Easy Mexican Baked Brown Rice Recipe

Mexican baked brown rice in a white bowl on a bamboo mate with a blue towel and cilantro and onion on top.

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Easy Mexican Baked Brown Rice is the perfect side dish for all the Mexican food we love to eat. This recipe is full of comforting traditional Mexican flavors, nutritious brown rice, and a medley of vegetables for a delightful one-pan meal.

Baking this Mexican rice is truly a fool-proof method making this Spanish rice come out fluffy and delicious every time. This amazing Mexican rice will rival any rice from your favorite Mexican restaurant!

Easy Baked Mexican Brown Rice in a white bowl on a bamboo mat with cilantro and blue towel.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS EASY MEXICAN BAKED BROWN RICE RECIPE

  1. Mexican brown rice has a delicious, nutty taste that is a little bit heartier than traditional white rice. It’s packed with healthy nutrients and dietary fiber without tasting healthy.
  2. Cumin, chili powder, salsa tomato sauce, and a flavor-loaded medley of vegetables come together with brown rice, rich butter, and chicken broth to make a traditional Mexican staple. 
  3. This dish compliments any main Mexican dish from tacos and fajitas to enchiladas and burritos. Paired with black beans or refried beans it becomes a main dish.
  4. It’s so easy to prepare because everything is done in one Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed deep skillet. Every cook loves a one-pot dish!
  5. The best part about this easy recipe is you get savory, fluffy rice every single time.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED FOR EASY BAKED MEXICAN RICE

Ingredients:

  • Rice: Brown long-grain rice still stands up to baking better than short-grain brown rice. White long-grain rice will too but not quite as well as brown. Jasmine rice or Basmati rice, when baked, tends to overcook and get mushy in this recipe.
  • Vegetables: red onion or white onion, minced garlic, and jalapenos. Any green pepper can be substituted for the jalapeno. Red pepper or a combination of both red and green would be good. 
  • Spices: Savory cumin, chili powder, or smokey chipotle chili powder, or packaged taco seasoning can be used for the seasoning. Better than Boullion Roasted Garlic is absolutely delicious in this recipe. You can use Better Than Boullion Chicken or omit it altogether.
  • Butter: you can use either salted or unsalted. Olive oil can be substituted for the butter. Use the same amount of oil as you would butter.
  • Tomato Sauce: This recipe uses store-bought salsa. Pace Original Picante Sauce. Any thick jarred salsa can be substituted. Canned Rotel Tomatoes can be used as well but draining them beforehand is necessary. Canned tomato sauce can be used too but it’s not as flavorful.
  • Broth: Chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water. If using water use one and a half times the roasted garlic bouillon.
  • Toppings: 1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese, green onions, and chopped fresh cilantro (optional, for topping).

You’ll need:

  • 6 tablespoons of butter – 2 tablespoons for sauteed veggies
  • 1 large or 2 small fresh jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder or chipotle powder
  • 1/2 cup of thick, store-bought salsa
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of Better Than Boullion Roasted Garlic Paste.
  • 3 cups of broth
  • Salt and pepper and more spices, if needed, to taste.

HOW TO MAKE THIS EASY MEXICAN RICE RECIPE

Instructions:

  • STEP 1: Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and position a rack in the center.
  • STEP 2: Add the Veggies:  In a large medium-sized Dutch oven or large oven-safe skillet with a lid, melt 2 tablespoons over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, jalapeno, and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until they become fragrant and slightly translucent.
Red oval Dutch Oven with 2 tablespoons of butter starting to melt.
Onions, garlic, and jalapeno peppers sauting in butter in an oval dutch oven.
  • STEP 3: Incorporate the Rice: Add rice to the skillet and stir it into the vegetable and spice mixture. Let the rice toast for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally.
Brown rice sauting in butter, onion, jalapeno, garlic mixture in a dutch oven.
  • STEP 4: Season It Up: Add the chili powder and ground cumin. Stir well to coat the vegetables with the spices.
Rice and sauted vegetable butter mixture in a dutch oven with seasonings sprinkled in.
  • STEP 5: Pour in the Tomatoes: Pour in the salsa and Better Than Boullion Roasted Garlic. Stir to combine.
Rice and sauted vegetable butter mixture in a dutch oven with seasonings and salsa sauce on top.
  • STEP 6: Add the Broth: Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter.
Rice and sauted vegetable butter mixture in a dutch oven with seasonings and salsa with broth and butter added in.
  • STEP 7: Bake It: Cover with a heavy tight-fitting lid and place in the oven. Bake for 1 hour. If broth is not absorbed, then bake for 10 minutes longer. Let the rice dish set for at least 10 minutes with the lid still on. 
Red Dutch oven with lid on.
Easy Mexican Baked Rice right out of the oven in a red dutch oven.
  • STEP 8: Fluff and Garnish: Fluff the cooked rice with a fork. Sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, and a squeeze of lime juice over the top. 
Cooled Easy Mexican Baked Rice right out of the oven in a red dutch oven fluffed up.

