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!

Pair this delicious rice with my Easy Ground Beef Enchiladas, Ground Beef Tacos or add it to my Quick Taco Salad to bulk it up a bit. Don’t forget about making my Instant Pot Refried Beans too. It’s a classic combination!

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.

Easy Mexican Rice Recipe

Over the years of making this Mexican Rice I’ve learned a few tips and tricks that can easily make this recipe work with what ingredients I have on hand. I’ll share more about that in the substitutions section below.

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

Ingredients Needed For Basic Mexican Rice

  • Olive oil
  • Diced Onion
  • White Rice – medium or long grain
  • Garlic Salt
  • Cumin
  • Rotel Canned Tomatoes* 
  • Lime Juice
  • Chicken Broth
  • Chopped Cilantro

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 in the skillet before adding in the diced tomatoes and 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.
  • If you’re not a fan of diced tomatoes in the rice, try swapping in 8oz of tomato sauce.
  • 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!

More Easy Rice Side Dish Options –

Looking for more easy side dish rice recipes to try? These recipes are always favorites in our house…

Grab a fork and dig in.

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This Easy Mexican Rice Recipe is made in just one skillet in less than 20 minutes for the perfect Mexican side dish!
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4.82 from 11 votes

Easy Mexican Rice

Delicious mexican style rice that will wow your tastebuds and the family.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4
Calories: 214 kcal
Author: Shawn


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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Add the can of Mexican diced tomatoes (including the juices), lime juice and the chicken broth, stir and bring mixture to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • 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).


Calories: 214kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 915mg | Potassium: 277mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 96IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords: Easy, Garlic, rice, tomatoes
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?don't forget to share a picture and mention @iwashyoudry on Instagram or tag #iwashyoudry!


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.
43 Responses
  1. Julie

    I make this all the time put different spins on it and it’s always awsome all my work friends love when I bring them some and always drop a whole serrano or jalapeno its un cut I love to eat that it’s like a surprise!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Erin

    4 stars
    Tried this recipe for a mexican themed dinner I was hosting. I am really hoping it was the brand of long grain rice I used but the rice never cooked. It literally just stayed in its raw form. It was so weird but I had a similar result with another dish using that same rice. After wasting an hour, I decided to remake this in the instant pot using the basic ingredients (different brand of rice) and decreasing the water. I sauteed a pepper (instead of onion) in the pot first then added all the ingredients and cooked for 4 mins with a 10 min natural release. I kind of just guessed here since I had other things cooking on the stove and the original pot I used was still hot and full of the uncooked rice. All in all, it turned out well. FYI – it is hard to find the 14 oz tomatoes with green chiles. There was a specific brand a couple years ago which discontinued it. Sometimes you can find a generic brand but it requires looking through all the different types of canned tomatoes they have now. I just buy the 10oz cans from Aldi since they are cheap and use some extra water. The rotel ones had a slightly different flavor. Overall, people enjoyed this rice. It was a huge bummer it didn’t work out on the stove. I may just stick to the instant pot method though since rice usually turns out better in there and it seemed slightly quicker. It’s defiantly an option if you are running out of space on your stove and clean pots.

  3. Caitlin

    5 stars
    I’ve made this twice now and it’s great! I also have not seen the 14oz rotel with lime but use the 10oz can and squeeze lime in. Works fine! Thanks for the recipe!

  4. 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

  5. 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. Pam

      I guess I will have to use a 10 oz can of mild Rotel and some water since I am not sure where you are getting a 14 oz can?!

      1. Shawn

        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

          1. Shawn

            I’ve never seen or used dried limes before? If you can zest the limes that would be a great way to add that lime flavor!

  6. Amanda

    This was a huge hit with my husband and kids! Some bites were a little spicy for the kids so I will probably try the Rotel Mexican diced tomatoes with lime and cilantro instead of green chilies. Either way definitely a keeper! It went great with this taco bake:

  7. 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. Shawn

      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. Shawn

      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! 🙂

  8. 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. Shawn

      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. 🙂

  9. 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.

  10. Dana

    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. Shawn

      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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