Poblano Rice Pilaf is a festival of Mexican flavors, and the perfect side dish to almost any meal with a Latin flair.
Have you tried my Achiote Marinated Chicken recipe?
This is the rice I usually serve with it — beneath those tender pieces of delicious chicken, to soak up the juices and add to the flavor. They were brilliant together!
What is Rice Pilaf?
- Rice Pilaf is made by using a particular method of cooking rice.
- The rice is cooked in broth or stock, and is first sautéed lightly in butter or oil, usually with finely chopped onions.
This method adds a delicious nutty flavor to Mexican Poblano Rice Pilaf.
What are Poblano chiles?
- Poblano chile peppers are usually mild.
- They are more or less five inches long and three inches wide, and their “walls” are quite thick.
- With a shape much like a triangle or heart, poblano chiles are somewhat earthy, rich and slightly acidic. Though when cooked, a delicious, subtle, smoky flavor comes out.
- Poblanos are available year-round. So you can make Poblano Rice all year long. 😉
- When they're dried they are called Ancho chiles.
How hot are Poblano chiles?
- Poblano chile peppers are typically mild, but can vary in flavor. Occasionally they are hot, so it’s always important to taste a bit before using them in a recipe.
- Like most chile peppers, different peppers from the same plant can vary in heat.
- They're usually sold when green. They are more ripe when they’re red, which usually results in more heat and flavor.
Poblano rice is scrumptious! Here it is with my Achiote Marinated Chicken.
What's in this recipe?
- olive oil
- chicken or vegetable stock
- poblano chiles
- long grain rice
- lemon juice
- salt, pepper
So much flavor!
Tips and Substitutions
- Some good substitutes for Poblano chiles are Hatch, Anaheim, or Bell. (You will only find fresh Hatch chiles during the summer.) Bell peppers will always be very mild, Anaheims could vary slightly but are usually mild, and Hatch range from mild to very hot, so try them first!
- Not a cilantro fan? You can use about half the amount of fresh oregano instead, or just skip it.
This Mexican Poblano Rice Pilaf is a comfort food that’s a wonderful base for chicken, meat, stews, you name it.
More Recipes Using Poblano Chiles
- Poblano Omelet
- Roasted Poblano Guacamole
- Roasted Tomato Poblano Salsa
- Mexican Chicken Poblano Pasta
- Southwest Stuffed Poblano Peppers
More Amazing Rice Recipes
Poblano Rice Pilaf
- olive oil for the pan
- ¾ cup yellow onion, cut into small dice
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1 cup Poblano chile pepper, washed and dried, cut into small dice
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup long grain rice
- 2½ cups chicken or vegetable stock, divided
- ⅓ cup cilantro, washed and dried, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- freshly ground black pepper
- Sauté the vegetables. Generously coat the bottom of a medium-sized pot with olive oil, and place it over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the Poblanos and cumin. Again, stirring often, cook until soft, about 4 minutes.
- Blend some of the vegetables. Remove ¼ cup of this mixture from the pot, and add it to a blender along with 1 cup of the chicken stock. Blend until smooth, about 10 seconds. Set aside.
- Sauté the rice and cook. Add the rice to the pot with the remaining onion-Poblano mixture, and stir to coat all of the grains — they should be shiny from the oil. If they're not, add a bit more oil. Sauté for a couple of minutes, and then pour in the blended poblano-onion-stock mixture, and the remaining stock. Turn the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and gently simmer until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
- Add lemon juice and cliantro and season. Mix in the lemon juice and cilantro, and then season to taste with salt and pepper and serve. (Here's How to Season to Taste.)
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You had me at Mexican Poblano Rice Pilaf Recipe.
Perfect, Adair! 🙂 xo
This is a wonderful side dish. Last year for cinco de mayo, I made a multi course meal for friends, and it seems like the most popular dish was my “green” rice, which was a pilaf of sorts with lots of green chiles and cilantro! Very similar to yours! I can just eat it as a meal.
Thanks so much, Mimi! I bet everyone loved your rice, and yes, I could eat it on its own as a meal, too. Actually, pretty sure I did) 😉 Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
I love this dish and, as I said on Facebook, I will go for extra cilantro! This will be a perfect side for my fish tacos, or my pollo in adobo!
Yes, and of course just skip the garlic. Enjoy! 🙂 And I'll take an order of the pollo in adobo, please!
Looks amazingly delicious with the chicken! The Rice Pilaf is so distinctive that my mouth is watering right now!
Thank you Natalie! It is indeed delicious! 🙂 Enjoy and thanks for visiting.
David @ Spiced
I love the flavors you've got going on in this pilaf, Valentina! We actually planted poblanos in our garden this year, and they seem to be doing well...imagine that, poblano peppers in upstate New York. The real question is whether they'll be done growing before the first frost! Either way, this pilaf is going on my list of things to make...and soon!
Thanks so much David. So awesome you have poblanos in your yard. They are my favorite pepper. Sending good vibes that they'll be ready before the frost. 🙂
I am making this recipe now and nowhere does it say what to do with the cilantro or lemon juice. I plan to add it to the finished rice since cilantro is usually not cooked. I’ve looked at the comments and I’m surprised no one else has mentioned the missing step.
Hi Courtney, I'm really hope I'm getting to your comment in time! I'm so very sorry for this error in my recipe. I will edit it immediately, but yes, you are correct, the lemon juice and cilantro should be mixed in after the rice is cooked. My apologies again and I hope you love the rice. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. ~Valentina
David @ Spiced
I saw poblano, and I knew I would be all in on this one! Plus, sautéing the dry rice first is such a cool idea - sounds like a delicious and easy recipe for the new year!
Thanks so much, David! Happy New Year! 🙂 ~Valentina
Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop
I love a good rice pilaf and this looks delicious! Those chili peppers add so much flavor. Perfect for a side dish with chicken but I also think it would be great added to burritos!
Good idea for a burrito! Yum. Thanks, Kathy. 🙂 ~Valentina
John / Kitchen Riffs
What a terrific dish! I haven't made a rice pilaf in a long time. And never with chile peppers. Like the idea, a lot. Lovely recipe -- thanks. And Happy New Year!
Thanks so much, John, and a very happy new your to you too! 🙂 ~Valentina
I've gotta make this tonight.
Happy 2021, lovely Valentina!
Right back atcha, Colette! Thanks! 🙂 ~Valentina