Easy Baked Mexican Rice
This easy Mexican rice is baked in the oven and tastes even better than the rice from your favorite Mexican restaurant! Perfect for any occasion!
How much do you love the rice from your favorite Mexican restaurant? Now you can have that amazing Mexican rice… at home, with just a little bit of effort, then it bakes in the oven for an easy hands-off side dish!
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This is another one of those recipes that I’ve been meaning to get up here on the blog for a while now, yet it somehow got pushed to the back-burner in my excitement for other recipes (like this strawberry pie or this spicy macaroni salad)! But since Easter has passed, it’s time to get ready for one of my favorite days… Cinco de Mayo!
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been a HUGE fan of the rice at Mexican restaurants. It’s so full of flavor! This version starts with pulsing some tomatoes and onion in the food processor until smooth. This imparts a TON of flavor, plus, it’s all fresh!
This recipe isn’t actually mine you guys… it’s my friend Meggan’s from Culinary Hill. Seriously, do yourself a favor and head over there… you’ll be drooling!! I’ve made a few minor tweaks to the recipe, due to things we have here and my family’s preferences, but she’s the genius behind it!
If you haven’t baked rice before… you should totally start. It’s a fool-proof way to get rice with a great texture, and is so hands-off! I’m planning some other baked rice recipes, but if you’re looking for another one to try for now, this Stick of Butter Rice is a great one!
I find this rice is easiest to make when you use an oven-safe skillet or pan (plus there’s only one dish to wash!), but you can start the rice in a sauce pan and transfer it to a baking pan (3 quart or larger) to finish baking in the oven.
This Mexican rice is delicious alongside just about any meal, but these are my favorites:
So the next time you’re craving some Mexican food, with that fantastic Mexican rice, try this version out and be amazed!!
Recipe adapted slightly from Culinary Hill (be sure to check out her page for tips on making this rice for a crowd!)
Easy Baked Mexican Rice
- 4 roma tomatoes, core removed and cut into quarters
- 1 yellow or white onion, skin removed and cut into quarters
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (leave the seeds in if you want extra heat)
- 1 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp salt to taste
- 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro (divided)
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1 lime (juiced)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add dry rice to a mesh sieve and rinse under cold water until water runs clear.
- To a blender or food processor, add tomatoes, onion and approximately 2 Tbsp of the minced cilantro. Process until smooth. This should yield around 2 cups, but if there's excess, discard any amount more than 2 cups.
- Add vegetable oil to a large, oven safe pan (I love to use my Le Creuset buffet casserole dish), and heat over MED heat. Add rice and saute for about 5-10 minutes, until fragrant and lightly golden.
- Add garlic and jalapeño and stir about 30 seconds or so, until fragrant. Add tomato puree, tomato paste, chicken broth and 1 tsp salt. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
- Cover and bake about 25-30 minutes, until liquid is absorbed, stirring halfway through. Fluff rice with a fork, squeeze lime juice over rice and stir in cilantro and green onions.
- Taste and adjust by adding more salt or black pepper, if needed.