Mexican Red Rice (Arroz Rojo) and Pot Beans (Frijoles Mexicanos)

Rice appeals to me when it is "made into something." I am not a big "plain white rice" fan. I have tried but it is blah...for me it goes best as a pudding, with vermicelli, in soup, or as Mexican Rice. I searched about for a recipe that had the ingredients that I wanted...couldn't fine one so I adapted the closest that I could find. I first served it with Turkey Enchiladas with Green Sauce after Thanksgiving. One cannot have a Mexican meal without the rice!

Arroz Rojo
(adapted from Rick Bayless)

1 15 oz can tomatoes in juice, drained
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled, halved
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
Salt to taste
1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups white rice
3/4 box frozen peas and carrots
2 jalapenos, cut a slit down the center of one side
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

In a blender puree the tomatoes, onion, and garlic. (Yield approximately a little over one cup)
In a measuring cup heat the chicken broth until steaming, keep warm.

In a pan (abt. 8 inches in diameter) with a tight fitting lid, heat the oil over medium heat. When hot, add the raw rice and stir regularly until the grains become translucent (milky-white). This takes about 5-6 minutes. Some may turn brown. This is okay. Add the tomato mixture. Stir. Cook until liquid is reduced and the mixture is somewhat dry-looking, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the warm broth, chiles, peas and carrots, and parsley. Stir thoroughly. Cover and cook over the lowest heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand for about 5 minutes.

Uncover and test a grain of rice. If it is still a little hard, re-cover the pan and set back over the low heat for another 5 minutes. (If all of the liquid is absorbed, add 2 Tbsp of water before returning it to the heat.)

As soon as the rice is done, fluff it with a fork. Rick says that this releases steam and stops the cooking. Use the two jalapenos for decoration when serving....they are great to eat, also!



Pot Beans have never excited me. Hmmmm...looks like I have opinions in this post but you know, everybody has food that they like and foods that just need something for them to make an impression. So, maybe I never gave pot beans a real chance...the recipe was way to simple, how could it be good...? That statement takes me back to my initial premise about this blog. Food does not have to be complicated or take forever to prepare to be good! That is a true statement for pot beans!

Again, Rick Bayless was to whom I turned. Yes, I needed to compare some's who I am.

Frijoles Mexicanos
(adapted from Rick Bayless)
1 pound dry pinto beans, sort through for rocks, rinse
2 Tbsp bacon drippings
1 medium white onion, chopped

Place the beans in a large pot (6-8 quart Dutch oven). Add 2 1/2 quarts of water. Add the fat and onion. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat but maintain the simmer. Set a lid on top, slightly open. Add water, as needed, to keep the liquid level about the same, simmer until the beans are tender, about 2 hours.

Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and add additional salt, if needed. The beans are ready to serve at this point but are so much more flavorful if you are able to let them sit for a few hours or overnight before serving.


Traditional side dishes with Mexican food are delicious and a must, in my book!


  1. What a nice pair of recipes. I love that your version of red rice is not too hot.

  2. Beautiful pictures, wonderful flavor combinations and I love the simplicity of this 'one dish' meal.

  3. I love Mexican of all kinds. These dishes look very tasty!

  4. Love both your recipes, they look delicious! Copied and saved both recipes! Thanks :)

  5. Oh, MAN! Would you LOOK at those jalapenos! I feel as if I could just reach out and take one. I love them. Especially with red rice and a side of beans. YOWza.

  6. Looks like a fiesta on a plate! Olé!~

  7. Fantastic! Potent and fierce! The way I like it!!!

  8. beans and rice are generally a winning combination, but never more so than when mexican flavors are involved. you've done excellent work here, kate!

  9. Yum! I could make a meal out of beans and rice. Both of these dishes look very authentic and delicious.

  10. I am so craving Mexican food. You are cruel. You know how much I love beans! Pant, pant. Great job (for a German!)


  11. I am so with you on plain blah rice! I love your preparation of the Mexican rice with the jalapenos and beans YUMMEE!!

  12. Thanks for sharing these recipes, Kate. Both are must-haves for a good Mexican meal.

  13. I agree- plain rice is BORING. I do lots of things with my rice dishes, but have never tried Mexican Red Rice. Looks wonderful. I remember that about Mexican food, the side dishes are the ones I always ended up liking best!

  14. That looks like a feast..yes plain white rice is tasteless....alwyas got to make something to go with it or out of it! :))

  15. A family favorite can not go wrong with Rick!


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