My Recipe Box

Southwestern Rice Pilaf


Serves six to eight.

This dish makes a delicious accompaniment to steak or chicken fajitas.

  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, medium diced (1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium poblano, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced (1/2 cup)
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced (2 Tbs.)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt; more as needed
  • 2-1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained well
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and minced

In a heavy-based 3-qt. saucepan with a tight lid, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, poblano, and garlic, and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chili powder and cumin and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is softened and the spices are very fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Add the rice and salt, and stir well to coat each grain with oil. Toast for a full 5 minutes, stirring regularly to keep the grains separated and to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan (the rice may turn opaque before 5 minutes is up, but keep going). Reduce the heat to low if there are any signs of scorching.


Fluff the rice by slipping the tines of a fork down into the rice alongside the edge of the pan. Gently lift and toss the rice toward the center of the pan. Continue this process as you work your way around the perimeter. Then add your finishing-touch ingredients and gently fold them in with the fork, using a similar gentle fluffing motion.

Add the chicken broth and tomatoes, stir once, and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 18 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the pilaf sit, still covered, for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, finely grate 1 Tbs. zest from the lime, and then cut the lime into wedges.

Once the pilaf has rested, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Using the fork, gently fold in the cilantro, jalapeño, and lime zest. Season to taste with salt. Serve with the lime wedges for spritzing over the rice.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on eight servings, Calories (kcal): 200, Fat (kcal): 4.5, Fat Calories (g): 40, Saturated Fat (g): 0.5, Protein (g): 5, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3, Carbohydrates (mg): 36, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 0.5, Sodium (g): 290, Cholesterol (g): 0, Fiber (g): 2,

Photo: Scott Phillips

Excellent! Made this to accompany a Carne Adovada dish from Cook's Country Aug/Sept 2014 recipe, and it was delicious. Both of them!

Awesome! I have longed for a good Mexican rice recipe. This is top quality that you would find in a fine dining establishment. Thank You so much. :)

Everyone loved it, adults and teens. I made it with the Tex-Mex Chicken for an absolutely wonderful meal. I think this would go well with a lot of my regular entrees.

Colorful and taste is very good. Used as a side dish with tex-mex chicken with chiles & cheese. Low/medium spicey - even with jalapeno (as long you remove seeds). Prefer it to packaged rices, e.g. pilaf and others. Will make it again.

This recipe required lots of prepping and watching. It was not bad...but mediocre. I wouldn't go to all that trouble again, unless I was adding seafood or sausage and serving it more as a main dish.

Very flavorful. Great with steak, and also good with lime chicken. A hit with my family. A great alternative to potato side dish.

I left out the jalapeno, we prefer medium spicy food.

It turned out great. Did not put in the jalapenos but still had a spicy after bite. Was very easy to make.

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