will blend with the tomato sauce beautifully and give you a dish where even non-vegetarians will be asking for seconds.
This is the perfect side dish to any Latin main course or you can serve it as a vegetarian meal. It complements so many different flavors that I know you will love having it as part of your dinner.
This recipe is gluten-free, but always watch the labels on any prepared foods and seasonings. If you have any questions, contact the manufacturer. I like McCormick and Penzey’s spices which are well marked and easy to find.
Can I make this recipe with brown rice?
Yes, but the amount of liquid is higher and cook time will be longer. Follow the directions on the rice package for the best results.
I like to use Lundberg Family Farms brand of rice, which comes in a wide variety of types and styles. They are consistently high quality and trustworthy for your best recipes.
How to make Easy Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice:
- Whisk the liquid ingredients together
- Sauté the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and rice
- Add the liquids and seasonings; stir well
- Cover and cook until tender, add the peas, then remove from the heat and let rest to finish cooking
- Fluff the rice, sprinkle with cilantro, and serve
Key Ingredients for this Recipe
- Chicken or vegetable stock
- Fresh lime juice
- Tomato sauce
- Onion, bell pepper, and garlic
- White rice
- Cumin, oregano, and chili powder
- Frozen peas
Kitchen Tools I Use to Make This Recipe
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a progressive dinner party where each course is held at a different home. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. This month’s theme is Late Summer Latin American Cuisine hosted byTamara of Beyond Mere Sustenance. We have a great mix of recipes including appetizers, sides, entrees, and desserts. Come along and see all of the deliciousness we’ve put together for our celebration inspired dishes!
Enjoy today’s Easy Restaurant Style Mexican Rice below and be sure to check out the recipes from my fellow bloggers. You can create an entire meal with our Progressive Eats suggestions!
Late Summer Latin American Cuisine!
- Brazilian Caipirinha Cocktail – That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Easy Peruvian Pisco Sour Cocktail – The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Grilled Citrus Chicken with Spicy Basil Chimichurri – From a Chef’s Kitchen
- Steak Adobado Tacos – Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Citrus-Marinated Pork Chops with Hatch Chile – Beyond Mere Sustenance
- Quick Mexican Pickled Onions and Carrots – Shockingly Delicious
- Venezuelan-Style Black Beans (Caraotas Negras) – Sarah’s Cucina Bella
- Easy Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice – The Heritage Cook
- 1 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 small onion, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp chili powder, optional
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup frozen peas
- 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
- Place the stock, lime juice, and the tomato sauce in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a 3 to 4 qt. saucepan over medium heat. When shimmering, add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and the rice is beginning to color, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the liquids, add the cumin, oregano, and chili powder, and season with salt and
pepper. Stir well and cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Reduce the heat to low.
- Cook at a low simmer, covered, until rice is tender and nearly all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes, or according to package directions. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the peas over the top, replace the lid, and let sit for 10 minutes to finish steaming the rice.
- Remove the lid and gently fluff the rice with two forks. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve. Garnish with lime wedges if desired.
Adapted from a recipe on Delish.com
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 131 Total Fat: 5g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 1mg Sodium: 351mg Carbohydrates: 19g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 7g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 3g
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