One-pot Mexican rice is easy to make with pantry ingredients. It is a delicious side dish for a wide range of Mexican meals. 

Front view Mexican rice with tomatoes sweet peppers and ham in a sunflower plate

This Mexican rice dish might not be completely authentic, but it definitely has Mexican inspired flavours. The great thing about this recipe is that it’s very easy to make, all in one pan, and most of the ingredients can be found in your pantry. I have decided to add various veggies and even some slices of ham for extra flavour.

Which ingredients to use to prepare Mexican rice?

Note: All the exact quantities of the ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

The most important ingredients are long grain rice (of course), tomato sauce, garlic and onions. I have added carrots, sweet yellow peppers, peas and some slices of ham. If you add additional ingredients, like beans and corn, you can have this spicy Mexican rice even as a main dish.

Best is to use long grain white rice. However, you can even use brown rice or even Basmati rice. In that case, just check the cooking times of the rice you are using, since it can be different.

Top view Mexican rice with tomatoes sweet peppers and ham in a sunflower plate a blue table

How to make Mexican rice with tomatoes and sweet peppers

Glaze the chopped onion, garlic, sweet peppers and carrots for a few minutes in olive oil. You can of course use any other type of cooking oil. After glazing, add the rice and stir frequently until the rice gets lightly toasted. At this point, it will already smell delicious.

I like to fry the spices for a few minutes before adding any liquid. Frying them in oil first releases the rich flavours of the spices and adds to the aroma of the final dish. For this recipe I have used cumin, spicy smoked paprika and red chilli flakes because this dish should have a good punch.

Instructions to prepare mexican rice

Add the diced Roma tomatoes to the mixture in the pan. I prefer to use Roma tomatoes since these ones are also used as a base for tomato sauce. They are very rich in flavour and don’t have as much liquid as other types. Also add the tomato sauce or tomato puree. I decided to add slices of ham in this dish, but they can easily be left out. The frozen peas add a beautiful colour to this dish.

And finally pour the chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a full vegetarian alternative) in the pan. I have used one cup of rice and one and a half cup of broth. Depending on the type of rice, you will need to add more or less. Same for the cooking time. I leave this rice cooking for 15 minutes and let it rest for another 15 minutes, after which the rice is perfectly cooked and still has a bit of a bite.

Finish off by seasoning with extra salt and pepper, according to taste. You can also add additional chillis to the dish, depending how you like your level of spiciness.

Instructions how to prepare Mexican Rice
Close up view of Mexican rice with tomatoes ham peas and peppers

What to serve with Mexican rice

Mexican rice can be served as a side dish with multiple Mexican dishes. It goes well with tacos, enchiladas, any meat dishes and can even be used as a filling for burritos or eaten with these delicious oven baked nachos.

Mexican rice bowl with slices of jalapeno peppers on a sunflower plate
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Easy Mexican rice with tomatoes and sweet pepper

One pot Mexican rice is easy to make with pantry ingredients. It is a delicious side dish for a wide range of Mexican meals.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Resting time10 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 2
Author: Sabine


  • 1 cup (or 175 g) rice long grain
  • cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 sweet yellow pepper diced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes diced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup carrots diced
  • ½ cup cooked ham diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika spicy
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and fry for 1 minute. Add carrots and sweet pepper and fry for another 2 minutes.
  • Add rice to the mixture and stir frequently for 2 minutes until rice is slightly toasted. Add spices and fry for 2 more minutes.
  • Stir in tomato puree, chopped tomatoes and chicken broth and let it simmer on low heat while adding the frozen peas and ham. Stir one more time and cover with a lid.
  • Leave it simmer on very low heat until all the liquid is absorbed by the rice. Depending on the type of rice this will be around 13 minutes. When all the liquid is absorbed, take off the heat and let it rest for another 10 minutes without taking off the lid.

Did you try this recipe? Let me know how it worked out and post some photos with the hashtag #thetastychilli or tag @thetastychilli on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

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Easy Mexican Rice with tomatoes and sweet peppers | Spice Mexican Rice with tomatoes #mexicanrice #recipe #rice
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The Tasty Chilli Sabine

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