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!


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

  • 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!

  • 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….

  • 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!

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

  • 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?

  • MMMHHHH that really looks good

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

  • 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.

  • 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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