This hearty Mexican side dish couldn't be easier - or more delicious. The flavors of fresh tomatoes and garlic come together deliciously in this simple arroz rojo recipe.
20 Minutes is all you need to make a large batch of this Weight Watcher friendly Mexican red rice recipe to keep in the freezer or to use as a quick weeknight side dish.
This super easy Arroz Rojo recipe uses white rice. You are probably thinking I thought white rice is not healthy..but that is not true.
White rice may not have the same healthy reputation as its higher-fiber counterpart, brown rice, but it can absolutely be part of a healthy diet.
One cup of cooked white rice averages about 139 calories and 21.6 grams of carbs compared to the same portion of brown rice which is 248 calories and 52 grams of carbs.
White rice works as the perfect base to pair with other nutritious foods - like a healthy protein, fresh veggies and healthy fats.
This side dish is one of the most requested at all Mexican restaurants for a reason! It goes perfect with my Cast Iron Chicken Recipe, Shrimp Jambalaya, Keto Enchiladas, Chickpea Stew and fan favorite Jalapeno Poppers.
Why make this simple arroz rojo recipe?
You don't want to miss out on this authentic Mexican red rice recipe!
- Weight Watcher Friendly - This easy low calorie Arroz Roja recipe is only 6 points per 1 cup serving on my WW Plan. Since the new Weight Watchers plan is personalized you will have to input the ingredients used into your WW app to get your exact points.
- Mouth watering low calorie side dish - Only 139 calories for 1 cup of this homemade gluten free Arroz Rojo. If you use brown rice you will be at 248 calories but will add more fiber to your meal.
- Easy to make - This arroz recipe low cooks up in only 20 minutes.
- Kid Friendly - Plain white rice is pretty boring for kids but when you break out some tortillas they will be happy to build a healthy wrap with their favorite protein and a dollop of this fun arroz Mexicano.
- Budget friendly - Costs less than $20.00 to prepare.
Ingredient needed and Substitutions for Arroz Rojo:
- White Rice - I used a medium grain white rice for this simple Weight Watcher side dish. Feel free to use a long grain or swap the white rice for a brown rice to create a Mexican brown rice. Both are delicious you just get more fiber with the brown rice.
- Tomatoes - For this recipe I used 4 Roma tomatoes and blended then in my Nutribullet with some water to create my own tomato sauce. If you don't have fresh tomatoes you can use a can of store bought tomato sauce.
- Chicken Bouillon - Bouillon powder is the secret ingredient to this arroz blanco receta. If you want to make this a Vegan Arroz Mexicano Recipe, swap the Chicken bouillon for a Vegan bouillon.
Is there chicken in chicken bouillon?
Chicken bouillon is an ingredient made from dehydrated chicken stock, dehydrated vegetables, fat, and salt. It also includes a variety of seasonings, such as turmeric, parsley, and coriander. So yes there is chicken in chicken bouillon.
1: Add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil to a 9x3 inch round pan with 4 diced garlic cloves and a couple of pieces of chopped onion. Saute on medium heat for 3 minutes.
2: While the garlic and onion are sautéing break out your Nutribullet or food processor. Take 4 tomatoes with one cup of water and 2 more garlic cloves and blend in your Nutribullet. If you don't have fresh tomatoes you can just use an 8 ounce can of tomato sauce.
3: Now add 2 cups of uncooked white rice to your pan and continue cooking over medium heat to brown your rice. Next, add in 1 tablespoon of your bouillon powder and continue stirring for about 7 minutes until you see your rice is a nice golden brown.
4: Now pour in your homemade tomato sauce or your can of sauce if you did not make your own into the rice mixture. If you used 2 cups of rice you need to add 4 cups of liquid..the homemade sauce is about 2 cups. Once you pour in the tomato sauce you need to add another 2 cups of water. So the total amount of liquid added is 4 cups.
5: Now cover your skillet with a lid and reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. If you want to make a spicy Mexican Red Rice add in 2 Jalapeños before you close the lid. Once complete fluff your rice with a fork and serve.
Watch the Step by Step Video Here..
- The basic water to white rice ratio is 2 cups of water to one cup of rice. So you can easily, double and even triple the recipe. Just make sure you use a large enough pot to fit the volume of the the rice as it expands.
- When simmering you will reduce the heat and keep the liquid just below the boiling point. You want the top of the liquid to be bubbling, but gently, not at a full boil.
- One cup of white rice generally takes about 17 minutes to cook, but larger amounts can take a few extra minutes.
- Leaving it covered on the stove for a few minutes will allow it to finish absorbing all of the water and then fluffing it with a fork will get your rice nice and fluffy.
This traditional side dish for Mexican red rice is made by frying long grain or white rice and then simmering in a simple tomato sauce called recaudo, which is made with fresh tomatoes (from where it takes the brilliant red color), onion, and garlic.
Both Spanish and Mexican Rice are made with chicken stock, often include chopped tomatoes and other veggies, and have similar Latin American inspired flavors. Despite their many similarities, however, there's actually a pretty significant difference between the two dishes. (Hint - the color) Spanish rice is a stunning shade of yellow as its made with Saffron. Saffron is an earthy, floral spice that is a key ingredient in many Spanish recipes. Mexican rice is typically made with tomatoes giving it the vibrant red color.
Store it in an air-tight container. It can last in the fridge for up to 5-6 days. To reheat, just microwave or reheat on the stove for a few minutes.
This easy Mexican Rice can be frozen and saved for easy weeknight side dishes: Let the rice cool completely before transferring to a freezer bag (recommended) or freezer-safe airtight container. If using a bag, squeeze out as much excess air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Label and freeze for up to 3 months.
Are you a Weight Watcher?
If you follow my Blog you probably already know I am a lifetime member of Weight Watchers and I like to point all of my Recipes with the WW Points System.
This Easy Mexican Red Rice Side dish Recipe is only 6 Smart Points on my app for a one cup serving. Weight Watchers has a new individualized program right now to make it easier to enjoy the foods you love and still lose weight.
Just plug the ingredients into your WW app to confirm the points for your individual program.
I used to go back and forth between the Purple Plan and the Blue Plan prior to the new program and whenever I hit a plateau I did my own 30 Day Low Carb Meal Plan which jumpstarted the Fat Burning again, so if you feel stuck try it!
Make sure check out my Newbie WW Tips and Tricks Guide if you are just getting started.
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