I’m excited to finally share this healthier Mexican rice recipe with you. To tell you the truth, I rarely get excited about Mexican rice when I’m eating out. It tends to be a little mushy and a little bland.
Since they make it with white rice, eating that rice is a sure-fire way for me to feel cranky-hungry a few hours later. I often just ask for more beans instead.
So, a Mexican rice recipe wasn’t on my radar to make until Mallika emailed to request it a few months ago. Here it is, Mallika! Mine calls for long-grain brown rice, which means that this recipe starts with an extra layer of delicious whole-grain flavor.
How to Make Mexican Brown Rice
First, we’ll lightly toast the brown rice in oil for extra flavor and separation.
Then, we’ll bring the rice to a boil with rich, tomato-y broth (you can use ripe tomatoes or canned).
Then, we’ll bake it in the oven for perfectly fluffy Mexican rice with amazing flavor. I adapted this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen, and found that I could decrease the amount of oil used and increase the oven temperature to speed up the cooking process.
It’s still not necessarily a quick recipe, but it’s easy to make and totally worth the effort. Most of the cooking time is passive, too. If you have the room for it, I think you could bake the rice and a casserole on the same rack simultaneously. Please let me know how you like it!
Mexican Rice Serving Suggestions
Main Dish Options
- Black Bean Sweet Potato Enchiladas
- Easy Black Bean Tacos
- Roasted Veggie Enchilada Casserole
- Veggie Black Bean Enchiladas
More Mexican Side Dishes
- The Best Guacamole
- Classic Pico de Gallo
- Easy Refried Beans
- Elote (Mexican Street Corn)
- Mexican Green Salad with Jalapeño-Cilantro Dressing
View all of my Mexican dishes here.
Mexican Brown Rice
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 80 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 to 8 servings 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Stovetop and oven
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Diet: Gluten Free
Healthy Mexican rice that tastes amazing! This recipe is made with brown rice, which is perfectly fluffy after baking in the oven. This isn’t a quick recipe, but it does clear the stovetop for use. Check the recipe notes for a shortcut, etc. Recipe yields 6 to 8 side servings.
- 2 medium ripe tomatoes, or 1 small can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 small yellow onion, root end trimmed and quartered
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups long-grain brown rice (do not rinse!)
- 1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped (scale back or omit if sensitive to spice)
- 2 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- Red pepper flakes, optional, for extra heat
- 1 lime, sliced into wedges, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a food processor or blender, combine the tomatoes, onion and garlic, and blend until smooth. In a liquid measuring cup, measure out 2 cups of the tomato mixture and discard the rest.
- Warm the olive oil in a medium Dutch oven* over medium heat until shimmering. Add the rice and jalapeño and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the vegetable broth (watch out for splatters), tomato mixture, tomato paste (add a little extra if you’re using fresh tomatoes that aren’t super flavorful), and salt. Stir to combine, then increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Cover the pot with the lid and carefully transfer it to the oven. Bake until the liquid is absorbed (the rice will look dry when you take off the lid, but don’t worry) and the rice is tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking.
- Stir in the cilantro and season to taste with additional salt, if necessary (I often add another ¼ to ½ teaspoon). If you’d like spicier rice, add a pinch of red pepper flakes and stir again. Serve with lime wedges on the side.
Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen.
*Equipment notes: I used a medium Dutch oven for this recipe, which worked great. America’s Test Kitchen suggests that a large, straight-sided sauté pan or 12″ oven-safe pot will work; you’ll need an oven-safe, snug-fitting lid for either one.
Rice substitutions: I think you could use medium-grain brown rice here without any changes. If you want to use white rice, reduce the oven temperature to 350, reduce the broth to 2 cups, and reduce the baking time to 30 to 35 minutes.
Shortcut: You can replace the blended tomato/onion/garlic mixture with 2 cups mild red salsa (opt for regular salsa, as opposed to thick and chunky). When I use this trick, I reduce the amount of salt added to the pot by half and then add more to taste at the end, since salsas are already pretty salty.
Protein booster: After the rice is done cooking, you can stir in one or two cans of rinsed and well-drained black beans (or up to 3 cups drained home-cooked black beans). I also like this rice with chickpeas, but those don’t exactly jive with the Mexican theme.
Slow cooker note: I tried making this rice in a slow cooker (about 4 hours on high), and it didn’t turn out nearly as well (really mushy).
Freeze the leftovers: Laurie says she freezes her leftovers in a large freezer bag (be sure to let it cool completely before bagging). When she wants more, she breaks off a piece or two, heats it slowly and it’s good to go.
