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Maria's Mexican Rice


"My mom is from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico and this is how she has been making rice all her life. One day I finally stopped and measured the amounts she used while cooking. In my view this is the perfect Mexican rice. It's not too greasy or dry, nice color, and great flavor. The Serrano pepper will add flavor but no heat to this recipe since it is used whole and not chopped. If you would like spicy Mexican rice, de-seed and chop the Serrano before adding it to the mix."
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40 m servings 164 cals
Original recipe yields 6 servings


  • Calories:
  • 164 kcal
  • 8%
  • Fat:
  • 4.9 g
  • 8%
  • Carbs:
  • 26.8g
  • 9%
  • Protein:
  • 2.7 g
  • 5%
  • Cholesterol:
  • < 1 mg
  • < 1%
  • Sodium:
  • 845 mg
  • 34%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

See full nutrition

Nutritional Information

1 Serving
Servings Per Recipe:
Amount Per Serving
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  • ** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
  • (-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir rice and onion in the hot oil until browned, about 5 minutes; season with salt, cumin, and pepper. Pour water over the rice mixture. Stir tomato sauce and chicken bouillon into the water. Increase heat to medium-high, place a cover on the saucepan, and bring to a boil. Add serrano chile pepper and continue cooking at a boil for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes more.


  • Tip
  • Aluminum foil helps keep food moist, ensures it cooks evenly, keeps leftovers fresh, and makes clean-up easy.

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Read all reviews 154
  1. 201 Ratings

Most helpful positive review

Whoa, did I ever eat this right up! This is not your everyday, ordinary, boring Mexican rice! For once I enjoyed something with real flavor rather than the nondescript stuff I’ve pretty much l...

Most helpful critical review

Did not like it at all, very bland

Most helpful
Most positive
Least positive

Whoa, did I ever eat this right up! This is not your everyday, ordinary, boring Mexican rice! For once I enjoyed something with real flavor rather than the nondescript stuff I’ve pretty much l...

This is the best Mexican rice dish that I've ever made. I didn't have chicken bouillon so I used 1 cup chicken broth in place of 1 cup of the water. Using the serrano pepper whole really did mak...

This was really good -- as good or maybe even better than many of the authentic Mexican restaurants we have here in TX. As another reviewer mentioned, though, mine also turned out a bit more wat...

I love Mexican food, and as a native Texan I can attest that this is the real deal. I used brown rice since that's all I had on hand, so I had to simmer it longer. I also added fresh jalapeno ...

Delicious! Perfect rice. There are many Mexican rice recipes out there. THIS is the one that's spot on to the best of the family-run restaurants I used to visit when I lived in San Diego. Really...

Excellent rice. Just what I was looking for. None of the flavors were over powering. I hate when people change the recipe and rate it, but this time I did make one change. I wanted a little ...

In place of tomato sauce, I used some mild red salsa and also tossed in some peas and carrots.

made this recipe last minute to go with chicken fajitas. this recipe was very easy to follow and love it. soooo good. i did decrease the amount of water because i like drier rice. so instead of ...

This is essentially the same recipe I grew up eating and learned from my mother, who learned it from hers. We're California-Texas Mexican-Americans, so I can call this authentic and delicious.