Arroz rojo (Mexican red rice) recipe

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A classic Mexican side dish, arroz rojo is rice flavored with red chile sauce. Arroz rojo is great with tacos, enchiladas, burritos and chimichangas. The dish is called arroz rojo (literally translating to red rice) because the color of the rice turns to red.
Preparation time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 20 minutes, Serves: 4 - 6 


1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

1 1/2 cups white rice

1 fresh red chile, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup red chile sauce (see recipe below)
2 cups chicken broth

Salt and black pepper to taste


In a saucepan over medium heat add the vegetable oil, bring to a heat and saute the onions, garlic and red chile for about 1 minute.

Stir in the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the rice begins to brown.

Add the chicken stock and red chile sauce and bring to a boil. Season with salt and black pepper to taste, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 18 to 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat, let cool down and serve.

Notes and tips

Mexican red chile sauce recipe


3 dried Ancho chiles
1 clove garlic
2 whole cloves, crushed
2 black peppercorns, crushed
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
Olive oil


Half each of the dried chiles and remove and discard the stem and seed.

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Lay the chiles flat on the frying pan, press down on them and leave for a few seconds. Turn the chilies over and repeat for a few more seconds. Do not toast the chiles, only heat them through to release more flavor.

Add the chiles to a bowl and cover with hot water. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes, until the chilies are soft. Remove chiles from the bowl and reserve soaking water.

Place chiles in a blender together wth the garlic, salt, ground pepper, crushed cloves and around 1 1/2 cups of the chile soaking water. Process for 2 minutes until the sauce is completely smooth. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper, to taste.

Pour the sauce through a sieve into a frying pan. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the sauce and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower heat and cook simmering for 10 minutes, skiming off any foam that may form. Remove from the heat and use immediately or pour into a glass jar, let cool down and refrigerate.

Makes about 1 cup of red chili sauce.

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