Side Dishes/

Mexican Red Rice

Arroz Rojo Mexicano


  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 of a 15-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 1/2tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2cups long-grain white rice (I typically like the meatier texture of medium-grain rice, but since I don’t fry the rice in this version, medium grain turns out too sticky)
  • 1 3/4cups chicken broth or water
  • Fresh hot green chiles to taste (roughly 1 to 2 serranos or 1 large jalapeño), stemmed, a slit cut down the side of each one
  • 2medium carrots, peeled and chopped into ¼-inch cubes (optional)
  • About 1/2cup defrosted frozen peas (optional)
  • About 1/4cup chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro


Put the garlic in a small microwave-safe bowl, cover with water and microwave at 100% for 1 minute. Drain, scoop into a blender or food processor and add the canned tomatoes.  Process to a smooth puree.

In a 6-cup rice cooker, stir together the oil and rice.  When the rice is thoroughly coated, stir in the tomato puree, broth (or water) and 1 ½ teaspoons salt if using unsalted broth or water, 1 teaspoon if using salted broth. Nestle in the chiles.  Cover the rice cooker, turn it to “cook” and set a timer for 15 minutes.  When the timer goes off, gently stir the rice to incorporate the tomato mixture.  Re-cover and let the rice cook until the cooker changes to the “keep warm” mode, about 20 minutes. Taste a grain of rice: It should be very close to done at the core.  If not, sprinkle in a little water, re-cover and cook 5 minutes more.

If you’re using carrots, scoop them into a microwave-safe bowl, splash with a couple of tablespoons water, cover with plastic wrap, poke a few holes in the top and microwave at 100% for 2 minutes. Carefully uncover (it’s steamy and hot) and tip off the water.

When the rice is done, uncover it and sprinkle in the carrots, peas  (if you are using them) and the parsley or cilantro.  Use a fork to gently fluff the rice, reaching all the way to the edges of the bottom, to release steam and slow the cooking.  Re-cover, let stand 5 to 15 minutes and the rice is ready to serve.  In my rice cooker, I can hold this warm for about 30 minutes without having the peas turn gray.


  1. Hello Chef Bayless,

    Was wondering if you could give me a recipe for red rice for a crowd of 35-50 people,
    When I do it it always comes out of mushie

      1. This serves about 5. Take your ingredients list and multiply by 5 for 25 people or multiply by 6 for 30 people. 1.5 cups of rice * 6 = 9cups of rice.

    1. This serves about 5. Take your ingredients list and multiply by 5 for 25 people or multiply by 6 for 30 people. 1.5 cups of rice * 6 = 9cups of rice.

  2. YUM! Best rice cooker Mexican rice I’ve ever tried!! Definitely a keeper. Thanks so much Chef — your cookbooks and recipes have brought our home cooked Mexican food on par with the excellent restaurants and taquerias in the Bay Area!

  3. Delicious recipe. Followed the instructions to the “t” and it turned out great. Thanks for sharing Rick!

  4. Looks delicious! No rice cooker here. How would I adapt this recipe for a stove top? How a rice cooker works..I’m guessing stove top version may differ?

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