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Mexican Rice (Arroz à la Méxicana)

This recipe for Mexican rice (Arroz à la Méxicana) is from the cookbook, Quick & Easy Mexican Cooking.

Author Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee writes:

A wonderful side dish that works with any number of entrees, this rice is great left over for the next day’s meal or for a delicious filling for your burritos. If you like your rice with a spicy kick, go ahead and leave the seeds in the jalapeno. Alternately, omit the pepper altogether if you don’t want that extra fire.

Recipe for Mexican Rice (Arroz à la Méxicana) - www.cooksandbooksandrecipes.com

Ingredients for Mexican Rice (Photo credit: Katie Lew)

Cooks&Books&Recipes Featured Cook Katie:

Despite my love for homemade Mexican food, I have never been able to find a recipe for rice that lives up to the rice served at my favorite Mexican restaurant. I decided to try Lee’s recipe for Mexican Rice and see how it measured up. As a main dish, I also made her Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chile Sauce. Both recipes took about 30 minutes from start to finish, and both used a mix of canned ingredients (bottled enchilada sauce, canned tomatoes) and fresh ones (cilantro, garlic, onions). The results were outstanding: a meal that was on the table in much less than an hour and that tasted as if it had been cooking all day. The Mexican Rice was much better than that served at most restaurants, and it had the benefit of fresh cilantro stirred in at the last minute. With a combination of fresh flavor and quick preparation, both of these recipes are ones that I will cook again and again.


Recipe for Mexican Rice (Arroz à la Méxicana) - www.cooksandbooksandrecipes.com

Mexican Rice (Photo credit: Katie Lew)

Enjoy this recipe for Mexican Rice!

Cookbook review: Quick & Easy Mexican Cooking: More Than 80 Everyday Recipes - www.cooksandbooksandrecipes.com

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Arroz à la Méxicana

Featured Recipe From: Quick & Easy Mexican Cooking: More Than 80 Everyday Recipes

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 side-dish servings


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • One 14.5-ounce can chopped tomatoes, including the juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 to 4 sprigs fresh cilantro, loosely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)


In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, jalapeno, and garlic and saute until the onion is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice and bay leaf and sauté until the rice becomes opaque and lightly browned, another 4 to 5 minutes.

Slowly (be careful not to splatter!), add the broth, tomatoes and their juice, and cumin and stir. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat to low. Let simmer until the rice is cooked, 20 to 25 minutes.

Fluff the rice and serve hot, sprinkled with the cilantro.

Note: There's no need to add any salt since there's plenty of salt in the canned tomatoes and chicken broth. If you're watching your sodium, I recommend using low-salt varieties.

© 2011 Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee

Reprinted with permission from Quick & Easy Mexican Cooking: More Than 80 Everyday Recipes, by Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee, photographs by Leigh Beisch and Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee (Chronicle Books, 2011)

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