Recipe update 7/21/17: There’s nothing worse than sharing a recipe that has worked successfully several times, only to have it start acting up on you! I (and several commenters) encountered rice stayed crunchy/al dente no matter how long we cooked it. I’ve finally figured out that rinsing the rice causes it to stay crunchy no matter how long you cook it. My recipe last suggested 60 to 75 minutes, but I found that the rice requires 75 to 90 minutes to fully cook. I’m so sorry to anyone who ended up with too-firm rice!
▸ Nutrition Information
Rhian @ Rhian's Recipes
Yum, this looks gorgeous! I agree brown rice is so much better for these kinds of dishes as it doesn’t get mushy! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving :)
Thank you, Rhian! Thanksgiving was fun, hope yours was great!
I am having problems with my rice being a little crunchy. I dont understand what I am doing wrong. I’ve cooked it the exact way you instruct us twice and have started adjusting since then with no luck its still a great tasting rice either way. Suggestions would be appreciated though.
Hi Jordan, Are you letting it steam at the end? You may need to let it go a little longer.
my husband has colitis and can’t eat whole grains. he mostly eats white basmati. how can i adapt this recipe to make it with the basmati?
Try to find a decent naturopath, get him on the right restrictive diet, and the proper supplements – nutrisea, slippery elm. He can heal his colon and bring it back to proper functioning with the right diet and supplements. I’ve seen some success stories.
Hi Dawn, I think you could do the following – bake at 350 for 30 minutes, and use 2 cups broth instead of 2 1/2.
You can do regular Mexican rice, which uses white rice. If he can do white jasmine rice, that’s what I use. Always do 1:2 ratio of rice to water/broth. For example, one cup of white rice (do not rinse) and fry it with oil of choice til it’s gets a warm toasty brown color. Blend tomato, onion, garlic with 2 cups of water. Season with Knorr’s chicken seasoning, usually one table spoon per cup of water/broth. Pour tomato mixture on toasted white rice and cook on low until rice is fluffy.
My variation with white rice is very similar. Using a sautéed pan with a tight fitting lid add 1 tablespoon olive oil, when warm add 1 cup white rice (I prefer a medium or short grain rice) sautéed until rice is kind of clear looking or browned. Turn off and allow rice to cool slightly. Using a garlic press, press 2 to 3 garlic cloves (to taste). Stir, in a 2 cup measure add salsa and tomato sauce to make 1 1/2 cups add water to measure 2 cups. Pour into rice, cover, cook for 25 to 30 minutes on low until tender. Fluff with a fork and garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley if you prefer.
Yum this looks amazing! I do not have a go-to rice recipe so I’ll have to try this out. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks, Karlie! I hope you love it!
I’ve made this recipe with white rice but am so glad you posted how to do it with brown rice. Since there’s only the 2 of us in the house now,I freeze whatever we haven’t eaten in a large freezer bag. When I want some rice, I break off a piece or two, heat slowly and it’s good to go.
Thanks, Laurie! That’s a really great tip. I’ll add it to my recipe notes. :)
This sounds crazy, but I never thought to make it with brown rice! Looks great.
Hope you enjoy it, Danica!
Sara @ Last Night's Feast
Yum! Nothing like a comforting rice dish when the temperature drops =)
I think I may make a meal out of this by serving it in large flour tortillas with pinto or black beans and avocado! Yum!
That sounds delicious!!! Thanks, Caitlin.
This was beyond delicious. I made this with your veggie enchiladas and the homemade enchilada sauce. The only substitutions I made were adjusting spice for flavor, using chicken broth, and adding ground meat to the enchiladas … I am not exaggerating when I tell you my boyfriend was licking his plate clean! Definitely going to be part of the rotation now!
Woohoo! Thanks, Jackie!
This looks amazing!!. Is there any other rice that I could use for this recipe? Keep the great recipes coming!!
I think medium-grain brown rice would work. I’m adding a recipe note for using white rice if you’d prefer.
Thank you so much!
We tried this the other night!
For the tomato’s, we used three and used it all in the rice. along with the stock. We also added chopped carrots and celery along with a can of black beans. We didn’t have a dutch oven so I kept it on the stove simmering and it seemed to cook faster than putting it in the oven (30-40 minutes).
It was very delicious! Next time, I will add jalapeno and some extra spices!!
Thanks, Sheila! Your version sounds tasty!!
