Mexican Rice Bowls

I honestly thought I wasn’t a big fan of Mexican Rice (after trying it at various typical Mexican restaurants) until my husband suggested we make it from scratch at home … much better! So, we decided to build a whole bowl around yummy homemade Mexican Rice that turned out to be the perfect DIY weeknight meal that everyone can assemble themselves. This also includes my new pescatarian daughter who just leaves off the chicken!

Mexican Rice Bowls on 100 Days of Real Food

And with everyone spending more time at home this year, this would be the perfect recipe to double for easy leftovers the next day (even if you’re one of the lucky ones who actually gets to leave the house)! Just assemble the leftovers into individual sealed containers and you’ll be all set and ready for the day ahead.

A Note about the Recipe

At first, this recipe might appear longer than it is! That’s because I find it easiest to break up the different parts of the recipe into different sections. But, if I were to combine it all together you’d see … it’s one onion (which can be diced at one time), two bell peppers (which can be chopped at the same time), and several cloves of garlic (that can also be minced at the same time). So, don’t let the long-ish ingredient list scare you off. Simply cut and measure your ingredients all together at the beginning, and even measure out the spices all at once, and it’ll be easy peasy to make.

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Mexican Rice Bowls

These homemade Mexican Rice Bowls are the perfect DIY weeknight dinner that everyone can assemble to their liking. They can even be a tasty vegetarian dish if you leave out the chicken.



For the Mexican Rice

  • 2 tablespoons olive oilor avocado oil
  • 1 red or yellow bell peppercored, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 onioncut into a small dice
  • 1/2 serrano pepperor other hot pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 clove garlicminced
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken brothor veggie broth, adding more as needed
  • 1 8 ounce can plain tomato sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Beans

  • 1 15 ounce can black beansdrained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 onioncut into a small dice
  • 1/2 serrano pepperor other hot pepper, seeded, cored, and minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For the Chicken & Peppers

  • 1 tablespoon olive oilor avocado oil (adding more if necessary)
  • 1/2 onionsliced
  • 1 bell pepperany color, seeded, cored, and sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breastcut into 3/4-inch strips
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlicminced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 limejuiced

For Assembly (Recommended/Optional Toppings)

  • sour cream
  • avocado or guacamole
  • crumbled queso fresco or shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • fresh cilantro leaves


For the Mexican Rice

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the bell peppers, onion, and hot pepper until they begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the rice and garlic and cook for another minute until the rice begins to brown.

  2. Mix in the broth and tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Turn down to low, cover with a lid, and cook until the rice is tender (adding a tablespoon or two more of broth or water if necessary), about 25 to 45 minutes depending on the type of rice and package directions. Season with the 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

For the Beans

  1. Combine all ingredients in a pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook while preparing the other ingredients, 10 to 15 minutes. When the liquid evaporates, turn off the heat or add a few more splashes of water.

For the Chicken

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onions and peppers until they just begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken slices and cook, while stirring, until they are done all the way through (no longer pink in the middle), about 4 to 6 minutes.

  2. Sprinkle in the chili powder, garlic, and salt. Stir to coat, adding another drizzle of olive oil to prevent the pan from drying out. Turn off the heat, squeeze in the lime juice, and scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.

For Assembly

  1. Layer the rice, beans, and chicken/peppers into bowls. Garnish with the desired toppings and serve.

Recipe Notes

  1. This recipe is dairy-free as long as you don’t add sour cream as a topping.
  2. It can be vegetarian if you omit the chicken.
  3. We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.
  4. Nutritional Facts do not include optional toppings.
Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts

Mexican Rice Bowls

Amount Per Serving

Calories 526 Calories from Fat 162

% Daily Value*

Fat 18g28%

Saturated Fat 3g19%

Cholesterol 109mg36%

Sodium 1102mg48%

Potassium 1106mg32%

Carbohydrates 48g16%

Fiber 5g21%

Sugar 4g4%

Protein 44g88%

Vitamin A 3100IU62%

Vitamin C 86mg104%

Calcium 53mg5%

Iron 3mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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