Delicious Arroz Rojo Recipe: A Mexican Classic

Good day, my dear readers! I am thrilled to share with you my recipe for a classic Mexican dish, the Arroz Rojo. Also known as Mexican Red Rice, this delightful side dish is sure to elevate your regular dinner night at home to an authentic restaurant experience without leaving your kitchen.

Arroz Rojo is not your typical plain white rice; it’s packed with savory flavors that will have your taste buds begging for more. This particular recipe uses long-grain white rice and bold spices like cumin and chili powder to bring out the perfect balance of flavor and heat.

Whether you are in the mood to pair it with some succulent roasted chicken, a spicy bowl of chili or even some grilled shrimp, this Mexican red rice will complement any main dish in a truly scrumptious way.

So get your apron on and let’s set out on an adventure to create the best Arroz Rojo recipe you’ll ever have tasted!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Arroz Rojo
Arroz Rojo

Friends, let me tell you about a recipe that you will fall in love with – the delicious Arroz Rojo! This Mexican red rice recipe is an authentic and traditional dish that packs a punch of flavor that will leave your taste buds dancing.

Want a bold flavor? This recipe uses ingredients such as cumin, black pepper, chili powder, and garlic to create a rich and complex taste. The tomato sauce and chicken broth provide an extra layer of umami that transforms the long-grain white rice into a masterpiece – Arroz Rojo!

What’s more, this recipe is incredibly easy to make. All you need is some vegetable oil, onions, garlic cloves, and long grain white rice to get started. No fancy equipment or kitchen gadgets needed!

Are you a vegetarian? No worries! This recipe can easily be made vegan by substituting the chicken broth for vegetable broth.

Are you on a tight schedule? This meal can be made in under 30 minutes! Perfect for weeknight dinners or surprise guests!

The beauty of this recipe lies in its versatility. You can make substitutions and variations to suit your liking. Add some shrimp, ground beef, or chorizo for extra protein. Use red rice for an even richer flavor or switch it up with some vegan protein if that’s your preference.

In conclusion, this Arroz Rojo recipe is one you definitely won’t regret making. It is easy to make, flavorful, customizable, and can be paired with so many dishes. Impress your guests or indulge yourself with this authentic Mexican dish today!

Ingredient List

 A fiesta of flavors in every bite
A fiesta of flavors in every bite

Let’s dive into the Ingredient List to make our Arroz Rojo recipe. Don’t worry, everything is easy to find and you probably have most of these in your pantry already. For this delicious Mexican-style red rice recipe, you will need:

  • Long-grain white rice: 2 cups of long-grain white rice for the traditional version of the recipe.

  • Red Rice (Arroz Rojo): If you want, you can use a cup of red rice and a cup of long-grained white rice (1:1 ratio).

  • Vegetable Oil: 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to cook the onions and garlic.

  • Onion: 1 medium onion diced.

  • Garlic Cloves: 1 garlic clove minced or crushed.

  • Water: 3 cups of hot water

  • Chicken Broth: 1 cup of chicken broth or vegetable broth

  • Tomato Sauce: ¾ cup tomato sauce (or more, depending on your taste).

  • Chili Powder, Ground Cumin And Freshly Ground Black Pepper: To add flavor and spice to this traditional Mexican red rice recipe, we recommend adding chili powder (1 teaspoon), ground cumin (½ teaspoon), and freshly ground black pepper (¼ teaspoon).

The Recipe How-To

 Spice up your weeknight meal with this delicious dish
Spice up your weeknight meal with this delicious dish


  • 2 cups of long-grain white rice

  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

  • 2 cups of chicken broth

  • 1 cup of tomato sauce


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

  2. Add the rice and stir until it is covered in the oil.

  3. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the rice starts to turn golden brown.

  4. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for another 2 minutes or until they are translucent.

  5. Next, add the cumin, chili powder, and black pepper to the pan, stirring constantly for about a minute or until fragrant.

  6. Pour in the chicken broth and tomato sauce, stir briefly to combine all ingredients evenly, and bring to a simmer.

  7. Lower heat to a low simmer and cover with a tight-fitting lid for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid has been fully absorbed.

  8. Remove from heat keeping the lid on and let it rest for at least five minutes before fluffing up with a fork

  9. Serve hot arroz rojo with your favorite Mexican side dishes such as guacamole, pico de gallo, refried beans or some juicy grilled meat.