I made this rice today and we LOVED it!! I did not use the tomato paste because I try not to use anything from a can, and
It probably needed it, but it was still very good. Kids didn’t even notice it was brown rice ;-) I’m making this again for sure!!
Thank you, Marisa! Glad to hear it!
You can make your own tomato paste if you want to. It freezes well too so you don’t have to worry about trying to use it all before it goes bad.
This rice looks so comforting and delicious! Such a great side. I can’t wait to try it out:)
Thank you, Jess! I hope you love it.
I would use grated jicama to significantly reduce the starchy carbs from the brown rice that kick blood sugars, causing glycation. Jicama stands up well to not become clumpy. I’m diabetic and in excellent control with an A1c of 5.2 because I NEVER eat starchy foods such as rice of any color. But we LOVE Mexican food so I use the jicama to keep my blood sugars normal AND have Mexican food. ¡Arriba!
I made this tonight and the flavors were great but the rice seemed not to cook evenly and took a lot longer than expected – 90 min before I gave up and just ate some crunchy pieces of rice. I used brown basmati. Not sure if it was the rice or perhaps I browned it for too long in the oil? I would love to try it again but maybe on the stove next time I’d have better luck.
I had the same problem as Rachel, the rice seemed a little al dente…
The flavor was awesome!! Think I’ll cut back on browning the rice…
Next time I’m thinking of substituting Tajin for the salt…
Boo! I’m sorry you both had trouble. I’ve made this successfully with brown basmati rice, so I don’t think that’s the problem. The one time my rice needed the full 60 minutes was the time that I probably toasted it for too long. I’ll try to adjust the instructions so others don’t overdo it. Ralph, you can make this on the stove, it’ll just be a little on the wet side.
The best Mexican rice I have ever tasted! So much better with brown rice, and healthier too. Thank you for this recipe — I will be making your Mexican brown rice again and again. :-)
Thank you, Lisa! Really happy to hear that. :)
Very nice! I’d like to add some beans or lentils to give it a kick. Any ideas on liquid measurement adjustments?
Hmmm, that’s a good idea. I know you can stir a can of rinsed and drained black beans in after cooking, which is by far the easiest option. Dry beans require longer on the stove than brown rice, so I don’t think they’re a great candidate here. Lentils might work, but they’ll probably be a little tricky since some lentils take longer/need more water than others (due to age). If you want to try that, I’d add as much liquid as specified on the package for the amount of lentils used.
Thank you for your reply, Kate. It does make more sense to use a can of beans, or maybe add cooked ones at the end. I will be sure to try it out!
This looks great! This side would pair well with a lot of recipes, yum :)
This was a really tasty recipe. The only problem is that the rice was still quite tough after baking for 50 minutes. Next time I think I’ll add a bit more water and cook it on the stove for a little while before baking it. And maybe use a broth without salt (add salt at the end). I served it with refried blackbeans, cubed roasted sweet potato, and scrambled eggs :)
Kate, I just made your Mexican Brown Rice. It is absolutely delicious. I tried it because I wanted the healthier version that what my mother’s recipe is from Mexico. The only recommendation I would make is to add a little more broth. My rice was a tad bit crunchy, not as soft as the white rice version. Now I know this happens with brown rice so I’m not the least bit disappointed. The flavor is out of the world! Also, I’m excited to make the roasted veggie enchilada casserole for my vegetarian daughter in law who will be visiting for Christmas!
Tried this recipe yesterday, substituting ketchup for the tomato paste & adding some chopped bell peppers & corn. I also cooked it on the stove for 20 minutes. So good!! We topped the rice with some fresh salsa, jalapeños, cheese & pepitas. Definitely going to make it again & again!!
This was amaaaazing. We made it exactly as written and let it cook for an hour in the oven, but I think it could have been taken out 5-10 min earlier and been great. The flavor was so good it had me walking back and forth to the pot to sneak more bites!
This was delicious! I omitted the jalapeño as it was for a dinner party with some toddlers in attendance and it was still very flavorful. I did have the crunchy rice problem… cooked it 75 minutes in the oven and still crunchy but everything else was done so I finished it on the stovetop for 15 min… still underdone but everything else was getting cold so we ate it al dente. Still got lots of compliments bc the flavor is so good! I was sure not to overtoast the rice so not sure what the problem was… maybe bc my Dutch oven is cast iron? Anyway, I’ll try making it again… maybe on the stove top next time.
Thanks, Mickey! I’m sorry you had the crunchy rice problem. It’s driving me crazy that the rice turned out perfectly as written here a few times in a row, and then suddenly I started getting crunchy rice. I’m determined to figure it out as soon as I get organized, post-cookbook!
