Mexican Rice
Recipes > Dinner > Side Dishes > Mexican Rice

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Recipe Checklist:
  • 4 Roma Tomatoes (Macédoine)
  • 1 White Onion (Medium Sized) (Macédoine)
  • 3 Jalapeno Peppers (Medium Sized)(Ribbed and De-Seeded)
  • 2 C Long Grain White Rice
  • 1/3 C Canola Oil
  • 4 Garlic Cloves (Minced)
  • 2 C Chicken Stock
  • 1 T Tomato Paste (may omit if using canned tomatoes)
  • 1 ½ t Kosher Salt
  • ½ Cup fresh Cilantro (Chopped)
  • 1 Lime
Tools & Equipment
  • Cutting Board
  • Chefs Knife
  • Food Processor or Electric Blender
  • Measuring Cup
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Can Opener
  • Mixing Spoon
  • Medium Sautoir Pan or Dutch Oven
  • Ramekin
  • Strainer
Estimated Time
60 Minutes
Serves 4-6
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Begin the Preparation, the 2nd of Smart Kitchen’s 4 Levers of Cooking™ by adjusting the rack in your oven to the middle position and then preheating your oven to 350˚ F (177˚ C).

While the oven heats you should have time to prep your produce. Let’s talk about the Rice a second before we prep it. We are using a Long Grain White Rice (Minute Rice and Converted Rice won’t work well here) because it is a Starchy Rice and will hold its shape and cook up with separated rice grains. Medium Grain Rice and Short Grain Rice will tend to be too sticky and clump up.

With the Rice choice explained, our first step is to rinse the Long Grain White Rice. We are rinsing it to remove excess starch so that there is even less of a chance of encountering any stickiness. Place the Rice in a fine mesh Strainer and rinse it under cold running water until it is running clear. This should take around 2 minutes. Once it is rinsed, remove it from the faucet and give it a good shake, without tossing the rice grains all over your kitchen.  Let it sit and dry while you move on to prepping your other produce.

To prep your produce, break down your Roma Tomatoes to a Macédoine Dice (Small Dice). Also make sure that they are good and fresh. Rib and De-Seed your Jalapeno Peppers before Mincing them. Place 2 of the minced Jalapenos in a Ramekin for immediate use. Reserve the third Jalapeno Pepper for later use in Seasoning and as a Garnish. Peel the White Onion and Dice it into a Macédoine (Small Dice),  Mince the Garlic Cloves, Chop the Cilantro, and cut the Lime into wedges.

If you are seriously into home cooking, you can also use your own homemade Chicken Stock. Making it from scratch takes some time but is very doable if you Organize and plan ahead.


Begin the active phase of making this Mexican Rice by placing the Diced Tomato and the peeled and Diced Onion into a Food Processor or Electric Blender. Blend/Purée them until they are completely smooth. Use a Wet Measuring Cup to Reserve 2 cups of the mixture.

Heat the Canola Oil over Medium Heat for about 2 minutes in a heavy-bottomed, oven-safe, straight-sided Sautoir Pan or Dutch Oven. The pan should be 10 to 12 inches in diameter (25.4 cm to 30.48 cm) and also have a tight fitting lid. An Audible Clue that the Oil is hot enough to accept the Rice is to drop a few grains of rice into the hot oil. If they “Sizzle,” the oil is ready.

With the oil at a proper temperature, add in the Rice and Pan Fry until the White Rice becomes slightly golden in color and translucent. This should take about 6-8 minutes. Manage Your Cooking Processes, the third of Smart Kitchen’s 4 Levers of Cooking,™ and make sure that the Canola Oil does not get too hot too fast. It can splatter.

Once the Rice has become golden, reduce your cooking heat to Medium/Low Heat, and add in the Garlic, and Jalapenos. Sweat everything together, stirring constantly, for about 1-2 minutes. Next, stir in the Chicken Stock, The Tomato/Onion Purée from the Food Processor (or Blender), the Tomato Paste and the Kosher Salt. Stir for about 15 to 20 seconds to incorporate and then increase the cooking heat to Medium/High Heat. Bring the mixture to a Boil to heat the liquid before it goes into the oven for the baking step.

Once a Boil has been reached, putting some initial heat on the liquid, turn off your cooking heat and wait for the boiling action to die down, before covering the pan with its lid. Carefully remove the pan from the heat with Oven Mitts and transfer it to the 350˚ F (177˚ C), pre-heated oven.

Bake the Mexican Rice until all of the cooking liquid is absorbed into the Rice and its texture is Al Dente. It should take about 20 minutes to 35 minutes, depending on your oven. If you want to give it a stir about half-way through, that can’t hurt.

Once the Rice is at your desired consistency and all of the liquid is absorbed, it is ready. Finish the Mexican Rice with the Reserved Minced Jalapeno and the fresh Chopped Cilantro (both to taste). Stir in the finishing ingredients so that they are fully incorporated. Garnish the plate with a Lime Wedge on the side.

Serve Immediately or hold for 2-3 hours hot for service. Mexican Rice can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and re-heated for service.

Once made, Mexican Rice can be refrigerated for 2-3 days. Frozen it will last for 6 months or so. To freeze let the hot Mexican Rice Temper to room temperature and then freeze it in an airtight container such as a Ziploc bag or Tupperware.