17 Delicious and Creative Sides to Pair with Mexican Rice

Mexican rice is a staple in many households, whether you’re enjoying a cozy night in or hosting a big gathering. It’s a flavorful and easy-to-prepare dish, but if you’re tired of serving it alone, you’re in luck. 

The combination of savory flavors and the perfect texture of this rice dish make it perfect for all occasions.

There are plenty of sides that make the perfect complement to this classic rice dish. So, what to serve with mexican rice? or what main dish goes with Mexican rice?

Whether you are preparing a family dinner, hosting a party, or just trying to plan your meals for the week, this fantastic dish pairs well with many different foods.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some delicious and creative options to inspire you in the kitchen.

What is Mexican rice? What does Mexican rice taste like?

Mexican rice, also known as Spanish Rice or Arroz Rojo, is a common side dish in Mexican cuisine. It usually consists of white rice cooked in tomato sauce and seasoned with garlic, onion, chili peppers, cumin, oregano and other spices. 

The resulting flavor is savory and slightly spicy. Mexican rice can be served as a standalone dish or as an accompaniment to tacos, enchiladas, burritos and more. 

As the popularity of Mexican cuisine has grown around the world, so too has the popularity of Mexican rice. Many restaurants have adapted their own recipes for this traditional side dish that is sure to tantalize any palate!

what to serve with Mexican rice

1. Classic Mexican tacos

Mexican rice pairs exceptionally well with classic Mexican tacos. You can use a variety of fillings, including beef, chicken, fish, or vegetables. 

Mexican tacos

The flavors and textures of this dish are enhanced when paired with tacos. Top your tacos with some fresh salsa, chopped onions, cilantro, and a drizzle of lime juice to complete the meal.

2. Fajitas

Fajitas are another popular Mexican dish that goes well with Mexican rice. Use beef, chicken, shrimp, or tofu to make this dish, and add some fresh vegetables like bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes. 


Serve with freshly made guacamole, a side salad, and Mexican rice for a complete meal.

Discover More: What to Serve with Fajitas for Dinner

3. Enchiladas

Enchiladas are a delicious and easy-to-make Mexican dish that pairs exceptionally well with Mexican rice. 

Use chicken, beef, or beans as a filling and top it with your choice of red or green sauce. 

Top with some cheese, sour cream, and chopped tomatoes. Add a side of Mexican rice, and you have a satisfying meal that will please both kids and adults.

4. Grilled meats

Grilled meats like steak, chicken, or pork are another excellent choice to pair with Mexican rice. 

Grilled meats

Marinate your meats in your favorite Mexican-inspired marinade, grill them to perfection, and serve them with a side of Mexican rice. 

Add some grilled vegetables like zucchini, peppers, and mushrooms for some extra flavor and nutrition.

5. Chiles Rellenos

Chiles Rellenos are stuffed peppers filled with cheese and a meat mixture, covered in a light egg batter, and fried to perfection. (Recipe)

Serve the Chiles Rellenos with Mexican rice, some fresh lime juice, and a side of black beans. This is a perfect meal that is full of flavor and nutrition.

6. Black Beans and Corn Salad

A colorful and refreshing salad is an excellent option to serve alongside Mexican rice. 

A black bean and corn salad are a fantastic choice, as it provides a protein-packed and nutrient-dense side. 

It’s also easy to make and can be dressed up with some cilantro, lime juice, and chili powder. This salad is the absolute way to add some balance and freshness to your rice dish.

7. Baked Avocado Fries

Looking for something slightly indulgent to pair with your Mexican rice? Baked avocado fries are a must-try. Sliced avocado is coated in breadcrumbs and spices and then baked until golden and crispy. 

Baked Avocado Fries

The avocado fries will add a creamy and decadent element to your meal. They also provide some healthy fats and fiber, making them a satisfying and enjoyable side dish.

8. Grilled Corn with Lime Butter

Grilled corn is an excellent option to complement Mexican rice. The smoky and charred flavors from the corn will go well alongside the dish’s spices. 

The addition of lime butter adds an extra tangy and citrusy note, which beautifully balances out the corn’s sweetness. This side dish is sure to blow your guests and leave them wanting more.

9. Pineapple Salsa

A fruity and zesty salsa is an excellent addition to Mexican rice. Pineapple salsa is a unique and tropical option that has an absolute balance of sweetness and heat.

