Mexican Rice made with Brown Rice

Brown rice is cooked with onions, tomatoes, garlic, and jalapenos making this Mexican Rice so flavorful and delicious! A great side dish for Cinco de Mayo!

Mexican Rice made with Brown Rice |

Happy Friday! And it is an especially happy Friday because it is Cinco de Mayo and Derby weekend. Aka lot of delicious food and great drinks. I wanted to post something for Cinco de Mayo, and visions of churros and fish tacos and magaritas were dancing through my head. And those ideas are still floating around to make this weekend, but I really wanted to go back to basics, Cinco de Mayo style, and make some Mexican Brown Rice.

Ok I know, it sounds kind of boring. But sometimes simple food is the best food. Like this Mexican rice – it is nothing fancy, just some brown rice with tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos (and a few other goodies!), but it is so good! Plus it is the perfect side dish to make for your Cinco de Mayo feasts.

Mexican Rice made with Brown Rice |

Mexican Rice made with Brown Rice |

Ok also, I can’t lie, I made this rice on Sunday so that we would have something healthy to eat for dinner after work on Monday! And we absolutely loved it. We topped it with fresh lime, cilantro, pepperjack cheese, and avocado. The flavors are amazing! Serve it alongside some seasoned grilled chicken and you have a healthy, delicious, and easy meal.

Mexican Rice made with Brown Rice |

I love looking through the taste tests on Cook’s Illustrated.  I think it is so great that they go through the trouble of testing every product so that we know what will taste the best! Major Nerd Alert, I know.  But in case you are also curious, the two types of long-grain brown rice they recommend are Goya Brown Riceand Lundberg Organic.

Hope everyone has a great, festive weekend!  What are you going to eat / drink?

Mexican Rice made with Brown Rice |

Mexican Rice made with Brown Rice |

Mexican Rice made with Brown Rice

Mexican Rice made with Brown Rice

Brown rice is cooked with onions, tomatoes, garlic, and jalapenos making this Mexican Brown Rice so flavorful and delicious! A great side dish for Cinco de Mayo or just a normal weeknight dinner!


  • 2 medium tomato (about 12 ounces), cored and quartered
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 medium jalepeno chili (plus 1 for garnish, if desired)
  • 2 cups long-grain brown rice
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place tomatoes and onion in a food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer mixture to a liquid measuring cup - you want 2 cups of liquid. If you have more, throw out the excess.
  3. Remove ribs and seeds from 2 jalepenos and throw away, then mince the 2 jalepenos.
  4. Rinse the rice under cold water in a fine-mesh strainer for at least one minute. Shake rice in strainer to remove excess water.
  5. Place oil in an oven-save 12-inch dutch oven or straight-sided sauté pan with a tight-fitting lid and heat over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Drop a few grains of rice in the oil, and if it sizzles, it is ready. Add rice and fry, stirring frequently, until rice is light golden and translucent, 3 - 3 1/2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add garlic and mined jalapeno. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the tomato/onion mixture, chicken broth, tomato paste, and salt. Stir and then increase heat to medium-high. Bring mixture to a boil, then cover the pan/pot and move to the preheated oven.
  6. Bake about 1 1/4 hours, stirring every 30 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Add some chicken stock if the rice appears too dry before it is fully tender.
  7. Stir in chopped cilantro. If more heat is desired, seed and then mince the 3rd jalapeno and stir in.
  8. Serve the rice with a lime wedge, and squeeze fresh lime on just before eating.


Make sure you use an ovensafe pot / pan that is 12 inches in diameter. Otherwise, the rice will not cook correctly. The pan needs a tight fitting lid.

Recipe from Cook's Illustrated

You probably need a cocktail to go with this rice, right?

Clementine Rosemary Champagne Cocktail
Clementine Rosemary Champagne Cocktail |

Pineapple Mint Tequila Mojito
Pineapple Mint Tequila Mojito |

Blood Orange Gin Fizz
Blood Orange Gin Fizz |

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  1. says

    I love cooks illustrated also! They are right on my Type A personality wavelength, hahaha. Love Mexican rice and your version sounds great… using brown rice to make it a bit healthier is a win in my book!

  2. olivia says

    Just made this for some (am hoping authentic-ish) bean burritos I’m putting together tonight.
    I did it stovetop since I don’t have a dutch oven, and omitted jalapeno in lieu of some chipotle.
    Not sure if this recipe – or traditional mexican-style rice – is supposed to be somewhat sticky, but mine is …. which will probably work in our favour, binding things together in the tortilla!
    Soooooo yummy.
    Thanks for the recipe!

    • says

      Hi Olivia! So glad you liked this, and it sounds delicious in burritos. Mine was not very sticky, but maybe that has to do with the brand of rice we used? But you are right – the sticky sounds perfect for a burrito!


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