I made this recipe over the weekend to serve with enchiladas. I followed it exactly. The dish had some overcooked crusty rice on the bottom and sides of the pan, but it was cooked through and we enjoyed it. I will increase the liquid by a 1/4 cup or so next time, to see if it reduces the amount of rice stuck to the dutch oven. Thanks for the recipe!
Sure, Sue! I hope with a couple adjustments, it’ll come out perfectly next time.
I tried this recipe yesterday and it came out perfect! I served it with the artichoke enchiladas. Both are yummy!
Thank you Kate!
Sounds like an excellent combination, Jolie! So glad.
You knocked it outta the ball park. I’m super picky about Mexican rice, because my mom’s was amaze! However, I’ve wanted a recipe using brown rice for awhile, and yours was the first and last I’ll use. I made no adjustments other than using chicken broth instead of vegetable broth. Really delicious!
I’m glad you enjoyed it, Kristi!
Made a few small adjustments and it turned out amazing! I used half a small onion and half a garlic clove and omitted jalapeño due to IBS. I used a can of fire roasted tomatoes to add back some of the flavour. I also used parboiled long grain brown rice and reduced the cooking time and it turned out perfect! Baked for 40 minutes. Served it to my family with tacos – this is definitely my new side for anything Mexican!
Thank you, Hilary! I’m glad you could adjust it to fit your needs.
Made this for Sunday night dinner and it was the absolute best! Instead of long grain brown rice I substituted sprouted brown rice. This will definitely be my go to Mexican rice…no more box rice for me.
This is the best recipe ever for brown rice! My husband who hates brien rice loves this!
I’m going to make this recipe this week. I want to make 2 1/2 cups or 3 cups of rice. What other adjustment should would I need to make for the broth or tomato puree?
Hi Lauren, I’d recommend making the full batch rather than trying to reduce each ingredient by a percentage. Leftover rice freezes great for later!
I suggest you add the option of using salsa at the top of your recipe. I would have happily taken that shortcut if I had read the notes before leaving the store.
My son was “starving,” so I had to take it out of the oven after one hour. He loved it – I felt like it was still a bit crunchy. The liquid was all gone when I took it out. If I had left in the oven another 15 minutes, would it actually get softer w/out more liquid? Love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for the great recipe!
Hi Pamela, I’m sorry for your trouble with this one! I still haven’t quite cracked the code to perfectly fluffy rice every time, but I’ll see if I can work it out tonight for dinner. My newest idea is to try boiling the rice on the stove for a few minutes before placing it in the oven. I will try rearranging the salsa tip, too!
To the comment about the rice not being cooked enough:
Try using instant brown rice and adjust the cooking time.
Thanks for the pointer, Margie!
I would suggest doubling the liquid on this recipe. 2 cups rice to 2 1/2 cups liquid is just not enough, especially when baking. It is VERY tasty. I made it with the jalapeno (which I can rarely eat anymore because my stomach won’t handle it.) However, there are enough ingredients to absorb the jalapeno, which ends up giving it a great flavor.
PS. You CAN make this on the stove top. I cooked the rice, sauted the rest of the ingredients and then added to the rice for a final heating. I also used 1 3/4 cups rice and added 1/4 cup Quinoa for protien. (Heat wave in Calif., no way am I turning on the oven!)
Hi Kate! I finally have access to an oven after quite some time, so I was just now able to try this recipe. Wow, just wow! This is exactly the recipe I’ve been looking for. I’ve tried so many different Mexican rice recipes for years now and failed every time making it. I was ready to give up! But this rice is seriously so amazing. It’s delicious , packed with flavor, and I’m amazed how easy it was to make. I appreciate you so much! Thank you for everything.
Thank you! I am so happy it was able get you back to the oven. :) Thanks so much for you comment!
Hi Kate, I haven’t been able to find fresh jalapenos in my local supermarkets here in Ireland. Can I use those found in a jar?
If you can’t find fresh, then yes you can substitute. Let me know what you think!
Another delicious recipe from you! I’ve made it twice: the first time exactly as it says, and I had the same problem like some other reviewers – crunchy rice; so the second time I cooked the short grain brown rice in the pressure cooker for 18-20 minutes (I usually cook brown rice like this as it is so much faster) before I added it to a Dutch oven with everything else as per the recipe. I cooked it on the stove top for another 15-20 min at lower heat. Obviously, I had to reduce the amount of broth to probably 1 1/2 cup and I didn’t add all of it immediately but little by little while the rice was cooking. A few stirs over 15-20 minutes, and it turned out delicious.
