Traditional Mexican Red rice recipe with spicy tomato sauce

We’ve tried different Mexican rice recipes over the years. This is the best we’ve found. Tastes as good as any rice you’ll get at a Mexican restaurant. You’ll want to cook it in a heavy-bottom dutch oven. You’ll get a wonderful caramelized burnt rice crust on the bottom. I like to eat my rice with a spoonful of pico de gallo on top.

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Mexican Red Rice Recipe


1 1/2 cups medium or long grain white rice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
8 ounce can of tomato sauce (I use a spicy Mexican brand)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cumin
1 large carrot diced
1 tsp salt (more to taste)
ground pepper
3 cups chicken stock


I separate the prep into 4 parts.

Part 1. Rice

Put the rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold water for 10 seconds or so. Let drain for a bit. Heat the oil on medium high. Add the rice, fry and stir off and on for about 5-10 minutes until the rice begins to color a little. You’ll see a few of the rice bits begin to brown.

Part 2. Onion and Garlic

Turn the heat to medium and add the onion and garlic and cook for about a minute until the onion becomes translucent and the garlic is fragrant.

Part 3. Tomato Sauce

Add the tomato sauce and stir constantly for 1 minute

Part 4 Carrot, Stock and spices

Stir in the bay leaf, cumin, carrot, salt, pepper, and chicken stock. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and bring the heat down to low. Let cook for 30 minutes. Serve. I like to scrape a bit of the crusty bit on the bottom of the pan and mix into the rice before serving.

Rice Ingredients

Ingredients needed for the rice

Cooking the rice in stages

Cooking the rice in stages

Finished Rice

Finished Rice

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Recipe Name
Mexican Red Rice (Arroz Rojo)
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