HOW TO SERVE BAKED MEXICAN RICE

Serve this delicious rice dish with your favorite Mexican meal along with tortilla chips and yummy Queso for starters. 

Make this delicious side dish into a satisfying main course by stirring in taco meat or a can of black beans. Sprinkle grated cheese on top and bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. 

Use leftovers as a burrito filling along with refried beans or leftover taco meat. Add cheese and a little enchilada sauce or a few tablespoons of salsa. Roll up and bake or air fry. Click here for a great Air Fryer Burrito recipe.

This simple recipe is a great side dish for any grilled or barbeque chicken or steak. Especially if you’re grilling fajitas. 

Add leftover Mexican rice to your favorite taco salad or use it as a base in a Mexican rice bowl. Top with shrimp, avocados, beans, corn, and salsa for a quick lunch or light dinner.

Side view of a fork full of easy Mexican baked rice over a big bowl of rice.

FAQ

What is Mexican baked rice, and how does it differ from traditional Mexican rice?

Mexican baked rice is a flavorful dish that combines brown rice with a variety of Mexican-inspired ingredients, such as spices, jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, and onions. It differs from traditional Mexican rice which is made with white rice. The baking process allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a unique and satisfying taste.

Can the spice level be customize in this Mexican rice recipe?

Yes, you can definitely customize the spiciness of your Mexican baked rice. Adjust the amount of spices and chili peppers for your individual heat level. If you prefer a milder dish, reduce the amount of chili peppers or opt for bell peppers or canned green chilies. If you love the heat, increase the spice amount to suit your taste. This recipe is the best Mexican rice recipe because it has a lower level of heat to start with and is easily adjusted.

HOW TO STORE LEFTOVERS

Store this baked rice in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 4-5 days. 

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

Easy Baked Rice Recipe – just 4 ingredients!

Easy Brown Butter Curry Carrot Souffle – so good!

Jalapeno Pimento Cheese – easy and hits the comfort spot!

Best Spicy Jalapeno Ranch Dressing You’ll never make it any other way!

45 degree angle of a white bowl of mexican baked brown rice with onions and cilantro on top.

Mexican Baked Brown Rice Recipe

Traditional Mexican flavors, nutritious brown rice, and a medley of vegetables for a delightful one-pan meal. Baking this Mexican rice is truly a fool-proof method making this Spanish rice come out fluffy and delicious every time.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 10
Calories 206 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Dutch oven or large heavy bottom skillet

Ingredients
  

  • 6 tbsp butter divided
  • 1 large jalapeno or 2 small
  • .5 cup red onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 2 cup long grain brown rice
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • .5 tsp chili powder or chipotle chili powder
  • .5 cup chunky, thick salsa Pace Picante Sauce was used in this recipe
  • 1 tbls roasted garlic boullion Better than Boullion Roasted Garlic
  • 3 cup chicken broth vegetable broth or water can be substituted
  • salt, pepper, more spice for individual taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and position a rack in the center.
  • In a large a medium size Dutch oven or large oven safe skillet with a lid, melt 2 tablespoons of over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, jalapeno, and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until they become fragrant and slightly translucent.
    6 tbsp butter, 1 large jalapeno or 2 small, .5 cup red onion, 2 large garlic cloves
  • Add rice to the skillet and stir it into the vegetable and spice mixture. Let the rice toast for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally.
    2 cup long grain brown rice
  • Add the chili powder, and ground cumin. Stir well to coat the vegetables with the spices.
    1 tsp cumin powder, .5 tsp chili powder or chipotle chili powder
  • Pour in the salsa and Better Than Boullion Roasted Garlic. Stir to combine.
    .5 cup chunky, thick salsa, 1 tbls roasted garlic boullion
  • Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter.
    3 cup chicken broth
  • Cover with a heavy tight-fitting lid and place in the oven. Bake for 1 hour. If broth is not absorbed, then bake for 10 minutes longer. Let the rice dish set for at least 10 minutes with the lid still on. 
  • Fluff the cooked rice with a fork. Sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, and a squeeze of lime juice over the top
    salt, pepper, more spice for individual taste

Notes

Note: Rinsing brown rice first will clean the rice of dust particles and micro debris. It will also remove some starch which will make it less sticky. On the flip side, rinsing will also remove some nutrients from the brown rice. 
Bake time will vary depending on the amount of rice cooked. When making 1/2 this recipe, 1 cup of rice, that bake time will be approximately 45 minutes.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 206kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 4gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 319mgPotassium: 115mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 214IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 1mg
Keyword baked rice, mexican, side dish
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Nutrition Facts
Mexican Baked Brown Rice Recipe
Serving Size
 
1 g
Amount per Serving
Calories
206
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
8
g
12
%
Saturated Fat
 
5
g
31
%
Trans Fat
 
0.3
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Cholesterol
 
19
mg
6
%
Sodium
 
319
mg
14
%
Potassium
 
115
mg
3
%
Carbohydrates
 
30
g
10
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
1
g
1
%
Protein
 
4
g
8
%
Vitamin A
 
214
IU
4
%
Vitamin C
 
1
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
18
mg
2
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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