I made this recipe for a dinner party last Saturay night. I used brown jasmine rice since that was all I had. I found that I needed to add a bit more broth to the rice after stirring it halfway through the cooking as it was getting too dry. Anyway it came out great and was very popular. Nice to have a recipe to make Mexican/Spanish rice using brown rice instead of white which we don’t have available at our house. Plus it is really easy to make!
Love to hear your variations! So happy ti was a hit. Thanks your comment and review, Edith.
Thank you. Very good recipe once I’d translated your
US weights into English version. I been trying for a while to find a taste brown rice recipe. Everyone should give this a go vegetarian or not.*****
Made this for dinner tonight as a side for the meat eaters, and a main for me. It was delicious! I topped it with some smoked cheddar that I wanted to use up and loved the flavour it added. My family members think they don’t like brown rice, but they all loved this. I think because it has so much flavour, nobody noticed that it’s brown. Thanks, Kate, for another great recipe!
It’s fun when the whole family is surprised. Thanks for sharing and for the review, Vivian.
I love brown rice, because i’m fitness lover. Brown rice healthy for everyone. This recipe was great. Thank you sharing this amazing recipe.
Thank you for your review!
Hey! Could I use a rice cooker to make this dish?
I haven’t tried it. See if any other readers have in the comments!
Think I can make this without the oven part and get the same results?Just keep the rice covered and cooking on stove top?
I haven’t tried it, sorry! The oven helps with overall cooking to help it cook evenly and the temperature is key too.
This was a very good basic recipe that could be adapted endlessly to suit your own personal taste for “Mexican” rice. One thing I did that made this a keeper for our household was to cook it in my Instant Pot. I sautéed the rice, onions, garlic, and peppers first, then dumped in the tomatoes, broth, and seasonings. Cooked it on high pressure for 22 minutes and boom — done!
Thanks for sharing, Dr. J! The instant pot readers will thank you. :)
I made and it was a hit. Necessity dictated that I had to make a couple of minor changes. We were out of tomato paste so I substituted a little ketchup, and I had to stretch out a cup of vegetable broth by combining it with a cup and a half of chicken broth. It did need the full 90 minutes to cook. When finished there was that chewy crustiness around the edges. Yummy!
Thank you for sharing, Johnathan!
Sad face. Rice was too dry and not cooked through. Plus a nice burnt mess in the pan. Good flavor. But crunchy and ruined
Hi Tami, I’m sorry this didn’t turn out for you. How long did you cook it for?
The Left Handed Squid
This was delish! I added some green peppers and dried chilli instead of the jalapenos and cooked it on the stove top instead of baking it (time was the issue). I am planning to make it again over the weekend as a side for jerk chicken. Thanks for the recipe!
You’re welcome! Thank you for your review.
I made this tonight, and it was awesome! 75 minutes was perfect. I used medium grain brown rice and chicken broth because that’s the rice and broth I had on hand, and a sweet long pepper (a Cubanelle, I think) sautéed with the rice. I served it with chiles rellenos. Will definitely make it again! Thanks for sharing this great recipe.
Thanks for sharing, Angie! I’m glad you loved it.
This was wonderful. The technique is similar to other recipes I have seen for oven baked brown rice, and in my opinion it is hands down the best way to make brown rice. I used a braiser pan, which I think allows the rice to be spread out to cook evenly, preventing mushy rice. The seasoning here is wonderful – just a little spice, not too much tomato. I forgot to add parsley at the end because we were ready to eat. Served it with your black bean and veggie enchilada and everyone enjoyed.
Thanks for your comment, Janel!
Just made this, it turned out great, but dried out after only 45 minutes of baking. I needed to add 2 cups of water at 45 minutes and another 2 cups 15 minutes later. I watched the texture as I added the water so that it didn’t get soupy. Also, I substituted the jalopeno with a chipotle pepper, and substituted the tomato paste with Adobo sauce. Very happy with the results!
Thanks for sharing! I’m happy you were still able to make it work for you.
I have made this recipe probably 10-12 times this year. I finally found a brown recipe that my whole family loves, including my wife who normally avoids all brown rice. I’ve used fresh tomatoes and canned tomatoes. Both turn out well. The Del Monte diced tomatoes with green chiles works great for a little extra zip.Brown basmati rice from Trader Joe’s tastes great and is inexpensive, but I’ve tried everything from long grain brown to Japanese medium grain brown and it all works. Just depends how starchy you like your rice. I also add fresh ground pepper and a dash or two of Worcestershire before i cook it. Thanks for this recipe, it’s been a winner for young and old in my corner of the world.