Chopped pineapple, diced red onion, jalapeno, and lime juice make up this salsa’s base. 

Pineapple salsa provides a refreshing contrast to the rice’s savory flavors and adds some bright and vibrant colors to your meal.

10. Chipotle Roasted Sweet Potatoes

If you’re looking for a comforting and filling side that still compliments Mexican rice, try roasted sweet potatoes. (Recipe)

Roasting the potatoes with chipotle powder gives them a spicy and smoky flavor that harmonizes beautifully with the rice’s spices. 

The potatoes’ natural sweetness balances well with the rice’s saltiness, while the chipotle powder kicks up the savory flavors.

11. Burrito Bowls

Create your own burrito bowl by adding cooked ground beef or shredded chicken over the top of your Mexican rice dinner. 

Burrito Bowls

Add your favorite toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, and cheese for a delicious meal!

12. Quesadillas

Quesadillas are the perfect Mexican-style side dish to serve with your rice. You can choose from a variety of fillings, such as beef, pork, or vegetables and top them off with some melted cheese.

13. Guacamole

Guacamole is a creamy dip that goes well with just about any Mexican food dish – including Mexican Rice! Serve it as an appetizer before you start your main course, or use it as a topping for your rice.

14. Nachos

Crunchy and delicious, nachos are always a great accompaniment to Mexican Rice. Top them off with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, jalapenos and sour cream for the perfect bite!

Explore More: Irresistible Side Dishes to Serve with Nachos at Your Next Party

15. Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo is a fresh salsa made from chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro and lime juice – perfect for adding some zing to your meal! 

Serve it as a dip or as a topping over your Mexican Rice dish.

16. Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde

Made from green tomatillos and other ingredients such as onion and garlic, this spicy salsa goes ideal with almost any type of food – including Mexican Rice dishes!

17. Arroz con Pollo

Arroz con Pollo is a traditional Mexican dish that combines chicken, rice and spices for a flavorful meal. It is the perfect accompaniment to your Mexican Rice dinner!

What are the best flavors to go with Mexican rice?

Mexican rice is a delicious, versatile dish that can be enjoyed as part of a main meal or as a tasty side. There are many different flavors that pair well with Mexican rice, but some of the best include cilantro and onion, garlic, chili powder, lime juice, and tomato. 

To really bring out all the flavors of your Mexican rice dish, add some fresh herbs like cilantro, oregano, and parsley. 

You can also experiment with other seasonings, such as cumin and paprika, to give an extra kick to your Mexican rice. 

For those who want to make their meal even more flavorful, they can add cheese or sour cream for an added layer of flavor. 

How do you jazz up Mexican rice?

To jazz up Mexican rice, you can start by using more flavorful ingredients. Instead of just using plain white or brown rice, try incorporating saffron or jasmine rice for a burst of flavor. 

You can also add vegetables like bell peppers, onions and garlic for extra texture and nutrition. 

Adding herbs like cilantro, chili powder and paprika will give the dish even more depth and flavor. 

Finally, adding some protein, such as shredded chicken or black beans, will make your Mexican rice dish a filling meal that everyone will love! 

Try experimenting with various combinations to create a unique Mexican rice recipe! Enjoy!

Mexican-style rice

How do you display Mexican rice on a platter?

Mexican rice is a popular side dish that is enjoyed by many. It is made with a variety of ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices like cumin and chili powder. 

Once the rice is cooked to perfection, it can be displayed on a platter to look even more appealing. Here’s how you can display Mexican rice on a platter:

1. Choose the right platter

You want a platter that is large enough to hold the rice without overcrowding it. A colorful platter with a simple design is perfect for showcasing the vibrant colors of the rice.

2. Add some garnish

To make the rice look even more appetizing, add some garnish to the platter. Some popular options include fresh cilantro leaves, sliced jalapenos, and lime wedges.

3. Arrange the rice

Use a fork to gently fluff the rice and then arrange it on the platter in a mound. Make sure to leave some space around the edges for the garnish.

4. Serve warm

Mexican rice is best served warm, so try to time your platter presentation accordingly. You can reheat the rice in the oven or microwave just before serving.

Overall, displaying Mexican rice on a platter is a great way to blow your guests with a delicious and visually appealing dish. 

