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Mexican Brown Rice

Simply bursting with flavor, this tomato-y, super easy Mexican rice recipe is inspired by one of our favorite Mexican restaurant side dishes.


Mexican Brown Rice in a pan with avocado, and black beans

Healthy, Easy, Delicious.

In other words, this Mexican brown rice recipe is our very favorite combination of things! Each and every grain of brown rice is seasoned with juicy tomato sauce and spicy taco seasoning (that trusty homemade taco seasoning we’re always talking about, of course) making for a big pot of goodness that’ll find all sorts of happy uses in your kitchen. Stuff burritos with it, serve it alongside some crispy carnitas, or just eat it as-is—because we add black beans, it’s basically a complete, one-pot vegan meal—for a quick, simple lunch. If you really want to take things over the top, you could add some sliced avocado and garnish it with cilantro.

ingredients for Mexican Brown rice olive oil, chicken stock, tomato sauce taco seasoning and black beans

A Restaurant Favorite From Pantry Ingredients

Really good Mexican rice and beans are all about basic ingredients and a little technique. We’ll get to the technique stuff in a minute, but first here’s what you’ll need to make this easy Mexican brown rice.

  • Brown rice
  • Canned tomato sauce
  • Vegetable or chicken broth. If you use veggie broth, this Mexican rice becomes vegan Mexican rice—voila! Another vegan side dish to keep in your back pocket.
  • Taco seasoning. Homemade is best, but store-bought is fine.
  • Canned black beans.
chicken stock, brown rice, taco seasoning tomato sauce in a pot
black beans being added to chicken stock, brown rice, taco seasoning tomato sauce in a pot

How To Make Mexican Rice

OK, now it’s time for a little technique! Just a few moments of attentiveness will ensure that your tomato-y rice is just as fluffy and flavorful as it would be at the Mexican restaurant of your dreams! Here’s how easy it is to make Mexican brown rice and beans:

  1. Rinse the rice. It’s tempting to skip this step, right? But don’t! Taking an extra 30 seconds to rinse those little brown rice grains is what gives you fluffy, separate grains instead of a mushy blob-o-rice.
  2. Warm some oil in a skillet and then carefully add all of the ingredients except the beans and bring the whole thing to a boil.
  3. Simmer! Lower the heat so that it is just simmering, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes.
  4. When the rice is cooked, add the beans and give everything a little fluff with a fork but do so quickly! As soon as you’ve given it a quick fluff, replace the lid so the Mexican can steam for a few more minutes and get gorgeously tender.
Mexican rice in a pot with black beans
Mexican Beans and rice in a pot

Is Mexican Rice Healthy?

Yes! This Mexican brown rice recipe definitely qualifies as a healthy recipe! It’s a whole grain side dish that sings with flavor, which means its super satisfying and filling. If you use low-sodium stock, it’s not too high in sodium, and if you use vegetable stock this Mexican rice is fully vegan! Simple, flavorful, and full of protein and fiber, it’s a side (or light meal) you can definitely feel good about eating and serving to your family.

Mexican brown rice with black beans avocado and salsa

Tools You’ll Need

  • Fine mesh sieve.
  • Large skillet with a lid.
  • Can opener.

More Mexican Restaurant Favorites to Make At Home

Mexican brown rice with black beans avocado and salsa
Mexican brown rice with black beans avocado and salsa

How’d You Like It?

Let us know! Snap a photo of your Mexican brown rice and beans, and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you share it with. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so we can share in your cooking victories. Happy eating!

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Mexican Brown Rice

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  50 min
  • Calories: 96


For Serving (optional)

  • Sliced avocado
  • Thinly sliced jalapeno
  • Roughly chopped green onions
  • Roughly chopped cilantro
  • Salsa


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

  2. Add the rice, tomato sauce, chicken stock, and taco seasoning to the skillet. Stir to combine and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed, about 45-50 minutes. Remove from the heat.

  3. Remove the lid, stir in the black beans. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes until the beans are warmed through.

  4. Top with avocado, jalapeño, green onions or cilantro and salsa, if using.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories96
  • Protein4 g
  • Carbohydrates15 g
  • Total Fat2 g
  • Dietary Fiber5 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium356 mg
  • Total Sugars2 g

Mexican Brown Rice

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Sharon

    Hi there, I’d love to make this recipe, but I’m unsure on what the tomato sauce is? I’m from Australia 🇦🇺 and tomato sauce here is what you’d have on a meat pie. Eagerly waiting your response 😋

    It is just canned pureed tomato. If you look up Hunt's Tomato Sauce you can see what we mean. Hope you enjoy!

  • Julia

    Can I use tomato paste instead?

    We wouldn't recommend that in this recipe as the tomato sauce is also adding some of the liquid to the recipe.

  • Jenn

    This was fabulous! I served it on the side with ground beef tacos.! Thanks for the recipe!

    You're welcome Jenn, we are so happy you loved it!