I have made this recipe many times, and like I often do, tried it for the first time when hosting a group of friends. It was more than a hit. I have made it with several types of rice since, depending on what I have on hand, from short, to medium, to long grain brown rice, and once half white and brown (don’t recommend this as they cook differently :-) I have typically used the short cut with the salsa and finds that controls the liquid quantity as I use the same type each time. I always add carrots and sometime peas or corn. Anyway, thank you! Rave reviews from friends who ask for leftovers everytime.
I’m glad this one is a repeat for you! Thanks for sharing, Shawn.
I love all your recipes, Kate, and made a couple this weekend. They turned out delicious, as always (best ever salsa and pasta and beans soup)! I tried this one as well and it wassooo good! The brown rice did, however, stay crunchy. I cooked it for 1h 50 min and didn’t rinse. Do you think I should just cook longer next time?
Hi Nina! What variety of rice did you use and did you let it come to a boil prior to putting it in the oven? It could be your oven temperature also varies a little but more than mine.
It was Basmati brown rice, and I did let it boil first. I was wondering it was the type of rice! Maybe I’ll try it with another type and increase the temp!? I have to make it again, it was SO delicious!
most likely the choice of basmati which really should be rinsed, and then soaked in still water for 30 mins before cooking. maybe that doesn’t apply for this recipe but i’ve never had good times with basmati without the rinse & soak. stick with standard brown long-grain rice i’d say. best of luck!
I made this recipe tonight and actually cried when I was eating it!! My gma used to make sopa (Mexican rice) several times a week. It was a staple growing up in a Mexican family. Gma passed away 7 yrs ago, and I’ve only made sopa once or twice but it never turned out like my grans. As this was cooking, the smell brought back so many memories and then I took my first bite. I couldn’t stop the tears – gma would be very proud that I was finally successful at making such a delicious dish! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. It is super yummy – just like gran used to make!!
I’m glad they were happy tears! I’m sorry about your loss, but it’s great you have such fond memories! Thank you for sharing.
This turned out so good, my husband ate more of this than of the carne asada, and he loves meat!
So good! I can’t believe this worked for me because I have ruined many rice dishes. I used brown basmati and didn’t rinse. I don’t have a dutch oven so I used a dark roasting pan (I was worried it would burn so I stirred the bottom once, half way through). During these lockdown times, I didn’t have the right spices, I made more of a caribbean spiced version with a scotch bonnet pepper, thyme, allspice and ginger and everyone loved it!!
Hooray! Great to hear it worked for you, Laura. Thank you for sharing the spices you used and that they worked well.
Loved this recipe!! It took some time to cook, but easy steps to follow. I didn’t have fresh cilantro so had to settle for dried. Will certainly be making again.
I was surprised to see directions on not rinsing the brown rice since I thought all rice needed to be rinsed.
Excellent flavor! Wonderful recipe for brown rice usage! I’ve made this many times already.. thank you!
I’m happy to hear that!
I actually soaked the brown rice for a few hours and then drained it before adding to pot with oil…..that made it much more tender. Also, I cooked it all on the stovetop and added more liquid since it absorbed the liquid before rice was done. I love the flavor and I have made it at least once a week since I tried it about a month ago. It’s a keeper!!
This has been a go to recipe for me, thanks. I sometimes use three ripe tomatoes, sometimes a combo of 2 ripe tomatoes and half a can of chopped diced tomatoes to make the 2 cups. I do leave it in the oven the full 85-90 minutes. It always has a wee bit of crunchy rice , but I don’t mind. When giving it a stir half way through I try to really scrape at the bottom and that seems to help the bottom rice not crunch up.
How would this recipe do doubled? Thanks!
Hi Mandy! You can double all ingredients, just make sure you have a large enough pan to cook it in. Timing may be a little longer due to volume, but I would start with the recommended amount and increase as needed from there.
I don’t have a dutch oven. Can I use a rice cooker or a pan on the stove?
Hi Melody! I suggest a heavy bottomed pot. You may be able to use a rice cooker, but I don’t have the specifics sorry!
Thank you for the first recipe for Mexican rice that uses brown rice that I prepared as written and didn’t ruin! All the other recipes(~10) I’ve tried that used brown rice were inedible. :(
My only feedback is that I don’t understand why so many seem to compliment the flavor. I found this bland, and realized after that I’d somehow missed that there are no spices (eg cumin, white pepper, etc) as written.
