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Fiesta Rice Recipe

Fiesta Rice is your vibrant, Mexican-inspired solution to dull side dishes. With a fantastic mix of fluffy rice and a medley of colorful veggies, this recipe goes beyond your average rice dish.

Close-up shot of rice mixed with corn, black beans, tomatoes, and peppers.

Feast On Fiesta Rice

This delightful dish comes packed with wholesome rice, protein-rich black beans, and a rainbow of fresh vegetables, all brought together by a flavorful broth. Our Fiesta rice recipe shines because it proves that nutritious food doesn’t have to be complicated or boring. It’s the kind of food that fuels you through the day and leaves you feeling good, not weighed down.

Whether paired with tacos, enchiladas, a juicy steak, or succulent chicken, this side dish elevates any main course. But don’t underestimate its standalone power—Fiesta Rice is a hearty, filling meal in itself. You could serve a big bowl for lunch or dinner, and nobody would miss the main course.

Fluffing Fiesta Rice.

Why You Should Make This Recipe

  • Customizable: This recipe is easily adaptable to suit your taste or dietary needs. You can experiment with different vegetables, switch to brown rice, or add your favorite protein.
  • Easy to Prepare: No complex cooking techniques are needed here. If you can chop veggies and cook rice, you can whip up this Fiesta Rice!
  • Great for Leftovers: The flavor of this dish deepens over time, making it a fantastic option for meal prep or next-day lunch.

How To Cook Long Grain White Rice

I typically choose to cook on the stovetop using a saucepan – it’s just my tried-and-true approach that I’ve stuck with over the years. Note that you should always check package instructions, as ratios and times can vary depending on the rice or even the brand that you are using.

  • Combine 1 cup of rice with 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt if desired.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes. Don’t stir or lift the lid. Remove from heat and let the rice sit covered for 5 to 10 minutes to distribute moisture.
  • Fluff with a fork and serve.

How Much Does 1 Cup Dry Rice Make?

One cup of dry long-grain rice typically yields about three cups of cooked rice. However, this can vary slightly depending on the specific variety of rice and how it’s cooked.

Overhead shot of Fiesta Rice in a pan.

How To Make Fiesta Rice

Well, this is the best of both worlds: not only are we eating fluffy rice, we’re eating all this color! Filled to the brim with fiber, potassium, and antioxidants, it’s fun and fabulous.


In this Fiesta Rice recipe, we start with some basic ingredients. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for all the details and the complete recipe.

  • We start with the essentials for Fiesta Rice including butter, a yellow onion, and a red bell pepper, providing a base of rich and sweet flavors. We add garlic for a kick, along with uncooked long grain rice that forms the heart of the dish. The punch comes from a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies.
  • To boost the health factor, we incorporate rinsed reduced-sodium black beans and sweet corn kernels. The spices are kept simple, with ground cumin and some salt and pepper for seasoning. To cook everything and make the rice tender, we use low-sodium vegetable broth. And finally, to give it a fresh and vibrant finish, we mix in some chopped fresh cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.


  1. Over medium-high heat, warm the butter in a large nonstick frying pan. Add in the onions and red peppers, let them sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic into the mix, letting it cook for another 30 seconds.
  2. Next, include the rice and stir frequently for around 2 minutes. Now it’s time to toss in the diced tomatoes with green chilies, black beans, and corn. Sprinkle the mixture with cumin, salt, and freshly ground pepper for seasoning.
  3. Pour in the vegetable broth, stirring until it comes to a boil. Put a lid on it, turn the heat down to low, and let it simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes or until all the liquid is soaked up.
  4. Lift the lid, use a fork to fluff the rice, stir in the fresh cilantro and lime juice, and your Fiesta Rice is ready to be served!

Can I Use Brown Rice?

Yes, but follow these steps:

  • Rinse 1 cup brown rice in a fine-mesh sieve under cold water for 30 seconds. Drain.
  • In this recipe, you’ll use 2 cups of vegetable broth and 1 cup of brown rice, and for the brown rice, you will need to cook it for 30 minutes instead of the 15 that it takes with the long grain rice.
  • Then you’ll remove the rice from the heat, but don’t remove the lid. Let it sit covered for 10 minutes before you remove the lid and fluff the rice.
Overhead shot of a pan with Fiesta Rice.

Tips And Swaps

  • Rinsing Beans and Corn: Always rinse canned beans and corn to remove excess sodium and the can’s liquid that can alter the dish’s flavor.
  • Adding Proteins: For a protein-packed meal, consider adding cooked chicken, shrimp, or tofu to the dish.
  • Vegetable Broth: Using vegetable broth instead of water to cook the rice enhances the flavor. If you don’t have vegetable broth, chicken broth works too.
  • Rice: If you prefer, you can use brown rice or even quinoa. Note that these may affect cooking times and liquid amounts.
  • Butter: For a vegan version, use olive oil or a plant-based butter substitute.
  • Spices: The spices can be adjusted to taste. Consider adding chili powder for heat or smoked paprika for a deeper flavor.
  • Fresh Tomatoes: If you have fresh tomatoes and chilies, feel free to use them instead of canned. You might want to adjust the amount of broth or water accordingly.
Fiesta Rice Recipe.

Serving Suggestions

If you are desperately trying to use up some of those 435 cans of food in your pantry, this is YOUR recipe. 🙃 And here are some dinner ideas to serve with it:

More Rice Recipes


Fiesta Rice Recipe - Mexican inspired side dish recipe with fluffy, tender, flavorful rice and colorful veggies. Serve with Mexican food like, tacos or enchiladas, but it's just as good served with steak or chicken.

Fiesta Rice Recipe

Katerina | Diethood
Make this flavorful Fiesta Rice, a Mexican-inspired side dish combining fluffy rice with a delicious mix of corn, beans, tomatoes, and peppers.
4.78 from 9 votes
Servings : 8 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small small red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 to 3 cloves garic, minced
  • cups uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 can (15 ounces) reduced sodium black beans, rinsed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) sweet corn kernels, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 cups organic low sodium vegetable broth
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


  • Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onions and red peppers; cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and continue to cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the rice and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Stir in the diced tomatoes with green chilies, black beans, and corn. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper.
  • Stir in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid, reduce heat to low, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove the lid, fluff with a fork, and stir in cilantro and lime juice.
  • Serve.


  • If you don’t have a lid, cover the pan or skillet with aluminum foil and tuck the foil all around the pan.
  • Rinse Canned Vegetables: Always rinse canned veggies (unless the recipe says otherwise) to remove excess sodium and the can’s liquid.
  • Add Protein: Add some diced, cooked chicken, shrimp, or steak bites to the dish.
  • Using Broth: Using vegetable broth instead of water to cook the rice enhances the flavor. If you don’t have vegetable broth, chicken broth works too.
  • Brown Rice: To use brown rice, you’ll need to cook the dish for 30 minutes, remove it from the heat, and let it sit covered for 10 more minutes.


Calories: 232 kcal | Carbohydrates: 44 g | Protein: 7 g | Fat: 4 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g | Trans Fat: 0.1 g | Cholesterol: 8 mg | Sodium: 650 mg | Potassium: 377 mg | Fiber: 6 g | Sugar: 5 g | Vitamin A: 574 IU | Vitamin C: 19 mg | Calcium: 47 mg | Iron: 2 mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Course: Sides
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: rice recipes, side dish, vegetarian recipe
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