This healthy and delicious Tex-Mex rice recipe is patterned after our family's favorite Mexican food restaurant, El Charro.
I eat some type of grain 2-3 times a day.
I tried going grain-free once....let's just say it is most definitely not for me! Of any food group I eat, grains are the most loved and the most agreeable, particularly rice.
I've said that if this blog weren't called Oatmeal with a Fork, it might just be Fire 'N Rice.
Having made rice almost every day for the last ten plus years has given me some definite kitchen cred with the tiny kernel.
I'm at the point of eyeballing the amount of water for each kind of rice I prepare, including basmati, jasmine, white, brown, short-grain, long-grain, black, red....you name it, I know it. I also seem to have an internal clock for each type's cook time.
My three tips for making the best, fluffy rice:
- ALWAYS rinse it well. This simple act washes away a good deal of starch, which helps the rice to fluff rather than be creamy/sticky (unless you're going the risotto route, and in that case, I can't help you!).
- NEVER stir it. As in the aforementioned risotto, stirring causes the rice to release its starches, creating a creamier rather than fluffy consistency.
- The old adage of 'if you're lookin', it ain't cookin'' is true. If you're constantly lifting the lid to peek, precious steam escapes, thus lengthening cook time and causing water evaporation. This could potentially lead to hard, undercooked grains, and nobody likes crunchy rice!
I've been making this particular recipe for some time now, having finally perfected it! The overall taste is fairly mild, making it very kid-friendly. The spices are ideal, the tomato taste is not overpowering, and the little pop of carrot and peas give it texture as well as nutrition.
My goal was to recreate our family's favorite Mexican food rice, which is more Tex-Mex, given the additions of peas and carrots.
This recipe is nearly spot on, and it's incredible with my Instant Pot El Charro Beans!
The Best Tex-Mex Rice!
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup yellow onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 medium carrot chopped
- 1 ½ cup white rice rinsed well
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ cup tomato puree (see Notes)
- 2 ¼ cup water
- ½ cup green peas (I use the frozen kind)
- 1/2-1 tsp sea salt as needed for taste
- Heat the oil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir in the onion, carrot, and garlic, along with a good pinch of salt.
- Cook for 3-5 minutes until the veggies are softened.
- Add in the rice, tomato puree, spices, and water.
- Bring the mix to a low boil and cover the pan with a fitted lid.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook the rice for 15-20 minutes until soft.
- Turn the burner off.
- Lift the lid and quickly place the peas atop the rice, trying to avoid letting a lot of heat escape. Don't stir anything at this time.
- Replace the lid and let the rice stand for five more minutes.
- Remove lid, fluff rice, season to taste, and serve!
I use white, long-grain basmati rice for this recipe.
For the tomato puree, I use this brand by Pomi.
As soon as I finished taking pictures, Jade wanted to dig in! 🙂