clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
mexican rice in a bowl sprinkled with tomatoes and garnished with jalapeno and lime

Easy one pot mexican red rice (vegetarian/vegan)

  • Author: The Hangry Chickpea
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Snacks & sides
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegan


This easy one pot mexican red rice is ready in under 30 minutes, and is the perfect base for a burrito (or burrito bowl), tacos, or as side dish. Minimal cleanup and prep, maximum flavor, who's excited? 


Units Scale
  • 2 10 oz cans of Rotel or diced tomatoes with chiles (see notes for milder options)
  • 2 cups rice of choice
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 large white onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Grapeseed oil, olive oil, or cooking oil of choice
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water


1. First, rinse the rice. Do NOT skip this step. To rinse, place rice into a mesh strainer, and dip into a glass bowl filled with water. Use your hands to move the rice around, then start over with new water. It usually takes 3-4 cycles for the water to run clean.

2. Now, dice onion. Then saute in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat with a splash of oil.

3. Once the onions are soft and slightly translucent, add minced garlic. I love using a garlic press, otherwise carefully chop into tiny pieces. Let cook for 1-2 minutes. 

4. Add the rice to the pan, and toast gently for 3-4 minutes, or until rice is lightly golden brown, stirring regularly to prevent burning. 

5. Once you can smell the slightly nutty aromas coming from the pan and see light golden brown color of the rice, add the Rotel and spices. Stir gently to combine, and cook for 1-2 minutes.

6. Then add vegetable broth or water, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 15-20 minutes for white rice, or 40-50 minutes for brown. Resist the urge to lift the lid...

7. Finally, season with salt and pepper, fluff and serve.


You may replace one of both cans of rotel with petite diced tomatoes if you like a milder rice

Keywords: mexican rice, mexican red rice, mexican yellow rice, vegan mexican rice, vegetarian mexican rice, one pot mexican rice, easy mexican rice, simple mexican rice, mexican rice without tomato sauce, dirty mexican rice, healthy mexican rice, mexican rice with rotel