A quick and simple recipe of toasted long grain rice, green bell peppers, tomatoes, and onion. A sprinkling of sliced green olives and red chile powder livens up this Spanish style Green Rice Recipe.
Mexican Green Rice Recipe Versions
I’ve seen many recipes over the years for Mexican green rice where the rice actually appears green in color. A classic called Arroz Verde,
This technique referenced above, colors the rice green by the use of finely chopped cilantro and spinach which are pureed in a blender with chicken broth and then combined with cooked rice.
It’s a beautiful Mexican side dish that I want to try someday soon.
Not really a classic Mexican rice recipe, and not green at all, my green rice recipe instead combines green ingredients, bell pepper and green olives, with some tomatoes thrown in for a Spanish Rice flair.
We enjoyed this recipe at a restaurant years ago and I couldn’t wait to get home and make it in my own kitchen. It was billed as Mexican Toasted Green Rice on the menu.
When I inquired about the depth of flavor that the rice held, our server told me that the chef always toasts the rice before adding water.
On Toasting Rice, What Does It Do?
This recipe is made even more special with a deeper flavor layer by toasting the rice. This toasting step enhances the color, the flavor and coats the rice with fat to prevent the grains from sticking together.
It also adds a deep nutty flavor to the rice.
It doesn’t take long. Once your fat of choice, in this recipe I use butter, is hot, add the rice. Stir frequently until the rice is starting to brown and the aroma is present.
At that point, you can add aromatics, such as onion, shallot and garlic. Cook long enough to become tender before you add water. Then continue cooking the rice according to package instructions. Check it a few minutes before time, as toasting the rice may reduce the cooking time spent in the water.
This creates a highly flavored rice with separate fluffy grains. Do you toast your rice?
Culinary School Tip:
Rinse your rice before cooking. Rinsing rice removed any debris, and removed surface starch that will also cause rice to clump together or get gummy as it cooks. A simple colander works well to rinse rice.
Toasted Mexican Green Rice Recipe
The flavor of this toasted rice recipe is smooth and savory, rich and refined. With a briny bite from the green olives, and a the warm heat from New Mexico chile powder, and you’ve got an exciting Mexican side dish.
This recipe is so easy to make, you’ll find yourself preparing it over and over again. And it goes well with fish, tacos, kabobs, or even grilled chicken.
I hope you give this green rice recipe a try, and if you do, please come back and give the recipe a star rating. And if you have a favorite Mexican rice side dish, let me know, I’d love to give it a try.
More Mexican Side Dishes
- Roasted Poblanos Stuffed With Spicy Mashed Potatoes
- Mexican Macaroni and Cheese
- Mexican Corn Salad with Citrus Aioli
And if you ‘re looking for more side dish recipes, don’t miss my Side Dish Category. You’ll find lots of supporting actor recipes, including the most popular side dish recipe on my site for Broccoli Cheez Whiz Rice Casserole.
Toasting rice before adding water, brings a new depth of flavor. This Mexican Green Rice recipe is so easy you'll find yourself making it over and over.
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 3/4 Cup long-grain rice
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 green bell peppers seeded, membranes removed, and cut into planks
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 4 fresh tomatoes or one 14 1/2 ounce can chopped tomatoes, drained well
- 1 1/2 Cup chicken broth
- 2/3 cup pimento stuffed green olives sliced
- 1 teaspoon New Mexico Red Chile Powder for garnish. Or Ancho Chile Powder
Heat the butter in a heavy skillet and stir in the rice. Cook, stirring frequently until coated and starting to turn golden.
Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes. Add 1 1/2 cups of broth and cook rice according to package instructions. Add more broth if necessary and season with salt and pepper.
To cut the bell peppers into planks, cut off both ends of the pell pepper. Cut the bell pepper so it will lay flat. Clean it up by cutting out the large chunks of membrane. Cut the bell pepper horizontally and then slice the two pieces into bite sized planks. They should be about 1 1/2 inch tall and 1/4 inch wide.
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.
Mexican Green Rice ..It’s What’s For a Side Dish