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!


  • Looks lovely..simple ingredients and delicious flavors

  • That looks so delicious and easy to make. I really loved the recipe. And your pics are just awesome. Great work.

  • Stumbled it too 🙂

  • Delicious, I'll try both options cilantro or basil. The Basil option I would serve with fish (perhaps "a la talla" or grilled) served with fresh ripe tomatoes.

  • Love flavoured rice, this sounds really good with the tomatillos, jalapeno and basil.

  • Oh Ben, this recipe is amazing – I love the fact that there's no hint in the look of the rice of all the goodies packed inside. YUM. I would never have thought of this.

  • I like that you add tomatillos to your rice. Must be so good. Nice plating and beautiful pics Ben.

  • What a clever twist. I love tomatillos, and the addition of basil sounds delicious, too. Great photograph! Love it.

  • Wow, this looks beautiful! What an art!

  • Sounds delicious! I love all the flavours in this

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