Arroz a la mantequilla is a delicious buttery rice dish made with simple ingredients and used as a side dish for many Mexican main dishes, especially those with fish or seafood.
Arroz a la mantequilla is a Mexican side dish that features flavorful buttery, garlicky, soft, and tender rice. Perfect for serving as a side with proteins or on its own as a quick and fulfilling lunch any day of the week.
In the state where I am from (Colima), arroz a la mantequilla is served mainly to accompany seafood and fish dishes, like camarones a la diabla (spicy shrimp), fried or grilled fish, and many more.
Is truly a delicious side dish, perfect for any occasion, budget-friendly, and extremely easy to make.
- RICE. Mexican rice is the best option, but it can be subbed with Basmati, Jasmine, or Thai rice.
- BUTTER. This is what makes this rice “a la mantequilla”. Is added during and after cooking. I used unsalted butter, if you want to use salted butter make sure you also use low-sodium chicken bouillon.
- OIL. Any neutral vegetable oil is good, if you use strong oils such as extra virgin olive oil, or coconut oil, take in mind that those will compromise also the flavor.
- GARLIC. Fresh chopped garlic or you can also use powdered garlic. If you use the latest, add it along with the chicken bouillon.
- ONION. Same, use freshly chopped onions or use onion powder, chopped onions adds also some texture so is up to you.
- CHICKEN BOUILLON. Use powdered chicken bouillon + hot water or replace it with chicken stock.
Related: Is White Rice Healthy?
How To Make Arroz a la Mantequilla
Give a quick rinse to the rice under cold water. Place it to drain on a colander for 10 minutes to remove excess moisture.
Heat olive oil and half of the butter in a cast-iron skillet or a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until soft. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant.
Now, stir in the rice and sauté for 2 minutes but make sure it won’t toast to the point it changes color.
Pour in the hot water, add powdered chicken bullion and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and set the heat to medium-low.
Cook the rice for 15-17 minutes without uncovering the pan. After that time you can check if the rice is fully cooked.
Notes: 1) If the rice is not fully tender, with a wooden spoon dig into the bottom to see if there is still some liquid to keep cooking. 2) If there’s too much liquid but the rice is done, uncover the pan and keep cooking to allow evaporate all the remaining stock.
Adjust salt to taste. Turn off the heat, add the remaining butter on top, cover the pan and allow the rice to rest for 5 minutes.
The residual heat will melt the butter and make the flavor to stand up.
Uncover the pan and use a fork to fluff the arroz a la mantequilla. Be gentle as the rice is still hot and you don’t want to end with a mushy texture.
Transfer onto a serving platter, sprinkle with chopped cilantro or parsley for presentation if you want, and enjoy!
Useful Notes and Tips
- Do not over-toast. Do not toast the rice to the point it changes color, or it will also change the flavor and texture.
- Add more flavor. If you want to give it an extra touch of flavor, add a few sprigs of cilantro when you cook the rice.
- Keep covered. Resist the urge to uncover the pan. The rice needs steam to achieve a nice fluffy texture. You can check out just at the end of the cooking, not in between.
- Rest. Give the rice time to rest, it will not only finish its cooking but also absorb the excess water and become softer and slightly creamy, just as arroz a la mantequilla should be!
How To Serve This Mexican Buttery Rice
This soft and buttery rice goes perfectly with many dishes, here are a few we recommend:
- Mojarra Frita. Serving this rice with fried fish is one of the best pairings ever. Actually, you can serve it on the side of pan-fried fish, fried sticks, or any breaded fish.
- Camarones con crema chipotle. Plump shrimp simmered in a creamy chipotle sauce that you can pour over this arroz a la mantequilla. Heaven!
- Atun a la Mexicana. Canned tuna sautéed with tomatoes, onions, and chili peppers.
- Tacos. Oh yes, you can also serve it as a side for tacos Gobernador which are made with a creamy and cheesy shrimp mixture.
- Encacahuatado. Not only fish and seafood, but this chicken with peanut sauce is also perfect to serve with this rice.
- By itself. This buttery and garlicky rice is so good on its own with a fried egg on top.
How To Store And Reheat
We love to make a double or triple batch of this recipe and store it for later, it makes the perfect prep side dish for busy days!
In the fridge. Allow to cool down completely, then transfer the cooked rice into a container with a tight lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
In the freezer. Place cooled rice in a bag and press a bit with your hands to vacuum the most air possible. Label the bag with the cooking date and store it for up to 1 month.
Reheat option 1. Thaw rice overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat it in the microwave in 1-minute intervals or in a non-stick pan over medium heat on the stovetop.
Reheat option 2. This is my favorite way of reheating this rice because the result is almost as freshly made.
- So, bring to a boil some water in a medium pot or deep cooking pan.
- Place the container or bag with the defrosted rice (it doesn’t have to be fully thawed, partially works just fine) into the water, making sure the water won’t cover the container completely or the bag won’t be fully immersed.
- Allow the water to simmer until the rice is nicely heated up.
Arroz a la Mantequilla (buttery rice)
- 2 cups long-grain rice
- 1 stick butter (4oz/113gr)
- ½ cup white onion (chopped)
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsp chicken bouillon (read notes)
- 4 cups hot water
- Give a quick rinse to the rice under cold water.
- Place rice on a colander for 10 minutes to remove excess moisture.
- Heat the oil and half of the butter in a cast-iron skillet or a pan over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onion and cook until soft.
- Add garlic and sauté until fragrant.
- Add the rice and sauté for 1-2 minutes (don’t make it change color!).
- Pour over the hot water and add the powdered chicken bullion (read notes)
- Bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and set the heat to medium-low.
- Cook the rice from 15 to 17 minutes without uncovering the pan (read notes).
- Adjust salt to taste and turn off the heat.
- Add the remaining butter in small pieces on top of rice, cover the pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- After time passes, use a fork to nicely fluff the rice.
- Transfer onto a serving platter, sprinkle with chopped cilantro for presentation and enjoy.
- You can replace powdered chicken bouillon with chicken stock.
- Do not uncover the pan while the rice is cooking.
- At the end, check the rice texture to see if is fully cooked, if it’s not and there’s not more liquid, add a little bit only and keep cooking until done.
- If the rice is fully cooked but there’s still liquid, uncover the pan and allow the chicken stock to evaporate, but do not stir the rice!
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