Am I missing something, or does the fact I’m from/in Texas mean that I’m used to a regional variation of some sort that this recipe isn’t targeted for? I’m curious what you think. :)
Hi Mel, Thank you for your feedback. I’m not sure what you feel you are missing as the spices(jalapeño, red pepper flakes) are listed. But, if you would like more you could always add your favorite to amp it up more.
I was skeptical using brown rice but this is excellent!
Wow this is one of the only things I’ve made that I couldn’t get enough of. It is soooo good.
Thank you for sharing, Carolee!
Yum! I subbed adobo for tomato paste bc I had an open can of chipotles. I also added some homemade salsa verde when I stirred because I forgot to stir halfway and it was getting a bit stuck to the bottom by 45 min in. Overall, delicious, it even got high marks from my foodie mom and sister.
I’m glad it turned out, Elise! Thank you for your review.
Can the oil be omitted? Thank you
Hi Maria, it helps in the cooking process and flavor. I don’t have an alternative for you and suggest it as is.
I tried to make this in the instant pot and it was really mushy. Brown rice in the IP is always perfect so I thought I could get this recipe to convert but it’s too much liquid. Next time will try it with less salsa/liquid. Very flavorful though. Kind of like a Mexican risotto I can’t get over the baking time for this recipe.
Yummy. Very good.Came out perfect. I did put some additional water in at the half way point but not really sure if it was necessary. I also used a can of tomato sauce.
This rice is delicious and so very easy to make! Thrilled with the taste and will definitely make this again!
Thank you, Sharon! I’m happy you enjoyed it.
First time making Mexican rice. Family raved! I also cooked one red pepper with jalapeño. Used one can of tomatoes, half an onion and garlic and puréed that made 2 cups, no extra. Rice was done in an hour, though that could just be my oven. With your black beans (using Rancho Gordo midnight black beans) this was a fabulous meal!
That’s great! Thank you for sharing, Jens.
I made this today using my rice cooker and following your recipe pretty much to the letter. It was definitely a hit. My husband liked it even though he prefers white rice. I’m thinking that it would be good with shrimp or chicken as a main dish. I will make it again for sure!
Kate, I NEVER write recipe reviews!! This was my first time making this recipe. I ran out of the box yellow Spanish rice that I always use as a shortcut for taco night (lol) and I tried this since I had time, and all I had was light brown rice from Costco. I followed the recipe to the T and it came out PHENOMENAL! The only thing I changed actually was the cooking time, shortened to 45/60 mins. Thank you for this recipe!!! It’s a staple for me now!
Well, I’m glad you did Christine! Thank you for taking the time to review.
I made this before and I put it in the freezer and take some out whenever I want to make our go to which is stuffed bell peppers. Thanks!!
I’m happy to hear it freezes well! I appreciate your review.
Love this snd all ofvyour recipes. My daughter recently had to become a vegetarian snd you and Cookie have become an at least once a week “go to” i know you said crock pot wasnt a success but do you know if anyone has had luck with instapot? Someone just surprised me with one!
Hi! I’m glad the blog is a go-to for you both. I honestly don’t use my instant pot often so I can’t speak to it or changes.
This is the best Spanish rice I’ve ever made. Followed everything exactly and couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out. I’m saving this one for sure. I actually made the black bean and sweet potato enchiladas with it! Your recipes are awesome!!
The taste is amazing (couldn’t stop eating it directly from the Dutch oven :-) ) but following the recipe to a T (even with the recipe modifications) it came out pretty crunchy. I tried cooking a bit longer in the oven but then the rice got a little burnt on the bottom. I definitely want to make again because it tastes out of this world, but I guess maybe I’d use a slow cooker or white rice… unless you have any other suggestions to fully cook the brown rice!
I’m glad you loved the taste. I’m sorry it was crunchy! How long did you let it bake for and did you stir it half way?
I made this two nights ago with two changes:
1. used all the tomato mixture
2. substituted a green pepper
I baked it for 1 hour and 15 minutes as suggested. It turned out perfectly. With 2 cups of rice, you have a large batch of rice. It holds up well to use as leftovers. I used some of the rice with a poached egg on top for breakfast. This one goes into my “keeper” file of recipes.
Cynthia Diane Ng
This is so delicious. Time consuming but OH so worth it. I made it, took it to a pot luck dinner where the theme was Mexican foods. Everyone loved it especially because it was a healthier rice choice and taste sooo good.
