Mexican Red Rice with Roasted Salsa Roja

I’m here to tell you that you haven’t truly experienced the deliciousness that is Mexican red rice until you have had THIS Mexican red rice recipe! I know, I know – it’s just rice, but this just happens to be the best Mexican red rice we have ever laid our taste buds on!

Day of the Dead Feast with @holajalapeno and @saltandwind on @beardandbonnet

Rest assured, between the four of us we have tasted so many different versions of Mexican rice that we consider ourselves aficionados.

The true secret to this rice is the roasted salsa roja that it is cooked in. Blistering and blending all of those delicious salsa veggies really packs a whollop of a flavor punch to the rice taking it from bland to brilliant in no time flat!

Vegan Mexican Red Rice for our Day of the Dead Feast with @holajalapeno and @saltandwind on @beardandbonnet

For big feasts like the Day of the Dead feast we hosted recently,  I like to roast and prep the salsa roja the day before I want to serve the rice. It keeps fine for a few days sealed tight in the fridge, just make sure your family knows to not help themselves to a late night chips and salsa snacking session before you need it!

If you’ve made this Mexican Red Rice with Roasted Salsa Roja I would be so grateful if you would rate the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments below, I just love hearing from you and your reviews and comments really help others that visit This Mess is Ours. 

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Mexican Red Rice with Roasted Salsa Roja

The roasted salsa roja recipe makes a bit more than you will need, its great served alongside tortilla chips!

  • Author: This Mess Is Ours
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 2 1/2 - 3 cups 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: stove top & oven
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Gluten Free


For the Roasted Salsa Roja:

3 large tomatoes, cores and seeds removed

1 small red onion, peeled and quartered

4 cloves garlic, peeled

1 poblano halved, seeds removed

1 jalapeno, halved, seeds removed

2 tablespoons avocado oil

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, stems removed

1/3 cup lime juice

1/2 teaspoon sugar

kosher salt and black pepper to taste

For the rice:

1 tablespoon avocado oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup chopped poblano pepper

1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

1 cup vegetable broth

3/4 cup Roasted Red Salsa

1 cup long grain white rice

1/2 cup finely snipped fresh cilantro


Make the Roasted Salsa Roja:

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Combine the tomatoes, red onion, garlic, poblano halves and jalapeño halves in a mixing bowl. Toss with avocado oil to coat. Spread the vegetables on a baking sheet in an even layer.
  3. Place the vegetables under the broiler and cook for 5-6 minutes, flip the vegetables and cook 5-6 minutes more until the edges of the vegetables have darkened. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer the roasted vegetables and their cooking liquid to a food processor, pulse to coarsely chop. Add cilantro, lime juice and sugar; pulse until the salsa is the desired consistency.

Make the Mexican Red Rice:

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and salt; cook for 2 minutes or until the onion is tender. Stir in the broth and salsa then bring to a boil. Stir in uncooked rice, reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes or until tender.

Remove the pan from the heat. Remove the lid. Cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel and replace the lid. Let stand for 5 minutes so that the towel can absorb the excess moisture. Remove the lid and towel. Add cilantro, and fluff with a fork.

Keywords: rice, Mexican, Mexican red rice, salsa, salsa roja

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  1. YVETTE November 6, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    I’m confused. The title is Mexican rice, but there is no rice in the recipe. Am I missing something?

    1. thismess November 7, 2018 at 5:32 pm

      That is so weird Yvette, thank you for letting me know there was an issue with the recipe. We recently changed to a new “recipe box” plug in and some of our recipes were effected. I have updated the recipe with the rest of the ingredients and the cooking instructions. Thanks again!


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