This Quick Mexican Brown Rice is the perfect side dish that goes with everything from tacos, enchiladas, refried beans –you name it!
Quick Mexican Brown Rice
This Mexican inspired side dish is perfect for those nights. It’s super quick and much healthier than using a boxed pre-seasoned rice (also MUCH lower in sodium and made with real fresh veggies as opposed to dehydrated ones). You can use frozen brown rice from Trader Joe’s or make your own frozen brown rice to keep on hand for busy nights!
Rice is my favorite carb, I love it more than potatoes or even pasta! But brown rice isn’t always as tasty as white rice, not true for this dish! This Mexican rice has so much flavor thanks to the onions, garlic, tomatoes, cilantro and spices. Trust me, your family will flip! I love this with this slow cooker salsa chicken and guacamole on the side when I need an easy weeknight meal.
You can make this with leftover brown rice, but if you’re live near a Trader Joe’s, I’m pretty obsessed with their frozen brown rice – it’s the perfect texture and takes just 3 minutes to heat up. Great for those days I don’t have time to make brown rice from scratch.
More Brown Rice Recipes
- Chicken Sausage Brown Rice Stuffing
- Dirty Brown Rice
- Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Shrimp Peas and Rice
- Brown Fried Rice
Quick Mexican Brown Rice
- 4 cups cooked brown rice, if frozen, heated
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ medium onion, finely diced
- 2 medium plum tomatoes, small dice
- 1 jalapeno, seeds and membrane removed, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 5 lime wedges, for serving
- chopped cilantro, optional
- Heat the cooked rice. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions, tomatoes and jalapeno and sauté until just tender, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another minute.
- Add the tomato paste, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Stir to evenly coat the vegetables. Add the cooked rice, stir, and cook for 1 minute or until heated through. Serve with cilantro and lime wedges on the side.
77 comments on “Quick Mexican Brown Rice”
Best Mexican Rice I’ve ever made. I used white rice and it was delicious.
It is so good. I did not use pre cooked rice. Everything was cooked from scratch. We accompanied the rice with the lemon cilantro chicken. It was a success. Thank you!
A great recipe with lots of flavour. My family loves it so much that I’ve transformed it into a main dish. I chop and add 2 Taco seasoned grilled chicken breasts and 1.5cups of corn and voila a main dish.
We love this rice and make it often. I use 2 pkgs. of Organic Brown Basmati Rice and reduce the cayenne and smoked paprika to 1/8 tsp each.
We made this recipe exactly as written and found it to be very spicy. Like, very. We will make it again but will decrease the cayenne pepper and add extra vegetables. Agree that TJ brown rice is the best!
I’m trying to figure out why this is 5pts if the only item that is worth any is the olive oil. Am I missing something?
I omitted the cayenne and added a couple cups of corn to this, and it was a huge hit with the whole family. I paired it with grilled chicken seasoned with Sazon. We will definitely be making this again.
This was so easy to make and delicious. This recipe is wonderful.
How many of the TJ’s frozen brown rice bags are equivalent to 4 cups?
Made this tonight for Cinco de Mayo with some refried beans, guacamole and carne asada. So good and easy! Makes a lot for leftovers too. 🙂
I can’t get over how amazing this is! Especially if you use precooked rice, it’s a delicious side that comes together in no time!
Can I use canned tomatoes instead if plum tomatoes aren’t in season? How much would I use?
Sure, 1/3 cup
This is delicious. I just started using this site as a resource in my weight loss journey and I love it and the books. I cooked this with the slow cooker taquitos and everyone loved it.
Just made it. It is very tasty, fresh, and flavorful. Thanks so much for this excellent recipe. I already had TJs frozen brown rice in the freezer, and agree that it is the best frozen brown rice. Thanks again!
So very good! The lime really brightens it even more. This is becoming one of my lunch staples. Thank you Gina.
This Fresh Mex rice was a delicious side dish with my take on vegetarian crab cake tacos – thanks for providing such a great replacement for the ‘San Francisco Treat’ (if you’re old enough to remember those commercials lol).
This recipe is amazing!!! So delicious, and so easy to make. Thank you so much!!
How many bags of the Trader Joes cooked brown rice do you need for this recipe? Thanks!
Very yummy, added some salsa Lizano (Costa rican sauce) and and bell pepper instead of tomato as I didn’t have tomatoes and it was fabulous and satisfying! Thx!
Super easy and delish. Will be a new staple.
Made this last night and it was super good! I added a few dashes of Sriracha dry seasoning on top to give it a little heat. Yum!
Could I freeze this afterward?
I would think so.
You say quick, but that list of ingredients does not look quick to me. Maybe this recipe is routine for some people, but I cannot imagine it for me.
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How would you suggest adding chicken to this dish?
So delicious! Added black beans and veggies like someone suggested and it was a perfect vegetarian meal. Thank you!