Mexican Rice

Thank you to Marcella Valadolid from Food Network for teaching me to finally make a decent tasting Mexican Rice with a great texture! I’ve cooked Mexican food since the late 70’s, so here’s proof that an old dog CAN learn new tricks. There’ll be no wet, soggy, gloppy rice using this method.

Mexican Rice, beautifully cooked and flavored
Mexican Rice, beautifully cooked and flavored

It’s so simple, but it’s the ratio of the rice to the liquid that really makes this perfect – since the tomatoes have a high moisture ratio, whizzing them in the blender with some of the broth and then making sure you have a total of four cups of liquid to two cups of rice is the secret here.

Mexican Rice

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 3 tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken broth, you’ll need a little less
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 1 large finely diced carrot
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups medium grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 whole Serrano chile
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of frozen peas

Cut the tomatoes in half, and remove the seeds and roughly chop. Add the tomatoes and 2 cups of broth to a blender and puree. Pour into a measuring cup and add enough broth to make 4 cups of liquid.

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrots and saute for 4 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Stir in the rice and cook until slightly toasted, about 3 minutes.

Add the tomato broth mixture, stir and bring to boil. Add the salt, bay leaf, and the Serrano chile. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the rice is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pan from heat. Scatter the peas over the top of the rice, cover, and let the rice stand 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork, transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

from the kitchen of

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read {Strategies Applied} for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.


Per Serving: 213 Calories; 3g Fat (10.8% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 42g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 734mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 2 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat.

Put Your own Spin on It:

For a deeper colored rice, stir in 2 tablespoons of tomato paste when adding the salt, bay leaf and Serrano chile. You can also stir in 1/4 cup of frozen peas when rice is done, before it’s rested.

My Pay Off:

A really good tasting rice that just takes minutes to throw together and far exceeds the more expensive packaged rice in taste and texture.

Recipe made February 2012

Comments and discussion always welcome - tell me what you think.

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