That Spicy Chick

Mexican Fried Rice with Chicken

This Mexican Fried Rice with Chicken is easy to make and in 30 minutes and bursting with flavor! Juicy seared chicken pieces are tossed with red onion, black beans, corn, sweet potatoes and rice in a warm taco sauce for a nutritious meal that will make your tastebuds sing! 

Mexican Fried Rice with Chicken 

If you’re looking for a simple weeknight dish that’s easy to make and good for you, this Mexican chicken fried rice is just what you need. Using the same cooking method as traditional fried rice, it’s infused with warm, Mexican-inspired flavors for a meal no one can resist. It’s a 30-minute meal that is truly a fiesta of flavors in your mouth! I think you’re going to love it!

Inspired by my Mexican Chicken Skillet recipe, this fried rice is also a high protein and high fiber meal packed with nutrients. 

Closeup front view of plate with Mexican fried rice with sweet potatoes and black beans.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Quick and easy to make. All you need is a wok or a large skillet and 30 minutes, and you’ll have a hot dinner on the table ready to eat. 
  • Bold flavors. Boasting bold Mexican flavors, the herbs and spices used in this Mexican fried rice create a warm, spicy taste with sweet and refreshing undertones that balance out the dish. 
  • Great for meal prep. This recipe is great to make ahead. Leftovers store well and taste even better the next day. 
  • Nutritious. Full of protein and veggies, this fried rice is a well-rounded meal that’s packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and nutrients to fill you up and keep you satisfied. 
  • Customizable. You can use a different protein or any veggies you have on hand as well as adjust the spices to suit your preference.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutes

Labeled sauce ingredients and spices for Mexican Fried Rice with Chicken.

Sauce

  • Taco Sauce: Use store-bought (I like Santa Maria) or homemade taco sauce. Select a mild, medium or hot taco sauce based on your preference.
  • Spices and seasonings: Salt, black pepper, cumin, cayenne, crushed red pepper, smoked paprika, dried Mexican oregano and ground cinnamon are mixed into the sauce, enhancing its flavor even more. 
Labeled ingredients for Mexican fried rice with chicken on a wooden board.

Mexican Fried Rice

  • Chicken: I used diced boneless and skinless chicken breasts but chicken thigh fillets can be used if preferred. I’ve seasoned the chicken with kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder and smoked paprika to add a warm and savory flavor to the chicken. 
  • Aromatics: Garlic and fresh red chilies. I used spicy Thai Bird’s eye red chilies but any type of red or green chilies can be used. Adjust the quantity to taste based on your heat level preference.
  • Red Onion: You can use yellow or white onion or even shallots instead.
  • Sweet Corn Kernels: Use fresh, canned or frozen corn. 
  • Black Beans: Either cooked dry black turtle beans or canned black beans can be used. 
  • Cooked Rice: While I’ve used Thai Jasmine brown rice, any type of long-grain cooked rice will work.
  • Sweet Potatoes: These add a hint of sweetness to balance out some of the heat. If you leftover cooked sweet potatoes on hand, they’d work great in this recipe and make it even quicker to make. 
  • Olive Oil: I used olive oil for cooking but use any neutral cooking oil you prefer.
  • Coriander (Cilantro): Fresh coriander to round out the flavors. Leave it out if you’re not a fan.
  • Garnishes: More fresh coriander and chopped spring onion (scallion/green onion) are sprinkled on top for extra color and texture.

Full ingredient list and amounts are in the recipe card below.

How to Make Mexican Fried Rice with Chicken

  1. Parboil the sweet potatoes. Bring a medium-sized saucepan full of water to boil on the stove. Reduce the heat, and add the sweet potatoes. Boil until the potatoes have softened on the outside but are still slightly firm on the inside. Drain and set the potatoes aside. 
Parboiled diced sweet potatoes in a colander.
  1. Cook the chicken. Heat oil in a large nonstick wok. Add the seasoned chicken, spreading the pieces out in a single layer. Sear for a few seconds on both sides. Then stir-fry until just cooked. Transfer to a clean bowl and set aside. 
  1. Stir-fry the aromatics. Heat the remaining oil in the same wok. Add the onion and sauté starting to soften. Add the garlic and chilies and stir-fry until fragrant. 
  1. Stir-fry the veggies. Add the black beans, corn and sweet potatoes. Sauté until they soften. 
  1. Add the cooked chicken. Toss briefly to combine. 
  1. Add the rice and the prepared sauce. Stir-fry, tossing to combine until everything is evenly coated in the sauce. 
Added rice and taco sauce to wok.
  1. Toss through the coriander. Add half of the coriander and toss to combine. Switch off the heat. 
Added cilantro to wok with Mexican Fried Rice with Chicken.
  1. Serve! Divide the Mexican fried rice evenly onto plates and sprinkle the garnishes on top. Enjoy right away!
Plate with Mexican fried rice with chicken garnished with cilantro and green onion.

