It’s simple to fall back on tried-and-true favorites when it comes to cooking sides—or any dish—for the week. It can be easy to fall into a cooking rut, so it’s always wise to keep your eye out for new classics that you can incorporate into your weekly meal planning. It can be intimidating to experiment with new dishes, but we want to encourage you to be a little more adventurous.
Here are some of the reasons we’re on board with these three easy Mexican rice recipes: You can whip them up in mere minutes, they’re packed with flavor, and they don’t require you buy a ton of random ingredients. We also like that the dish can be made several different ways—“green” with cilantro and spinach, Paleo with cauliflower florets, or even as part of a filling casserole. Keep scrolling to try three of our favorite easy Mexican rice recipes.
Paleo Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
The Hero Ingredient: Cauliflower is the star of this tasty dish. If you char the veggie the right way, no one will be able to tell it’s not actually rice.
The Recipe: Browned onions impart the partially blended cauliflower with tons of flavor. Once you get the right consistency, add lime juice, some spices, and top it off with cilantro.
The Clincher: This dish is Paleo—perfect for when you’re trying to kick-start a healthy eating habit.
Green Mexican Rice with Corn
The Hero Ingredient: Serrano peppers kick this traditional Mexican rice recipe up several notches.
The Recipe: Make a green “pesto” in a food processor out of spinach, cilantro, pepper, and garlic. Cook rice, and then add some water, sweet corn kernels, and the pesto to finish it off.
The Clincher: Pair with fried plantains for a mix of spicy and sweet.
Chicken Mexican Rice Casserole
The Hero Ingredient: Sweet potato adds a rich flavor and consistency to this tasty Mexican rice meal.
The Recipe: Browned turkey, chicken broth, rice, sweet potato, and salsa combine for the most mouthwatering casserole you’ve ever tasted.
The Clincher: This delectable dish is a meal in itself, plus it cooks up in just one pan (as in you won’t spend the whole night doing dishes).