What happens when you combine griddle fried rice with all of your favorite Mexican flavors and a simple marinated Mexican chicken? You get one fantastic Mexican fried rice recipe to make on the griddle or flat top grill!
Fried rice is a popular dish to make on a Blackstone griddle or other flat top grill, because you can sauté all of the vegetables, cook the scrambled eggs, and perfectly fry the rice simultaneously. And with pretty much zero clean up!
But eating the same Japanese hibachi-style griddle fried rice again and again can get pretty boring. So why not try to fuse this Asian dish with other cuisines to create something new?
That’s exactly what we did with this Mexican style fried rice recipe, and it was one of the better griddle recipes that we have ever made!
By combining tender, juicy marinated Mexican chicken with loads of vegetables and white rice that was cooked in chicken stock and salsa, you get a flavorful and hearty flat top grill dinner that the whole family will love! Here’s how to make this easy Mexican fried rice on the griddle:
What is Mexican Fried Rice?
Mexican fried rice, sometimes referred to as Arroz a la Mexicana or Mexican-style fried rice, is a delicious fusion of traditional Mexican flavors with the popular Asian culinary technique of frying rice. The dish typically starts with cooked white rice that is stir-fried on a hot griddle or skillet, but what sets Mexican fried rice apart is its incorporation of other ingredients commonly found in Mexican cuisine, such as tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and cilantro. These ingredients infuse the fried rice with a burst of color and all of the flavors of your favorite Mexican dishes.
The magic of Mexican fried rice lies in its versatility and adaptability. It can be customized to suit your taste preferences, and you can add protein like chicken, shrimp, or even chorizo for a hearty meal. Garnish with your favorite Mexican toppings like avocado slices, a sprinkle of queso fresco or Cotija cheese, or a drizzle of Mexican crema. The possibilities are endless!
Ingredients for Mexican Fried Rice
This fried rice recipe calls for common Mexican ingredients, so if you frequently celebrate Taco Tuesday at home, then you should have most of these easy-to-find ingredients on hand:
For the Mexican Chicken:
This recipe was inspired by Meat Church’s Mexican chicken. A few of my YouTube friends reached out and asked to see my version of that super simple marinated Mexican chicken, so I decided to put my own spin on it. For the Mexican marinated chicken you will need:
- chicken – You can use boneless skinless chicken breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs. For this recipe, I used thighs, but either will work fine.
- canned jalapeños – Look for these in the Hispanic section of the grocery store… You want to get the canned variety (like the La Costena brand), not the pickled jarred jalapeños from Mount Olive.
- hot sauce – I recommend Cholula hot sauce for this recipe, because it’s not so hot that it’s overpowering. I actually used the Chipotle variety of Cholula, because I thought that it would add a nice smokiness to the chicken.
- Southwest style seasoning or rub – I used the Southwest BBQ Rub from Pit Boss which I really enjoy.
For the Rice:
This Mexican rice is fantastic even if you don’t fry it and add in the chicken and vegetables! By cooking the white rice in a mixture of chicken stock and salsa, you get HUGE flavor that’s perfect right out of the rice cooker!
Here’s what you need to cook the rice before frying it on the griddle for this Mexican fried rice recipe:
- long grain white rice
- chicken base or bouillon – You can use chicken stock instead, but I prefer to keep Better Than Bouillion Roasted Chicken Base in my fridge, because I find that it’s more convenient for various recipes… and you don’t have to worry about what to do with the leftover chicken stock in the can or box.
- salsa – Just use your favorite type.
- taco seasoning – I always have the large can of Old El Paso Original Taco Seasoning Mix in my pantry, because it’s more economical than the individual paper packets.
The add-ins for this easy Mexican griddle recipe are up to you, but I wanted to make my Mexican-style fried rice a well-rounded, hearty meal, so I loaded it with vegetables and beans. Feel free to add in additional vegetables or
Here are the other ingredients that I used for my Mexican fried rice on the griddle:
- corn – You can use canned, frozen, or fresh corn. I used drained canned yellow corn.
- black beans – Rinsed and drained
- fire roasted tomatoes – I used the canned fire roasted Mexican-style tomatoes. Be sure to drain the juices so that your fried rice doesn’t steam on the griddle.
- diced onion
- minced garlic
- poblanos and jalapeno peppers – I removed the seeds and diced the peppers before sauteeing them for my fried rice, because I didn’t want the dish to be too spicy. You can also substitute bell peppers if you wish.
- green onion
How to Make Mexican Fried Rice on the Griddle
You’ll need several hours to marinate your chicken, and a few more hours for your rice to cool down before frying it on the griddle, but this easy recipe is worth the extra time. Here’s a rundown of the steps to make this flavorful Blackstone griddle recipe:
Marinating the Chicken
Before making this awesome Mexican chicken fried rice on the griddle, you need to marinate the chicken. As with most marinades, this is a dump method.
