Rio Bravo Red Rice Autentico

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"This rice is very, very good. It's one of my favorite Spanish/Mexican rices that I've had. The Chipotle Puree recipe is incorporated into this rice and is a must in making this dish authentic and successful. I store the puree in the freezer and add it to dishes as I need it."

Original is 6 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (316 g)
  • Calories 340.5
  • Total Fat - 13.3 g
  • Saturated Fat - 1.9 g
  • Cholesterol - 11.3 mg
  • Sodium - 1386.2 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 52.8 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 2.7 g
  • Sugars - 22.3 g
  • Protein - 3.6 g
  • Calcium - 70.3 mg
  • Iron - 2 mg
  • Vitamin C - 15.7 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.1 mg

Step by Step Method

Make the Chipotle Pureee ahead in order to have it ready when making this rice.

Step 1

In a heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat, place the tomatoes and char turning each tomato occasionally until all sides are charred and skin split and tomatoes become aromatic.

Step 2

Transfer the tomatoes to a blender or food processor and puree. Stir in the chopped cilantro or parsley. Set aside.

Step 3

In a saucepan, combine the water, pureed tomato mixture, Chipotle Puree, and salt. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer gently for approximately 5 minutes.

Step 4

Meanwhile in a separate saucepan (big enough to fit the tomato mixture and rice), heat the oil until hot. Add the rice and chopped onion and saute until three-quarters of the grains are browned for about 5-10 minutes.

Step 5

Add the tomato mixture to the saucepan containing the rice. Let come to a boil, lower heat, cover with lid and simmer for 10 minutes.

Step 6

Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes, stir and taste to see if cooked through. If not cooked to desired doneness, place lid back on and let stand until rice has come to desired doneness.

Step 7

Fluff with fork and keep warm until ready to serve.


Step 8

In a saucepan over high heat, combine all ingredients.

Step 9

Bring to a boil, decrease heat to medium-low, and simmer for 1- 1 1/4 hours until mixture has been reduced to 1 cup. (as it cooks and the sauce becomes thicker it will spit as it cooks. When this stage has been reached, place a lid over top leaving it ajar -half-on-half-off- to prevent it from spitting all over the place. Stir with a spoon every 5 or so minutes to prevent it from scorching.

Step 10

Remove from heat, and cool completely. Puree mixutre in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Step 11

Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or keep in freezer for a few months.

This puree can be used in various dishes where it adds that authentic taste to Mexican dishes, such as tacos, bean salads, pico de gallo, carnitas, etc. It adds great flavor to the rice given here

NOTE: Depending on your area, achiote paste may not be easily accessible. If this is the case just leave it out (I've done this too), but if you can find it this dish will be what it is intended to be. Achiote paste (also known as Annato paste that is seasoned with garlic and other spices) can be found online such as on Amazon or You can also grind some annatto seeds and crush them into a coarse achiote powder in substitution for the paste.


No special items needed.

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.

  • When selecting tomatoes, choose ones that are ripe, but still firm.
  • To make the Chipotle Puree, use fresh chipotle peppers for the best flavor.

  • Instead of Chipotle Puree, use a combination of smoked paprika and garlic powder. This substitution will give the dish a smoky flavor without the heat of the Chipotle Puree.
  • Instead of achiote paste, use turmeric. Turmeric will give the dish a similar color and flavor without being as spicy as achiote paste.

Vegetarian Rio Bravo Red Rice Replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock and omit the Chipotle Puree. Add 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika to the tomato mixture for a smoky flavor.

Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad: This fresh and flavorful salad pairs perfectly with the Rio Bravo Red Rice Autentico. The sweetness of the grilled corn, the creaminess of the avocado, and the crunch of the red onion make a delicious contrast to the smoky spiciness of the rice. The cilantro in the salad also helps to bring out the flavors of the rice.

Black Bean and Roasted Red Pepper Quesadillas: These quesadillas are the perfect complement to the Rio Bravo Red Rice Autentico. The smoky flavor of the roasted red peppers combines with the creamy black beans, and the quesadillas are grilled to perfection. The combination of the creamy beans, smoky peppers, and the smoky spiciness of the rice make for a delicious and satisfying meal.


Q: What is Achiote paste?

A: Achiote paste is a seasoning made from annatto seeds, garlic, and other spices. It is used to add flavor to Mexican dishes like tacos, bean salads, and carnitas. It can be found online or in some stores.

Q: What is the difference between Achiote paste and Annatto?

A: Achiote paste is a seasoning made from annatto seeds, garlic, and other spices. Annatto is the main ingredient in achiote paste, but it is also sold as a standalone spice. Annatto has a smoky, earthy flavor and is used to give dishes a bright orange-red color.

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Fun facts:

The use of Chipotle peppers in Mexican cuisine dates back to the Aztecs and Mayans. It was believed that the spicy heat of the pepper was a symbol of strength, courage, and fertility.

The classic western movie "Rio Bravo" was released in 1959 and starred John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, and Angie Dickinson. The movie was set in Texas and featured a Mexican dish called "Rio Bravo Red Rice" - which is thought to be the inspiration for this delicious recipe.