This vegan Mexican rice has bold flavours and is so easy to customize, it will quickly become a staple in your kitchen. You can serve it as a main dish or side with tacos, enchiladas or as a base for your favourite taco bowls.
Making rice as a side dish seems so easy, but sometimes, it's difficult to get it just right. From adding too much liquid to using the wrong type of rice, there are actually quite a few things that could go wrong.
You don't have to worry about any of that with this vegan Mexican rice recipe. I manage to nail it every time I make it, which is proof it works great even for beginners.
It only takes about 40 minutes to make this spicy Mexican rice recipe and it all comes together in one pot, so there's less washing up to deal with.
The recipe, as written, is a bit spicy, but you can easily adjust it to suit your family's preferences. All you have to do is dial down the amount of green chilli and chipotle paste.
Ingredients and substitutions
Olive oil — You only need a tablespoon of olive oil to make this spicy Mexican rice, and I recommend you don't substitute it with veggie stock or water because sauteeing the rice in it and
Onions — I usually make this rice with regular brown onion, but red onion is also a good option.
Garlic — You can either finely chop your garlic for this rice or mince it. Use fresh garlic and don't substitute it with garlic granules because the flavour won't be the same.
Green chili — Use a small green chilli and deseed it if you don't want your Mexican rice to be too fiery (keep in mind that the chipotle paste will add extra spiciness).
Basmati rice — Any long grain rice would work for this recipe, but I typically go for basmati. Don't skip the rice toasting step – it's really essential for the texture of the dish.
Chipotle paste — Made from a puree of chipotle chillies, chipotle paste typically has garlic, onion, tomato puree, spices, vinegar and sugar among its ingredients. Two tablespoons of chipotle paste are enough to make this Mexican rice spice, but feel free to adjust the quantities to suit your preferences.
Vegetable stock — You only need 350 ml veggie stock for this recipe, but make sure you have some more on hand just in case your rice needs a bit more towards the end of cooking.
Chopped tomatoes — You can also use passata (tomato sauce) instead of chopped tomatoes if you don't want to have tomato chunks in the rice.
Sweetcorn — You can use any kind of sweetcorn you like in this rice — fresh, canned or frozen all work well.
How do you make vegan Mexican rice?
Heat the olive oil in a large, deep pan that has a lid. Saute the onion for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, then stir in the sliced bell pepper and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Add the garlic and green chilli, then cook for another minute until fragrant. Stir in the rice and toast it for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously.
Next, stir in the chipotle paste and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, again stirring all the time.
Add the stock, chopped tomatoes and sweetcorn and stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and put the lid on the pan.
Cook for 15-20 minutes until the rice is cooked through and tender.
If the rice is cooked through and there's no liquid left, add a bit more veggie stock (just a bit at a time).
Stir in the coriander, season to taste, and serve with lime wedges and extra chopped coriander, if you like.
What to serve this vegan Mexican rice with?
This Mexican rice recipe is great by itself, but it also goes well with lots of other plant-based Mexican dishes:
- Burritos and burrito bowls
- Vegan enchiladas
- Veggie fajitas
- Vegan tacos
- Taco salad
- Taco bowls
Recipe notes and tips
- You can add a can of red kidney beans or pinto beans with the sweetcorn for a protein boost.
- If you end up with leftovers, you can keep them in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to three days. Reheat the rice in the microwave and make sure it's piping hot before serving.
- This easy spicy Mexican rice pairs perfectly with freshly squeezed lime juice and fresh coriander (cilantro). Cut one or two limes in wedges when serving so everyone can squeeze as much lime juice as they like.
If you liked this easy vegan Mexican rice, you might also like some of my other easy vegan rice recipes:
- Vegan Spanish Chickpeas and Rice
- Easy Vegan Biryani
- Asparagus and Courgette Risotto with Lemon
- One-Pot Vegan Jambalaya
- Spanakorizo (Greek Spinach and Rice)