Green Mexican Rice with Corn

Green Mexican Rice with Corn - the perfect simple summer side! 240 calories. |

It’s green magic!

This week I found a treasure in my school mailbox –> a collection of recipes clipped out from a magazine with a little stickie note from a friend next to one of the recipes that said: green rice? Thank you, food blog, for letting every person in my life know that I love food and allowing them the opportunity to have a food friend who will enjoy things like clippings of magazine recipes in my mailbox. Especially when said recipes are for the best rice of your life. I love this Green Mexican Rice and it’s salty, fluffy, greeny riceyness so, so much.

Plus the corn.

Plus it goes with anything.

Say no more: bowl o’ rice, here I come.

Green Mexican Rice with Corn -  the perfect simple summer side! 240 calories. |

This is not the first time that I’ve been gifted recipes, foodie articles, cooking treasures, or junky cooking treasures (that really are treasures). Totally true story: I walked into a meeting this morning and a coworker passed me a rusty, scratched cooking sheet saved out of her garbage pile. I posted about using old cookie sheets for photography on Facebook a few weeks ago and rusty, scratched cookie sheets have been showing up in little corners of my life ever since.

Sometimes recipes arrive via email, and most of the time that’s because I’ve completely harassed the sender for the recipe of the lunch that they had on the day that I was stalking their meal in the work lunch room. Not creepy at all. I just sit on my side of the table and secretly eye everyone’s lunch containers as they spoon the food into their mouths. WHO AM I.

I’ve gotten recipes as magazine clippings, cookbook page photocopies (…uhh, illegal? oh my gosh, never thought about that before), and my favorite – handwritten collections of recipes stapled together in a mini-book. Every once in a while I’ll even get a newspaper article about great restaurants or local food news sent to me via snail mail, because I have the most thoughtful in-laws in the world.

Green Mexican Rice with Corn -  the perfect simple summer side! 240 calories. |

I also like to talk (as people know) and I like food (as people really know), so sometimes people I barely know will strike up a little conversation with me about the best spaghetti and meatballs they made last night and what wine to serve it with and how much garlic they put on the bread and specifically how to best reheat the leftovers. Is that the best thing to talk about or what? I love that I am targeted for these kinds of conversations.

THANK YOU, food blog life, for letting this happen to me all the time.

Green Mexican Rice with Corn -  the perfect simple summer side! 240 calories. |

So here’s the scoop-de-doop with the green rice.

It’s a Mexican rice of sorts, being that we’re using cilantro and hot peppers and garlic to bump up the green flavor. The flavor is really mild, though, so if you’re going for HOTTIE hot, I would add another pepper. It reminds me a lot of Mexican rice, except it’s green. Or fried rice, but with Mexican flavors. Or the best rice ever, except THE BEST RICE EVER.

I tried to keep the oil under control while still using enough to get that great texture  – the amount of oil ends up being only a little spoonful per serving and it adds so much to the rice in both flavor and texture. You saute the uncooked rice in the oil, and then you cook it up with the green spinach, cilantro, pepper, and garlic puree. It’s so fluffy and it can go with anything. Did I already say that?

Here are some ideas for serving it up:

  1. with Grilled Chicken
  2. with Coconut Lime Chicken
  3. with Grilled Shrimp
  4. stuffed in Tacos
  5. stuffed in Burritos
  6. sprinkled on Nachos
  7. with Chips – been there done that
  8. with Fried Plantains like these totally drool-worthy Garlic Tostones – similar to what you see pictured.

Green Mexican Rice with Corn -  the perfect simple summer side! 240 calories. |

I see visions of this versatile, simple rice all over my summer. Pop some food on the grill, cook this fluffy Mexican rice up in all it’s green glory, make some fresh guacamole, and you’ve got yourself a shnazzy fresh summer meal. I am already so excited to make this for parties and get-together and grill outs and for meeee to eeeeat.

Coming in hot –>

Green Mexican Rice with Corn -  the perfect simple summer side! 240 calories. |

4.2 from 6 reviews
Green Mexican Rice with Corn
Serves: 8
  • 2 cups spinach
  • ½ cup or more cilantro leaves
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 3 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  • 1 cup corn
  1. Pulse the spinach, cilantro, pepper, and garlic in a food processor until very finely chopped (almost like a paste).
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the rice and stir continuously for 5-8 minutes, until the rice is starting to turn light golden brown. Add the water, salt, corn, and green paste from step one. Cover and boil for 5 minutes. Stir, replace cover, and lower the heat to simmer for another 10-20 minutes or until the rice is soft and fluffy. Serve with additional salt, cilantro leaves, and lime if desired.
This goes really well with grilled chicken, grilled shrimp, fried plantains, spicy beans, in burritos and tacos, or straight up on tortilla chips. YUMMY.

