The Perfect Rice Cooker Mexican Rice Recipe

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Last updated on October 21st, 2022 at 12:21 pm

Rice is one of the simplest building blocks for recipes. It is almost infinitely adaptable to whatever your dish needs. From homemade risotto to sweet rice pudding, it can be a main dish, side dish, or dessert. And so, it is the perfect base for the mouthwatering mix of flavors that make up this rice cooker Mexican rice recipe.

Mexican cuisine is famous for being savory, spicy, and full of flavor. It has a huge selection of foods ranging from tacos, quesadillas, and tortas to enchiladas and burritos. But, one of its many commonalities is that nearly every dish is accompanied by a side of rice and beans.

They just pair so well with everything, that there’s no reason not to have them as a tasty side dish.

Fully seasoned Mexican rice straight from the rice cooker

However, I don’t want to just settle for plain rice on the side.

So, it is time to mix it up. Combine the rice with lots of powerful seasoning ingredients to make the flavors pop. Then cook it in a mix of water and chicken stock to let it simmer in even more flavor. It is all about building cohesive flavors for a unique final side dish.

Here is how I make my favorite rice recipe every time – and it’s a breeze!

What is Mexican Rice?

Mexican rice is a popular dish in northern and central Mexico and the southwest United States.

Put simply, Mexican rice is seasoned, cooked rice. To season the rice, it is first toasted in vegetable oil. Then garlic and onion or shallot are added to the mix.

Then it is cooked with tomato paste, tomato bouillon, chicken broth, water, and chili powder. It is usually served with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and a dollop of sour cream. It is usually served as a side to other dishes, such as tacos, burritos, or enchiladas.

Cilantro and lime with the fully cooked Mexican rice

You can try mixing it up by adding in minced cilantro, beans, lime juice, or anything else that seems like it would fit within the mix of flavors.

It can also be referred to by the names Spanish rice (though it definitely doesn’t come from Spain), arroz rojo (red rice), or arroz Mexicano.

Why I Use a Rice Cooker

Learning how to cook rice is an important kitchen skill. But when you are making a meal and handling multiple things at once, sometimes it is easier to pop things into a rice cooker and let it handle most of the cooking and timing for you.

Making this rice cooker Mexican rice does not mean that you just dump everything into the rice cooker and then forget about it until dinner time. It still needs some time and attention. Especially with this preparation of rice cooker Mexican rice, since we will be adding in more than just rice and water.

Toasted rice with garlic, shallot, tomato bouillon, tomato paste, and garlic powder ready for the water and stock

I love cooking with a rice cooker.

Besides prepping everything beforehand, I find that it can take some effort after the rice cooker has finished cooking. I usually will lift up the lid, try to fluff and turn all of the rice over and check the moisture level. Sometimes it needs a little extra water, sometimes I need to leave the lid open so it can steam off extra liquid.

You can kind of set it and forget it, but make sure to check it out and fluff it up before serving.

I have used this Aroma Housewares rice cooker for at least 5 years.

Preparing the Rice Ingredients

The first step to making Mexican rice is to rinse the rice until the water is clear. Then mince the garlic and shallot and measure out all of the other ingredients to have your mise en place. With everything ready to go, it’s time to toast the rice.

Rice, tomato bouillon, garlic, and shallot are the main ingredients giving flavor to the dish

If you can toast the rice directly in the rice cooker, then I would recommend going that route. I kind of was able to trick the rice cooker into letting me sautee the rice, garlic, and shallot together in the vegetable oil. If you can’t, then just toast it in a saucepan first and then transfer everything into the rice cooker to cook the rice.

I also decided to add the tomato bouillon, tomato paste, and chili powder to the mixture and sauteeing for a bit before adding the liquids.

Then add the water and chicken stock, give it a good stir, and set the rice cooker to cook.

What to Serve with Mexican Rice

Unless you are making fried rice or risotto, rice is usually not served by itself. It is typically accompanied by some other food or protein to help turn it into a full meal.

Mexican rice served on the side for a burrito and chips

And so, try this rice recipe out as a side for any Mexican or Tex-Mex dish. I find that it goes well with all of the following recipes:

How did yours turn out?

I’d love to hear when you try out this rice cooker Mexican rice! Take a pic of your food and share your success with me by adding it to your Instagram stories or feed, and tagging me @doyouroux, or by using #doyouroux.

Plus, leave a rating to let me know how you liked the recipe. It helps me out a lot to know how things worked out… or didn’t.

Rice Cooker Mexican Rice

Recipe by Marc PetersonCourse: SidesDifficulty: Easy


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This is a very easy and flavorful rice recipe for the rice cooker. This quick, simple, and mostly hands-off side dish will be great for your next meal.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 cups rice, washed

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 small shallot, minced

  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2 tablespoons tomato bouillon

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 2 cups chicken stock

  • 2 cups water


  • Add the oil to either a hot rice cooker or saucepan, then add the rice and toast it for 3 to 4 minutes
  • Add the garlic and shallot to the rice and continue to sautee until the shallot is partially translucent, about 5 minutes
  • Add all of the remaining ingredients and stir them together until well combined, if you were using a saucepan then pour everything into the rice cooker
  • With everything combined in the rice cooker, start the cooker according to its directions
  • When the rice cooker has finished, fluff the rice and serve it

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