Chita's Mexican Rice

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"Once you make this recipe, you'll never go back to using a box mix again. It is so easy and foolproof, and will be completely authentic. This is the recipe I grew up with, but of course we never measured. Just threw in this and that. This would taste best with homemade chicken stock, but the directions use canned, as that's what most people have. You can replace the canned tomatoes with Rotel diced tomatoes. Use about a half cup of the drained Rotel tomatoes, but reserve the juice to top off the liquid in the recipe (see directions). This will give it a spicy kick! The directions may seem long, but it's actually quite simple and is a method more than a recipe! Buen provecho!"

Original is 6 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (188.3 g)
  • Calories 156.8
  • Total Fat - 2.8 g
  • Saturated Fat - 0.4 g
  • Cholesterol - 0 mg
  • Sodium - 292.7 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 29.3 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 1.7 g
  • Sugars - 2.2 g
  • Protein - 3.7 g
  • Calcium - 27.8 mg
  • Iron - 1.9 mg
  • Vitamin C - 12.8 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.2 mg

Step by Step Method

Step 1

Pour chicken broth into a 2 cup measure then add juice from tomatoes to make 2 cups. Set aside three whole tomatoes, saving remaining juice and tomatoes for another use.

Step 2

Heat olive oil in medium saucepan then stir in rice until well coated.

Step 3

Saute till light golden brown, stirring frequently, then add garlic and onion. Continue until onions are translucent, stirring frequently.

Step 4

Holding a tomato in your hand, squeeze over saucepan to break it up. Drop it in pan. Repeat with two remaining tomatoes and stir into the rice.

Step 5

Stir in the broth mixture and add salt to taste. It should be a bit salty, as the rice will absorb it.

Step 6

Place the cilantro sprigs on top and bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Step 7

Open lid, remove cilantro sprigs and spread frozen peas on top (optional). Then replace lid and let sit for a few minutes, allowing peas to warm.

Step 8

Fluff rice to mix in peas and serve.


  • Large, heavy-bottomed saucepan

Editorial Notes

The ingredient tips, suggestions, variations, facts, questions and answers below are not edits to the original author's recipe. They are not meant to imply any change would improve the recipe. They're offered for convenience, alternative ideas, and points of interest. If you have any comments about them, please post in the Help & Ideas forum.

  • For a spicier version, use Rotel diced tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes and reserve the juice to top off the liquid in the recipe.
  • If using homemade chicken stock, reduce the amount of salt added to the recipe.

  • Replace canned tomatoes with diced bell peppers for a milder flavor. This substitution will give the dish a milder flavor and add a crunchy texture.
  • Replace the frozen peas with fresh corn for a sweeter flavor. This substitution will bring a sweet flavor to the dish and add a bit of color.

Vegetarian Mexican Rice Replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth and omit the frozen peas. Add 1/2 cup of diced bell peppers, 1/4 cup of corn, and 1/4 cup of black beans to the rice when adding the garlic and onion. Cook as directed.

Vegetarian Mexican Rice Bowls Replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth and omit the frozen peas. Add 1/2 cup of diced bell peppers, 1/4 cup of corn, 1/4 cup of black beans, 1/4 cup of diced tomatoes, 1/4 cup of diced avocados, and 1/4 cup of diced jalapenos to the rice when adding the garlic and onion. Cook as directed. Serve in individual bowls and top with diced cilantro, a dollop of sour cream, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Grilled Fish Tacos - These tacos are the perfect accompaniment to Chita's Mexican Rice. They are light and flavorful, and the grilled fish pairs nicely with the spiciness of the rice. Plus, the tacos are a great way to use up any leftover rice you may have!

Pico de Gallo: Pico de gallo is a fresh and flavorful salsa that is perfect for serving with grilled fish tacos. It adds a nice crunchy texture and a burst of citrus flavor that pairs perfectly with the tacos and Mexican rice. Plus, it's a great way to add a bit of extra nutrition to your meal!


Q: Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned?

A: Yes, you can use fresh tomatoes instead of canned. Just use about a half cup of diced tomatoes and reserve the juice to top off the liquid in the recipe. You can also use Rotel diced tomatoes for an added spicy kick.

Q: Can I use a food processor to make the salsa?

A: Yes, you can use a food processor to make the salsa. Just pulse the ingredients until they reach the desired consistency. Be careful not to over-process the ingredients, as this can cause them to become too mushy.

11 Reviews


This is a cherished family recipe. DO NOT under any circumstances substitute bell pepper for the tomatoes.


review by:
(21 May 2023)


Loved this rice! It tastes like restaurant rice. I was surprised by how much tomato flavor was in the rice, from the whole tomatoes & the small amount of tomato juice I added to the chicken broth. Delicious! I did stir in some additional cilantro when I fluffed the rice, otherwise followed as directed.


review by:
(25 Apr 2023)


This is an Amazing rice and one of the best Mexican rice I've had. My husband was inhaling it and kept on complimenting your recipe. I mistakenly chopped the cilantro, so I figured that it wouldn't hurt to have the cilantro stirred in - we Loved it that way! The rice went perfectly with fajitas. Thank you, Lori, for sharing. Made it for FYC.


review by:
(8 May 2021)


This was great rice and went well with the carne asada we had for dinner.


review by:
(24 May 2020)

Daily Inspiration

Delicious rice. Made the rice in my rice cooker and added the carrots/peas and cilantro at the end. Turned out great -- so easy and tasty. Served with enchiladas suiza and sliced avocado.


(1 Feb 2020)


Great tasting rice that I make whenever we have burritos, tacos etc. We love this one!


review by:
(18 Dec 2019)

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Fun facts:

Fun Fact 1: Chita's Mexican Rice is a favorite dish of the famous Mexican actor and singer, Luis Miguel. He has been known to order it whenever he visits Mexican restaurants.

Fun Fact 2: Mexican Rice has been a staple of Mexican cuisine since the 16th century. It was originally a dish served to the Spanish conquistadors, and has since become a popular dish all over the world.