Mexican Rice

Mexican Rice accompanies a SouthWest style Chicken Breast
Savory Mexican Rice accompanies a grilled chicken breast topped with a SouthWest style salsa (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Mexican Rice — also known as Spanish Rice — is a quick weeknight side dish to grilled meats or the usual Tex Mex fare. Rice is one of my husband’s favorite foods. He would eat grilled chicken, steamed broccoli, and rice every night. Usually we have leftover rice so I will freeze it for future meals. What to do with leftover rice? How about a nice Mexican-style rice with tomatoes, green chiles, jalepenos, sweet onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin and a dash of salt?

Mexican Rice accompanies a SouthWest style Chicken Breast
Savory Mexican Rice accompanies a grilled chicken breast topped with a SouthWest style salsa (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Mexican Rice, or Spanish Rice, is very versatile. It can be used as a base for meat and rice dishes, as a side dish and as a filling for enchiladas, burritos and tacos. I’ve even used it as part of my favorite Tex Mex Bowl.

If you’re a fan of A Food Lover’s Delight, you know that I love Mexican food. Anita’s New Mexico Style Mexican Food local restaurant chain is a favorite of mine. Unlike most Mexican chain restaurants, they have a pretty good Mexican rice that accompanies their entrees. My favorite entree that’s on the Anita’s menu is the Carne Adovada which is marinated pork in a spicy rich red chile sauce. It comes with their special recipe refried beans and house-made Mexican rice. My favorite entree that’s no longer on the menu (yet I can get the chef to make at the Burke, VA location) is Tacos Vera Cruz. Those tacos are made from soft corn tortillas stuffed with shredded beef, cheeses, shredded lettuce, and diced tomato. The tacos also come with refried beans and Mexican rice. Now I’m hungry just thinking about them. If I can’t order the Tacos Vera Cruz, and I want tacos, I will order the Taco Trio which offers your choice of taco meat, green chile pork, BBQ pork, chicken or veggie fillings.

Anita's Taco Trio with Mexican rice and refried beans
Anita’s taco trio with Mexican rice and refried beans is a favorite lunch of mine (Photo Credit:

My Mexican rice is easy to make especially if you have leftover cooked rice already made. Just saute some finely chopped onion in butter and olive oil in a skillet until slightly caramelized. Add some minced garlic, chili powder, and cumin and saute a minute or so longer. Add diced ripe tomato, finely diced jalapeno pepper and some chopped green chiles. Cook over low heat until the mixture’s liquid has pretty much evaporated. Stir in the cooked rice and warm through. Season with salt and serve alongside a grilled Tequila-marinated flank steak or your favorite Mexican entree.



From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Mexican Rice


4 c cooked rice (brown or white rice work equally well)
2 T olive oil
1 T butter (or vegetable stock)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T chili powder
2 t cumin
2 ripe tomatoes, cored and diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, cored, and finely diced
1/2 c canned green chiles
Salt, to taste
Thinly sliced scallions or whole cilantro leaves, to garnish (optional)


1. In a skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium low heat.
2. Saute the onion in the oil and butter until it turns translucent, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the garlic, chili powder and cumin and saute two minutes.
5. Stir in the tomatoes, jalapeno, and green chiles. Simmer on low heat until the liquid is just about evaporated so the rice dish won’t be soggy.
6. Turn up the heat to medium and add the cooked rice. Quickly stir the rice until it’s warmed through and well-mixed with the vegetables.
7. And serve. Garnish with the optional sliced scallions or cilantro sprigs.

Makes just over 4 cups of Mexican Rice. Serve alongside enchiladas or tacos. Use as a filling ingredient in burritos or my favorite Tex Mex Bowl.

Variations: To make this dish vegan, use vegetable stock instead of the oil and butter. For your meat-eating friends, add some cooked chorizo for a richer Mexican Rice. Add some tomato sauce to make a wetter rice mixture.

Order some Mexican seasoning for your rice from Amazon: (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2019)

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