How to make Mexican rice recipe – easy classic and vegan versions

mexican rice recipe easy (1)

We outline how to make the Mexican rice recipe with an easy classic version and a and vegan one that is just as tasty.

Red Mexican rice is a popular side dish in Mexico and in Texmex cuisine. It is wonderfully relaxed. Spicy tasty with tomato and garlic. An absolute culinary delight and the perfect change from Asian rice dishes or simple, plain, white rice with the side.


Mexican rice can be served very well with many different dishes. It goes perfectly with burritos, quesadillas, fajitas or other Mexican dishes or dishes from the TexMex kitchen, for example you can simply add corn on the cob and cornbread with your classic red rice:

Fun fact! Did you know that a single cultivated rice plant can produce up to 30 stalks? These reach heights of 50-160 cm and form 80-100 ears of wheat. This means that a single plant can bear up to 3000 grains of rice!

Brief history of Mexican cuisine

Mexican food has been around for thousands of years. The earliest traces of Mexican dishes are 9,000 years old and date from the Mayan times. It was around this time that people began growing corn and introducing it as a staple in the Mesoamerican diet.

When the original Mexicans, i.e. the inhabitants of the Valley of Mexico, expanded the Aztec Empire over the rest of the region, they made it easier to use different cooking methods and integrate them into everyday life. The core of the Aztec cuisine was corn, beans and pumpkin, but other ingredients such as tomatoes, avocados, cocoa, vanilla or agave quickly became part of the diet, thanks to the extensive trading network of the Aztec kings.

A few hundred years later, the Spanish conquerors added even more sophistication to Mexican cuisine. Up until that point, meat was a rarity in the Central American diet (aside from wild birds), but the Spaniards changed this by introducing the breeding of beef, pork, chicken, goat and sheep in Mexico.

In the north of Mexico you can see large cold semi-arid areas that are perfect for cattle grazing. Further south around the Tropic of Cancer , temperatures rise and there are more green fields. Even further south, rainforests and tropical savannas await you. This diversity of the country is no wonder, because Mexico is 3200 kilometers long from north to south and almost as wide from west to east. Mexico borders the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean to the east.

In order to understand Mexican cuisine by and large, it is very important to be aware of the huge differences in the climate and agriculture of the locals.

The semi-arid climate in the north is not very suitable for growing crops. The tribes of the Tepehuanes, Tarahumaras, Mayos and Yaquis lived here . Due to the harsh climatic conditions, they were hunters and gatherers until the Spanish showed them how to breed animals and the local cuisine developed further. For example, wheat tortillas are still more eaten here than corn tortillas, and a quesadilla is more American cheese than Mexican queso.

In the southern states of Oaxaca, Tabasco and Chiapas, the different microclimates made it possible to plant fruit and vegetables throughout the year. The many indigenous tribes all contributed to the rich and varied cuisine of the region. Food from this part of the country is considered to be the most authentic Mexican food.

In other states, for example on the Yucatan peninsula, the cuisine is much more influenced by the Mayan influences . Even if the culture of Central Mexico and Europe was influenced, many cooking methods such as baking in the pit oven are still a peculiarity of the region.

Mexican influences in the USA


The US-Mexican border as we know it today has only existed since the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848 , which ended the Mexican-American war. With this treaty , Mexico lost more than 55% of its territory , including what is now California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

Many Mexicans who lived in these parts of the country chose to stay, even if their country was now part of the United States. The term Tex-Mex was first used in 1875 and referred to the Texas Mexican Railway. TexMex later described Texans of Mexican descent. It wasn’t until 1963 that the term was first used to refer to the mixture of Mexican food with American ingredients. Tex-Mex menus often contain a lot of meat and are dominated by a not very Mexican ingredient: grated cheese.

Texas chili con carne, nachos, hard taco shells, and fajitas are all dishes that originated north of the Mexican border . Towards the end of the 80s, this type of Mexican cuisine became very popular in Europe as well, when Tex-Mex ready-made meals appeared in supermarkets.

Korean-Mexican fusion and Baja-Med cuisine

The historical ties between California and Mexico have been clearly felt in local culture since the state was incorporated into the United States around 1850.

Today, half of California’s population is Latin American and nearly 30% of the people in California speak Spanish as their first language. While Mexican immigrants and Americans of Mexican descent aren’t the only Latinos in California, they make up a sizable fraction of the Golden State’s Hispanic population .

California has always been a state where immigrants have been welcomed. In Los Angeles, people from all over the world have lived next to and with one another under the American flag for more than 150 years. In the late 2000s, that melting pot led to a new cuisine: Korean-Mexican. Thanks to social media, this food became very popular in LA.

Mexican rice recipe – easy

Ingredients: Servings: 4

1 cup (s) of rice
200 g mushrooms
1 onion (finely chopped)
1 can (s) kidney beans (200 g capacity, drained)
1 can (s) corn (drained)
1 red pepper
2 tbsp tomato paste (double concentrated)
1/2 teaspoon paprika powder (noble sweet )
500 ml of vegetable soup
some salt
some oil
some Tabasco (to taste)


For the Mexican rice recipe, sauté the onion in oil in a saucepan. Remove the peppers from the core and cut into small pieces. Also cut the mushrooms into small pieces and add the two ingredients to the saucepan and also sauté a little.
Add the rice (uncooked), the paprika powder and the tomato paste and roast a little. Deglaze everything with the soup and bring to the boil.
Cover everything and cook for about 20 minutes, until the liquid boils off and the rice is cooked through. Just before the end of the cooking time, mix in the beans and rice. Stir every now and then so that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom. The Mexican rice dish and season with Tabasco.

Vegan red Mexican rice recipe

Ingredients for 5-6 servings of red Mexican rice

1 cup rice (basmati, long grain or jasmine)
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 medium-sized onion, finely diced
2 large tomatoes, pitted and diced
1 packet of strained tomatoes
1 cup vegan broth


Heat a little oil in a deep, non-stick pan. Then add the rice and fry, stirring constantly, until it is golden-brown.
Stir in onions and garlic and continue frying until the onion cubes are translucent.
Add the fresh, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and broth and simmer covered for 20-25 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Stir occasionally.
Remove from heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes. Fluff up with a fork and serve the red Mexican rice hot and steaming.

Bon appetit and enjoy the red spicy rice!