Restaurant Style Mexican Rice

Restaurant Style 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! This is truly a Restaurant Style Mexican Rice.

Mexican Rice

Mexican Rice

I’ve never been able to make a great home-made version of Mexican rice that had all the great texture of a rice you’d find in a Mexican restaurant until I tried Marcella Valadolid’s technique.

Most of the home versions I’ve tried to make seemed to be just too tomato-y, too soft and mushy, just too mediocre. This Restaurant Style Mexican Rice, though, is outstanding. Soft but al dente, the grains perfectly cooked and the whole dish is fluffy.

Mexican Rice

Mexican Rice

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.

Almost every rice recipe I make benefits from a good rinsing of the rice – but not in this case. So Bonus for easy, right? As far as easy, If you don’t want to mess with the tomato, try a cup of tomato juice and make up the rest of the liquid with chicken broth.

Either way, when the compliments come rolling in on this Restaurant Style Mexican Rice, just smile and say “thanks.” 🙂

Restaurant Style Mexican Rice

Restaurant Style Mexican Rice


Restaurant Style Mexican Rice

Light & fluffy restaurant style Mexican Rice.

  • Author: adapted from Marcella Valadolid
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


  • 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.


Shortcut this by using about a cup of tomato juice instead of the fresh tomatoes.

For a deeper colored rice, stir in 2 tablespoons of tomato paste when adding the salt, bay leaf, and Serrano chile.


  • Calories: 214
  • Sodium: 734mg
  • Fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 42g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Cholesterol: 0

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Let’s talk about how to save money/time on Restaurant Style Mexican Rice:
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Mexican Rice made February 2012

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