Just add the boneless skinless chicken thighs to a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, dump in the entire can of jalapeños (whole jalapeños, juice, and the carrots), and add the Cholula hot sauce. Zip the bag and mix everything together so that all pieces of the chicken are evenly coated in the marinade.
This is what it should look like:
Just place the bag in the refrigerator laying flat for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours. We marinated our chicken for about 14 hours so that it could absorb as much of the Mexican flavor as possible, and it was perfect! Remember, the longer that you marinate the chicken, the stronger the flavor will get.
*NOTE – My wife and I were both skeptical about the chicken being too spicy since it’s marinated in all of that jalapeno juice, but the brine does something magical to the chicken and the spice is not overpowering at all. If it gets the A-okay from my wife, who can’t do spicy food, then you know it’s not too hot.
Cooking the Rice the First Time
Fried rice is basically rice that has been cooked twice. So to make this Mexican fried rice recipe, you need to start by cooking the white rice.
For extra flavor, I cooked my long grain white rice in a rice cooker with water, chicken base (or bouillion), and salsa. I’ve made Mexican rice this way before, like when I made these Blackstone Griddle Mexican Chicken and Rice Bowls, and I highly recommend it!
I also threw in another non-traditional step… I toasted the uncooked rice on the griddle to get a nice, nutty flavor. This is a trick that I picked up as a US Navy Cook, and many of the Phillipinnos that I served alongside did this when preparing rice. And since rice is such a staple food in their culture, I figured they know best!
Toasting the rice on the griddle isn’t necessary, but if you’ve watched any of my YouTube videos, then you know that I always preach about building “layers of flavor”. And this is a very simple step that does just that!
Just turn the griddle on to about 350 degrees F, add a small bit of your favorite griddle cooking oil (like avocado oil), and spread the uncooked rice in a thin even layer on the griddle. Once it develops a very light toasty color, add it to the rice cooker with the water, salsa, and chicken bouillon.
Stir everything together and turn your rice cooker on to cook.
*I HIGHLY recommend using a rice cooker to cook your rice, because it really is fool-proof. You can grab the rice cooker that I use here on Amazon… It’s very affordable, and you can use it for way more than just cooking rice. We’ve used our rice cooker to steam vegetables and keep sauces and cheese dips warm on a buffet line as well.
Once the rice is done cooking, spread it in an even layer on a large sheet tray to cool down. Cover the sheet tray with plastic wrap, and leave it on the kitchen counter for about 2 hours for the perfect fried rice on the griddle.
Cooking the Mexican Chicken on the Griddle
When your chicken is done marinating, remove the thighs or breasts from the marinade bag and transfer to a baking sheet or plate. As you’re taking the chicken out of the marinade, drain it a bit so that there is not too much moisture. Then, sprinkle with your Southwest seasoning of choice like this:
Don’t be afraid to over-season your chicken, especially if the rub or seasoning that you’re using is not too heavy on the salt. Remember, you’ll dice up the cooked chicken and add it to the fried rice so you won’t be eating large chunks of chicken alone.
Turn the griddle on to about 375-425 degrees F, add a thin layer of cooking oil to the surface, and place the marinated chicken on the flat top grill to cook like this:
*IMPORTANT – If you decide to cook the jalapeños that were in the marinade bag, you must make sure to cook them to 165 degrees F internal temperature. Remember, they were in contact with the raw chicken, so you will need to be sure that they are fully cooked to a safe internal temp. Personally, I just discarded the whole jalapenos in the bag, because I felt like the dish would have enough spice and flavor without them.
When the chicken is about halfway cooked through, flip it to the other side and continue to cook. Hopefully, you’ll have a nice crust like this:
Continue to cook the chicken until it reaches a safe internal temperature, and then remove it from the griddle to rest.
If you’re not familiar with griddle cooking, then you may not realize that some flat top grills have fairly large temperature variations across the surface. So your proteins may not cook evenly. When you’re preparing chicken or other meats that must be cooked to a certain temp, be sure to check the internal temperature of the thickest part of every individual piece.
Then, as each piece of chicken reaches the target temp, remove it from the griddle. Don’t assume that just because one piece is temping at 165 degrees F, that every piece of chicken is done.
Once your Mexican chicken had had time to rest, cut it against the grain, and then dice it into smaller pieces like this:
Cooking the Mexican Fried Rice
Once the chicken is cooked, rested, and diced, this Mexican fried rice recipe comes together like any other griddle fried rice.
Start by cooking the diced peppers and onions until tender, because they will take the longest time to cook.
While the vegetables are cooking, add a bit of cooking oil to the heated griddle surface and spread the rice out on the grill. After a few minutes or when the rice is heated through, form the rice into a “well” of sorts, and add a few tablespoons of butter. Once the butter is melted, add minced garlic to the butter like this:
You should notice the fragrant smell of garlic immediately. That’s major FLAVOR, and this is another one of those easy steps that can add another layer of deliciousness to your dish. In fact, this butter and garlic “well” is now a staple in my fried rice preparation technique, whether I’m making Mexican fried rice or Asian-style fried rice.
