Restaurant Style Tex-Mex Rice

gluten-free, dairy-free restaurant style tex-mdx rice

Restaurant Style Tex-Mex Rice

I love Tex-Mex (a fusion of American and Mexican cuisine).  It is hard to grow up in Texas and not love it.  And we have a lot of incredible Tex-Mex restaurants here in Austin that we frequent on the regular.  

I mean what is not to love about enchiladas, tacos, chips and queso, guacamole, salsas, beans and rice.  And there are usually so many gluten-free options because of the corn tortillas. 

Every place seems to have a slightly different version of beans on the side.  Sometimes refried beans and sometimes charro beans.  Then there is always the rice to go with it.  

I’ve made a version of baked Mexican rice before with salsa and tomato sauce.  But I was super excited to try this recipe for restaurant style Tex-Mex rice from The Austin Cookbook by Paula Forbes.  

I added in a few green peas because I like ’em in my Tex-Mex rice.  And it goes really well with Ranch style beans.

The Austin Cookbook

I love this cookbook!  It is a round up of some of the popular dishes from restaurants around town.  Recipes range from BBQ to tacos to Tex-Mex and salsas, sauces and chilis.  

She includes some Texas standards like chicken fried steak and gravy, Lucy’s fried chicken and Jacoby’s meatloaf.  

And then there are some new Austin classics, breakfast and brunch.  And drinks like margaritas and Mexican martinis (a very Austin thing).

The really nice thing for me is that sometimes I can’t try these dishes at the restaurant because I can’t have gluten or cow’s milk (I miss queso the most of all).  But now I can make some of these classic recipes at home adjusting ingredients for my dietary restrictions.


There are so many dishes I want to make and I’m working my way through the cookbook.  But so far I’ve tried and loved all of these (making gluten-free and coconut milk or goat’s milk substitutions):

  • Restaurant Style Tex-Mex Rice
  • Chili Con Carne Enchiladas 
  • The Broken Spoke’s Chicken Fried Steak with Cream Gravy
  • Jacoby’s Meat and Mercantile Meatloaf
  • Contigo’s Okra with Walnuts
  • Veracruz All-Natural Potato and Sausage Breakfast Tacos
  • 24 Diner 24 Hash

Okay so I thought I would share the recipe for the restaurant style Tex-Mex Rice so you can make it at home, too.  It is super easy.

(I added in the peas and used avocado oil because I don’t have any vegetable oil and I used dried minced onions because sometimes I’m not in the mood to chop an onion).

 And if you miss living and eating out in Austin, I would highly recommend this cookbook!

Basmati rice with cilantro, garlic, lime and agave

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Restaurant Style Tex-Mex Rice | Gluten-free, Dairy-free

This recipe for restaurant style Tex-Mex rice comes from The Austin Cookbook by Paula Forbes, which is very poplular in Tex-Mex restaurants around Austin.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword tex-mex rice
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Author Deana Larkin Evans


  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp dried minced onion
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or water)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt 1
  • 1/2 cup frozen organic peas


  1. Add the avocado oil to a medium saucepan with a lid and heat over medium heat. Add the fresh minced garlic, onion powder and minced onion flakes to the oil. Stir for about 2-3 minutes.

  2. Add the tomato paste and rice. Stir continually for another minute.

  3. Add the stock (or water), cumin and salt. Stir to make sure everything is well combined.

  4. Bring to a boil, then cover and cook for 20 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, place the peas in a microwave safe dish and cover with water (a pyrex measuring cup work well). Defrost then cook the peas in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes. Drain. Stir the peas into the rice when done. Let the rice rest with the lid on for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from The Austin Cookbook – Paula Forbes

Deana Larkin Evans

You get one life - do your best to ENJOY IT! So hi, I'm Deana. This food blog is all about cooking wholesome real food and developing gluten-free recipes for some of our favorite comfort foods. I had to start eating gluten-free in 2010, then cut dairy and casein (except for the occasional Parmesan) in 2014. We learned A2 casein (goat, sheep and buffalo milk) is easier to digest than the predominate A1 form in cow milk. So we brought back goat milk dairy into our recipes in 2016. Thank goodness, right! So I'm kind of a science nerd, too. In the '90s, I earned an undergrad degree in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. Hook 'em! Then followed up with a PhD in biochemistry and a law degree from the University of Houston. I recently earned a certificate in genomics/sequence analysis from Johns Hopkins University, where I also took a very cool food microbiology course. Currently, I'm learning about the microbiome and gut health. And trying to come up with healthy recipes to feed those gut bugs! #feedthegutbugs

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2 Responses

  1. Deana! This is so nice, I am so glad you love The Austin Cookbook! The rice is unexpectedly one of the most popular recipes in it. I guess people just love simple comfort food! Happy cooking. 🙂

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