This easy Mexican rice recipe is cheesy comfort food that makes a great side dish for lots of things besides Mexican food.
One of my very favorite dishes is Arroz con Queso but you can call it a cheesy Mexican rice if you want to. I like it because it is super simple to make, it is extremely versatile, and best of all – it tastes great. This is serious comfort food to me. I generally like to spice it up a touch with chilies or jalapenos because I like that Texas heat. I often use this Mexican rice recipe as a side dish but it makes an excellent dinner as well. If I had to choose between arroz con queso and mac and cheese I am not sure which I would put on my plate.
You can add grilled chicken breast or seasoned ground beef, use Pepper-Jack cheese, or substitute brown rice for the white. It doesn’t matter. It’s like you add the ingredients to a magic pot and what comes out is always delicious. The cheese mixes in with the rice and clings to your fork in a cheesy, gooey mass of flavor. The rice adds texture, the peppers add heat, and the cilantro adds color and flavor. If you are going to use Pepper-Jack you will probably want to leave out the jalapenos.
Here’s a trick I love. Cut both ends off of tuna fish cans and use them as molds for rice dishes. When you want to plate your rice just pack it into the mold you created and slowly lift the mold off the rice. Sprinkle the top with cilantro and a few shreds of cheese for a clean, professional look.
Another trick is to have an awesome rice cooker – OMG I do NOT know what I’d do with out it! It makes it easy to cook rice perfectly and without effort.
Make the basic Mexican rice the first time and then try adding your favorite ingredients.
Easy Cheesy Mexican Rice RecipePrint Add to Collection Go to Collections
- 1 cup onion, , chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, , chopped fine
- 4 cups cooked rice, , white or brown
- 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 ounces of canned chilies, , optional
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- Saute the onion and garlic in a little olive oil until tender and the onion begins to caramelize.
- Mix the onion mixture, cooked rice, chilies, cilantro, and 1 cup of the cheese in an oven proof dish.
- Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese.
- Heat in a 375F oven until the cheese is melted and the dish is heated through and the cheese melts.
- Add a bit more chopped cilantro to the top.
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