While the cuisine of Mexico is known for its variety & many regional specialties, one staple you’ll find in most Mexican kitchens is rice. Many use rice in Mexican cooking, from simple sides to hearty casseroles, tacos, and enchiladas. We’ve put together five delicious recipes that will have your next fiesta in full swing!
1. Mexican Rice Casserole.
This Mexican Rice Casserole is our family’s favorite way to eat rice. You can add it to tacos, burritos, enchiladas, tamales, and just about any Mexican casserole dish you can think of. If you don’t have enough rice to cook, you can freeze this easy and fast rice enchilada recipe in the freezer section of your grocery store.
Rice can be very expensive in the U.S., especially if you’re doing it for Mexican cuisine. Making your rice instead of buying it goes a long way in feeding yourself by only paying for one thing. And it’s healthy, too!
Try this simple (3-ingredient) Mexican rice recipe that is easy to make in the slow cooker, a favorite way to use up leftovers and noodles in Mexican cooking.
Rice is food that’s been a staple in Japan since pre-1600, so it should come as no surprise that Japanese people consider rice to be one of the essential foods in their diet. The Japanese know how to cook it with finesse, Whether it’s preparing an elegant rice bowl for tea time or making Okinawan (crab claws).
Whether you buy pre-cooked or fresh rice, if it’s the kind of rice you can easily shape into balls with your hands (or use as a base for sticky rice cakes), then it is good for you.
2. Black Bean and Rice Enchiladas.
These enchiladas are delicious and are perfect for a dinner party. The black beans and rice give them a hearty texture, while the caramelized onions give them a sweet kick.
Bullet Point:3. Rainbow Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette.
Paragraph: I love this salad. I make it all the time. And you should, too, it’s tasty! It’s healthy: Lots of salads and vegetable options. And, it’s summer, so there’s fruit and a lot of it!
Nutrition information (using light blueberries with 110 calories per serving): Calories: 440; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 22 mg; Carbohydrate: 52g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 28g; Protein: 18g
This bowl is great because it’s filling and packs a massive portion of protein and veggies for just 210 calories. Look for shells or baby bell peppers whenever you can find them — they’re great for warming bowls of soup or adding to salads.
Bullet Point:4. Mexican Rice and Beans.
Tortillas are an integral part of Mexican cuisine, and having tortillas means a party will be delicious. Jicama is the perfect bell pepper for a party because they’re a clean, bright green. Jicama cooks quickly and can easily be wrapped in foil for serving on top of a taco.
Nutrition information (using light green beans with 220 calories per serving): Calories: 170; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 73 mg; Carbohydrate: 27g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 13g; Protein: 5g
Bullet Point:5. Creamy Chicken Taco Soup.
Sometimes you want a tremendous meatless filling, and there’s nothing better than chicken. Taco meat can get pricey, and this soup freezes very well for easy reheating later on. Tofu adds a great texture and leanness to the soup. Use any chicken you have on hand, though, and it can work.
3. Mexican Rice Tacos.
Here’s a delicious way to use leftover Mexican rice. Make it the night before, and then cook it all up in the morning. I like to keep the tortilla warm by wrapping it in foil, but you can heat them in the microwave.
Why not adopt this dish? Use leftover rice, vegetables, salsa, cilantro, and lime to make a lively weekend dinner!
Migas are delicious, easy to make, and a great way to use up rice. Unlike store-bought rice, Migas are cooked in a slow cooker, which means they only take 15 to 20 minutes to accomplish. Throw the rice, vegetables, beans, cilantro, and salsa into your slow cooker, then set the timer for 12 hours.
Cook the rice for 12–18 hours. After 12 hours, check it to see if it’s done: if not, continue cooking for at least another 24 hours or until the rice is tender. If you like your rice on the mushy side, you can sprinkle the rice with additional cilantro and serve immediately.
Depending on the heat level you’ve chosen, you’ll have no problem finding migas to suit your cravings. Remember to experiment to find the one that balances your spice levels!
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4. Pork Carnitas with Mexican Rice.
Serves 6. Hands-on time 20 minutes. Total time 45 minutes. INGREDIENTS Rice:2 pounds good white rice1 large onion, chopped2 garlic cloves, minced one-half teaspoon salt2 teaspoons ground cumin one half teaspoon chili powder one half teaspoon oregano one-half teaspoon crushed red pepper1 teaspoon cayenne3 cups water1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic; cook for 3 minutes. Add the rice and season with salt, cumin, chili powder, oregano, red pepper, and cayenne. Reduce the heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the water, and let simmer until the rice is tender, 15–20 minutes. Serve rapidly with sour cream, diced tomatoes and jalapeños, Asada (cheese), and guacamole.
Tacos:¼ pound ground beef1 large onion, chopped2 tablespoons minced ginger1 large carrot, chopped4 tablespoons vegetable oil1 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon cumin¼ teaspoon chili powder one-quarter teaspoon crushed red pepper4 tablespoons unsalted butter Salt and pepper, to taste.
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking sheet with vegetable oil (I use this Japanese oil dispenser).
- Brush both sides of the baking sheet with the vegetable oil, roast the meat for 6 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
- Remove from oven, stir in the onions and ginger, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Place the meat on top of onions and bake for three more minutes, or until both sides are browned.
- Remove from oven, stir in the vegetable oil, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Enchiladas: 2 pounds chicken breasts1 onion, chopped1 garlic clove, minced one-quarter teaspoon salt2 teaspoons ground cumin2 teaspoons chili powder4 tablespoons unsalted butter one-quarter teaspoon crushed red pepper1 teaspoon cayenne1½ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (preferably Jack cheese from a jar)3 cups baby corn one-quarter cup chicken broth2 teaspoons cumin.
Preparation: Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
5. Red Beans and Rice Casserole.
Red beans and rice casserole is a delicious meal that can be prepared in the morning and then left to cook all day while you’re out at work. This easy and cheesy quesadilla is another crowd-pleaser that takes only 30 minutes to prepare. Three excellent toppings, plus corn and fresh cilantro, make this a delicious (and freezer-friendly) meal that you know you’re going to want to eat.
Whole wheat or gluten-free pasta is a staple in Mexican cuisine. Many recipes, especially for enchiladas, call for whole wheat pasta as the shell, which helps the pasta stay light and snappy. We adapted this recipe from our sister publication, Food & Wine, and it looked elegant enough for a Latinx taco night! Plus, with only five minutes of cooking time, this recipe is quick and easy to make.
Green Chiles are one of our family dinner staples- and the base for this incredibly delicious dish. For a much tastier dish, you can try swapping out the green chiles for fresh cilantro instead.
Lima Cake is a delicious dessert that showcases Mexico’s unique ingredients, sweet and tart flavors; fried eggs and Lima beans are added for a creative rendition of the traditional cake. Although it may look complicated, this recipe can be whipped up in no time with fresh or frozen fruit and nuts for great color and texture.
You can make your sour cream suitable for salads or tacos for 15 minutes of healthy grinding (draining the last ounce of flour). If you are a sourdough starter like we are, you will love this small step that speeds up the process of achieving sourdough-like bread… without all the extra work.