Green Rice

A simple recipe of long grain rice, green bell peppers, tomatoes, onions and a sprinkling of sliced green olives livens up any Southwestern Green Rice meal.  Plus, toasting the rice before cooking and why.

Remember my Southwestern “clutter meal”?  The side dish served between my Shrimp and Mahi-Mahi skewers is this wonderful and flavorful Spanish inspired rice. And, oh look, I learned to make a circle on my photo. Next thing you know I’ll be drawing faces on photos of whole fruit.

I’ve seen many recipes over the years for green rice where the rice actually appears green in color. I believe the use of finely chopped cilantro is the trick. Even though not officially green in color, this has always been my “green rice” recipe. Simply flavored with some green things, bell pepper and olives with a tomato thrown in for fun. I copied the recipe from a restaurant many years ago and it’s one of our favorites.

I’m in the habit of toasting rice before adding liquid. The sauteing step enhances the flavor and coats the rice with fat to prevent the grains from sticking together. This creates a highly flavored rice with separate fluffy grains. Do you toast your rice?

Green Rice
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An easy recipe to spice up white rice.
Recipe type: side dish, rice, Southwestern
Serves: 6
  • 3 T. Crisco
  • ¾ C. long-grain rice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 - 6 fresh tomatoes, depending on size, or one can chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 1½ C. chicken broth
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and cut into thin rings
  • ⅔ cup pimento stuffed green olives, sliced
  1. Heat the Crisco in a heavy skillet and stir in the rice. Cook, stirring frequently until coated.
  2. Add the onion, garlic and tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Add 1½ cups of broth and cook rice according to package instructions. Add more broth if necessary and season with salt and pepper.
  3. In the meantime, heat oil in a skillet and saute pepper rings until they start to lose crispness.
  4. Add the sauteed peppers to the cooked rice. Stir gently and scatter with sliced olives.

If you’re serving this with my Shrimp and Mahi-Mahi Skewers with Jalapeno Butter, don’t forget to melt a little of that butter over this steamy hot rice.

Green Rice…It’s What’s For a Side Dish

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  1. says

    The rice sounds good. I’m impressed that you can draw a circle around it. I wouldn’t even know where to start. I don’t know if I would say that I toast my rice but I do coat it in olive oil for a minute or so before adding any liquid.

  2. says

    This looks so good, Lea Ann. Love sides like this that match up well with so many other things. I have a thing for those little pimento stuffed green olives…once I get started I can’t leave them alone. Making this recipe today.

  3. says

    That dish sounds really flavorful with all the peppers, olives and onion! I am a HUGE rice fan. My MIL makes green rice with cilantro as you mentioned. (an entire bunch pureed in the rice water while it cooks. That rice is good and green, girl)
    I don’t toast my rice because I use basmati and do it like the bag instructs. That method is foolproof fluffy, so I am afraid to change anything. :)

    • Lea Ann says

      I’m not a rice expert, but I think basmati is a softer rice? I toast (or sautee) long grain. Toasting also makes Rose rice a mess. Don’t try that one. I think rice can be a bit fickle, I agree, if you find something that works, don’t mess with it. :)

  4. says

    I believe this dish could turn me into a rice fan as I like evrything you put in it, especially the olives. I’ve never toasted rice but it makes sense. Do you cook it long enough for it to begin to brown?

    • Lea Ann says

      You’re not a rice fan? I don’t think it browns much, just gets all fragrant and coated and with the oil. Keeps it from getting sticky. I don’t know why I’ve never tried this with jalapeno. I think I found this recipe long before jalapeno’s were “in”. :)

  5. says

    When I first got married my husband always browned his rice first and we called it “Meakin’s rice.” For some reason I went back to my mother’s method of cooking rice (the same as you do pasta – in a lot of water.)

    We will definitely try your green rice Lea Ann. It’s so pretty and colorful!

    • Lea Ann says

      I love how we name techniques or recipes after people. I do it all the time. If you try it, let me know what you think.

  6. says

    I bet this was good with those shrimp. I love the stuffed olives :) I do toast my rice, but I do it in a dry pan – no fats.

  7. says

    I do toast my rice! I do a cheater version of green rice, i sub some of my liquid with green enchilada sauce (straight from the can). I need to plan some of this for this week I think.


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