Mexican Red Rice

Mexican Red Rice

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This recipe for Mexican red rice is simply divine, absolutely authentic and delicious. Even better, it’s quick and easy to make!

It’s customary to add a few vegetables and serve it before the main meal. You can serve it with sliced hard-boiled egg and salsa on a tortilla for a taco placero, but Mexican rice is classically called sopa seca.

Also known as Spanish rice, it doesn’t originate from Spain.


  • Rice
  • Tomato Puree (or fresh Roma tomato)
  • Canola Oil
  • Onion
  • Chicken Broth
  • Peas & Carrots
  • Serrano Pepper (Or Jalapeno)

Recipe Tip

When cooking with white rice, to get the best, fluffiest rice, rinse and wash it several times. Pour your dry rice into a bowl and fill it with cold water, using your hand to swish the rice around in the bowl for a few minutes. Drain the rice with a sieve and repeat the wash cycle three times for up to 15 minutes. This method works to make perfectly fluffy Chinese white rice just like take-out, so I always wash my rice whether using the rice cooker, the pot or any cooking method. In Mexico City, fluffy rice is achieved by soaking in hot water, but you don’t want to do that, here in the US. A cold water rinse will suffice, but can easily be skipped altogether.

Dice up your onion. Preheat oil in a pan.

Add the Rice, then the Onion, and stir-fry until raspy.

Add your tomato, broth, peas & carrots. Top with diced serrano pepper.

Bring it to a boil, reduce heat, cover & simmer about 25 minutes.

Rice is done when liquid has been absorbed.

You should check the rice for firmness before serving. If it’s still a bit hard in the center, continue steaming about 5 minutes.

This recipe was inspired by the recipe, Sopa Seca De Arroz from “Eat Mexico” by Lesley Tellez, which uses fresh tomatoes instead of canned. It saves about 15 minutes, but doesn’t lose much flavor.

Storing Leftovers

Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator and eat within 5 days (it will keep for about a week).

Mexican Red Rice

Authentic Mexican Red Rice, but easier!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: rice
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 258kcal
Cost: $1


  • 1 c Tomato Sauce or Puree
  • ¼ c Canola Oil
  • 2 c Long-Grain White Rice (not instant)
  • medium Onion, chopped
  • 3 c Chicken Base or Broth
  • ½ c frozen Peas optional
  • 1 Carrot, finely chopped optional
  • 1 ½ t salt to taste
  • 1 Serrano pepper, finely chopped optional


  • Heat the oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the onion and fry, stirring often. Cook until the rice sounds raspy, like pebbles in the pan, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the tomato sauce or puree, the chicken broth, and the peas, carrots and salt. Stir, then top with the Serrano chile.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Cook 15 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Stir well and serve.


% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7.7g10%
Saturated Fat 0.7g4%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 893mg39%
Total Carbohydrate 40.6g15%
Dietary Fiber 1.6g6%
Total Sugars 2.4g 
Protein 5.9g 
Vitamin D 0mcg0%
Calcium 25mg2%
Iron 3mg14%
Potassium 272mg6%
Recipe analyzed by 

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