6 Ways To Spice Up Bland Mexican Rice (And Make It Delicious)

bland mexican rice

Mexican rice is the perfect side dish for fajitas, tacos, and more.

Unfortunately, it can be pretty bland if you don’t know how to cook it correctly.

We’ll give you tips on how to fix flat Mexican rice, so it’s not just edible—it’s delicious!

What is Mexican rice?

Mexican rice is a traditional rice dish that’s popular in Mexican cuisine.

It’s often made using long-grain white rice and tomatoes, with garlic and onion added for flavor.

Adding spices like cumin, chili powder, and paprika gives the dish its distinct aroma.

The dish is typically served with beans and vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, and mushrooms.

Mexican rice can be served as a side dish or as the main course for lunch or dinner.

It’s often eaten alongside meat or seafood dishes like enchiladas or fajitas.

Common mistakes when making Mexican rice

You cannot be sure that your Mexican rice will come out ideally every time you make it.

Here are some common mistakes that you can make with Mexican rice:

Using the wrong type of rice

When making Mexican rice, don’t use short-grain rice because it will get mushy and overcook easily in the sauce.

Instead, use a long-grain variety.

The best types of rice for Mexican rice are basmati or jasmine, which have a nice flavor and texture.

Cooking it too dry or mushy

Using too much water when cooking your rice Adding too much water will make your rice come out soggy.

This happens because the rice will absorb all the liquid as it cooks, leaving you with a soupy mess.

If there is too little water, then it will be dry and tough.

Undercooking or overcooking

No one wants to eat undercooked rice because the texture and flavor are bad.

And when it comes to overcooked Mexican rice, it tends to lose some moisture and taste too.

So it is best to set the temperature and cooking time properly to produce the best rice dish.

Underseasoned or overseasoned

The best Mexican rice is seasoned perfectly.

It should not be too salty or bland.

You can always add more salt and pepper if it needs it, but you should not have to do that often.

And it is harder to fix an overseasoned rice dish than a bland one.

Why is my Mexican rice bland?

Well, there are a few reasons.

The first is that you might be rinsing the rice too much before cooking it—rinse for 30 seconds and then drain in a colander.

If you’re doing this more than twice (which can happen), then you’re probably rinsing away some of the starch that gives the rice its distinctive texture and fluffiness.

This also means that each grain will be drier when it comes out of the water, so it won’t stick together as easily when cooked with other ingredients in a skillet or pot.

The following reason could be using low-quality or expired ingredients or spices—it also means that your food might not taste as good as it should!

So ensure everything is fresh and up-to-date before cooking anything else with them next time.

Lacking seasonings can be another cause of tasteless Mexican rice.

Unlike other steamed rice dishes, Mexican rice is meant to be flavorful, so if the amount of each seasoning is not enough, or you forgot an essential ingredient like tomato sauce or paprika, chances are your rice is not as expected.

How to fix bland Mexican rice?

Luckily, there are some easy fixes for bland Mexican rice.

Add salt

If your Mexican rice tastes bland, the problem may be that you didn’t season the water adequately before cooking.

To fix this, add a teaspoon of salt to every cup of rice before boiling it in salted water, and this will give your rice a seasoning boost without overwhelming its flavor profile.

But if the rice is already cooked and ready to be served, it can still add some salt.

In this case, opt for fine salt instead of the course type because it is easier to mix evenly.

Add spices and herbs

The spiciness of Mexican food depends on the type of chili pepper used.

Chili powder, cumin, paprika, and oregano are some of the spices that can be added to enhance flavor.

You may also want to add garlic powder, onion powder, lemon juice, lime juice, and orange juice for more tanginess.

Other herbs, such as parsley or dill, would add more taste to plain rice.

Add soy sauce

The solution to this problem is pretty simple.

It’s not that the rice itself is bland, but it lacks saltiness and umami.

Umami makes you feel satisfied after eating something, and it can be obtained by adding soy sauce or mushrooms.

When cooking Mexican rice, add a tablespoon or two of soy sauce at the end before serving.

You can also add it right away when you’re cooking if you have time to spare—the only difference is that the rice will cook with more moisture than usual.

After adding soy sauce to your preferred quantity of rice and letting it sit for a few minutes before serving, serve it over tacos or burritos!

This will give them a burst of flavor without making them too salty or sour.

Add miso paste

Miso paste is a fermented soybean paste that’s used in Japanese cooking.

It’s a good source of vitamins and minerals and has a salty, savory flavor that will help your rice taste more interesting.

To add miso to your rice, add a spoonful when you’re cooking the rice (or just before serving) and give it a taste.

This combination of two different cuisines will surely impress your guests.

Drizzle some olive oil

To fix bland Mexican rice, drizzle some olive oil over the rice.

The amount you use will depend on how much Mexican rice you are making.

Olive oil adds flavor and texture to rice and is also healthy for you! You can use any kind of olive oil you like.

Just make sure the olive oil is good quality, so it doesn’t add too much acidity to your rice.

Add melted butter

If you want to add some flavor and texture to your Mexican rice, adding melted butter is a great option.

The rich, creamy texture of melted butter will transform bland Mexican rice into something you’ll be proud to serve at the dinner table or bring along in a basket for lunch.

Melted butter also adds subtle nutty notes that will make every bite taste delicious.


If your Mexican rice is bland, then you can try one of the methods above.

Whether you’re cooking Mexican rice for dinner or bringing it along to a potluck, the dish is sure to be a hit.

So never serve it bland!

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