Loaded with fresh veggies, creamy cheese, and warm seasonings, this Mexican Rice Recipe is a comforting recipe that’s quick to prep and perfect for tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and more! Prepare it in advance for a budget-friendly, crowd-pleasing option.
Cheesy Mexican Rice
We can never say no to Mexican-inspired meals, and one thing that makes even the best of recipes even tastier is a side of Mexican rice! So, instead of spending all our money at our local restaurant, we decided to make our own easy Mexican rice recipe using ingredients we always have on hand at home! As a result, this recipe is:
- Super budget-friendly
- Ready in less than 15 minutes
- Cheesy and so comforting
- Loaded with flavor and full of fiber to keep you full
Is this Mexican Rice Recipe Authentic?
No. While we love authentic recipes, there’s a soft spot in our hearts for Tex-Mex recipes, too, and that’s exactly what this is! Inspired by warm Mexican flavors and given a boost of creamy comfort with cheese, this easy Mexican Rice Recipe offers the best of both worlds for a not-so-authentic option that we still adore. However, if you’re looking for something a little more traditional, try out our Spanish Style Rice!
What’s the Difference Between Spanish Rice and Mexican Rice?
Admittedly, the differences between the two are subtle. However, according to our research, Spanish rice is considered to have a firmer texture and is more yellow in color. This is due to the addition of saffron, a spice not found in Mexican rice recipes. Meanwhile, Mexican rice is often red in appearance thanks to the use of cumin. It’s also softer in texture and has a slightly milder taste and aroma.
That said, both versions are fairly similar when it comes to nutritional value. While our rice is neither yellow nor red, it is inspired by the traditional spices and the use of fresh veggies found in both Spanish and Mexican rice recipes.
Ingredients You’ll Need
As mentioned, we sued ingredients we had on hand, but feel free to add in any extra veggies, proteins, or seasonings you enjoy!
- Rice – For the best results, use quick-cooking rice such as Minute rice.
- Seasonings – For Tex-Mex-inspired flavor, we used a combination of taco seasonings, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. We save time by using pre-made taco seasonings packets, but you could easily make your own mix with a recipe like this.
- Broth – This is key to creating fluffy, tender, and flavorful rice!
- Veggies – For a chunky texture, plenty of flavors, and a boost of nutrients, we included a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, bell pepper, red onion,
- Black Beans – Use pre-cooked beans, and be sure to drain and rinse them first.
- Olive Oil – This helps add a rich taste and a boost of healthy fats.
- Cheese – A combination of Colby Jack and Monterrey Jack cheeses creates a slightly spicy, completely irresistible taste. Or, feel free to mix and match whatever cheeses you have on hand.
- Cilantro – Added at the very end, this herb helps lighten up the flavors for a perfectly balanced dish.
How to Make an Easy Mexican Rice Recipe
Another one pot recipe, this cheesy Mexican rice is so simple to make! Take a look at the instructions below, and scroll to the bottom to find the full details.
- Add all of the ingredients except for the cheese and cilantro to a large pot or dutch oven.
- Bring the liquid to a boil.
- Cover and cook until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
- Stir in the cheese and cilantro.
- Serve warm, and enjoy!
Honestly, this recipe is so filling, we’ve been known to eat it on its own. However, it also pairs perfectly with main dishes like:
Storage and Freezing Options
We highly recommend doubling this recipe for the tastiest meals in a pinch. Leftovers store amazingly and reheat to taste as good as new!
Refrigerator: Place your leftover rice in an airtight container, and store it for 3-4 days.
Freezer: Mexican rice will stay fresh for up to 2-3 months.
Reheating: When you’re ready to eat, warm your rice in the microwave or stovetop. If it seems a little too dry, add an extra splash of water or broth to freshen it back up!
More Comforting Rice Recipes to Try
Not only is rice super affordable, but it’s also extremely versatile! If you’re in the market for some more easy side dishes, take a look at these great options:
- Crispy on the outside yet soft and tender on the inside, this Egyptian Baked Rice is unbelievably delicious!
- A complete meal, this Chicken and Broccoli Rice is super satisfying and ready in no time.
- Whether you’re looking for the perfect side dish to serve with dinner or you need a tasty option to bring to a potluck, this Veggie Rice is waiting for you!
- Even better than takeout, this Wok Egg Fried Rice is guaranteed to become one of your family’s new favorite recipes!
Easy Mexican Rice Recipe with Cheese and Veggies
- 3 cups quick cooking rice
- 2 Tablespoons taco seasoning
- 3.5 cups chicken broth (broth of choice)
- 14 ounces can diced tomatoes with chilies (liquid drained)
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper (diced)
- 1/2 cup red onion (diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/2 cup canned black beans (washed and drained)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup Colby Jack cheese (shredded)
- 1/2 cup Monterrey Jack cheese (shredded)
- 3/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
- In a large pot or dutch oven add all the ingredients except the cheese and cilantro.
- Stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Cover, and cook for 10-12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked.
- Stir in cheese and cilantro. Serve immediately.