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Authentic Mexican Rice

Authentic Mexican Red Rice | Arroz Rojo

For some reason, Mexican Red Rice {Arroz Rojo} has intimated me the past few years. I know, it seems so ridiculous. How could rice intimidate a person? Let me tell you how.

Authentic Mexican Rice is a recipe that I wanted to learn how to make a few years ago when I started dating Hector. Hector’s Mom made the best Mexican Red Rice and I really wanted to make the traditional side dish for Hector. So, I would try and make it every so often. It seemed that every time the rice didn’t cook properly. Sometimes only part of the rice would be cooked, while leaving an undercooked portion. Other times the rice would be complete mush. How could rice be so difficult?

My rice making skills were still less to be desired before getting coming to Mexico. So I made it my number one goal to perfect Authentic Mexican Rice.

Authentic Mexican Red Rice

First in my quest for perfect rice, we went to a kitchen supply store to look for a pan that would be perfect for making rice. I am all about learning any kitchen tips where ever I can, so we asked one of the workers at the store what would be the perfect pot to make rice. She explained that you don’t really want to use a pan with high sides like a dutch oven. She explained that you want a skillet that is large at the bottom. This way each grain will cook eventually.

Also, look for a pan with a clear lid. This way you can see how the rice is doing without taking off the lid, which can ruin your rice. I had been using the wrong pan the whole time. I always used a stockpot with high sides. No wonder my rice was never perfect.

Since getting my new pan for rice, I have been making rice at least once a week. And guess what?! The rice has been perfect every single time! I am so happy that I am apply to share traditional Mexican recipes that my husband grew up eating.

Another tip on getting perfect rice, is to soak the rice is hot water before cooking it. I know that is an extra step, but it helps to ensure perfectly cooked rice. Soaking the rice helps prevent the rice from sticking together while cooking.

This recipe is for a basic Mexican Red Rice. Rice is cooked in a simple tomato puree. Some cooks add carrots, peas, and peppers to the rice. I wanted to keep this recipe really basic and really let the tomato flavor shine through. It is so easy and delicious!

Basic Mexican Red Rice. So simple + easy to make authentic Mexican Rice!

Authentic Mexican Red Rice | Arroz Rojo

Authentic Mexican Rice

Yield: 6-8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

An authentic recipe for Mexican Red Rice {Arroz Rojo}. A perfect side dish to add to any Mexican inspired meal, especially with Tacos!


  • 2 Cups Long or Extra Grain White Rice
  • 1 Pound Ripe Roma Tomatoes, about 4-6
  • 1/4 White Onion, chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Tsp Sea Salt, or to taste
  • 2-4 Cups Vegetable Broth or Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Jalapeño Pepper left whole, optional


  1. Place the rice in a glass bowl and cover with hot water. Let the rice soak for 5 minutes. Drain the rice in a fine mesh strainer. Rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. Place the strainer on top a bowl to let all the water drain through. It is important that the rice is dried.
  2. While the rice is soaking, place the tomatoes in a saucepan and cover 3/4 of the the tomatoes with water. Bring to a low simmer and cook the tomatoes for 5-8 minutes, or until their skins start to break apart.
  3. Drain and transfer the tomatoes to a blender. Add the onion, garlic and salt to the blender. Blend until smooth. Pass the tomato puree through a fine mesh strainer into a large measuring cup. You need 4 cups total liquid. Minus the amount of tomato puree from the 4 cups. In another measuring cup add the remaining amount of broth or water. In total the tomato puree and broth should equal 4 cups. Make sure to keep the tomato puree and liquid separate.
  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet that has a clear lid over medium to medium high heat. Add the rice and cook, making sure to stir often. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the rice turns a milky white color.
  5. Pour in the tomato puree mixture, stirring often, and cook until the puree has thickened and has been completely absorbed into the rice, about 3-4 minutes.
  6. Stir in the vegetable broth or water. Add pepper if using. Bring to a boil. Stir and cover. Reduce the heat to the very lowest setting. Cook the rice for 15 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed.
  7. Turn off the heat and let the rice rest for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork. Serve!

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