Mexican wild rice is a delicious alternative to a traditional Mexican rice recipe. The warm spices of the Mexican seasonings are complimented by the slightly nutty flavor and chewy texture of the wild rice.
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What is Wild Rice?
Wild rice is actually not even rice at all! It is an aquatic grass seed that grows in lakes and rivers. Minnesota is the primary producer of wild rice. It has a nutty, tea-like flavor, and a chewy texture.
Most wild rice that you find in supermarkets is a combination of authentic wild rice that is mixed with brown and black rice. But you can also get pure wild rice, and that is what we are using in this recipe.
This Mexican wild rice recipe is super simple to make. It uses cooked wild rice, tomato sauce, salt, cumin, chili powder, garlic, and cilantro! Once the rice is cooked, the rest comes together in just 5 minutes.
Is Wild Rice Healthier than Brown Rice?
According to nutritionvalue.org wild rice has 30% fewer calories than brown rice, almost half of the carbs, and more protein! Wild rice can be a wonderful alternative to white or brown rice when you are looking to make a protein-rich meal.
How to Cook Mexican Wild Rice
Step One: Cook Wild Rice
- Wild rice cooks in a similar manner as pasta, where it cooks in a lot of water! Because it is a very dense seed that takes a while to cook. After simmering on the stove for 50-60 minutes, the excess water is drained off.
- Cooking the rice can be done ahead. Day-old wild rice works perfectly in this recipe.
Step Two: Saute the Wild Rice, Sauce, and Seasonings
- Heat some oil in a large skillet, over medium heat.
- Cook the garlic in the oil until it becomes fragrant.
- Add the remaining ingredients, except for the cilantro, and cook for a few minutes. Once the sauce has been mostly absorbed then the rice is done.
Step Three: Add Cilantro
- The final step is to add the cilantro. If you don't like cilantro then you can skip this step. But for me, I love cilantro, so this adds the perfect finishing flavor!
What to Serve with Mexican Wild Rice
This wild rice recipe goes perfectly with any Mexican or Tex-Mex meal! From fajitas to enchiladas, Mexican wild rice is a delicious accompaniment!
- We made this Mexican wild rice recipe as a side dish for our Minnesota state dinner, and served it with Taco Hotdish and Cast-Iron Skillet Apple Crisp!
- Chicken soft tacos are another recipe that would be a great match.
Frequently Asked Questions
Wild rice is a little tricky when it comes to how much water you need. Many recommend a 3:1 ratio. However, it can take 50-60 minutes for wild rice to fully cook so the amount of liquid needed may vary. Since you pour off excess liquid, I recommend a 5:1 ratio so that you are sure to have plenty of liquid for the full cook time.
This Mexican wild rice recipe can definetely be made with brown or white rice! Use 2 cups of cooked white or brown rice as a substitute.
If you like this recipe, please share it with your friends! And once you taste it, let me know your thoughts by providing a review.
Mexican Wild Rice
- 4 ounces wild rice (a little over a half cup)
- 5 cups water or chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ cup cilantro
- Place wild rice and water or chicken broth in a large saucepan and cover with a lid.
- Bring water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 50-60 minutes. Rice should be tender, but chewy. If it is still crunchy, continue cooking. Pour into a strainer. Refrigerate if not using immediately. Through this step can be made a day ahead.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
- Add rice, tomato sauce, salt, cumin, and chili powder, and cook until the sauce has mostly been absorbed.
- Add cilantro and cook an additional minute, then serve.