Note: Be sure not to peek at the rice while it cooks because releasing steam will affect its doneness

This recipe ensures that you get perfectly cooked fluffy red rice every time – Give it a try!

Substitutions and Variations

 Colorful, aromatic, and full of Mexican flare
Colorful, aromatic, and full of Mexican flare

Let’s talk variation and substitutions! With the arroz rojo recipe, you have many options to switch up the basic ingredients and create your own personal twist.

First, if you’re a vegetarian, simply swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth, and you have yourself one hearty vegetarian dish.

Looking for something with a little more protein? Try adding in some ground beef or diced chicken to the recipe for added flavor and substance. You can also substitute the water for shrimp or even seafood stock to create a truly beachy dish.

For those of you who like it spicy, try adding some jalapenos or serrano peppers to your dish for an extra kick of flavor. Alternatively, switch up your seasonings by replacing the chili powder with some tex-mex seasonings, cumin and black pepper for a unique take on this classic recipe.

Rice a Roni fans, we see you! To get that restaurant-style rice texture, use Rice a Roni Spanish rice instead of long grain white rice.

Lastly, if you’re feeling adventurous and want to explore other cultural dishes, add in some traditional Chorizo sausage for a burst of zesty flavor. Or try serving this alongside hearty Jamaican stewed chicken or even as a base for authentic Guyanese curry.

The options are endless when it comes to variations and substitutions with arroz rojo recipe. So mix it up to create your own signature dish!

Serving and Pairing

 The perfect side dish for any Latin-inspired meal
The perfect side dish for any Latin-inspired meal

When it comes to serving and pairing arroz rojo, there are plenty of delicious options that will take your meal to the next level. One classic pairing is with grilled or sautéed chicken, which complements the flavors and textures of the rice perfectly. You can also try serving it alongside grilled vegetables, such as zucchini or bell peppers, for a pop of color and added nutrition.

For those who love fish and seafood, arroz rojo pairs beautifully with shrimp or scallops. The tenderness of the seafood balances the spiciness of the rice, resulting in a mouthwatering flavor profile that is sure to impress.

If you’re looking for a heartier dish, arroz rojo is also great when served with ground beef or chorizo. The richness of the meat combines with the spices in the rice to create a robust and filling meal that will leave you feeling satisfied.

For vegetarians and vegans, there are plenty of ways to enjoy arroz rojo as well. Try pairing it with roasted or sautéed mushrooms for an earthy flavor that complements the rice perfectly. You can also serve it alongside beans or tofu for a protein-packed meal.

To complete your meal, consider adding some fresh herbs or toppings like chopped cilantro or sliced avocado. Additionally, a side salad dressed with lime juice and olive oil can create a refreshing balance to the rich and flavorful arroz rojo.

No matter how you choose to serve and pair this delicious dish, arroz rojo is sure to be a crowd-pleaser that will have everyone coming back for seconds. Its versatility makes it perfect for any occasion and any taste preference, making it an absolute must-have in any chef’s recipe book.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A recipe infused with tradition and culture
A recipe infused with tradition and culture

Now, let’s talk about making ahead and storing your Arroz Rojo. This recipe is an excellent option for meal prep and is easy to make ahead of time if you know what to do. You can store this rice dish in the fridge or freezer.

For make-ahead meals, prepare the rice as instructed, then transfer it to an airtight container as soon as it cools down to minimize moisture buildup. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, add a tablespoon of water to the container and cover with a lid before sticking it into the microwave. Reheat on high for 2 minutes (if kept in the fridge), or about 5 minutes if frozen.

One tip I recommend when reheating leftover cooked rice is adding a bit of hot water to loosen up the starches that have hardened in the fridge or freezer. This step will help retain moisture and prevent dryness, making your Arroz Rojo soft and fluffy again.

Another great way to repurpose leftover Mexican red rice is by turning it into a delicious burrito filling. Just add cooked ground beef or chicken, chopped onions, bell peppers, and chili beans with some shredded cheese on top. Wrap it all up inside a warmed flour tortilla or pita bread!