I’m glad you thought it was worth it, Cynthia! I appreciate you taking the time to review.
This was the best brown rice I have ever made! So good & I took your advice of adding in a can of black beans at the end… YUM!
I’m glad you enjoyed it, Ruthie! Thank you for your review.
Hi! I’m wondering if this can be made with short grain brown rice. Thank you!
Hi Emily, sure you can try it. Let me know what you think!
Thank you! I ended up making it last night with short grain rice, and it was great! I loved it! Very easy! Took about an hour and a half in the oven.
I’m happy you enjoyed it, Emily!
I’m going to make this tomorrow and wondered if using chicken broth vs vegetable broth will work. I’ll come back and rate it after I’ve made it.
Anyone try this in a rice cooker? I have a rice cooker that is amazing and cooks rice to perfection …
THIS RICE IS PURE MAGIC lol
This is a beautiful recipe and cooks up exactly as written. I’m so impressed that this recipe uses brown rice. I used the brown jasmine rice and it turned out so good and tender, even with a little extra time browning/toasting. I did not have the jalapeño (sadly) or the fresh cilantro (sigh), so I did add some crushed red pepper and the dry cilantro. I did have to adjust the salt (at the end while fluffing with a fork). Thanks for this recipe, I hope to use it again and again!
I’m glad you enjoyed it, Cat!
I love this recipe and many others from Cookie & Kate! I used tomatoes from my garden. I froze pre-measured amounts of the tomato, onion, garlic mixture in “Stasher” bags. It fed me many times throughout the winter, usually with black beans and a fried egg.
Can’t wait to dive into your cookbook that I just purchased.
Can this be cooked on the stovetop? I’m in a motel for a while and don’t have any oven proof dishes
Don’t rinse?? Sweetheart, if you saw the inside of a rice factory, you would retract those words and include wash and check for roach legs and mouse droppings in stead.
I will have to retry this recipe another day. I had tried making my own on the stovetop and after more than an hour it still hadn’t softened up but soaked up all of the water. I saw your recipe and decided to try it in the oven. It was a bit softer but still some crunch. Then I saw your note about rinsing making it stay crunchy no matter what. I had already rinsed it first so oh well. The taste was still really good, despite a little bit of crunch.
Hi! Will this work on a larger scale do you think? I was going to make this for a large group of people and mix everything and put into 4 roaster/baker pans and into the oven. There won’t be room to boil things first or use a large Dutch oven. Thanks!
As long as you have a big enough pot, it should work. Let me know how it turns out!
Homemade Mexican brown rice , healthy and delicious, a really hit with my family to go with our favourite your veggie chilli
When I pulled my rice out of the oven to five it a stir at 45 minutes in the fluid was fully absorbed. I added a cup of water and a can of rotel. My rice still turned out delicious although it was slightly crispy. Next time I’ll use my smaller dutch oven and a bit more fluid.
Is there a way to make this without using the oven? I’d love to just keep it stovetop since I don’t have cookware that will transfer to the oven. Appreciate all your delicious (and nutritious) recipes!
I made this and it turned out really well, even though I didn’t have all the correct ingredients. It was a tiny bit crunch 1.25 hrs so I just stirred in 1/4 cup hot water and stuck it back in the warm oven.
This is a great recipe, wonderful flavor, but I can’t figure out why some of my rice grains are crunchy? Most of them are fine, but some seem barely cooked. I’ve tried googling but I haven’t run across an answer to this problem.
It sounds like they may have needed to have cooked a bit longer. Or, it could have been old rice.
This was AMAZING! My finicky 16-year-old went back for 3RDS!!!
The rice was perfectly cooked and the flavor was sabroso!
I love to hear that! Thank you for sharing, Audrey.
This was AMAZING! My finicky 16-year-old went back for 3RDS!!!
The rice was perfectly cooked and the flavor was sabroso!
This was a big hit! If you wanted to double the recipe, would you double the all ingredients? Thank you!
I love this recipe. I find that cooking for 45 min at 375, then reduce to 350 for remainder of time works well. My rice will burn on the bottom if I cook it on 375 for the entire time.
Also, does it double well in the same pot. I need enough for 12.
Great to hear, Lynnita! I appreciate you taking the time to review.
I followed the recipe almost exactly, i just didn’t whiz up the tomatoes, and I didnt use cilantro because my daughter thinks it tastes like soap. I did mix in corn after it cooked, but only because i was being lazy serving it with fajitas. This recipe is excellent! Better than restaurant mexican rice, brown or otherwise.
Great to hear, Dharris!