Arroz Rojo – Mexican Rice

Arroz Rojo – Mexican Rice

Arroz Rojo, or Mexican rice, is not, on its own, the most exciting dish out there. But, on the side, it’s a game-changing recipe to have in your repertoire. Bursting with aromatics and perfectly cooked grains, this versatile side dish will take your taco nights to new heights.

This dish, unlike many that you might find at your local Mexican restaurant, is actually deeply rooted in Mexican culture. Originating from Spanish influences, this dish evolved over time to incorporate indigenous ingredients and flavors. The result is a rice dish fragrant with the aromatics of onion and garlic and tinted with its distinctive reddish hue from the use of tomatoes. Mexican rice is a staple both on traditional Mexican tables and on the number 12 enchilada platter.

This dish uses long grain rice, providing a nice, fluffy texture. Garlic and onions are sautéed to release their aromatics. The rice is then lightly toasted before the addition of the tomato paste and broth, which complete the flavor complement and create that beloved tender, fragrant rice dish.

It’s a simple, versatile side, which has undoubtedly earned its spot on the table not just for taco Tuesday, but also just about any other night of the week. Next time you’re looking for a starch to go alongside grilled meat or fried fish, look no further.


arroz rojo mexican rice recipe


Arroz Rojo

1½ cups long grain rice
¼ yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups vegetable stock


Add the onion and garlic, as well as a bit of oil, to a small pot over medium heat. Cook until the onion is translucent. Then add the rice and toast for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, then finally add the broth and bring to a simmer.

When the rice reaches a simmer, cover and turn the heat to low. Cook like this for 10 minutes without lifting the lid. After 10 minutes, turn off the heat and allow another 10 minutes for the rice to finish steaming.

Fluff with a fork and serve in burritos or alongside beans and whatever Mexican main you’ve cooked up.


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