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Mexican Rice Recipe

Our Tex-Mex inspired easy Mexican rice recipe makes a great side dish for your next Fiesta Friday. Best of all it’s ready to eat in under 30-minutes.

Lately, I’ve been rummaging through many of the old cookbooks my grandmother gave me to find inspiration for some of my blog posts. Occasionally, I’ll come across a small 4 x 6-inch note card containing a handwritten recipe from my grandmother. 

Those are always fun to make. It just so happened, she gave me a Mexican Rice recipe. The ingredients and directions looked pretty straightforward. 

Since John and Kale have both had her Mexican Rice before, I knew it would be a hit in our household. We’ve always loved it as much as her Mexican Spaghetti, Mexican Casserole, Pumpkin Roll, and Coconut Pie recipes. I followed her directions and was surprised at how quickly this dish cooked.  It was ready to eat in about 20-25 minutes. 

The longest part was cooking the peppers and onions and allowing them to soften. Grandma’s easy Mexican Rice recipe uses instant rice, so it was cooking within a few seconds of adding it to the liquid.

Her recipe also calls to add shredded cheese over the top and let it melt before serving. However, I decided to just dump it into the rice and give everything a quick stir.

A white bowl of Mexican rice surrounded by fresh bell peppers and onions.

Easy Mexican Rice Instructions:

First, heat canola oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Now, you could use vegetable oil if you so choose. With that being said, I would only use olive oil if I had no other choice.

It’s just a preference here, but that’s my two cents. Next, add the onions and green bell peppers and cook until both are soft.

This process should only take a few minutes. Given the fact the rice is going to boil, there’s no reason to go crazy and overcook these vegetables.

The Mexican rice ingredients like peppers, onions, salsa, corn, and cheddar cheese.

Then, add frozen corn, broth, and salsa. That’s right, just dump them right into the pot.

It will lower the temperature of the pan, but that’s okay, you can bring up the heat a little to compensate. At this point, stir the ingredients to combine them and bring the mixture to a boil. 

Afterwards, pour in the rice and cover. Here’s where the minute rice shines in this easy Mexican rice recipe.

If you were using traditional rice, you would need to let it cook for a bit before the next step. That’s not the case with this recipe.

The Mexican rice ingredients in a medium saucepan, ready to be cooked.

Once you’ve added the rice and covered the dish, remove the pan from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. For this reason minute rice is the perfect choice.

You could use traditional white or brown rice; however, you will need to let the pan boil according to the instructions on the packaging. Otherwise, you’ll have under cooked, crunchy rice and nobody wants that to happen.

An aerial photo of the Mexican rice cooked in a medium saucepan.

Finally, after the 5-minutes have passed, add the cheese and fluff the rice with a fork. All done, you have a delicious Tex-Mex inspired easy Mexican rice.

You can pair it with chorizo burritos, enchilada casserole, turkey tacos, taquitos, chicken spaghetti, etc., you get the idea. Since it only takes about 30-minutes, it truly is a simple, quick, side dish recipe.

We hope you enjoy it!

A close-up view of the finished Mexican rice in white bowl for serving.

Easy Mexican Rice Tips:

  • You can use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth to make this dish vegetarian.
  • For a lower calorie option, omit the cheese.
  • If you don’t have salsa, try using canned tomatoes and green chiles, along with a few Mexican themed spices.

If you like this Mexican Rice recipe, please leave us a comment and rate the recipe card. You can also find us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram searching for Berly’s Kitchen!

Yield: 12 Servings

Mexican Rice

A close-up view of the finished Mexican rice in white bowl for serving.

Mexican Rice makes a hearty side dish or a full entrée complete with tomatoes, onions, green bell peppers, and sweet corn. It’s incredibly simple to make, cooks in minutes, and only requires one dish.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, (diced)
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, (diced)
  • 10 ounce package frozen corn
  • 1 cup chicken broth, (Substitute vegetable broth for a vegetarian/vegan option)
  • 1 cup salsa, (mild, medium, or hot)
  • 1 1/2 cups instant rice, (minute-rice)
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, (shredded)


  1. First, heat canola oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Next, add the onions and green bell peppers and cook until both are soft.
  3. Then, add frozen corn, broth, and salsa. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
  4. Afterwards, pour in rice and cover.
  5. Once you've added the rice and covered the pan, remove the pan from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
  6. Finally, add the cheese and fluff the rice with a fork.


The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients and a half of a cup serving size. Actual calories will vary. The Mexican rice can be stored in a sealed container in your fridge for up to 3-days.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

0.5 Cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 105Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 256mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g

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Sunday 27th of November 2016

Love the sound of this, will be trying it soon. I can't get canola oil here only olive or coconut which do you think would be better and do you have a good recipe for salsa? Thank you


Sunday 27th of November 2016

Hi, Amanda! I would use olive oil in place of canola. Had this not been my grandmother's recipe, I would have changed the canola to olive oil anyway. :) Still working on a good salsa.


Monday 21st of November 2016

Tash, I saw your comment and was attempting to answer but had some technical issues within the system and the comment disappeared. I hope you come back to check so you see the response. :) If you cook the rice separately, I would recommend omitting the broth. That is used specifically to cook the rice. Leaving it in will cause the recipe to become soupy.

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