Recipe: Mexican Rice

I’m excited to welcome one of our biggest fans, Emmy from, with a recipe I see her eating and tweeting when she shares her lunches on Twitter. Be sure to read her whole post because she gives recommendations for cookbooks and spices.


Hi Lunch It Punch It readers! I’m Emmy from and I’m here with a great recipe for Mexican rice. It is simple to prepare but oh so tasty. Let’s get started:

2 cups long grain rice (I use Basmati)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Your choice of pepper – for spicy rice: 1 habanero, minced. For mild, 1 bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon Mexican Oregano
2 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups vegetable stock
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Rinse the rise in a mesh colander. Put rice on a large plate and leave it to dry. While the rice is drying, chop the onion, garlic, and pepper.

You will need a medium sized pan with a tight fitting lid. Preheat the pan (uncovered) over medium heat and add the oil. Next add the rice. Stir the rice so that the oil coats it and let the rice toast in the pan for about 5 minutes. Keep stirring the rice every 30 seconds so it doesn’t burn.

Next add the onion, garlic, your choice of pepper, and oregano. Cook for another 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring often. Next add 3 cups of vegetable stock to the pan. Stir the pot to mix everything together. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together 1-cup vegetable stock and the tomato paste. Add this mixture to the pan and stir again. Add freshly ground pepper to taste.

It should look something like this:

Bring the mixture to a low boil. Reduce heat to low, add lid to pot, and simmer for 20 minutes. Don’t peek at the rice. Leave it alone to cook.

After 20 minutes, the rice should be fluffy and the liquid should be absorbed into the rice. Remove from heat. Fluff the rice with a fork, replace the lid, and let sit for 5 minutes before eating.

Finished product before fluffing:

After fluffing:

This recipe is very versatile and can be used as a side dish or even made into a main dish. The best part though? It reheats well the next day making it perfect for lunches. It also makes quite a bit so you’ll have plenty for a few meals. I like to cut up seitan chorizo (check out the Viva Vegan cookbook by Terry Hope Romero for the recipe) and mix it in the rice for an easy yet tasty meal. I’ve also used this rice as a base when recreating Moe’s Southwest Grill’s Vegetarian Rice Bowls at home (essentially a burrito in a bowl without the tortilla).

This rice is a perfect accompaniment to tacos. I usually make soft corn tacos and fill them with seasoned beans, romaine lettuce, onions, and tomatoes. If eating them at home, I like to add a slice of avocado. I usually make beans one of two ways. For refried beans, I strongly recommend you check out a Rick Bayless cookbook for recipes. It is amazing what a little cumin will do for beans! Or a super simple way to season beans is to rinse and drain a can of beans (pinto, black, etc…) and add to a preheated frying pan with a little bit of vegetable oil. Toss with fajita seasoning and cook for a few minutes, stirring often.

My favorite fajita seasoning is made by Penzeys Spices. Their spices are worth every penny and they carry them in an assortment of sizes from small to large. If you are lucky enough, you can buy their spices right at a Penzeys Store. I usually buy them at the store when I visit the Milwaukee area. Otherwise, I order them online. As you can tell, once I start talking about Penzeys and spices, it is hard to stop me.

I hope you enjoy the recipe for Mexican Rice. Thanks to Lunch It Punch It for letting me be a guest blogger today.

Note: This post contains a link to an affiliate

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5 Comment

  1. Michele
    July 12, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    sounds like a flavorful recipe that will work well some dishes I have.

  2. Jeff
    July 13, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Beautiful looking rice. And my favorite thing about basmati, as that after the “fluffing,” that wonderful and vaguely mysterious aroma hits you… no matter what flavor profile you cook with.


  3. Luke
    July 25, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Well am definitely doing that one ! I fell in love in rice after a visit in Chinese restaurant.

  4. […] recipes and these Taco Burritos are a nice twist on the usual. Don’t forget to pair it with Mexican Rice a nice guest post from fan, […]

  5. (@LunchItPunchIt) (@LunchItPunchIt)
    May 1, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Get ready for Cinco de Mayo with @vegandivablog’s Mexican Rice

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