This post is part of the “Be a Blessing” series, devoted to providing simple recipes, ideas, and tips in order to care for others when they need it most.
When I’m making dinner, I usually plan for a protein, a starch, and a veggie (or two). The proteins and veggies are easy to mix up, but I get in such a rut with sides. Rice, noodles, potatoes, rice, noodles…they’re on repeat. I’m always looking for ways to jazz up rice. Enter this Authentic Mexican Rice!
I can’t take credit for the recipe. My friend and former co-worker, Jessica, gave it to me several years ago after I basically begged her for it. She grew up in Mexico and moved here as a teenager. And can I tell you, she brought the best homemade lunches to work! Every once in awhile she’d bring in a homemade pozole for our small group of co-workers and everyone went crazy for it. She gave me the ingredient list and tips for my Easy Red Pozole, actually!
One day I asked her about Mexican rice. I had tried making it a few times, and it never tasted like it did at Mexican restaurants. She clued me in on the two secrets: a blended tomato mixture with garlic, and Goya seasoning. I furiously scribbled her instructions and the ingredients onto a Post-It note, which I’m sharing here today.
The first step is to blend 2 roma tomatoes, 3 cloves of garlic, and water in a blender. It’ll go from this:
The next step is to sauté the rice in hot oil for a minute before adding the liquid.
Part two of the secret is the seasoning: ½ teaspoon of Goya cilantro & garlic seasoning. It ends up being about half of one of these packets. She said not to use the whole packet for only 2 cups of rice, so I haven’t tried using the whole thing. I’m just following instructions!
You can find the seasoning packets in the Hispanic foods aisle of your grocery store. They usually come 8 packets per box, but sometimes you can find smaller quantities. Look for the orange box that says “con culantro y achiote”.
The rest of the recipe is just like cooking a pot of rice. Authentic Mexican Rice is super simple, and an easy side dish for tacos, quesadillas, or enchiladas.
And it’s the perfect accompaniment for these Easy Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas, which are also a part of my “Be a Blessing” series. The rice can easily be transported and reheated as a meal for someone who has just had a baby, been in the hospital, or gone through another big life transition.
Here are the other recipes from the Be a Blessing series:
Simple Baked Ziti
Cinnamon Streusel Apple Bread
Easy Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas
White Chicken Chili with Potatoes and White Beans
Super Flaky Southern Biscuits
Pull-Apart Garlic Bread
Fall Vegetable Minestrone
Authentic Mexican Rice
- 2 small roma tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 cups long-grain white rice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon cilantro & garlic Goya seasoning the orange one; about ½ of a packet
- For garnish: fresh chopped cilantro lime wedges
- Roughly chop the roma tomatoes. Place the tomatoes, the garlic cloves, and ¾ cup of water in a blender. Blend on high until smooth.
- Pour the tomato mixture into a measuring cup. You should have about 1 cup.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute.
- Add 1 cup of the tomato mixture, 3 cups of water, salt, and Goya seasoning. (If you have more than 1 cup of the tomato mixture, reduce the water slightly so that you add 4 cups of liquid total to the saucepan.) Stir to combine.
- Bring mixture to a boil and then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, stirring in any of the tomato mixture on the top of the rice, and serve.