Mexican Rice

Recreate Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice at home in your oven. This fool-proof method starts with fresh vegetables and ends with fluffy grains every time.


  • 2 medium vine-ripened tomatoes or 4 Roma tomatoes, cored and quartered
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups long-grain or basmati white rice, rinsed (see notes)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced (optional)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup minced fresh cilantro or parsley
  • Lime or lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a food processor or blender, puree the tomatoes and onions until smooth. Measure 2 cups of puree, pouring off and discarding any excess.
  3. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or a 3-quart saucepan until shimmering (see notes). Add the rice and sauté, stirring frequently, until light golden in color, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and jalapeños (if using) and stir until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in tomato mixture, broth, tomato paste, and 1 ½ tsp. salt. Bring to a boil.
  5. Cover and bake until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Stir halfway through baking time.
  6. Fluff rice with a fork. Fold in cilantro or parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with lime or lemon wedges.


  1. To rinse the rice, pour the dry rice into a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under running water until the water is clear. Alternatively, to conserve water, the rice may be soaked in a large bowl of cold water for 30 minutes and then drained well.
  2. Long-grain white rice is the traditional choice for this recipe, but I’ve also tested it with basmati and it works perfectly.
  3. To make this recipe vegetarian, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.
  4. If toasting the rice in a 3-quart saucepan, you’ll want to transfer it to a 4-quart or larger oven-proof baking dish for baking.
  5. To make the Mexican Rice in a rice cooker, follow the recipe through Step 4. After bringing the rice to a boil, transfer it to your rice cooker (coated with nonstick spray), close, and cook according to manufacturer instructions. Mine takes 33 minutes on the “White Rice” setting.