Mexican Yellow Rice: A Flavorful Side Dish for Any Latin Meal

Discover the rich history and delicious flavors of this classic Mexican dish, perfect for any occasion.

Mexican Yellow Rice Recipe Card
Mexican Yellow Rice Recipe Card
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Mexican Yellow Rice, also known as Arroz Amarillo, is a beloved side dish in Mexican cuisine that pairs perfectly with a variety of main dishes. This recipe is simple, flavorful, and sure to become a staple in your kitchen.

While some people may refer to this dish as Spanish rice, the differences between Mexican and Spanish rice come down to regional variations in ingredients and cooking techniques. In Mexico, this dish is commonly known as Arroz Amarillo, and its flavor is mild enough to complement a range of flavors.

To make this dish, start by cooking onion, red bell pepper, and garlic in olive oil until the onion is translucent. Then add long-grain rice and cook for an additional minute. Next, add tomato sauce, chicken stock, turmeric, cumin, granulated garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.

You can customize this recipe by adding your favorite vegetables, such as peas or carrots, for an extra nutritional boost. And if you have a rice cooker, you can easily make this dish in it for even easier preparation.

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Try making this Mexican Yellow Rice recipe for your next Mexican-inspired meal and experience the vibrant colors and flavors of this delicious side dish.

If you liked this recipe please Rate This Recipe and leave a comment about it. As always you can follow on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Mexican Yellow Rice Recipe 2

Mexican Yellow Rice Recipe

Recipe Author : Mike Gonzalez
A delicious recipe full of vibrant color and flavor your family will enjoy! This Mexican Yellow Rice is a perfect side dish for any Mexican meal.

Please Rate this Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Sides
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 people
Calories 570 kcal


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper seeded and finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1 can tomato sauce 8 oz can
  • cups chicken stock
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a saucepan, add the olive oil along with the onion, bell pepper and garlic and let them cook together over medium heat until the onion becomes translucent.
    2 tbsp olive oil, 1 small onion, 1 small red bell pepper, 4 cloves garlic
  • Add the rice, stir it around with the onion mixture for about a minute.
    1 cup long grain rice
  • Add the tomato sauce, chicken stock, tumeric, cumin, oregano, granulated garlic, salt and pepper.
    1 can tomato sauce, 1½ cups chicken stock, ½ tsp ground turmeric, ½ tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp granulated garlic, ½ tsp oregano, salt and pepper
  • Place a lid on the pot, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.
  • Fluff it up with a fork and serve it right away!


Calories: 570kcal
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Did You Know?

The Spaniards first brought rice to Mexico through the port of Veracruz, an area where the warm, moist climate would prove to be ideal for its cultivation, in the 1520’s, over a century before slave ships from Madagascar would introduce rice to the Carolinas.

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  1. 5 stars
    Really delicious! I ended up cooking 1.5 cups of rice and added a little more chicken stock and spices. Took a little longer to cook but the rice was so yummy! I could’ve eaten it by itself =P

  2. 5 stars
    Hi I’m Madison I’m an 8th grade student in brooklyn and I want to make this arroz amarillo and write about it for a project.
    Can you please answer these questions?

    1. What do you think is the most important aspect of food writing?

    2. Can I add beans to the rice?

    3. What goes well with yellow rice?

    4. What is your writing process like?

    • Hello Madison, it’s great to hear from you, and I’m thrilled to assist with your project. Let’s answer your questions one by one.

      The most important aspect of food writing, in my opinion, is evoking the senses. It’s all about helping readers visualize, smell, taste, and feel the experience of the food through words. Your writing should be able to transport them to the kitchen where the dish is being prepared, or the table where it’s being enjoyed. Always try to include details about texture, aroma, taste, and even the sound of the food.

      Absolutely, you can add beans to your yellow rice. Beans are a staple in many Latin American cuisines and can complement the flavor of the rice. Depending on your preference, you could use black beans, pinto beans, or even kidney beans. Remember to rinse and drain them if you’re using canned beans.

      Yellow rice pairs well with a wide variety of dishes. In Mexican cuisine, it’s often served with grilled or roasted meats, like chicken or pork. It also goes well with fish and seafood dishes. Vegetables, especially colorful ones like bell peppers, tomatoes, or corn, can make a great side dish as well. For a vegetarian option, try serving it with a plant-based protein like tofu or tempeh.

      My writing process starts with thorough research. Whether it’s about a certain cuisine, a specific dish, or an ingredient, I make sure to understand it fully. Then, I plan out my piece, deciding what information to include and how to structure it. When I start writing, I focus on creating a draft without worrying too much about perfection. I just let my thoughts flow. Once the draft is done, I revise and edit for clarity, accuracy, and grammar. The final step involves a thorough proofread before publishing or sending it out.

      Good luck with your project, Madison! I hope you enjoy making and writing about the Arroz Amarillo. Don’t hesitate to ask if you have more questions.

    • Hi Erin,

      Converting a traditional stovetop recipe like this Mexican Yellow Rice to an Instant Pot recipe involves a few adjustments, particularly in liquid ratio and cooking time. Here’s how you can adapt your recipe for the Instant Pot:

      Reduce the Liquid: In an Instant Pot, less liquid is required since there’s less evaporation. Instead of 1½ cups of chicken stock, reduce it to about 1 cup. This will ensure your rice isn’t too wet.

      Sauté in the Instant Pot: Use the “Sauté” function of the Instant Pot to cook the onion, bell pepper, and garlic in the olive oil, just like you would in a regular saucepan. Once the onions are translucent, add the rice and cook for about a minute, stirring frequently.

      Add Remaining Ingredients: Add the tomato sauce, 1 cup of chicken stock, turmeric, cumin, granulated garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.

      Pressure Cook: Secure the lid of the Instant Pot and set the valve to the sealing position. Choose the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” setting and set the time for 4 minutes at high pressure. This shorter cooking time is sufficient because the Instant Pot’s sealed environment cooks the rice more quickly and efficiently.

      Natural Release: After the cooking time is up, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. Then, carefully turn the valve to the venting position to release any remaining steam before opening the lid. This gradual release helps the rice to finish cooking and absorb any remaining liquid.

      Fluff and Serve: Gently fluff the rice with a fork and serve. The texture should be similar to what you’d achieve with the stovetop method.

      Remember, the Instant Pot is very efficient and requires less liquid and time compared to traditional cooking methods. These adjustments should help you achieve delicious Mexican Yellow Rice with the convenience of your Instant Pot!


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