How To Make Mexican Rice in a Rice Cooker, Quick and Easy Recipe

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By Ashley Woodward • Last Updated: February 16, 2023 is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How To Make Mexican Rice in a Rice Cooker

Reaming of a Mexican fanfare for dinner? Make it more exciting and interesting with Mexican rice! Find out how to make Mexican rice in a rice cooker in this brand new post!

Mexican rice or also fondly called, Spanish rice, Red Rice, or Arroz Rojo, is made from white rice, tomatoes, garlic, and onions. All sauteed to bring out the best from each ingredient. Some people are confused between paella and Spanish rice (or Mexican rice), but these two are very much different from each other.

Although most people call it Spanish rice, it is not actually popular in Spain and Mexicans mostly call it Arroz Rojo or red rice. The name was just tagged along with unknown origin. Let’s find out more about this appealing dish and how to make quick and easy Mexican rice in a rice cooker.

How to Make Traditional Mexican Rice

Preparing Mexican rice is pretty easy and straightforward, you don’t need a lot of sophisticated ingredients to make this dish stand out. The key here is the fresh tomatoes or the tomato paste that you will use to add the main color.

The perfect Mexican rice is light, fluffy, and awesomely flavorful. There is no secret ingredient in cooking Mexican rice, what you discover is the unique and special process of cooking the rest of the ingredients.

Are you ready to make Mexican rice traditionally?

Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 cup of Long-grain white rice
  • 3 tbsp of Olive oil or fat
  • Roma Tomatoes
  • Onion powder
  • Chili powder
  • Pepper
  • Caldo de Tomate
  • Garlic
  • Cilantro
  • 1 and 3/4 or about 2 cups of Water

How to Cook:

  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine your tomatoes (minced), onion powder, pepper, chili powder, Caldo de Tomate, and water. Gently whisk all the ingredients and set it aside
  2. Next is to brown the rice by adding olive oil in a non-stick medium-sized pot. Mix the rice gently until the color turns opaque or golden brown. Then add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds.
  3. Gradually add the mixture you made earlier and stir it carefully until it simmers
  4. Once the mixture is simmering, reduce the heat and cover the lid and leave it cooking until all the liquids are absorbed. This will go for about 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat and let it rest for another 5 minutes
  6. Fluff the rice with a fork, garnish with cilantro, and serve!

Your Mexican rice is a perfect side dish to Chimichangas, Chicken Fajitas, Beef or Chicken Tacos, Quesadillas, and Chicken Enchiladas.

How to Make Mexican Rice in a Rice Cooker

cook mexican rice in a rice cooker

If you don’t have much time around the kitchen but still craves for Mexican rice, well, I have good news! You can actually make this delicious Mexican rice in a rice cooker!

Preparing any kind of food is now made easier with a rice cooker since you don’t need to spend much time cooking. Here is how to prepare your favorite Mexican rice:

What you need:

  • A cup of long-grain white rice
  • Chicken broth or stock
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • A can of tomato sauce
  • 2pcs Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder, pepper, and chili powder
  • Cilantro for garnishing

How to Cook:

  1. Brown the rice inside the rice cooker by adding the olive oil and a cup of long-grain rice
  2. Simply toss the rest of the ingredients inside the cooker, stir a little and leave it on.
  3. Cook according to your rice cooker’s instructions
  4. Once done cooking, stir once and let it rest for about 5 minutes, garnish with cilantro before serving!

There you have it, there is no other special technique in cooking Mexican rice. The tip here is that you must have the right ingredients and don’t forget to toast it before cooking!

Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice

Here is a quick video on how to cook restaurant-style Mexican rice!

What Makes Mexican Rice full of Texture?

Toasting is the essential key to making the most flavorful Mexican rice. It creates a nutty, earthy flavor that makes every bite even more exciting.

You can only achieve this by slowly browning the rice under low to medium heat until the color turns light or golden brown. NEVER burn the rice or else it will become bitter and no longer feasible for cooking.

There are no specific rice variants required in making Mexican rice, you can use any kind of long-grain white rice, some even use basmati rice.

Can I Use Brown Rice?

Absolutely, but remember, brown rice needs more liquid since it’s a bit hard when cooked. If you are using brown rice for a healthy alternative, make sure to double your water or broth.

Broth Also Matters!

The best thing about Mexican rice is that you can play around with the rest of your ingredients based on your liking.

You can add other extra ingredients such as peas, carrots, and meat, don’t be afraid to make it bolder!

Adding water or broth (chicken or beef) is also another core ingredient. I prefer using broth since it adds more flavor to the dish itself.

Leftover Mexican Rice

rice stuffed peppers

After you have indulged in a Mexican themed dinner, you might probably get some leftovers. Leftover Mexican rice stays good for about 3-4 days inside the fridge as long as it cooled and stored properly.

You can also reheat the Mexican rice using a rice cooker, simply toss it back to the rice cooker and splash a little water and press the Keep Warm button.

In case you are wondering how to make use of your leftover Mexican rice, here are some ideas:

  • Mexican rice balls
  • Burritos
  • Rice casserole
  • Stuffed peppers
  • And more…


Mexican rice is another rice dish you can indulge in any time you are craving for some bold, fluffy, and tasty recipe. It is a perfect side dish to any of your Mexican-themed meal!

In this post, you just learned how to cook Mexican rice in a rice cooker. It’s basically super easy to prepare, you just need to consider two things when cooking: toasting the rice and adding the broth.

These two are the secrets to having the perfect bowl of Mexican rice. Have you tried cooking Mexican rice? What other secrets can you share?

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