By ensuring these simple steps, you’ll be able to showcase the rice in a way that will make everyone eager to dig in.

10 authentic Mexican rice recipes you must try

When it comes to traditional Mexican cuisine, rice dishes are always a crowd-pleaser. Rich with a variety of ingredients, spices, and textures, Mexican rice recipes have long been adored for their unique and authentic flavors

From the iconic Arroz con Pollo to the spicy Red Rice, there are countless variations of this staple dish that are worth exploring.

So, are you ready to embark on a culinary adventure and try out some of the best Mexican rice recipes out there? Here are ten dishes that you simply must experience:

1. Arroz con Pollo

Arroz con Pollo is a classic Mexican rice recipe that combines tender chicken with savory rice and an assortment of flavorful spices. This rice dish is a meal in itself, bursting with authentic Mexican flavors.

2. Cilantro Lime Rice

Cilantro Lime Rice

Fresh and zesty, cilantro lime rice is a popular side dish that pairs perfectly with a variety of entrees. It offers a tangy and refreshing taste that enhances any meal.

Find Out More: The Perfect Compliments to Cilantro Lime Rice

3. Red Rice

Red Rice is a fiery and flavorful rice dish that is a true Mexican staple. Made with tomatoes, chili peppers, and spices, it’s a must-try for anyone who loves a touch of heat.

4. Green Chile Rice

Packed with delicious green chilies, this rice dish is a wonderful side option that offers a spicier kick than traditional Mexican rice.

5. Mexican Rice Pudding

Mexican Rice Pudding is dessert is a delicious way to end a Mexican-themed meal

It’s made with rice, milk, cinnamon, and sugar and is served chilled for a refreshing and sweet finish.

6. Seafood Rice

Perfect for seafood lovers, this rice dish combines shrimp, crab, and fish with fluffy white rice, tomato sauce, and an array of tasty spices.

7. Tomato Rice

Tomato Rice

Tomato Rice is a deceptively simple dish that is a staple in many Mexican households. Simple yet satisfying, it features fluffy white rice, juicy tomatoes, garlic, onions, and a pinch of cumin.

8. Charro Beans and Rice

Charro Beans and Rice is a hearty and filling dish that is a great option for those looking for a protein-packed meal. It combines tender beans with fluffy rice, bacon, and a variety of savory spices.

9. Chipotle Lime Rice

With a smoky and slightly spicy flavor, this rice dish is a great option for those who are looking to mix up their traditional Mexican rice recipe.

10. Mushroom Rice

Mushroom Rice is a hearty and flavorful dish that is a mushroom lover’s dream. Packed with earthy, savory mushrooms, it’s a great side option that pairs well with a variety of dishes.

What to serve with Mexican rice casserole? 

Mexican rice casserole is a delicious, hearty dish that can be served as a main course for dinner. 

To add more flavor and variety to the meal, pair it with side dishes like guacamole or salsa, black beans, corn on the cob, grilled vegetables, tacos, burritos, or enchiladas. 

Mexican rice casserole

If you’re looking for something lighter to serve alongside your Mexican rice casserole, consider light salads such as a tomato and avocado salad or a fresh green salad. 

Whatever you choose to serve with your Mexican rice casserole will surely satisfy your taste buds! Enjoy!

Wrap Up

Mexican rice is a versatile and delicious dish that can be enjoyed with a variety of foods. 

Its savory flavor and texture make it an excellent accompaniment to many Mexican dishes like tacos, fajitas, enchiladas, grilled meats, and Chiles Rellenos. 

With these fantastic dishes, you can take your meals to the next level and experience the best Mexican dishes that go well with delicious Mexican rice. 

Try these recipes at home and share them with your family and friends!


How much Mexican rice per person?

Mexican rice is a popular dish that is enjoyed by people all over the world. It is a flavorful and savory side dish that is perfect for any meal. If you are wondering how much Mexican rice to make per person, there are a few things to consider.

First and foremost, the serving size of Mexican rice may vary depending on the recipe and the individual’s appetite. 

However, on average, a serving size of Mexican rice is about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of cooked rice per person. This amount is typically enough to accompany a main dish and fill up the average person.

What main dish goes with Mexican rice? 

A popular main dish to pair with Mexican rice is carne asada. Carne asada is grilled beef that has been marinated in a variety of spices, including garlic, cumin, chili powder and oregano. 

