Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 10 servings

All Mexican families have their own cherished recipe of Mexican rice. This is the version I learned from my mom. It may seem simple, yet it was one of her recipes that took me the longest to get just right. It is one of my top 5 family recipes that I love preparing for friends and family. I remember that when I was a very young child, Mom would add some fresh banana slices on top of the rice. I never had the chance to ask why she did this, but I still remember the flavors together… we liked it as kids. Maybe that was her way of getting us to eat a more balanced meal… Thanks, Mom


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  1. In a large pan, heat 3 tablespoons of oil to medium heat, add the rice and saute for a few minutes until the rice becomes aromatic and slightly opaque. Add the onions, garlic and serrano pepper. Cook for just 3 to 4 minutes. Add all the dry spices and stir well to combine. Add the tomato sauce and broth, stir well and taste for salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes without disturbing the rice.
  2. Add the peas and carrots evenly to the top of the rice. Cover and continue cooking until all of the liquid has evaporated. Total cooking time is about 20 minutes or so. (If rice doesn’t look like it is cooking evenly, gently stir with a fork and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of broth or water, cover and continue cooking.)
  3. Remove from heat once liquid has evaporated and let stand for 10 minutes. When ready to serve, fluff with a fork and fold in the fresh cilantro if using.
  4. This batch of Mexican Red Rice had an added teaspoon of smoked paprika for an added smoky flavor and brighter color.

Chef Notes

Mexican Red Rice can be prepared with fresh tomatoes or a little canned tomato sauce. 100_0691-1024x1024 
Toasting the rice add more flavor to the Mexican Rice.

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