For the fried plantains recipe, try these Garlic Tostones. My fave!

Nutrition Mexican Rice

Thanks for being my favorite blog peepsters! Now off to Green Mexican Rice land.

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  1. Wow! Popping greens and yellows.

    I love eating green and yellow food…just makes me feel so healthy and happy.

    But please, don’t ever ask me to invite a food blogger over for dinner….anything but that =)

  2. Being puertorican, I must say nothing makes me happier than seeing a recipe that involves rice and fried plantains on the side! OH YES!!! :)

  3. oooooh, I love this idea! Since it has so much flavor, what do you think about making it with brown rice? I love white rice, but I’m thinking I really don’t feel so guilty when I eat the whole bowl and it was brown rice :)

    • Yep! That would be great! The color might be a little interesting (the brown + the green?) but for sure worth a try! I love brown rice!

  4. Omg, this rice looks so good!! It’s like the perfect summer food. I love corn and spinach. Totally printing this out and making it soon!

  5. Hey have you see the new “best corn” recipe contest on Food52? It just opened today and this recipe seems like it’d be a great contender! – a clean eating bento blog. Japanese or Asian-inspired!

  6. Oh, how I wish I received used cookie sheets – love them! I’m weird, I know LOL! This looks so healthy and fabulous, Lindsay!!

  7. Mmm! I actually just had cilantro rice at a Latin restaurant the other day and was thinking about making it at home. This looks even better with the addition of spinach and corn. Good inspiration!

  8. Definitely looks gorgeous. Love those colors. Gotta give this a try!
    Have a beautiful Wednesday Lindsay!

  9. There’s a certain percentage of a cookbook which you may legally photocopy, not to be used for profit, for personal use. I can’t remember the exact number, but it may be 30%. A librarian should be able to tell you, that’s how I found out even this much.

    • Whew! I am usually on the receiving end of a few single copies so I think I’m in the clear!

      • Rachel says:

        This is funny, as I was going to tell you the same thing. You can photocopy up to 10% of a book without editor/publisher permission before you venture into illegal territory (I teach at a university and have verified this when making photocopies of chapters for my students). So, onward to recipe sharing! :)

  10. This looks amazing! Kind of like a cilantro pesto, awesome :)

  11. I could eat that bowl in 2 minutes flat for dinner! My kind of food :)

    • It’s this weird sort of recipe where it’s not really a full meal by itself, yet for the last three days I’ve been eating bowls of it… as a full meal. Today I tossed some fresh spinach leaves in for a little vegetable balance and it was great. :)

  12. Plantains are my favorite! I can remember the first time I had them at a tiny hole-in-wall restaurant in Key West–and they were so good!
    This green rice looks good, but I’m curious how much it tastes like spinach…I’m trying to imagine the flavor, and I can’t.

  13. If I had this rice plus those plantains, I’d be completely set for days and days and days….. Serious yum.

  14. I love how this is different from the usual Spanish rice you always get with Mexican food.

  15. I totally love recipes from everywhere too…glad I’m not the only one! This recipe sounds fantastic!!

  16. Wow this rice looks so good and I can already smell it! Yummmmm! I bookmarked it already !

  17. Wow this looks so delicious!! I bookmarked it immediately for future use! :)
    xo Andrea
    Wonderful and Marvelous

  18. I love how simple this rice is! I’m very intrigued by those golden, crispy-looking plantains though…apart from maybe one fried plantain appetizer at a restaurant I’ve never had them. Hmmmmmm.

  19. Would it be weird if I seared the corn kernels and added them at the end? How would the smoky flavor go with the freshness of the spinach and cilantro?

  20. Lindsay, this looks so good! I’m always trying to think of ways to dress up my boring white rice and this recipe is definitely a keeper! I love the color and all the flavors. My mouth is now watering for fried plantains :)

  21. I love when people give me little clippings from magazines of a new recipe to try. I think it’s funny how friends and family think of me before themselves when they are cutting them out.
    This is some beautiful rice! That beautiful green with the bits of yellow corn in it really make it pop! I love the flavor combo in it as well.

  22. Oh my does this look good! I’m all about Mexican food but I’ve never heard of green rice. It will be happening soon, especially with the corn!

    So funny that you are gifted random recipes and cookie sheets. My grandma always sends me clippings of recipes in the mail too. I love it!

  23. I love this post! I’ve only been blogging for a few months, and lovely random people in my life have begun sending me recipes to try… it is truly the coolest thing to be known as a food-obsessed blogger!

    • Isn’t it though? Such a unique way to connect with people that you might otherwise not have much in common with. It’s awesome.

