How to make chipotle brown rice

Brown rice is a healthy and delicious alternative to white rice, and when you add a smoky and spicy chipotle flavor to it, it becomes even more irresistible. This chipotle brown rice recipe is a fantastic side dish that pairs well with various Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes. Here’s how to make it:


  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce (from the canned chipotle peppers)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime, juiced


Prepare the Brown Rice

Start by rinsing the brown rice under cold water. This helps remove excess starch, making the rice less sticky. Drain the rice thoroughly.

Cook the Onion and Garlic

Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat in a large skillet or saucepan. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté for about 3-4 minutes until they become translucent and fragrant.

Add Rice and Toast

Add the drained rice to the skillet with the sautéed onion and garlic. Stir the rice and toast for 2-3 minutes or until it becomes slightly golden brown.

Chipotle and Adobo Sauce

While the rice is toasting, finely chop the chipotle peppers. The number of peppers you use depends on your spice tolerance. If you like it spicier, use more peppers. Add the chopped chipotle peppers and a teaspoon of adobo sauce (from the can) to the skillet with the rice.

Season with Spices

Stir in the salt and cumin powder. These seasonings will infuse the rice with a smoky and spicy flavor.

Add Water

Pour in 2 cups of water and stir everything together. Bring the mixture to a boil.


Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet with a lid, and let the rice simmer for about 45 minutes. Brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice, so be patient.

Fluff and Rest

After 45 minutes, check the rice. It should be tender, and the liquid should be absorbed. Let it cook a bit longer if it still needs to be done. Once ready, remove the skillet from the heat, keep it covered, and let it rest for 10 minutes. This allows the rice to steam and become fluffy.

Add Cilantro and Lime

After resting, uncover the rice and fluff it with a fork. Add the freshly chopped cilantro and squeeze the juice of one lime over the rice. Gently toss everything together to distribute the flavors evenly.

Serve and Enjoy

Your chipotle brown rice is ready to be served! It’s a flavorful and slightly spicy side dish that goes wonderfully with tacos, burritos, enchiladas or as a base for a burrito bowl.

Additional Tips

  • You can adjust the level of spiciness by adding more or fewer chipotle peppers. Remember that they can be quite hot, so start with a small amount and add more if needed.
  • If you don’t have fresh cilantro, you can substitute it with dried cilantro, although the flavor will be less vibrant.
  • Feel free to customize your chipotle brown rice by adding diced tomatoes, corn, or black beans for extra texture and flavor.

Enjoy your homemade chipotle brown rice with your favorite Mexican or Tex-Mex dishes. It’s a delightful and nutritious accompaniment that adds flavor to your meal.

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