Easy Vegetarian Mexican Rice – serve is as a side or as main dish with tacos, burritos & more. Vegan & gluten-free.
Also check out Instant Pot Mexican Rice!
The satisfaction that you get after gorging on your favorite food cannot be described in words, isn’t it? Just the day before I went out to eat my favorite chaat (Indian street food) and had plate full of aloo tikki, golgappe, samosa chaat. Ahh, sheer bliss! No matter how much you make all this at home, the taste of chaat when you eat directly from the roadside carts in India is just something else. Somehow eating golgappe in a fancy restaurant or at your home never feels the same to me. I think that’s typical Indian chaat lover in me speaking. Anyway that day it was really cold and I had some throat pain too but I braved it all for my favorite chaat. I was like even if I get throat infection, it will be worth it. Yes, anything for that delicious chaat in cold Delhi winters.
Talking about my favorite food, Mexican food is also right up there. Mexican food is probably my favorite after Indian, oh well there’s Italian too. I mean it’s tough to decide which one is my most favorite but it is one of my favorites. I love mexican flavors and I also love the fact that they have so many vegetarian options. Remember when I posted the stuffed poblano peppers? I served those with vegetarian mexican rice and I finally get around to sharing the recipe. Okay thinking about it is making my mouth water since I haven’t had mexican food in more than 2 months now!
I remember the very first time I had mexican rice, which wasn’t too long back and instantly loved it. Since then, I have had mexican rice in so many places and while everyone makes them differently, they all have the basic flavors. The restaurant style mexican rice is not difficult to cook at home, in fact it’s quite easy to make with a handful on ingredients.
This easy vegetarian Mexican rice is a one pot dish which you can serve as a side or as a part of main dish. The rice is lightly spiced and has corn, tomato, garlic, onion and jalapeno. I served it with poblano peppers but you can serve them with tacos, burrito or just eat them with some refried beans. I think they will also be great in stuffed peppers with some cheese on top.
I have used basmati rice in this recipe but you may use long grain. Since I had only basmati at home, I went ahead with it and it worked pretty well in this recipe.
Here’s the Instant Pot version of this recipe!
*Rinse and soak rice in enough water for 15-20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add chopped red onion and cook for a minute. Then add chopped jalapeno and cook for a minute.
Add chopped garlic and cook for another minute.
Add yellow corn and mix. Add cumin powder, salt, pepper and mix. You may also add some cayenne pepper at this point to increase the heat.
Add the soaked rice to the pan and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Then add crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth or water and mix. Lower the heat to medium low. Cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, lower heat to low and cover and cook for another 5-10 minutes or till rice is soft and done.
Switch off flame and let the rice remain covered. Remove cover after 10-15 minutes. Fluff with fork, add cilantro and lime juice.
Serve vegetarian mexican rice as a side or main dish and enjoy!
* The amount of vegetable broth/water that you use in the recipe may change depending on the type of rice you use.
* To increase the heat and make the rice more spicy – use more jalapeno peppers or use some cayenne pepper.
* You can add peas, black beans, carrots as well to the rice.
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Recommended for this recipe: Stainless Steel Skillet | Ground Cumin | Cayenne Pepper
Vegetarian Mexican Rice
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 small red onion chopped
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper chopped
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 3 tablespoons yellow corn
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- 1 cup crushed canned tomatoes
- 1.5 cups vegetable broth or water
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- Rinse and soak rice in enough water for 15-20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add chopped red onion and cook for a minute. Then add chopped jalapeno and cook for a minute.
- Add chopped garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add yellow corn and mix. Add cumin powder, salt, pepper and mix. You may also add some cayenne pepper at this point to increase the heat.
- Add the soaked rice to the pan and saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth or water and mix. Lower the heat to medium low.
- Cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, lower heat to low and cover and cook for another 5-10 minutes or till rice is soft and done.
- Switch off flame and let the rice remain covered. Remove cover after 10-15 minutes.
- Fluff with fork, add cilantro and lime juice.
- Serve vegetarian mexican rice as a side or main dish and enjoy!
Vegetarian Mexican Rice
52 thoughts on “Vegetarian Mexican Rice”
It states to cook at medium heat, then reduce to medium??
reduce to medium-low, will fix the typo, thanks
Hi, I love your recipes. Simple and tasty.
Pls suggest which side dish goes best with Mexican rice.
refried beans, guacamole, sautéed veggies!
Can I substitute rice with quinoa?
you can try
What would you change in order to triple this recipe for 12 people as a side dish? If I triple the recipe do I need to change cooking times or liquid measurements?
yes the ingredients would triple as well. I hope it works because I have never tried tripling the recipe. Cooking time would probably not change much, add an extra 5 minutes and see!
i loved it..taste was so good.
Is there a way to make the whole recipe in a rice cooker?
I have made it in a pressure cooker- https://www.cookwithmanali.com/instant-pot-mexican-rice/
The recipe is delicious 😋
However what flavor or ingredient is that makes it Mexican.
Cause is seems like a veggie Pulao
well Mexican cuisine does have it’s similarity with Indian cuisine. However I have never made a pulao with can of crushed tomatoes.