Copycat Restaurant Style Mexican Rice

COPYCAT RESTAURANT STYLE MEXICAN RICE — This easy to make side dish tastes just like the rice from your favorite Mexican restaurant.

Copycat Restaurant Style Mexican Rice

It is not exaggeration to say I’ve been trying to replicate the rice from our favorite Mexican restaurant for years. I think I’ve finally done it with this Copycat Restaurant Style Mexican Rice!

My 17 year-old son is an especially big fan of Mexican rice, so I made sure to ask his opinion. He wholeheartedly agreed that this was the closest to the restaurant version I’ve ever made.

This is the best Mexican rice recipe. Reminds me of the Baja style I used to get in Southern California.  I cannot find good Mexican rice in North Carolina.

I made this recipe and WOW!!! Soooo good! It’s perfect. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.  I will be using it for years to come. ~ DPH

He also couldn’t stop raving about this rice. And everyone else in the family loved it too. It’s pretty much the perfect side for any Mexican fare you serve.

And this rice is honestly so easy to make. There are just a few extra (but important) steps beyond making plain white rice, and you’ll have a delicious side dish on the table in about 30 minutes.

Copycat Restaurant Style Mexican Rice

The key is to toast your rice in the pan before adding your spices and cooking liquid. It give the dish such a wonderful, nutty flavor.

I did quite a lot of experimenting to get the blend of seasonings and tomato sauce just right in this recipe.

And while I’m sure there are many variations of Mexican rice out there, this is the version we think is closest to our local Mexican restaurant.

This is so delicious that I’m planning dinners based on what goes well with this rice!!! ~Ashley

I really can’t tell you how excited I am about this recipe. If you’ve been looking for a great Mexican rice recipe, you must give this one a try.

I hope you love it as much as my family does. It’s now a “must make” every time we have Mexican food for dinner.


Wow! This Mexican Rice recipe is exactly what I have been looking for. It was just perfect in every way! I have pinned it and will return again and again to it. Thank you so much! ~ Donna

I had planned on buying an easy prep package of mexican-style rice to have as a side this evening but I forgot. I went online to see if I had enough to toss a rice dish together with what I have on hand. Alas, no tomato sauce but I did have tomato juice…..This dish was delicious. As I generally have tomato sauce on hand and not tomato juice, I will make it again as directed. But, it was great even with my needed substitutions. ~ Dianne

Be sure to save this Copycat Restaurant Style Mexican Rice recipe to your favorite Pinterest board for later.

Copycat Restaurant Style Mexican Rice

Here’s what you’ll need to make Copycat Restaurant Style Mexican Rice

  • Butter
  • Rice
  • Produce: garlic, onion, fresh cilantro
  • Spices: cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper
  • Tomato sauce
  • Chicken broth

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Copycat Restaurant Style Mexican Rice

Copycat Restaurant Style Mexican Rice


4 servings

Prep Time:

5 minutes

Cook Time:

25 minutes

Total Time:

30 minutes

This easy to make side dish tastes just like the rice from your favorite Mexican restaurant.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until just golden. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder, pepper and cayenne and cook a few minutes more.
  2. Stir in onions and cook until onions are tender. Stir in tomato sauce and chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until rice is tender. Fluff with a fork. Stir in cilantro.

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Who Dished It Up First: This is an original recipe