Skinny Mexican Rice

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Flavors of the southwest come to life in this easy prep recipe. Simply sauté some onions and garlic, add in the remaining ingredients and let it cook. The flavors of cumin, green chilies, and fresh cilantro bring this dish to a whole new mouthwatering level. Skinny Mexican Rice goes great with a side of Guacamole Verde, and can be served along with Mexican Shredded Beef.


Skinny Mexican Rice

Skinny Mexican Rice

Yields: 4 servings | Serving size: 1 cup | Calories: 215 | Total Fat: 2 g | Saturated Fats: 0 g | Trans Fats: 0 gm | Cholesterol: 381 mg | Sodium: 78 mg | Carbohydrates: 46 g | Dietary fiber: 4 g | Sugars: 6 g | Protein: 5 g | SmartPoints: 7 |


  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup water, + more as needed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup long grain brown rice (recommend Uncle Ben's Long Grain Brown Rice - not the quick or instant kind)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1(14.5 ounce) can petit diced tomatoes
  • 1(4 ounce) can diced green chiles (optional)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth, low sodium (optional, chicken broth)


  1. In a large skillet or sauce pan add water and diced onion. Turn to medium-low heat and saute onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Add more water as it evaporates. Add garlic and continue to saute one additional minute.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, cover, reduce heat and simmer on low for approximately 45 minutes or until rice has soaked up the liquid and is tender. If rice needs more liquid, add 1/4 cup as needed, or until rice is tender.
  3. NOTE: The time it takes to cook the rice will depend on the brand. Some brands take 35 minutes, while others take up to an hour. We prefer Uncle Ben's Long Grain Rice because it is tender in approximately 35-45 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, leave covered and allow to set 10 minutes before serving.

39 Comments on "Skinny Mexican Rice"

  1. Shane  September 14, 2012

    I believe the first sentence of the directions should include the word onion somewhere….

  2. Heidi Van Dam Gruppe  September 23, 2012

    Have you frozen or reheated this dish? If so, how did it turn out that way?

    • Skinny Ms.  September 23, 2012

      Yes, reheated and it turned out great. We haven't frozen it but should be good.

  3. Sheri  October 6, 2012

    Love your site! How do you calculate you WW PP values? I entered this recipe into my WW recipe builder and it calculated 6 PP for a 1-cup serving.

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  5. Ana Bedoya  February 17, 2013

    I made this as the rice to put in our tacos and it was a hit!

  6. Skinny Ms.  February 28, 2013

    Vickie, I just made it yesterday too. For me, it was awesome. Try using Uncle Ben’s long grain brown rice. It seems to cook faster than a lot of the other brands. When I’ve used some other brands in the past, I had to cook it over an hour. A good rule of thumb, cook it until the rice is tender. 🙂

  7. Christina  June 4, 2013

    Im not understanding the calorie count you have. Ive entered into a calorie site and its just over 200 calories even with the brand of rice you used. That's a big difference! Am I missing something?

    • Skinny Ms.  June 5, 2013

      Christina, Hmmmmm, not too sure. Maybe it’s the program you’re using?

  8. Patty Seifert-Ledbetter  June 30, 2013

    if you use a rice cooker, it will take about 20-25 min

  9. Robin  July 20, 2013

    I use weight watchers online and put this into the recipe builder. At 4 servings for the whole recipe, it is 6 points plus per serving. If you only counted the ingredients that weight watchers doesn't consider free, being the rice and oil, it would still be 5 points plus per serving. Maybe if you put all of the ingredients into a nutrition calculator and then entered the fat, carbs, fiber and protein into a weight watchers calculator, the numbers came up differently. I recommend always using the recipe builder through weight watchers online for those following their plan, just to be safe.

    • Skinny Ms.  July 21, 2013

      Robin, We do add our nutritional data into a weight watchers calculator. I’ll check into your suggestion. Thanks! 🙂

  10. Tabilah  November 24, 2013

    Do you have any tips on preparing this dish in a rice cooker?

    • GaleCompton  November 25, 2013

      Tabilah, I never have, but I would add the ingredients and cook until the rice is tender.

  11. Christine  March 4, 2014

    This recipe is absolutely delicious! I followed it to the letter. I was a little worried that the can of green chilis would make it a bit too spicy for my husband but I bought the mild ones and added the whole thing and it was perfect – added just the right amount of flavor without being too spicy. It reheats extremely well also so I was able to take it to work all week. I must say that I have made many of your recipes and have not had one I did not like yet! Not only are the recipes delicious, but the ingredients are found right in the grocery store and they are simple to put together. Thank you so much for helping me to prepare such healthy and delicious food.

    • SkinnyMs  March 4, 2014

      You are welcome so much:)!

  12. Theresa  March 30, 2014

    Have you ever tried this with quinoa instead of brown rice?

    • SkinnyMs  April 2, 2014

      No, but that's a great idea!

  13. Deb  November 5, 2014

    Delicious!!!! Will be making again!

  14. Tina  July 6, 2015

    Whats the best way to reheat this? Microwave or would you maybe recommend putting back into a skillet with a little more broth?

    • SkinnyMs  July 6, 2015

      Either method would work. If you heat it in the microwave, add a tablespoon of water or broth to prevent the rice from sticking. If using a skillet, add the rice to a bit of heated olive oil. Use a wooden spoon to break up any clumps while reheating.

  15. Dawn  January 18, 2016

    Why not quick cook brown rice?

    • Gale Compton  January 18, 2016

      Dawn, Feel free to use the quick brown rice and adjust cooking time according to the instructions on the box. 🙂

  16. Trish  April 6, 2016

    Am I the only one that thinks the nutritional info is way wrong? I calculate over 400 calories for 1 cup of this rice….

    • SkinnyMs.  April 7, 2016

      We double-checked the nutritional data and did find an error. Thanks for pointing it out to us. There are 244 calories per serving if using low sodium vegetable broth, as opposed to the optional chicken broth.

  17. Cindy  April 9, 2016

    When I use the weight watcher calculator is shows 8SP for a cup???

    • Melissa Bump  April 11, 2016

      Cindy, We just recalculated with the new calculator and also got 8 smartpoints per one cup serving. This has been corrected in the nutrition data. 4 smartpoints would be a 1/2 cup serving. Thanks for bringing this to our attention:).

  18. Kymski  October 21, 2016

    How many calories per cup is it really then ? I need to know as I work on calories -Kym

    • Gale Compton  October 24, 2016

      Kym, There are 244 calories per 1 cup serving size.

  19. shawn  November 21, 2016

    the broth said option but is it really?

    • Kym Votruba  November 22, 2016

      The recipe calls for vegetable broth, but you can opt to use chicken broth, instead. 🙂

  20. 1Pinkbunny  January 9, 2017

    I have no idea what I did wrong but it’s been 55 minutes and I still have soup?

  21. Jenifer9545  January 16, 2017

    Can the leftover rice be frozen?

    • Nichole Furlong  January 16, 2017

      Yes, however you may need to add a tablespoon of water (or lime juice!) when reheating. Often rice will dry out when it’s being reheated.

  22. Donna  May 24, 2017

    Can this be cooked in a slow cooker? Thanks

    • Nichole Furlong  May 24, 2017

      Hi Donna, yes you could cook this in a slow cooker! Add all of the ingredients except for the fresh cilantro. Cook on high for about 2 hours or low for about 4 hours. Stir in the fresh cilantro before serving!


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