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Vegan Mexican Rice

Mexican rice cooks with tomato puree, vegetable broth, fresh jalapeños, and garlic for a highly concentrated and flavorful side dish. Tasty and aromatic, this vegan Mexican rice brings restaurant-style rice straight to your kitchen.

Vegan Mexican rice in a serving dish with lime wedges.

What You Need to Make this Recipe

  • Tomatoes: I puree the tomatoes beforehand, making it easier for them to cook down; you can also use canned or freshly diced tomatoes and saute them for longer.
  • Onion: Red onion boldly flavors the rice.
  • Better than Bouillon: Better Than Bouillon and water act in place of stock for this recipe. It’s flavorful, easy, and something I always keep in my pantry. You can replace it with homemade or store-bought vegetable stock. 
  • Cumin: Add warmth to the rice with ground cumin.
  • White Rice: This recipe calls for long-grain white rice, our family’s preferred choice. You can substitute for brown rice, but you will need to increase the cooking time if you choose to do so. Either way, don’t forget to toast your rice; this step helps the rice maintain its texture during the cooking process.
  • Jalapeños: We use jalapeños, but if you want flavor and a bit more spice, use serrano peppers instead.
  • Garlic: I suggest using four cloves, but don’t let my recipe tell you how much garlic to use – measure with your heart.
  • Garnish: Finish the rice with chopped cilantro and lime juice.

How to Make Vegan Mexican Rice

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Add the tomatoes and onion to a blender or food processor; process until smooth.

Puree the tomatoes and onion.

Step 2: Pour the tomatoes into a saucepan and stir in water, Better Than Bouillon, salt, and cumin; bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.

Simmer the tomato mixture.

Step 3: While the tomato mixture simmers, warm oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering; add the rice and toast until it becomes golden, about 5 minutes.

Rice toasting in oil in a pan.

Step 4: Add jalapeños and garlic to the rice and cook until they soften for about 2 minutes.

Garlic and jalapeños cooking with the toasted rice.

Step 5: Pour the boiling tomato mixture over the rice and stir to combine. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender for about 10-15 minutes.

Hot tomato mixture over the rice and cook.

Step 6: Remove the rice from heat and fluff it with a fork. Cover with the lid and set it aside to steam for 5 minutes before serving.

Rice steaming in the pan.

Step 7: Add cilantro and lime juice and fluff again. Garnish with lime wedges, and enjoy!

Vegan Mexican rice in a serving dish with lime wedges.

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Vegan Mexican rice in a serving dish with lime wedges.

Serving Suggestions

What to do With the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate  Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
  • Freeze  Let the dish cool, then transfer it to a freezer-safe bag or container. Vegan Mexican rice freezes for up to 6 months.
  • Thaw – Defrost the rice in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat  Warm leftover rice in the microwave or stovetop, and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make vegan Mexican rice in the Instant Pot?

1. Add the tomatoes and diced onion to a blender or food processor; process until smooth.
2. Pour the tomatoes into a saucepan and stir in water, Better Than Bouillon, salt, and cumin; bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.
3. While the tomato mixture simmers, warm oil in an Instant Pot on saute mode until shimmering; add the rice and toast until it becomes golden, about 5 minutes.
4. Add the jalapeños and garlic and cook until they soften for about 2 minutes.
5. Pour the boiling tomato mixture over the rice and stir to combine. 
6. Secure the lid and set the Instant Pot to manual low pressure for 4-6 minutes with a quick release.
7. Fluff the rice with a fork and cover with the lid, but do not seal. Allow the rice to steam for 5 minutes before serving.
8. Add cilantro and lime juice and fluff again. Garnish with lime wedges, and enjoy!

Can I make Mexican rice with brown rice?

Absolutely! However, add an extra 1/2 cup of water and increase the cooking time by about 10-20 minutes.

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Vegan Mexican rice in a serving dish with lime wedges.

Vegan Mexican Rice

Tressa Jamil
Our easy-to-make vegan Mexican rice brings restaurant-style rice straight to your table for a tasty and versatile side dish.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 285 kcal
Ingredients
  
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, quartered
  • ½ red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons Vegetable Better than Bouillon
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 1 jalapeño, stems and seeds removed, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced, plus wedges to garnish
Instructions
 
  • Add the tomatoes and onion to a blender or food processor; process until smooth.
  • Pour the tomatoes into a saucepan and stir in water, Better Than Bouillon, salt, and cumin; bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.
  • While the tomato mixture simmers, warm oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering; add the rice and toast until it becomes golden, about 5 minutes.
  • Add jalapeños and garlic to the rice and cook until they soften for about 2 minutes.
  • Pour the boiling tomato mixture over the rice and stir to combine. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove the rice from heat and fluff it with a fork. Cover with the lid and set it aside to steam for 5 minutes before serving.
  • To serve, add cilantro and lime juice and fluff again. Garnish with lime wedges, and enjoy!
Notes
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Serving | Calories: 285 kcal | Carbohydrates: 52 g | Protein: 5 g | Fat: 5 g | Sodium: 476 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 1 g
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
Recipe Rating




Ava

Monday 3rd of October 2022

I made this to serve with tacos. Just like the restaurant!

Tressa Jamil

Monday 3rd of October 2022

Wow, such high praise! Thanks for taking the time to rate and comment.