Arroz Blanco, or Mexican White Rice, is an easy-to-make side dish that is perfect for any and all Mexican food. Watch the VIDEO or follow along the step-by-step photos to recreate this yummy recipe.
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Arroz Blanco reminds me so much of Tía. I lived with her and her family in Tabasco, Mexico over 20 years ago. A decade here, a decade there. Pretty soon you’re talking about a long time. Man, I feel old just saying that. LOL. My Tía is unique because she cooks so differently than most of our family. Everything must be fresh and very healthy. Nothing is ever fried. Sugar to a minimum. And LOTS of veggies.
Don’t confuse this with Arroz Mexicano. There are no tomatoes in this recipe.
Arroz Blanco, or Mexican White Rice, involves very few ingredients. Plus, it’s ready in no time. Love that! Think of this as “fast slow food.” 🙂
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It starts by adding onions and garlic to your trusty blender (You know. The one that loves to make salsas). By the way, note that this recipe is completely vegan or vegetarian. Your non-meat-loving friends and family will be delighted with this side dish. Then again, your carnivores will also love it.
We are only using ½ cup of water. Enough to blend everything. If you add more than ½ cup, you will have to adjust the amount of liquid you add to the pot of Arroz Blanco.
I’m using vegetable bouillon. You can easily change this up and use chicken bouillon instead (but you will have committed a vegan or vegetarian sin). Or, if you’re not a bouillon fan, use salt instead. Blend and set this concoction aside until it’s ready to be used.
Heat oil in a medium-sized stockpot. Don’t get this too hot, or you will burn the rice. Like the Goldilocks fairy tale, you want it “just right.” If you burn the rice, you will need to start over. And that’s just such an incredible waste of time… and rice.
Add the rice. Stir constantly. You simply want to toast the rice. This will only take about 2 minutes. Pay close attention. If any burned rice starts to happen, remove immediately from the heat. Just say “No” to burning stuff in the kitchen – unless you want those hunky firemen to pay you yet another visit. “Hola, bomberos!” 😉
Now add the onion and garlic concoction. Stir frequently. You want the liquid to disappear, or be absorbed by the rice. This will take about 4-5 minutes.
It will look kinda like Arroz con Leche. Milky, creamy, and white, but it’s far from our beloved Mexican dessert. Don’t eat this. lol. It will not taste good AT ALL!
Once the liquid is gone and you’ve been stirring for a bit, add the rest of the water. Give everything a stir.
Make an incision into the jalapeño (Think “kitchen surgery” without the anesthesia or insurance co-pay). This jalapeño is completely optional. You need not to worry. There will only be a mild jalapeño flavor.
Please know that it will not make your Arroz Blanco spicy, but it will add a lot of flavor. You can also use a serrano pepper. If you’re not keen on using a chile, simply don’t use it. It will only change the flavor slightly.
Let this cook for 20 minutes with the lid on. Make sure the heat is not on too high, or you will need more liquid. Rice can be tricky, but it’s all in the amount of water you use. You can always add more, but you can’t take out.
At the 20 minute mark, the rice will almost be done. My Tía would have cooked the vegetables fresh with the rice, but I take shortcuts where I can. You can also add diced green beans and calabacitas.
Check to see if it needs more water. If so, add another ¼ cup and cook for 3 more minutes. If not, add the frozen vegetables at the 20-minute mark, and put the lid back on. Let this cook for another 2 minutes on low.
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Once it is all done, turn off the heat and let it stand for a few minutes. Fluff the Arroz Blanco with a fork. And, hey. Who doesn’t like Fluffy?! LOL. One thing I can say for sure. Your family will just love this simple side dish. I hope you try it soon. Enjoy!
Arroz Blanco (Mexican White Rice)
- Add onion, garlic, bouillon, and ½ cup water to a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Set aside until ready to use.
- Heat olive oil in a medium-sized stock pot.
- Add rice. Stir constantly.
- Toast rice for 2-3 minutes.
- Be careful not to burn.
- Add the onion mixture from the blender to the pot.
- Stir frequently for the next 4-5 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.
- Add ½ cup of water to the blender to get any remaining onion mixture.
- Add the liquid from the blender to the stock pot along with 2 cups of water.
- Stir to combine.
- With a sharp knife, gently make a cut into the center of the jalapeño.
- Add the jalapeño to the stock pot.
- Cover with a lid.
- Check the rice after 20 minutes.
- The rice should be fully cooked.
- If the rice needs liquid, add ¼ cup water and cook for more 3 minutes.
- If not, add the frozen peas and carrots.
- Cook for 2 minutes more on low heat.
- Turn the heat off and let rest for 1 minute.
- Fluff the rice with a fork.
Maggie Unzueta is the writer/blogger, photographer, recipe developer, videographer, and creator of In Mama Maggie's Kitchen. She has been developing easy and authentic Mexican food, Mexican-inspired recipes, and traveling tips since 2010. From family recipes to her extensive travels throughout Mexico, she brings traditional Mexican flavors from South of the Border and into your kitchen. Maggie has been featured in notable culinary websites and other media outlets. For more details, check out her About page.