Appetizers and Side dishes — By Ben on 15 September 2009
Mexican Tomatillo Rice

Tomatillo and basil rice

After a long and lazy week spent at my friends’ house in Dayton I am back with more Mexican inspired recipes. All this month I am posting this kind of recipes to celebrate the 199th anniversary of Mexico’s Independence. Mexican rice is my favorite way to eat this grain, but I wanted to give it a twist by using tomatillos instead of tomatoes and I spiced it up a little by adding some pepper and basil.


Mexican Tomatillo Rice
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
The afterthoughts: •I enjoyed this rice a lot. It is a good alternative for the popular red Mexican rice. Unlike tomatoes, tomatillos flavor is more sour hence giving this dish a very different and distinctive flavor. The jalapeno gave it a nice kick and even though I like how it mixed with the basil flavor I will keep it out next time. I'll also add some peas or other kind of veggie next time.
  • •2 cups long grain rice
  • •2 TBSP canola oil
  • •1/2 pound tomatillos
  • •1/2 medium onion
  • •2 garlic cloves
  • •1 jalapeno pepper, seeded
  • •1 tsp chopped fresh basil
  • •2-3 cups chicken broth
  1. In a medium sauce pan fry rice in canola oil until it starts to turn golden brown and has a nutty smell. Make sure to stir constantly to fry evenly.
  2. In a blender mix together tomatillos, onion, garlic, jalapeno and basil with 1 cup of chicken broth. Once it's blended and smooth, add more broth until you get 4 cups of tomatillo sauce (double the amount of rice in cups)
  3. Pour sauce over rice, mix well and bring to a boil.
  4. Mix again and reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer for 10-15 minutes stirring lightly every 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning.
  5. The liquid should be absorbed in that period of time and the rice should be tender. Serve with your favorite Mexican dinner and enjoy!

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About Author

grew up around food. His family owned a restaurant in Mexico City and he spent a big deal of his childhood helping and learning after school the art of creating delicious dishes from simple ingredients. He created this blog to share his kitchen adventures with the world.

(23) Readers Comments

  1. The tomatillos and jalapeno sound delicious in this! I'd love some of this rice with a grilled fish.

  2. Tomatillos sauce instead of tomatoes, I need to try this out. I think I'll use cilantro instead of basil.
    Thank you for the inspiration Ben!

  3. Sounds so good!! This is really strange.. i went & got raw green tomatoes, chili peppers & some cilantro from my yard to make a rice today:-) didn't think of posting it….

  4. That looks delicious Ben, athough I have to confess that after three weeks of eating rice I really want to wait a while for trying this!

  5. Looks good to me! I agree with Jill. I think cilantro is a kissing cousin to tomatillo.

  6. I loooove flavored rice. This is right up my alley. Bet it''s great with grilled chicken or fish. Hey, are you going to foodbuzz's blogger festival?

  7. MMMHHHH that really looks good

  8. I love rice….this one sounds wonderful. I really like all the flavors in that rice. Great recipe as usual :)

  9. Tomatillos in rice — I've never tried it, but I'm putting this recipe on my to-do list. I agree about cilantro — a natural partner to the tomatillos — but as I'm not a cilantro lover, I might try some parsley from my garden.

  10. I love rice in all forms, shapes and origins, but when it is flavored I jump with joy!!!! Now, where shall I find tomatillos????

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