Full detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.

Cook’s Tips

  • Use day-old rice. Freshly cooked rice has too much moisture to work well for fried rice and tends to turn into mush. For the best results, use one or two-day old cooked and chilled rice. 
  • Adjust the spice level to taste. Use a mild taco sauce and use fewer seasonings for a milder flavor. You can also reduce or omit the fresh red chilies. Alternatively, if you want even more heat, add a dash of your favorite hot sauce either in the fried rice or drizzle some on top before serving.
  • Bulk up the meal. This Mexican fried rice is super filling on its own. However, it also tastes great stuffed into tortillas to form a burrito or even used as a stuffing for quesadillas.

Variations

  • Add tomato paste or tomatoes. For a richer tomato flavor, add a tablespoon of double-concentrated tomato paste. You can also add some diced fresh or canned tomatoes.
  • Use a different protein. Seared shrimp, beef flank or skirt steak, pork tenderloin (fillet) and shrimp/prawns work well in place of the chicken. You can also include eggs in the fried rice or on top for a boost of protein! 
  • Use different chilies. Feel free to use any type of hot red or green chilies that are easily available to you. If opting for green chilies, canned chopped green chilies or a deseeded jalapeño would taste great. Adjust the quantity based on your heat level preference.
  • Switch out the taco sauce. Use jarred tomato salsa, red enchilada sauce, passata or even marinara sauce instead.
  • Not a fan of sweet potatoes? Switch them out for red, yellow or green bell peppers instead. 
Front view of plate with Mexican fried rice with chicken garnished with cilantro and green onion.

FAQs

How long will this Mexican fried rice recipe keep? 

Stored in an airtight container, this recipe will stay fresh for up to 3-4 days in the fridge. 

Can I freeze leftovers? 

No, I don’t recommend freezing leftovers as the rice is likely to become wet and mushy once thawed.  

How should I reheat this recipe? 

Warm leftovers in a wok over medium heat. Or reheat in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring once in between, until hot throughout.

Can I make this vegetarian/vegan?

Sure! To make this fried rice vegetarian and vegan-friendly, simply omit the chicken. For more protein, feel free to replace the chicken with beans, crispy pan-fried tofu, or your favorite plant-based meat substitute. 

What kind of rice do Hispanics use? 

Long-grain white rice is the most common type of rice used in Mexican rice recipes. 

What can I do if my rice becomes dry? 

Add a splash of water, broth, or extra taco sauce to freshen your leftovers up if they dry out in the fridge.

Closeup of fried rice on a plate. Text overlay "Mexican Fried Rice with Chicken" and "thatspicychick.com".

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Print

Mexican Fried Rice with Chicken

Closeup front view of plate with Mexican fried rice with sweet potatoes and black beans.

A nutritious Mexican Fried Rice with Chicken that will make your tastebuds sing! Chicken, onion, black beans, corn, sweet potatoes and rice are tossed in a warm taco sauce in this easy 30-minute meal!

  • Author: Lavina
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stir-fry
  • Cuisine: Mexican-inspired
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Scale

Chicken:

  • 260 grams / 9 ounces Chicken Breast (or thighs), boneless, skinless – cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ¼ TSP Kosher Salt (use half the amount if using iodized table salt)
  • ¼ TSP ground Black Pepper
  • ¼ TSP Garlic Powder
  • ¼ TSP Smoked Paprika (hot or sweet)
  • 1 TSP Olive Oil

Sauce:

  • 100 grams / 3.5 ounces Taco Sauce (store-bought or homemade – I used Santa Maria Hot Taco Sauce – note 1)
  • 1 TSP Kosher Salt
  • ⅛ TSP ground Black Pepper
  • ½ TSP ground Cumin
  • ¼ TSP ground Cayenne (optional – omit for a milder flavor), to taste
  • ½1 TSP Crushed Red Pepper, to taste
  • ¾ TSP Smoked Paprika
  • ½ TSP dried Mexican Oregano (or regular oregano)
  • ⅛ TSP ground Cinnamon

Mexican Fried Rice:

