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Mexican Vegetarian Spicy White Rice

In Mexico, as in much of the world, rice has a place at the table for nearly every meal. Some cuisines favor potatoes and others prefer noodles but the Mexicans love rice, as does much of Asia. Corn and rice are among the mainstays of Mexican cuisine and these two ancient grains are served in an endless variety of ways.

This dish features a classic Mexican combination of flavors and with the lively colors of the corn and poblano chilies this rice dish is a feast for the eyes as well. The corn and onion give color to the rice, as does the fresh cilantro used as a garnish. With the mildly spicy-sweet flavor of roasted poblano in a co-starring role with corn’s earthy sweetness and the delicate flavor of Queso Fresco, this is Mexican comfort food at its best.

When served with beans and a salad, this is a satisfying lunch or dinner. It looks great and it tastes even better. This Mexican rice recipe is a traditional Mexican meal. Even your omnivorous dinner guests will not miss the meat when you serve them this; this is a rice dish, which is more than ready to take center stage.

Gather your rice, vegetables and flavorings, and get ready to make this lovely side dish. If you are more used to making plain boiled rice, you will be interested to learn how to make a dish like this as an alternative. Everything is cooked in one pan, adding different ingredients at different stages of the recipe.

The onion, chilies and rice are browned in oil first of all, and then you can add the corn and oregano, and then pour in water so the rice can cook and the other ingredients can tenderize and blend nicely. Avocado, cilantro and queso fresco are nice garnishes if you want to serve this in a true Mexican style, or you can omit those extras if you prefer to keep it simpler.

Arroz Con Poblano – Rice With Roasted Poblano
Summary: Rice is a staple in Mexican cuisine, and this dish combines the rice with chilies, vegetables and tasty seasonings, so you can expect a lovely, satisfying side dish.
Cuisine: Mexican
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 4
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 cup rice (long grain white rice – brown rice can be used, simply allow 15 minutes longer for it to cook)
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • 3 medium to large poblano chilies, roasted and diced finely
  • 1 cup corn (canned or fresh cut from the cob – grilled corn is great if you have some on hand)
  • 2 tsp oregano (fresh Mexican oregano is best, but dried will do nicely)
  • ¾ cup queso fresco, shredded (this is a mild, firm cheese – farmer’s cheese makes a good substitute)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • Fresh cilantro, sliced avocado and lime wedges for garnish
  1. Heat oil to medium-high in a skillet and sauté the onions, poblanos, and rice for 5-7 minutes, until the onions are starting to become translucent and the rice begins to turn golden brown. Stir regularly to avoid burning the rice as you cook.
  2. Add the oregano when the onions are half done to allow the flavor to permeate the rice and onions; stir for a minute and add the corn for the last 2 minutes of sautéing.
  3. Add the water and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  4. Once the rice comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover.
  5. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes and then remove from heat and allow the rice to stand covered for another five minutes before fluffing with a fork.
  6. Stir once and spoon the rice into a serving bowl.
  7. Top with the shredded queso fresco and avocado slices. Serve hot with lime wedges and watch it disappear.
  8. Classic comfort food is always a hit at the dinner table; and when you serve something this great to your guests, leftovers aren’t something you’ll have to worry about – arroz con poblano is one of those “now you see it, now you don’t” kind of meals.

Photo Description:

Rice is a popular south of the border staple, and in this recipe it is combined with vegetables, chilies, herbs and spices, for a fantastic result. The whole dish can be cooked in one pan, adding the ingredients in stages, which cuts down on the washing up, and this makes a really nice side dish that you can enjoy with meat, chicken, fish, or even as part of a buffet. It can even be served cold the next day, as a south of the border style rice salad. If you are looking for new Mexican side dish ideas, try this because you will not be disappointed.

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi, I'm Christine, and I'm pleased to welcome you to I have endeavored to gather as many delicious South of the border recipes here for you, including Mexican-inspired as well as traditional Mexican, and also some Tex-Mex and Mexican fusion dishes. Food is very important to our family's lives and Mexican food is certainly a favorite around here.

We have everything from appetizers and snacks to soups, drinks, entrées, and much more. You will find everything from mild dishes to super-spicy ones, simple recipes based on fresh ingredients up to more complex ones suitable for a dinner party.

Home cooks just starting out with Mexican cooking tend to be surprised how much of the emphasis is placed on using fresh ingredients and aromatic herbs and spices. Forget the typical ideas about Mexican food being all beans, cheese and beef (that applies a little more to Tex-Mex), take inspiration from authentic Mexican dishes based on fresh ingredients, and inject all your passion into cooking South of the border food, for perfect results every time.

Thanks for visiting,