Right when you notice the minced garlic starting to brown, mix the butter and garlic into the fried rice so that it’s evenly combined. Allow the rice to fry on the griddle for a few more minutes, and then move it to the cooler side while the other ingredients cook.
Add the canned ingredients to the griddle next. Since these are already cooked, you really only need to heat them through.
Then, mix the corn, black beans, and canned tomatoes into the fried rice, along with the sautéed peppers and onions. Continue to fry the rice on the griddle until it has a texture that you like.
When the rice is almost done, add the diced Mexican chicken to the griddle. Saute briefly to reheat, and then mix the chicken in with the rice.
As the final touch, sprinkle the dish with chopped cilantro and/or sliced green onions for a punch of flavor and color.
And the rest of the toppings are up to you. You could whip up a simple sour cream sauce with a bit of lime juice and cilantro, or serve your Mexican fried rice with some warm white cheese dip. A warm salsa or pickled jalapeños would be great as a topping also!
Feel free to get creative with this easy recipe. You could even use the leftovers in a stuffed pepper dish, hollowing out some green bell peppers, spooning the Mexican rice inside, and baking in the oven.
Other Fried Rice Recipes
This Blackstone Mexican fried rice goes perfectly with your Mexican dinner, but here are some other variations that you can try on the griddle:
- Make griddle fried rice with a boxed mushroom rice pilaf. Add steak, mushrooms, onions, and asparagus for a fantastic steakhouse style steak and mushroom fried rice.
- Keep the cooked Mexican chicken thighs whole instead of dicing them up, make a smoked queso dip, and turn this Mexican fried rice into a dang good Arroz con Pollo.
- Try some seafood and Cajun seasoning in your rice. Add shrimp and sausage for this Cajun fried rice.
- Make the classic hibachi style fried rice to go along with your griddle chicken teriyaki.
- Substitute cauliflower rice for a delicious and veggie-packed low carb meal.
Mexican Chicken Fried Rice Recipe
Want to print this Mexican fried rice recipe to save with your other griddle recipes? Just use the recipe card down below:
Mexican Fried Rice with Marinated Grilled Chicken
- Rice cooker – Optional but recommended
- 2-2½ lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs *Or substitute boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 26 oz can pickled whole jalapeño La Costena brand
- ¼ cup Cholula hot sauce *I used the Chipotle variety
- Southwest seasoning *I used Pit Boss Southwest BBQ Rub
- 2 cups long grain white rice rinsed
- 2 tablespoons chicken base *Like Better That Bouillon brand
- ½ cup salsa
- 2 teaspoons taco seasoning
- 1 medium poblano pepper diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and diced
- ½ cup diced onion
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- ½ cup canned yellow corn
- ½ cup canned black beans rinsed and drained
- ½ cup canned fire roasted tomatoes drained
- 3-4 tablespoons avocado oil *Or substitute your favorite cooking oil
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 sliced green onion
- Marinate the chicken – In a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, add the chicken thighs, the whole can of jalapeños with juice, and the Cholula hot sauce. Mix so that the chicken is evenly coated in the marinade, and refrigerate for 4-24 hours.
- Cook the rice – In a rice cooker, add 2 cups of white rice, 2½ cups water, ½ cup salsa, 2 tablespoons chicken base, and 2 teaspoons taco seasoning. Mix briefly, and turn the rice cooker on to cook. When rice is done cooking, mix to incorporate salsa and other ingredients that rose to the top. Spread cooked rice on a large sheet tray in a thin even layer, and cool on the counter for about 2 hours.
- When chicken is done marinating and rice is cooled, heat griddle to about 375-425 degrees F. Add about 1-2 tablespoons of cooking oil to the griddle surface, and spread it around with your spatula.
- Remove chicken from the marinade, and season liberally with Southwest seasoning. Place the chicken on the heated griddle and cook on the first side until about halfway cooked through. Flip to the second side and continue to cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board to rest for about 10 minutes. Then, cut into bite-sized cubes.
- While chicken is resting, saute the diced peppers and onion on the griddle until tender. Then, move to the cooler side of the griddle while the rice fries.
- Add about 1-2 tablespoons of cooking oil to the griddle. Add the cooled rice to the griddle, and spread in an even layer to heat through. After about 3-4 minutes, form the rice into a round pile with a hole in the middle, similar to a well. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the well. When the butter is melted, add the minced garlic to the butter. When the garlic just starts to turn brown, add the melted butter and garlic to the rice. Mix together well. Allow the rice to fry on the griddle for about 4-5 minutes. Then move to the side of the griddle.
- Add the corn, black beans, and fire roasted tomatoes to the griddle. Heat through, then add to the fried rice.
- Mix the cut chicken in to the Mexican fried rice. Sprinkle in chopped cilantro and sliced green onions. Mix to combine, and transfer the Mexican fried rice to a serving platter. Serve with queso dip, sour cream, avocado slices, or your favorite Mexican toppings.