This fluffy flavorful red rice is the perfect side dish with virtually any Mexican main.
- 2 cups long grain white rice
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
- 2 carrots, finely chopped (1 cup)
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped (a heaping tablespoon)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt or more, to taste
- 6-ounce can of tomato paste (1/2 cup)
- 3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 fresh Serrano pepper, halved lengthwise (or use two, if you want more than subtle heat)
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves, optional
- Heat the Dutch oven (or skillet) over high heat. Add the dry rice and toast it, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until about half of the grains are golden brown, about 6 minutes. Smoke rising from the pot is normal, as long as the rice isn't turning black and starting to burn. If it is, lower the heat. Transfer toasted rice to a heatproof bowl.
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or heavy pot, over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, garlic and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies soften and just start to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it deepens in color and caramelizes, 3 minutes or so.
- Add the broth and bring to a boil, whisking to blend the tomato paste into the broth, and scraping the bottom of the pot with the wooden spoon to release any stuck browned bits.
- Stir in the rice and Serrano chili. When the pot returns to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook undisturbed for 15 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and let the rice steam, covered, for 15 minutes. (If your pot doesn't have a tight-fitting lid, place a clean dish towel between the pot and the lid).
- Remove the chili and gently fluff the rice with a fork. Toss the rice with cilantro, if using, and serve.
For spicier red rice - In step #2, when you add the tomato paste, you also can add 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp of chili powder and/or ground cumin; Or add one seeded and chopped chipotle chili from a can of chipotle chilies in adobo.
Popular Mexican Rice Add-ins: peas and corn. Stir 1/2 cup of veggies into the pot when the rice is halfway cooked.
- Prep Time: 20 min
- Cook Time: 30 min
- Category: side dish
- Method: simmer
- Cuisine: Mexican
Keywords: Mexican rice cooked in tomato sauce, Mexican red tomato rice