  24. Alison says:

    Ooooh that looks amazing! :)

  25. This makes me crave summer!!

  26. Oh my gosh, you’re brilliant — I need to do a blog post about how much I love old cookie sheets and lace handkerchiefs and old silverware for food photography. I’ve wanted some of those for ages, but I haven’t found any in thrift or antique stores! If only I knew your friends and readers too… Maybe they’d share! And this rice… So gorgeous, so flavorful, so YOU! I could totally see how well this rice would go with your new cookbook recipes too. 😉

  27. This rice looks amazing! So fluffy and it just looks SO GOOD!!

  28. Stacey says:

    We aren’t jalapeño lovers at our house. What do you think about a can of mild green chilies? Would that change the flavor too much?

  29. Stacey says:

    We aren’t jalapeño lovers at our house. What do you think about a can (or part of a can) of diced green chilies? Do you think that would change the flavor too much?

  30. You had me at green! I love all things Mexican, and I can’t get over the wonderful color this is. New fav side dish, thanks!

  31. Thank you for this recipe! I can’t wait to try it.

  32. This looks lovely! Sometimes I have trouble making light, fluffy rice but this looks perfect!

  33. I am always looking for an easy and kind of different rice dish. I love the color of this one. Plus I don’t think I have every seen corn mixed with rice. But then I don’t get out much either. The corn offers an interesting mix to the texture. This is such a spring looking dish too. In the Pacific NW we are having an awesome spring, but it is overcast today. So I am leaning toward other bright things in life to shift my focus to. Of course it always waaaay too easy to shift my focus to food. Sigh.

  34. This looks soooo good! Fried plantains are a favorite in my house :)

  35. Wow.. looks so yummy. I am Vegetarian and constantly look for something new that I can accommodate. Thanks for the recipe.
    P.S. Here is a similar recipe of Mexican veg rice that I made last to last week. Let me know if you like it :)

  36. Oh, I am a little jealous of people giving you food props. I mean, I “borrow” them from family, but maybe I need to expand my horizons :) We made fried plantains once but it was a disaster, I think they were still unripe. Your pictures are making me want to try it again. Everything looks delicious!

    • I actually like the unripe ones better – these ones were pretty ripe and as a result they are a lot sweeter, almost like a fried banana vs. a fried potato.

  37. I am always looking for new mexican rice recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  38. I LOVE the look of this rice – holy yummy batman! Sometimes I’m extra lazy, and I’ll do the sauté step in a pan, then toss everything in my rice cooker to finish, so I don’t have to even think about how long something is going to take. I’d be tempted to give that a try for this recipe (because I have the attention span of an insect and always end up having my rice gluey).

  39. The rice stuck like crazy for me when I was first browning it. It cooked a little quicker than I expected it to, but I suppose every burner is different. A little splash of lime juice mixed in added to this dish.

    • Hm, stuck even with the oil? Were you stirring it? It should be pretty oily during that first step which would prevent it from sticking. Love the addition of lime!

      • I don’t think I put enough oil in at first, so it had a chance to stick to the pan. Then I added more as I went. I was definitely stirring it; my arm was pretty tired by the time I was done. I ate the rice cold for the rest of the week and added feta cheese to give it some saltiness, yum!

  40. I have never heard of green Mexican rice, but now I want to make this today! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  41. We ,are this tonight-both the rice and the plantains and both super delicioso. I’ve never made plantains before, but wow-so good! Not sure sure about the health benefits with frying but-hey-you gotta live al little, right?! 😉

    We drizzled honey over the rice mixture which was pretty tasty,

  42. Great recipe – rice was fantastic!

  43. Hi! So I made this exact recipe but with brown rice and it was tasteless! Is the type of rice the issue?

    • Hm, there’s a lot of herbs and garlic in there so I’m really surprised it would be tasteless. And brown rice should be fine – I mean, it has more of its own taste than white rice does but it shouldn’t affect the taste of the herbs and chilis and garlic. But maybe a higher herb-to-rice ratio would be helpful next time?

  44. Made this last night and I absolutely loved it! The only modification I made was to add about half a diced onion in with the rice while it was browning in oil. I also juiced one lime in the rice before serving. Delicious!! At dinnertime I realized I was actually enjoying THREE of your recipes in one meal. This rice, your shredded chipotle chicken on top (a regular for me), and I drizzled magic green sauce I had leftover from the weekend on top. Soooo flavorful. I am looking forward to these leftovers for the rest of the week!

  45. Glenda Ivone says:

    I just made this for dinner it is delicious I just add shredded chicken because I have to have my protein and came out really good thanks for the recipe

  46. Let me try with this recipe and will definitely know you the result. Anyways goahead and place more recipes in this site.

  47. I made this for dinner tonight to go with shrimp tacos for the meat eaters and crispy tofu tacos for me. It was absolutely delicious. The only thing I did differently from your recipe was to use veggie broth instead of water. Thanks for a great recipe that I will definitely make again.

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