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Basic Mexican Rice with Vegetables

One of the authentic Mexican recipes that every cook should know about is Mexican Rice. Mexican rice, also recognized in the United States as Spanish rice, is basically a side dish that is made out of garlic, parsley, onions, tomatoes, cilantro and of course, rice. These ingredients change from recipe to recipe though. Sometimes it is made spicy, other times mild, and you can throw all kinds of ingredients into it to make it unique.

The ingredients in Mexican rice are usually cooked by sautéing them in a skillet, before adding some stock. Some veggies are also commonly mixed in, such as corn, peas and carrots perhaps. The dish is served warm as a side dish. What is ironic with this dish often called Spanish rice is that it is unknown in Spain. Know that the Mexicans and Mexican foodies were not the ones who coined the term; it was named as such probably because the Spanish language is used by Mexicans. In Mexico, the dish is simply called ‘arroz’ which means rice in Spanish.

Mexican rice is a well-known food in the United States, especially in the Southwest, where it is usually accompanied by grilled and stewed veggies for a tasty Mexican or Tex-Mex style meal. It offers balanced colors, flavors and textures, and is served together with other Mexican dishes both north and south of the border, and offers a tasty side dish which the whole family will find very tasty. The following basic Mexican rice recipe is guaranteed to excite your palate. It is very basic, including garlic, tomatoes and vegetables to add flavor to the rice.

What is more, for this recipe you do not need to be an expert cook to successfully pull it off. All you need is the ability to follow directions and the drive to cook the dish. Trust me – anyone can prepare this simple dish. Try it and you will find it really flavorful and certainly want to make it over and over again, perhaps tweaking the recipe each time, adding some more spice if you are serving it with plain chicken on the side, or else checking to see what vegetables you have left over from last night’s meal in the refrigerator, and adding those into the mix.

Simple Vegetarian Spanish Rice Recipe
Summary: There are many variations on this dish, but this one keeps things simple, combining rice with vegetables and garlic, to make a delicious, filling side dish.
Cuisine: Mexican
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 6
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1½ cups long-grain white rice
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen vegetables (maybe carrots, peas and corn)
  • ½ chopped yellow onion
  • 3¼ cups vegetable stock or water
  • Salt, to taste
  1. Rinse the rice then put it in a bowl.
  2. Pour in enough hot water to cover the rice.
  3. After that, put it aside until it cools.
  4. This should take about 20 minutes.
  5. Put the tomato in a food processor or blender together with the garlic.
  6. Blend until you attain a smooth consistency.
  7. Get back to your rice.
  8. Rinse it under cold water until the water runs clear.
  9. Make sure that you drain it well afterwards.
  10. After that, take out a saucepan and add in oil.
  11. Once the oil is heated enough, add in the rice and onion.
  12. Sauté the rice and onion until the onion softens and the rice turns to a lovely golden color.
  13. This should take approximately 5 minutes.
  14. Once done, drain the excess oil.
  15. Add in the tomato mixture that you prepared and cook until all the tomato mixture is absorbed.
  16. This should take about 5 minutes.
  17. After that, mix in the stock or water and season it.
  18. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  19. Then, lower down the heat to a simmer until most of the liquid has seeped in.
  20. You may now add in the veggies and cook for another 5 minutes.
  21. Once done, turn off the heat and put the covered pan aside for 20 minutes before serving.
  22. Stir the mixture and serve warm with your entrée.

Photo Description:

This delicious Mexican rice recipe is very simple in terms of flavor, comprising just the rice, garlic and some vegetables, along with some stock if you like, and it makes a lovely side dish. This is ideal to serve with any type of meat, poultry or fish, or you could simply enjoy it by itself as a simple lunch. Mexican rice is also known as Spanish rice in some places, and there are endless variations. Try some different vegetables, perhaps leftover ones from last night, or change the type of stock or broth used to cook it. Make extra and enjoy it cold the next day as part of a salad.

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi, I'm Christine, and I'm pleased to welcome you to I have endeavored to gather as many delicious South of the border recipes here for you, including Mexican-inspired as well as traditional Mexican, and also some Tex-Mex and Mexican fusion dishes. Food is very important to our family's lives and Mexican food is certainly a favorite around here.

We have everything from appetizers and snacks to soups, drinks, entrées, and much more. You will find everything from mild dishes to super-spicy ones, simple recipes based on fresh ingredients up to more complex ones suitable for a dinner party.

Home cooks just starting out with Mexican cooking tend to be surprised how much of the emphasis is placed on using fresh ingredients and aromatic herbs and spices. Forget the typical ideas about Mexican food being all beans, cheese and beef (that applies a little more to Tex-Mex), take inspiration from authentic Mexican dishes based on fresh ingredients, and inject all your passion into cooking South of the border food, for perfect results every time.

Thanks for visiting,