This Mexican white rice, also known as arroz blanco or arroz primavera, is a delightful dish that combines rice and a medley of fresh vegetables. Discover the vibrant flavors of Mexican cuisine with this classic and versatile rice dish.
The recipe is very simple and easy to make, it involves sautéing the rice with oil or butter, then cooking it along with the vegetables and a flavorful mixture of stock, onion, and garlic which is called “recaudo blanco”.
This Mexican white rice is a staple at my home, I love to serve it to my family on a regular basis because it brings warmth and comfort to any meal. I’m happy to be able to share this recipe with you guys!
- Rice: Best rice to use is Mexican long-grain rice, if not available to you, Basmati or Jasmine rice are perfect substitutions.
- Vegetables: The most popular choice is a medley of fresh or frozen vegetables that include carrots, peas, and corn for visual appealing. But feel free to add your favorite veggies!
- Aromatics: Onion and fresh garlic cloves are necessary to add flavor to this Mexican white rice.
- Spices: I used a pinch of cumin seeds for a subtle flavor and aroma.
- Oil: Use your favorite type of vegetable oil such as olive oil, sunflower, or avocado oil.
How To Make Mexican White Rice
Wash the white rice thoroughly until the water runs clear. Place it to drain on a colander to remove the excess liquid. Allow the rice to dry completely.
TOP TIP: Rinsing the rice will can prevent the rice from becoming sticky or clumpy when cooked, resulting in fluffier and separate grains.
Place onions, garlic, and cumin seeds into a blender. Add 2 cups of water and blend for 2 minutes at high speed.
Heat the oil in a cooking pan over medium heat. Add the rice and the vegetables then sauté for 3-4 minutes.
TIP: Make sure you don’t brown the rice, as we want to keep its white color to make arroz blanco.
Set heat to high and pour the onion mixture. Season with salt and gently mix everything.
Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to medium-low and cover the pan.
Cook rice for 15 minutes without touching it. This is how it should look…
Remove the pan from the heat and allow the rice to sit for 5 more minutes.
Uncover the pan, add the chopped cilantro for added freshness and flavor, then use a fork to gentle fluff the rice.
Your arroz blanco primavera is ready! Enjoy right away with your favorite meals or store for later.
- The rice: The type of rice commonly used for arroz primavera is typically a long-grain white rice. This variety has a fluffy and slightly sticky texture when cooked, which works well for Mexican-style rice dishes.
- Rinse the rice: Rinsing the rice helps remove excess starch and prevents the rice from becoming sticky.
- Do not toast: Avoid toasting the rice to the point it will change color and texture, just sauté it for a couple of minutes to seal it. Arroz blanco means “white rice” so it has to keep its white color.
- Don’t stir: The key for fluffy Mexican white rice is to avoid stirring while cooking as it can lead to a sticky texture.
- Steam: After the rice has finished cooking, remove it from the heat and let it sit, covered, for about 5-10 minutes. This allows the steam to redistribute and ensures even cooking and fluffy grains.
- Fluff with a fork: Use a fork to gently fluff the rice before serving. This separates the grains and prevents clumping.
The beauty of arroz primavera is its versatility, allowing you to tailor it to your taste preferences and the ingredients you have on hand.
Here are a few ideas to tweak and add some variation to this delicious Mexican recipe:
- Vary the vegetables: You can use other types of vegetables such as green beans (ejotes), chayote, bell peppers, or Mexican squash calabacitas.
- Use stock: You can also use powdered chicken bouillon, a cube of Knorr Suiza (caldo de pollo) or store-bought chicken stock if you want to add more flavor. Using vegetable stock will also keep this recipe vegan.
- Herbs: Add other herbs like bay leaves, thyme, or oregano to the rice. In Mexico you’ll find that arroz blanco is often made with epazote, a fresh herb with a earthy, citrusy, and slightly minty taste.
- Spice it up: If you enjoy some heat, you can add chili peppers to give your Arroz Primavera a kick. Sauté diced jalapeños or chile serrano peppers along with the vegetables to infuse some spiciness. You can also add spices like cayenne pepper, chili powder, or paprika to the dish for extra flavor.
How To Serve Arroz Blanco
Mexican white rice (arroz blanco primavera) is a versatile side dish that pairs well with a variety of Mexican-inspired main courses.
Here are my favorite recipes to serve this side with:
Arroz primavera also makes a flavorful filling for a chicken & rice burrito!
How To Store Arroz Primavera Blanco
Arroz primavera stores nicely for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator, but first allow to cool down completely, after that, transfer the rice to an airtight container and store.
I don’t recommend freezing Mexican white rice as it will become mushy when thawed.
Is Mexican rice the same as white rice?
Depends on the context, Mexican white rice can be also referred as white rice or arroz blanco when no other ingredients, such as tomatoes or green chilies are blended and added to the dish.
Is white rice in traditional Mexican food?
Yes, white rice is used in traditional Mexican cuisine in many recipes. From savory dishes like the famous Spanish rice, to sweet treats like Arroz con Leche.
What kind of rice do they eat in Mexico?
In Mexico, several types of rice are commonly consumed, depending on regional preferences and specific dishes. While long-grain rice is used to make arroz primavera or arroz verde, other types like parboiled rice is often preferred to make arroz con pollo (chicken and rice) or rice salads.
More Mexican Rice Recipes
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Mexican White Rice (arroz blanco)
- 1 ½ cups long grain rice (Mexican, basmati, jasmine, thai)
- 1 cup diced vegetables (corn, peas, carrots, etc.)
- 1 small white onion (cut into chunks)
- 2 ½ cups water (or chicken stock)
- 1-2 cloves garlic (peeled)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (or ground cumin)
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon cilantro (finely chopped)
- salt (to taste)
- Wash the rice until the water runs clear. Place it to drain on a colander to remove the excess liquid. Allow the rice to dry completely.
- Place onions, garlic, and cumin seeds into a blender. Add 2 ½ cups of water and blend for 2 minutes at high speed.
- Heat the oil in a cooking pan over medium heat. Add the rice and the vegetables and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
- Set heat to high and pour the onion mixture. Season with salt and gently mix everything.
- Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to medium-low and cover the pan.
- Cook rice for 15 minutes without touching it.
- Remove the pan from the heat and allow the rice to sit for 5 more minutes.
- Uncover the pan, add the chopped cilantro, then use a fork to gentle fluff the rice.
- Serve with your favorite Mexican-inspired dishes.
- Rinsing the rice will can prevent the rice from becoming sticky or clumpy when cooked, resulting in fluffier and separate grains.
- Avoid toasting the rice to the point it will change color and texture, just sauté it for a couple of minutes to seal it. Arroz blanco means “white rice” so it has to keep its white color.
- The key for fluffy Mexican white rice is to avoid stirring while cooking as it can lead to a sticky texture.
Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.