This easy Mexican-inspired rice recipe uses jarred salsa as a quick but super tasty short cut. Instructions on how to make it in a rice cooker or on the stove top!
I'm on a mission to kick our boring rice habit, and this easy Mexican-inspired rice recipe is definitely not boring!
If you've ever made traditional Mexican rice, you will know there are a lot of ingredients, chopping, sauteeing etc. And that is awesome if you have time to do all of that (maybe for a Sunday night dinner?), but if you are like me, you need something quick and easy or it ain't gonna happen.
Enter this not-so-traditional recipe...which uses jarred salsa as a short cut! The jarred salsa infuses the rice with a ton of flavor, but cuts the prep time down to almost nothing.
And since we don't need to sautee anything, you can cook it in a rice cooker or on the stove top. Hurray!
Want to see exactly how to cook this recipe? Watch this 1-minute video! You can find more recipe videos on my YouTube channel.
Prepping this recipe
Traditional Mexican rice recipes sautee onions, jalapeno and garlic, before toasting the rice and simmering in a spiced tomato sauce. My recipe is NOT authentic <-- just want to reiterate this 😉
Like the other rice recipes in this series, you don’t need to chop or sautee anything (thank you, jarred salsa!), and you can cook it either in a rice cooker (I love the Aroma 8 Cup Rice Cooker) or in a pot.
- Rinse rice under the tap using a colander. Honestly? I skip this half the time. But for the fluffiest rice, I recommend rinsing.
- Combine all ingredients in a pot (with minimum capacity of 4 cups), or a rice cooker (I love the Aroma 8 Cup Rice Cooker)
- Cook! If you are using a rice cooker, just press the ‘white rice’ button. If you are using the stove top method, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer (covered) for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand (covered) for another 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
Can I use jasmine rice in this recipe? Brown rice? Any other rice?
Mexican rice is best with a long grain white rice such as jasmine or basmati, but this particular recipe has only been tested with basmati. It should work as written for jasmine as well.
Brown rice *may* work, but you will need to increase the cook time as indicated on the package. Par-boiled/pre-cooked rice won’t work in this recipe.
Can I freeze this recipe?
YES. This rice recipe freezes well. You can freeze it in meal prep containers or in freezer bags (I love these re-usable silicone freezer bags!). Some people add a little bit of water when re-heating freeze/thawed rice, as it does end up slightly dryer than fresh rice.
Can I cook this recipe in the Instant Pot?
I have not tried. I would refer to this recipe for Instant Pot Mexican Rice.
My favorite thing about this recipe is how well it goes with so many different flavors! Here are some suggestions:
- A salad tossed in this Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing
- This Chipotle Lime Chicken Marinade or this Instant Pot Chipotle Lime Chicken
- A batch of these Perfect Black Beans
- the taco meatballs found in this post with Healthy Baked Turkey Meatballs 7 Ways
- I recommend rinsing your rice under the tap through a colander
- I love the Aroma 8 Cup Rice Cooker, but if you have a large family, you might want to consider the Aroma 20 Cup Rice Cooker
- Looking for more rice recipes? Check out this Instant Pot Wild Rice Pilaf, this Coconut Rice, or this post with all 7 Easy Rice Recipes
Did you make this? Tag me on social @sweetpeasandsaffron and be sure to leave a comment and rate the recipe!
Easy Mexican-Inspired Rice Recipe
- 1 cup basmati rice rinsed
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)
- 1 cup salsa
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- In a medium pot, combine the basmati rice and all other ingredients.
- Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer (covered) for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let sit for another 10 minutes before serving.
- Combine the basmati rice and all other ingredients in the rice cooker base.
- Cook using the 'white rice' function (or regular function if there is not a white rice option).
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