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.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information on my Affiliate and Advertising Policy, please click here.
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”
Just cooked this and Yum!
Can leftovers be frozen?
sure, you can try
Just finished making this recipe, but I doubled the portion sizes and added a lime and a half plus good helping of cilantro during the cooking process. This allowed those flavors to permeate the dish instead of being an after thought.
Thank you SO very MUCH for this AWHmazing recipe that is sure to be a crowd pleaser for folks of all dietary preferences… ; ) I’m a first timer on this dish and have to make Mexican rice for 20 ppl Monday morning, but now I am confident of being able to do a good job. Thank you again!
P.S. Of course, with each doubling of the portion size, it will double the cooking time from when the rice is put in the skillet… ; )
you are welcome!
This looks yum, can’t wait to try it out! Does anyone actually read the story on a recipes? I know I find them annoying and just scroll right to the actual recipe and directions!
some of my regular readers actually do like reading the post :). For everyone else, there’s a jump to recipe button right at a the top, you don’t have to read anything if you don’t want to
I was thinking to make this recipe for about 30 ppl. Could you suggest the rice and water measurements ?
Thanks for posting the vegetarian version of the recipe here .
I have never made it for 30 people but if you are just making it as a side, you can probably do 5 cups of rice and 6 cups of water…
Excellent taste and the outcome was so yummy….Almost all your recipes are easy to follow
Glad it worked and you enjoyed it!
Can brown rice be used?
I am sure it can be but then the cooking time will change as brown rice takes much longer to cook
Hi..loved your recipe. Just a question..instead of store bought canned tomatoes, can use fresh tomatoes also? If yes then how many ? ????
hmm I recommend canned tomatoes for this recipe..however if you still want to use fresh, I would use 2-3 large tomatoes and puree them before using.
I was scrolling throug twitter when this recipe appeared. Sounds really interesting! To be honest is not the rice that I’m used to eat, but Mexican food is very versatile. Also saw that you are preparing a Indian cookbook!!! Congratulations, I definitly will order a copy!
Thank you Azu 🙂 and I know this is not traditional, I just used whatever rice I had on hand. I would love to try your Mexican rice, that would be so good I just know! Hope you have been well! xx
Since I eat vegan and plan to serve this to a party of vegans, what makes your recipe vegetarian? I see nothing to not make it vegan. Please explain so I will not worry about serving it to my friends. Thank you
it is vegan…you can serve without worrying
This was great. I put a lot more cilantro in it, whole stalks. Thank you!
Always extra cilantro! 😉 you are welcome!