Mexican Poblano Rice Pliaf in a wooden, oval-shpaed bowl with cilantro sprigs on black background.

Mexican Poblano Rice Pilaf

Mexican Poblano Rice Pilaf is a festival of Mexican flavors, and the perfect side dish to almost any meal with a Mexican flair.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword rice for chicken
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 278 kcal
Author Valentina K. Wein


  • olive oil for the pan
  • 3/4 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
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided (use vegetable stock for vegetarian version)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, washed and dried, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Generously coat the bottom of a medium-sized pot with olive oil, and place it over medium-low heat.

  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 7 minutes.

  3. Add the Poblanos and and cumin. Again, stirring often, cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Remove 1/4 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.)