Side Dishes/

Garlicky White Rice

Arroz Blanco con Ajo
From Season 9, Mexico—One Plate At A Time
Servings: 15


  • 6cups chicken broth or water
  • Salt
  • 1/3cup vegetable oil
  • 4 1/2cups medium-grain white rice
  • 1large white onion, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Generous ½ cup chopped parsley


Heat the broth or water in a small saucepan until steaming; stir in 2 ¼ teaspoons of salt if using unsalted broth, 1 ½ teaspoons if using salted broth. Cover and keep warm.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large (6-quart), heavy Dutch oven or saucepan with a tight fitting lid, heat the oil over medium. Add the rice and onion and stir almost continuously for a minute or so. Continue to fry the rice and onion, stirring occasionally, until the rice has turned milky-white, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the chopped garlic.
Add the lime juice to the simmering broth and immediately add the broth to the rice. Scrape any stray kernels from the sides of the pot, cover and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.

Remove the pot from the oven, and gently spread the rice out on a rimmed baking sheet. Cooling the rice completely will ensure that it doesn’t overcook. When it’s time to serve to your guests, cover the baking sheet with foil and reheat in a 325 degree oven until the rice is warm. Scoop the rice into a shallow serving dish, garnish with the chopped parsley and serve immediately.


  1. We saw your show today, April 27, 2014, Tucson, Arizona, Channel 6; PBS (KUAT)…..I am interested in trying the Classic Mexican Rice dish….I thought I saw you using Milk, but is my mistake, and from your receipt, it appears to chicken broth….We love the idea of baking the rice, and coming out fluffy…nothing worse for me, than the other cultures rice, that is sticky, and tacky….I don’t like it….
    We are not big on Garlic….can we leave that out? Is there and alternate item that can be used instead, or just leave out the garlic completely.
    So it is lunch time in Tucson, and I’m going to the kitchen to start the rice…
    Thank you for your show…

  2. I cut the recipe down. Just two people in our family. Delicious. Reminded me of rice my uncle used to serve for “comida del día” when I used to visit in México many years ago. Muy sabroso!

  3. This is absolutely the BEST rice I have ever eaten. It beats Chinese fried rice, Japanese fried rice, cilantro-lime rice, and any Mexican rice I’ve ever eaten. I always thought Japanese fried rice was my favorite. No more. I halved the recipe. I didn’t have the parsley or any cilantro, but we didn’t miss it. I am so happy to have discovered your website!

  4. By chance are the directions for adding salt backwards? Seems odd to add more salt to salted broth and less to unsalted unless the goal is to keep the salt low in the unsalted broth version.

    1. Great Catch Dawn! They are both supposed to be in teaspoons, so the quantities were correct, the measure was wrong. Thank you for your help!

  5. My family loves this recipe!! We keep a ziplock bag of rice in the fridge at all times. We use it with any meals that call for rice and eat it just as is or with avocado and poached eggs.

    I am working to see how I can convert this recipe to use Quinoa instead of rice because I need to watch my carbs.

  6. Probably the best white rice I’ve ever had. It comes out absolutely beautiful. I’ll never use another technique, no matter what kind of white rice I’m making!

  7. Fantastic recipe. Works perfectly even without the cooling step. We usually use stock, but we tried it with water recently to keep it vegetarian and it was still delicious.

    Also, a make-ahead note: I sautéed the rice, garlic, and onions the night before. I did the onions and garlic together, and the rice separately, and stored them in separate containers in the fridge. Then I warmed them all up in the pot the next day and cooked as normal. Worked great and kept us sane on the day of our party 🙂

    PS: we basically only serve Rick Bayless recipes to people now. They’re all so well-tested—they haven’t failed us once and always earn lots of praise. Thank you!

  8. I am going to make this ten minutes ftom now, but I have a question. Why does this recipe work when not using my traditional, great grandmother-grandmother-mother-my own tried and tested 2 to 1 ratio of 2 parts liquid to 1 part dried rice, 20 minutes on low? Is it the heavy dutch oven?

  9. I cut this recipe in third as there are only three of us in the house. Turned out fluffy and flavorful. Adding lime to the chicken broth brightens up the flavor. I will make again.

  10. Percent rice every time, and I was never great at rice. It’s almost identical to the Mexican rice that I love from Cerveteca Culver City, CA. Thank you SO so much!

  11. LOVE this recipe Rick and using the oven. I learned ALOT about rice from your video. You have the BEST mexican recipes. You are truly an inspiration to us home cooks. Thankyou!!

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