Mexican Rice

Do you ever go out to eat at a Mexican restaurant and wonder, how do they make the rice orange? Maybe it’s obvious to you, but it wasn’t to me. Until I learned how; then I was like, duh, of course that’s how they do it!  Want to know the secret ingredient?


Have I told you how much I hate cooking rice? I loathe it. Despise it. The thought instantly makes me angry. It boils over every time, creating a sticky, starchy burnt on mess on my stove top.  I just don’t have the finesse or patience or multi-tasking ability required to make a pot of rice while I’m cooking other things.  I kid you not.  Every. Time.

Then one day, I figured out you can bake it in the oven.  My life has been changed forever.  It’s perfect every single time! Yes, it takes an hour in the oven… but I swear.  The lack of stress involved in trying to keep an eye on the rice while I make the rest of dinner, adds an hour to my life.  Plus, I can put the dish in the dishwasher, the stovetop I cannot.  Often times I mix the rice together whenever it’s convenient, put it in the oven, and set the oven to turn on an hour before dinner time.  It’s like magic.  Dinner is done and so is the rice!

Now this recipe is for Mexican rice, but you can make plain long grain rice in the oven using the same method.  Just don’t add the extra ingredients.  Instead use 2 cups rice to 3 1/2 cups water.  Or… if you are a normal person who can handle cooking rice on the stovetop, you can make this recipe on the stovetop.

Ok, time for the secret ingredient… do you know how they do it? It’s tomato sauce!  Was your mind blown? Well, regardless… this rice is pretty tasty.  It’s a nice compliment to any Mexican Nite!


Mexican Rice


2 cups Long Grain White Rice
8 oz can Tomato Sauce
2 1/2 cups Water
2 teaspoons each Cumin, Oregano, & Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt


Rinse the rice in a strainer until water runs clear, this will make for a fluffier rice.  Place into a greased 1.5 or 2 qt casserole dish. Pour tomato sauce into a large measuring cup and fill with water until you have 3 1/2 cups liquid. Add remaining seasonings, stir.  Pour into the dish with rice and stir gently.  Cover with lid or use foil.  Place into 350°F oven, bake for 1 hr or until rice is tender.  Fluff gently and serve.

Print Here!

Note: If you’re making this on the stovetop, don’t rinse the rice.  Instead, toast the rice in the pot with a little olive oil for a few minutes before adding the liquid ingredients.

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