Spicy Mexican Rice

A simple staple for Mexican meals…

Whether it’s tacos, burritos, enchiladas, or quesadillas, you’re going to want a side of spicy Mexican rice to complete that Mexican meal. It’s a simple recipe – and on its own rather plain. But when you pair it with beans and your Mexican dish of choice, the tomato sauce tang and simmering heat (thank you cayenne) bring a nice bit of extra flavor to your meal.

That’s not to say you can’t dress this spicy Mexican rice recipe up a bit. This is the kind of side, like most rice sides, that expand their role on the plate with just a little culinary experimentation. For instance, mix in your bean of choice, fresh chopped tomatoes, and/or cooked peas (just to name a few options) to make things more memorable. With enough added extras, spicy Mexican rice can turn into a delicious light lunch on its own too.

Spicy Mexican Rice

Spicy Mexican Rice

5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste


  • In a saucepot over high heat, combine the water, tomato sauce, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and salt. Bring the mix to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the long grain rice and butter. Stir to combine and melt the butter.
  • Reduce the heat to low. Cover the saucepot and let the rice mix simmer, covered, for 18 to 20 minutes.
  • Remove the saucepot from the heat and stir well.
  • Serve while hot.


Feel free to experiment with additional ingredients. Spicy Mexican rice is terrific with many additions: black beans, pinto beans, chopped tomato, and cooked peas are just a few ideas to mix into the rice prior to serving.
Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on March 19, 2022 to include new content.
5 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)
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