  • 100 grams / 3.5 ounces (1 small) Sweet Potato – peeled, cut into ½-inch cubes (or use leftover cooked/roasted sweet potatoes)
  • 80 grams / ≈ ⅓ medium Red Onion – finely chopped
  • 15 grams / 3 – 4 Garlic cloves – minced
  • 30 grams / fresh Red Chilies (Thai Bird’s Eye or any other small hot red or green chilies – note 2*), to taste – chopped
  • 3 sprigs Coriander (Cilantro) – chopped
  • 25 grams / ⅛ cup Dry Black Turtle Beans – soaked overnight and cooked (or use ¼ cup drained and rinsed canned black beans)
  • 70 grams / ½ cup frozen Sweet Corn Kernels (or use fresh or canned)
  • ½ TBSP Olive Oil
  • 240 grams / 1.5 cups cooked Thai Jasmine Brown Rice, day-old, chilled (100 grams / 3.5 ounces uncooked weight – note 3)
  • To Serve: Reserved coriander, chopped spring onion (scallion/green onion)

Instructions

Prep:

  1. Season the chicken: Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to a medium bowl. Season with kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder and smoked paprika. Mix well to coat and set aside.
  2. Make the sauce: Combine the taco sauce, kosher salt, black pepper, ground cumin, ground cayenne, crushed red pepper, Mexican oregano and ground cinnamon in a small measuring cup or bowl until combined well.
  3. Prepare the fresh ingredients: Cut the sweet potatoes, red onion, garlic, red chilies, coriander as indicated in the ‘ingredients’ section.

Mexican Fried Rice:

  1. Parboil the sweet potatoes: Fill a medium-sized saucepan with water and bring to a boil on the stove over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the sweet potatoes. Boil for 10-12 minutes, or until the potatoes have softened on the outside but are slightly firm on the inside when pierced with a fork. Drain into a colander and set aside.
  2. Cook the chicken: Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large nonstick wok or deep skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the seasoned chicken and immediately spread the pieces out in the wok in a single layer. Allow to sear for 1 minute, then flip the pieces over to cook the other side for another minute. Sauté for 30-40 seconds until just cooked. Transfer to a clean bowl and set aside.
  3. Stir-fry the onion and aromatics: Heat the remaining ½ tablespoon of olive oil in the same wok over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 1 minute until starting to soften. Add the garlic and chilies and stir-fry for 30-40 seconds until fragrant.
  4. Add the veggies: Add the black beans, corn and sweet potatoes. Sauté for 2 minutes or until softened.
  5. Add the chicken: Add the chicken and toss briefly to combine. Then add the cooked rice and pour the prepared sauce on top. Stir-fry to combine until everything is evenly coated in the sauce.
  6. Toss through the coriander: Toss through half of the coriander (reserve some for garnish). Switch off the heat.
  7. To Serve: Divide evenly onto plates and garnish with the reserved coriander and chopped spring onion if desired. Serve immediately.

Notes

  1. Taco Sauce. Use whichever brand you love and select a mild, medium or hot one based on your heat level preference. You could also use jarred tomato salsa, red enchilada sauce, passata or even marinara instead. Adjust spices as desired for the sauce to taste.
  2. Fresh Red Chilies. Feel free to use any type of hot red or green chilies that are easily available to you. If opting for green chilies, canned chopped green chilies or a deseeded jalapeño would taste great. Adjust the quantity based on your heat level preference.
  3. Thai Jasmine Brown Rice. White jasmine rice or any type of long grain rice will work well in this recipe.
  4. Adjust the spice level to taste. Use a mild taco sauce and use fewer seasonings for a milder flavor. You can also reduce or omit the chilies. Alternatively, if you want even more heat, add a dash of your favorite hot sauce either in the fried rice or drizzle some on top before serving.
  5. Make it vegetarian/vegan. Omit the chicken and replace it with beans, crispy pan-fried tofu, or your favorite plant-based meat substitute.
  6. Make it gluten-free. This recipe is gluten-free as written. However, make sure that the taco sauce you are using is gluten-free certified if you have sensitivities.
  7. Storing and reheating leftovers. This fried rice will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge if stored properly in an airtight sealed container. Warm leftovers in a wok over medium heat. Or reheat in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring once in between, until hot throughout.
  8. See the ‘Variations’ section in the post above if you’d like to customize this fried rice.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/2 of recipe
  • Calories: 583
  • Sugar: 8.4g
  • Sodium: 1047.2mg
  • Fat: 12.5
  • Saturated Fat: 2.3
  • Unsaturated Fat: 6.4
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 74.6g
  • Fiber: 10.1g
  • Protein: 42.2g
  • Cholesterol: 94.9mg

Keywords: Mexican fried rice, Mexican fried rice with sweet potatoes, Mexican Chicken Rice

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