You can also serve chicken or pork carnitas or even fish tacos if you prefer. 

To top off the meal, you could add some refried beans and a side salad for added nutrition. 

If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, try making black bean burritos or enchiladas filled with vegetables and cheese. 

Why is rice served with Mexican food?

Rice is a staple food that often accompanies Mexican cuisine. It is often served as an accompaniment to tacos, burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas and many other popular dishes. 

The reason why rice is such a popular side dish in Mexican cooking is twofold. Firstly, it adds texture and bulk to the meal, helping to fill you up faster so you can enjoy more of the tasty flavors in your dish. 

Secondly, rice helps to balance out the spicy or acidic flavors of certain ingredients like tomatoes or chilies that are often used in Mexican cooking. 

Rice also helps to thicken sauces and bind together all of the ingredients in a dish for a complete flavor profile. With its versatility and ease of preparation, it’s no wonder why rice is such a popular choice when it comes to Mexican cuisine. 

So next time you’re in the mood for some Mexican food, don’t forget the rice! It will make your dish even more delicious.

What vegetables are good with Mexican food?

Mexican cuisine is famous for its rich and spicy flavors. Vegetables are an essential part of Mexican cuisine, whether they are used as the main ingredients or as a complement to dishes.

Here are some of the top vegetables that go well with Mexican food.

1. Avocado

Avocado is a staple ingredient in many Mexican dishes. From guacamoles to tacos, this fruit adds creaminess and richness to any dish. 
Avocados are rich in healthy fats and essential nutrients like potassium, dietary fibers, and vitamin C.

2. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are another versatile vegetable used in Mexican cuisine. They are used in salsas, tacos, and burritos. 
Tomatoes are loaded with antioxidants and lycopene, which may help reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases.

3. Onions

Onions are an essential ingredient in Mexican cuisine. They are used in almost every dish, either cooked or raw. 
The sulfur-containing compounds in onions may help improve heart health and reduce the risk of cancer.

4. Peppers

Mexican cuisine is incomplete without the inclusion of peppers. The spiciness of the peppers adds depth and flavor to dishes like chili, salsa, and tacos. 
Peppers are a great source of vitamin C, antioxidants, and capsaicin, which may help reduce inflammation and boost metabolism.

5. Cilantro

Cilantro, also known as coriander, is a herb that is commonly used in Mexican cuisine. It is often used as a garnish on dishes like tacos, soups, and stews. 

Cilantro is rich in antioxidants and may help improve digestion and reduce inflammation.

What meat goes with mexican rice? 

If you’re making Mexican rice, you might wonder which meat to pair with it. The answer is that it largely depends on personal preference and the other ingredients of the dish. 

However, some popular meat options for Mexican rice include chicken, beef, pork, and chorizo.

Chicken is a popular choice due to its versatility and ability to absorb the flavors of rice and other ingredients. 

Beef can provide a heartier flavor and texture, while pork offers a rich and savory taste. Chorizo, a type of spicy sausage, adds a unique kick of flavor that complements the spices of the rice.

What’s the difference between Spanish rice and Mexican rice?

The main difference between Spanish rice and Mexican rice is that Spanish rice is made with onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, garlic and occasionally peas for added flavor. 

Mexican rice typically does not include additional vegetables and instead uses cumin to give it a smoky flavor. 

Additionally, Spanish rice is usually cooked in a tomato-based sauce, whereas Mexican rice is prepared without any type of broth. The texture of both types of dishes can vary as well, depending on if they are cooked or moist. 

Spanish rice is more traditionally served as a side dish, while Mexican rice tends to be included as part of an entrée.

And if you’re looking for a healthier option than white or brown rice, try quinoa instead! 

Quinoa is a superfood that contains several essential vitamins and minerals without the added fat and calories found in other grains.

Plus, it’s easy to prepare with many recipes available online or in cookbooks. Enjoy!

What kind of rice to serve with mexican food? 

Mexican food is typically best served with long-grain white rice. This type of rice is light, fluffy and offers a mild flavor that pairs exceptionally well with Mexican dishes. 

It also absorbs the flavors from the sauce or spices in the dish it’s served with, which makes it a great complement to all kinds of Mexican meals. 

Other types of rice, such as brown or basmati, could also be used, although long-grain white rice tends to be more popular when it comes to Mexican cuisine.

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