How To Cook Mexican Rice in a Rice Cooker

Hot Tamale! If you love spicy food then you are going to love Mexican Rice! Its fiery, flavorsome and goes with lots of dishes – and its really easy to make. Let me show you now how i make mexican Rice using – you guessed it – your rice cooker.

Mexican Rice
Mexican Rice

Mexican rice or, as its also known, Spanish rice, Red Rice, or Arroz Rojo, is a tasty variation made from using white rice, tomatoes, garlic, and onions.

It is a great accompaniment to spicy Mexican foods such as burritos, tacos and tamales but should not be confused with Paella – which although Spanish in origin is a completely different dish, most often cooked using seafood.

So, let’s find out how to make quick and easy Mexican rice in a rice cooker.

Traditional Mexican Rice Recipe

Homemade Mexican Black Beans and Rice
Homemade Mexican Black Beans and Rice

The great thing about Mexican rice is that its really easy to prepare and cook, and if you have a rice cooker its even simpler! Like many simple dishes, the best results are achieved with fresh tomatoes for that vibrant color and tangy taste. Perfect Mexican rice should be light, fluffy, and full of flavor. It’s not sticky rice and, in fact I prefer it to be slightly dry in texture.

So, lets share a quick recipe for traditional Mexican Rice.

What you will need…

  • 1 cup of Long-grain white rice
  • 3 tbsp of Olive oil or fat
  • Fresh Tomatoes
  • Onion powder
  • Chili powder
  • Pepper
  • Caldo de Tomate
  • Garlic
  • Cilantro
  • 1 and 3/4 or about 2 cups of Water
How to Cook:
  1. get a medium-sized mixing bowl and dice the tomatoes then add the onion powder, pepper, chili powder, Caldo de Tomate, and water. Gently whisk all these ingredients and set aside
  2. Next, brown the rice by adding olive oil in a non-stick medium-sized pan. Mix the rice gently until the color turns opaque or golden brown. Then add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds.
  3. Gradually add the tomato base mixture you made earlier and stir it carefully until it simmers
  4. Once the mixture is simmering, reduce the heat and cover the lid and leave it cooking until all the liquids are absorbed – this should take about 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat and let it rest for another 5 minutes
  6. Fluff the rice with a fork, garnish with cilantro, and serve!

This Mexican Rice dish is a perfect with Chicken Fajitas, Beef or Chicken Tacos, Quesadillas, or Enchiladas.

Mexican Rice in a Rice Cooker

Mexican tomato black beans rice with cilantro
Mexican tomato black beans rice with cilantro

If cooking isn’t your idea of fun, or if you are just pressed for time, then don,’t worry because making Mexican Rice in your rice cooker not only saves time and effort but is actually just as easy as the traditional method outlined above. So, lets find out more!

Here’s how I do it.

What you need:
  • One cup of long-grain white rice
  • Chicken broth or stock
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • A can of tomato sauce
  • 2pcs Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder, pepper, and chili powder
  • Cilantro for garnishing
How to Cook:
  1. Brown the rice in the rice cooker by adding the olive oil stirring over a high heat
  2. Once the rice is browned, add the rest of the ingredients, stir a little and leave it on.
  3. Cook according to your rice cooker’s instructions
  4. Once done cooking, stir once and let it rest for about 5 minutes, garnish with cilantro before serving!

There you have it, it’s really that simple. The best tip i can give you is to use the best quality and freshest ingredients you can get and don’t forget to toast it before cooking!

How to Get The Right Texture for Mexican Rice?

Woman pouring oil in frying pan

The key to success when it comes to making Mexican rice is to toast it before cooking. This gives the final dish a warm, rich, slightly nutty flavor that complements Mexican food so well..

I prefer to do toast the rice slowly using a medium heat until it turns a light golden brown. Be sure to continuously stir the rice while browning it ,though, because burn rice tastes awful!

There are no specific rice variants required in making Mexican rice, you can use any kind of long-grain white rice, some even use basmati rice.

Can I Use Brown Rice?

Of course, and it tastes just as good! In fact, its a bit healthier so why wouldn’t you? The only thing to remember is that brown rice needs a bit more liquid since the wholegrain makes it a bit harder when cooked. Normally, if I’m using brown rice, I double the amount of water or broth and increase the cooking time accordingly.

Broth Also Matters!

stock for risotto

Being a very simple dish means that its great for experimenting with. you can adjust the cooking seetings to get a different consistency, add extra ingredients for a different taste and, of course you can substitute stock for water to really make it sing.

Instead of water, I like to add broth (chicken or beef) as this adds a lot of flavor to the dish. The cooking instructions are the same but dont add any salt or seasoning as the stock usually has enough on it’s own.

What Can You Do With The Leftovers?

Baked stuffed peppers with rice
Baked stuffed peppers with rice

Even after the tastiest meal, there are usually a few left-overs. If, like me, you are frugal and enjoy reducing waste, then there’s good news because Mexican Rice can be kept for 3-4 days as long as you keep it chilled in the fridge.

Note: rice should always be treated with respect when it comes to storing and reheating as the bacteria in it grows very quickly. Never store your rice at room temperature unless you intent to eat it within a few hours and always make sure its properly reheated. The best way to stay safe is to store it in the fridge and, unless otherwise specified eat it within 48 hours of cooking.

You can also reheat Mexican rice using your rice cooker. I just add a little water and set the cooker to keep warm mode but, as I mentioned above, make sure its fully warned through before eating.

One of the nice things about this kind of rice dish is that you can actually re-make it into many other kinds of dish to spice things up a little. For example you can hand roll it into Mexican rice balls, stuff it into tasty chicken or beef burritos or stuffed peppers – there are lots of possibilities.


Mexican rice is one of the tastiest rice dishes you can make and is a perfect accompaniment to a whole range of Mexican food. The best thing of all is how easy it is to make. In this post, I showed you exactly how to create a tasty serving of this popular dish – now its over to you and your creativity.

I hope you found this information useful and, as always if you have any qwuestions r if you would like to share any tips or examples of your culinary handiwork then please get in touch.

Gracias y adios por ahora!

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