Easy Mexican Rice

This Easy Mexican Rice Recipe is fragrant and fluffy and made in less than 20 minutes for the perfect Mexican side dish!

This Easy Mexican Rice Recipe is made in just one skillet in less than 20 minutes for the perfect Mexican side dish!

It’s quickly become my husband’s hands-down favorite Mexican Rice ever. EVER.

And… I’m going to have to agree with him.

A few years back (before I decided to become a food blogger; aka- when I didn’t know much about cooking), I had family over for Christmas Eve dinner. It’s tradition in my house to have Mexican food for Christmas Eve, so I planned accordingly… which meant I called up the closest Mexican restaurant and ordered a giant size container or rice and beans.

Since then, I have learned to master some of my favorite dishes and this Easy Mexican Rice is my latest conquest.

Start by toasting your Mexican Rice with ground cumin and garlic salt in a hot skillet.

How to Make Mexican Rice:

  • The first thing you want to do is sauté your onion in a little olive oil until it’s tender.
  • Toss in some ground cumin and garlic salt.
  • Toast your rice before adding in the liquid to finish it cooking.

This Mexican Rice is so easy to make, and so extremely flavorful with little hints of garlic and cumin in every bite.

Add in a few tablespoons of freshly chopped cilantro to bring out the flavor of the Mexican Rice Recipe.

Over the years I have made this Easy Mexican Rice with some flavor variations, and each time I’m always amazed at how delicious it turns out. This rice pairs perfectly with my Sweet Pulled Pork Enchiladas, Taco Meat, and Enchilada Casserole!

Mexican Rice Recipe Substitutions:

  • If you are out of garlic salt, try using garlic powder and salt combined. Or use fresh garlic in place of the powdered.
  • If you don’t have the diced tomatoes with green chilies, use regular diced tomatoes and add a 4oz can of diced green chilies.
  • Out of limes? No worries, it still tastes great without the lime juice added!

This quick and easy Mexican Rice recipe is always a favorite for taco night or enchilada night!

Just before serving, add a couple tablespoons of freshly chopped cilantro for an added burst of flavor to this easy Mexican side dish!

Grab a fork and dig in.

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Easy Mexican Rice

This Easy Mexican Rice Recipe is made in just one skillet in less than 20 minutes for the perfect Mexican side dish!

Delicious mexican style rice that will wow your tastebuds and the family.

  • Author: Shawn
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 cup (medium or long grain) uncooked white rice
  • 1 tsp garlic salt (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder + 1/2 tsp salt)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 14 oz can Mexican Diced Tomatoes (diced tomatoes with green chiles)
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 1/2 cups Chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro


  1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet (needs to have a fitting lid). Add the onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes until just tender.
  2. Add the rice and stir, letting the rice toast slightly until it becomes a light brown. While it’s toasting add the garlic salt and cumin and keep stirring.
  3. Add the can of Mexican diced tomatoes (including the juices), lime juice and the chicken broth, stir and bring mixture to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. Fluff with fork, stir in freshly chopped cilantro and enjoy!


If you can’t find the 14oz can of Mexican Diced Tomatoes, use a can of regular diced tomatoes and a 4oz can of diced green chilies. (use as much or as little of the chilies as you prefer).


This Easy Mexican Rice Recipe is made in just one skillet in less than 20 minutes for the perfect Mexican side dish!

About the author

Shawn is the Owner and Creator of I Wash You Dry. She loves to create and share simple, family-friendly recipes. Mom to 5 adorable children and dwells in the desert of Southern Utah.
32 Responses
  1. Barb Morgan

    Just jumped on Pinterest at dinner time to find a Mexican rice recipe that isn’t the real tomato saucy red type to go with Garlic Lime Chicken I made this afternoon, Took me a couple minutes to find this one and a few to put it together to simmer.

    Boy, am I glad I found it! This will be on the menu will most of our Mexican food meals. LOVE the fresh taste. I had a 10 oz can of Rotel and just added a pint jar of my home canned plain tomatoes and used lime juice I had on hand in the little plastic lime bottle. I didn’t have fresh cilantro either so used dried. Even with the make do changes, it was perfect!! Will have to look for those Walmart rotel type tomatoes–would be cheaper I’m sure.

    Thanks for posting it! Barb

  2. Pam

    I am confused about where you have found a 14 oz can of Mexican diced tomatoes with green chilies and lime juice. The only type I have ever found at our stores where I am from is a 10 oz Rotel and it doesn’t have lime juice as an ingredient. What brand of Mexican diced tomatoes are you using that is 14 oz and has lime juice??

      1. Sorry you’re having trouble finding the larger can of diced tomatoes. I use a diced tomato that is seasoned with green chilies and lime, sold where the plain diced tomatoes are. Sometimes if I can’t find the kind with the lime added, I’ll just squeeze half a lime in with a can of diced tomatoes and green chiles.

        1. Pam

          You don’t by chance have a brand name do you? I can’t find tomatoes with chili’s in 14 oz period but if I had a brand name it might help. Thanks

  3. Debbie

    I’ve been making the recipe for almost a year now & its my husband’s favorite side dish. The original Rotel was a little spicy for me so I use the mild & add extra broth since it comes in a small can. I also often add a can of black beans (drained & rinsed) & a cup of frozen corn in the last few minutes of cooking the rice, it bulks up the recipe and makes me feel better about not preparing a vegetable side. Thank you for this recipe, its been a great way to turn simple tacos, freezer tamales, basic quesadillas into a meal.

    1. Hi Mary! Yes, you can make this ahead of time. Store it in the fridge in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave when ready to eat. We love this rice and make it all the time. Makes for great leftovers. 🙂 Enjoy!

    1. Hey Wendy! Yes, veggie broth would work too. It would probably change the taste a little bit, but I’m sure it would still taste great. Let me know if you try it! 🙂

  4. Janna

    Made this tonight and the flavor was great! Was hoping my daughter would like it because she doesn’t like Mexican rice from the box. It was really spicy, which I didn’t mind, but I was the only one who ate it. Is all cumin really spicy?

    1. Cumin is generally an aromatic, I don’t think I have ever considered it to be spicy. You might want to look at the tomatoes you put into the rice. Sometimes they might have some red peppers in it. Hopefully that helps. 🙂

  5. Christel

    Found this recipe and made it the same day! Easy, delicious and way less salt than the box type with 10 times the flavor. I found a baked chicken chimichanga recipe to make with it and they were a huge hit with both my gentleman and 2 kids (even my veggie hater)!
    Thank you for the awesome ideas.

  6. Love this!! To me, there is nothing better than Mexican food and its incredible flavors! I love a flavorful and quick mexi-rice dish. this looks yum!! And so does that burrito thing with the guac on top! I feel chips and guac and rice could be a complete dinner for me. Easy. 🙂

    1. Thanks Dana, and you’ll be seeing that burrito on the blog next week! So tasty!! And yes, guacamole is to die for!! Don’t forget to start working on the California Avocado Recipe Fiesta!! 😉

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Shawn Syphus Hi, I'm Shawn and I'm a busy mom of five; pretending to live on a budget. I love to cook, and explore new recipes, but they have to be quick and easy with as few dishes as possible.

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