In summary, Arroz Rojo is one of those dishes that tastes fantastic as leftovers too! You can store it in either the fridge or freezer and reheat it when you’re ready. Follow my simple tips for reheating frozen or refrigerated red rice and try my burrito filling suggestion next time you’re craving something protein-packed and flavorful!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Savor the taste of Mexico with every spoonful
Savor the taste of Mexico with every spoonful

Preparing rice dishes can sometimes be tricky and have you guessing whether it will come out perfectly or not. Here are some tips to make sure that your arroz rojo recipe comes out perfect every time:

1. Toast the Rice – Before adding any liquid to the pot, toast the rice in oil until it turns light brown. This will give the rice a nutty flavor and protect it from becoming mushy.

2. Use Long Grain Rice – The long grain rice is best suited because it’s the least sticky and separates easily after cooking.

3. Cook with Chicken Broth – Chicken broth has more flavor than water which will help the grains of the rice absorb more flavor during cooking.

4. Indulge in Variations – If you’re feeling risky, try variations like adding diced tomatoes, bell peppers or even peas for an extra flavor or texture.

5. Let it Simmer on Low Heat – Once all ingredients are in the pot and mixed, reduce heat to low and let it simmer until all liquid is absorbed (typically 15-20 minutes). Avoid lifting lid often to keep steam within, ensuring even cooking.

6. Add Stewed Tomatoes – Add a can of stewed tomatoes with liquid to increase moisture in the dish for an extra element of tangy goodness.

7. Fluff with Fork – Once done cooking, use a fork to gently fluff up the rice and then remove it from heat.

With these tips on hand, make sure to follow them when making your arroz rojo recipe and trust me; your rice dish will come out perfect every time!


Before we wrap up this article, let’s take a moment to address some common questions and concerns regarding arroz rojo recipe. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions that you might find helpful as you prepare this delicious dish.

What is Mexican red rice made of?

Creating a flavorful Mexican red rice dish requires cooking long grain white rice in a savory tomato broth alongside key ingredients like onions, garlic, carrots, and peas. While the process itself isn’t overly complicated, there are potential pitfalls to avoid that can result in a lackluster, overcooked final product.

What’s the difference between Mexican and Puerto Rican rice?

When it comes to rice dishes, Mexican and Puerto Rican varieties stand out for their rich flavor profiles. While Mexican rice can be quite spicy, Puerto Rican yellow rice is known for its flavorful herbs and spices such as oregano and cilantro. Unlike its spicier counterpart, this recipe is perfect for those with acid reflux as it contains no heat-inducing ingredients.

What is the difference between Spanish rice and Mexican rice?

Spanish rice has a distinct texture and a more pronounced aroma in comparison to Mexican rice. Its unique taste, which is a combination of sweetness and tanginess with a hint of saffron, lends it a rich, golden hue. The rice’s high absorbency makes it ideal for slow-cooking meals.

What makes red rice red?

Red rice refers to a type of rice that contains a high amount of anthocyanin, which is a beneficial antioxidant pigment that gives the rice grain’s bran a reddish hue.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Arroz Rojo recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves the flavors of Mexican cuisine. Using simple ingredients like onions, garlic, tomato sauce, and a blend of spices including cumin, black pepper, and chili powder, this dish delivers an unforgettable taste experience that will have your taste buds dancing!

Whether you’re looking for a side dish to complement your favorite Mexican entree or simply want a delicious and filling meal to enjoy on its own, this Arroz Rojo recipe is sure to satisfy.

So why wait? Give this Arroz Rojo recipe a try today and discover just how easy it is to create authentic, restaurant-style Arroz Rojo right in your kitchen. You won’t be disappointed!

Arroz Rojo

Arroz Rojo Recipe

I got this from my mom. I haven't tried it yet, but since she says it's good, I'm sure I'd like it! She said it's good without the onion, too, and that she prefers it with the smaller amount of chili powder.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Calories 355 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons lard or 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (use up to 2 Tbsp, to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin


  • Heat the lard in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Add the rice and stir until rice is toasted.
  • Add the garlic and onion (if using); cook and stir until the onion just begins to brown.
  • Stir in the tomato sauce, chicken broth, water, chili powder, and salt.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until rice is tender.
  • Let stand for 5 minutes, covered, before serving.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 305gCalories: 355kcalCarbohydrates: 66gProtein: 7.5gFat: 6.2gSaturated Fat: 2.3gCholesterol: 4.9mgSodium: 440.3mgFiber: 2.2gSugar: 3.2g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Easy, Healthy, Long-Grain Rice, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, Rice
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.