This Cilantro Tomato Rice is simply flavored with tomato sauce, cumin and cilantro. It’s a staple in our house and the perfect dish to serve alongside Tex Mex favorites like Easy Fish Tacos, our favorite creamy chicken enchiladas or even alongside Taco Soup!

Turning regular white rice from your pantry into this delicious rice side dish is easy! You’ll need just a few ingredients you probably already have in the kitchen!

Rice cooked and topped with cilantro and lime

A Favorite Side Dish

We often make rice recipes to accompany our meals and most of the time they’re quick to make from scratch! Homemade Rice is so much more flavorful than boxed versions and you can add or remove seasonings and spices to suit your tastes (plus you can control the salt levels).

All you need is some regular white rice, TexMex-style seasonings along with a bit of tomato sauce. It’s all cooked together creating a flavorful side dish! It doesn’t take much extra work than making just plain white rice.

We especially love this one taco night or with burritos! I love adding homemade taco seasoning or even a can of beans black or pinto beans!

Serve this Rice With

Rice ingredients in a pot

A Delicious TexMex Favorite

This is a tomato rice with great flavor, perfect alongside your fave tex mex dishes but it is not an authentic Mexican rice! Mexican rice combines tomato and onion (along with other ingredients) in a blender which are then added to the rice.

If you’re looking for an authentic Mexican Rice recipe, head over to Mexico in my Kitchen. Mely Martinez shares a favorite she learned from her mom and her aunts, truly delicious (find her rice recipe here)! Mely even sometimes tops her rice with a fried egg to make it into a main dish.

Rice cooked in a pot and topped with cilantro and lime


  1. Brown the Rice: Saute the onions, butter and rice about 5 minutes in a pot until the rice becomes golden  in color.
  2. Add Seasonings: Add the seasonings, chicken broth and tomato sauce.
  3. Cook: Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked. Once done, let sit covered about 5 minutes.

It’s that easy! I add in a minced and seeded jalapeno for flavor and of course a big squeeze of lime before serving.

Rice cooked in a pot and topped with cilantro and lime
4.98 from 38 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Tex Mex Tomato Rice

Take that regular white rice that’s in the pantry and create an easy rice recipe with just a few ingredients you probably already have in the kitchen. 
Prep Time 9 minutes
Cook Time 21 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and minced, optional
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 ¾ cups chicken broth
  • cup tomato sauce
  • lime & cilantro for garnish optional


  • Cook onions, butter, rice and jalapeno if using over medium heat until onions are tender and rice is golden, about 5 minutes. Add spices and cook 1 minute more.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer and cook 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove from heat and let sit 5-10 minutes covered.
  • Fluff with a fork and serve.
4.98 from 38 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 247 | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 648mg | Potassium: 310mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 465IU | Vitamin C: 16.3mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1.3mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Tex Mex



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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. Delicious. I used this recipe as a base to use up a bit of V8 juice and 2 cups of corn & tomato pico de gallo so I didn’t use the tomato sauce. I stirred in a drained can of black beans for some protein. I added 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of powdered garlic to the recipe as well. So good. With the addition of salt, I am confient that this origional recipe would be delicious too.5 stars

    1. We’ve never tried this recipe with brown rice Rhae. Brown rice tends to take longer to cook, so please check the package. Let us know how it works out for you!

  2. I made this rice to go with our tacos and burritos. I used red pepper for heat and left the jalapeño out. I added a tiny bit of salt, garlic powder and paprika. An easy and tasty dish! Thanks!5 stars

  3. Awesome to accompany taco night. So glad to have found this, thanks for the new weekly addition. Sooo good and easy. Thanks!!!5 stars

  4. This IS the best Mexican Rice recipe – only thing I do differently is to use 2 cups chicken broth and 1/2 cup tomato sauce (1/2 of an 8 ounce can). We like it with a little less tomato sauce. I freeze the leftover sauce for the next time I make this awesome recipe ! And I find that 20 minutes is the perfect amount of cooking time.5 stars

    1. For this recipe the rice is uncooked. We haven’t tried it with minute rice but you would need to reduce the cooking time to avoid overcooking the rice. Let us know how it turns out!

  5. Would this work if I also added in a can of black beans and corn? Would I need to change anything about the recipe? Looks yummy.

    1. We haven’t tried with those ingredients, but that should work fine Tracey. Since both of those ingredients are already cooked you just need to heat them up. I would add them closer to the end of cooking the rice. Let us know how it turns out.

  6. I didn’t add butter to mine, but used everything else. I have a huge pot of mexican rice but mine is red……Awesome Recipe, I’m a wife also and an educator.

  7. You have the most beautiful, informative recipes that I have found! Thank you for the wonderful site. The recipes are great and the pictures to go with the recipe only increase the the enjoyment. It is always nice to see what the recipe looks like.5 stars