Green Mexican Rice with Corn Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Green Mexican Rice with Corn

10 reviews / 4.5 average

It's green magic!

This week I found a treasure in my school mailbox -> a collection of recipes clipped out from a magazine with a little stickie note from a friend next to one of the recipes that said: green rice? Thank you, food blog, for letting every person in my life know that I love food and allowing them the opportunity to have a food friend who will enjoy things like clippings of magazine recipes in my mailbox. Especially when said recipes are for the best rice of your life. I love this Green Mexican Rice and it's salty, fluffy, greeny riceyness so, so much.

Plus the corn.

Plus it goes with anything.

Say no more: bowl o' rice, here I come.

Garlic and herbs on a wooden surface.

This is not the first time that I've been gifted recipes, foodie articles, cooking treasures, or junky cooking treasures (that really are treasures). Totally true story: I walked into a meeting this morning and a coworker passed me a rusty, scratched cooking sheet saved out of her garbage pile. I posted about using old cookie sheets for photography on Facebook a few weeks ago and rusty, scratched cookie sheets have been showing up in little corners of my life ever since.

Sometimes recipes arrive via email, and most of the time that's because I've completely harassed the sender for the recipe of the lunch that they had on the day that I was stalking their meal in the work lunch room. Not creepy at all. I just sit on my side of the table and secretly eye everyone's lunch containers as they spoon the food into their mouths. WHO AM I.

I've gotten recipes as magazine clippings, cookbook page photocopies (...uhh, illegal? oh my gosh, never thought about that before), and my favorite - handwritten collections of recipes stapled together in a mini-book. Every once in a while I'll even get a newspaper article about great restaurants or local food news sent to me via snail mail, because I have the most thoughtful in-laws in the world.

Food in a food processor.

I also like to talk (as people know) and I like food (as people really know), so sometimes people I barely know will strike up a little conversation with me about the best spaghetti and meatballs they made last night and what wine to serve it with and how much garlic they put on the bread and specifically how to best reheat the leftovers. Is that the best thing to talk about or what? I love that I am targeted for these kinds of conversations.

THANK YOU, food blog life, for letting this happen to me all the time.

Food in a skillet and on a napkin.

So here's the scoop-de-doop with the green rice.

It's a Mexican rice of sorts, being that we're using cilantro and hot peppers and garlic to bump up the green flavor. The flavor is really mild, though, so if you're going for HOTTIE hot, I would add another pepper. It reminds me a lot of Mexican rice, except it's green. Or fried rice, but with Mexican flavors. Or the best rice ever, except THE BEST RICE EVER.

I tried to keep the oil under control while still using enough to get that great texture - the amount of oil ends up being only a little spoonful per serving and it adds so much to the rice in both flavor and texture. You saute the uncooked rice in the oil, and then you cook it up with the green spinach, cilantro, pepper, and garlic puree. It's so fluffy and it can go with anything. Did I already say that?

Here are some ideas for serving it up:

  1. with Grilled Chicken
  2. with Coconut Lime Chicken
  3. with Grilled Shrimp
  4. stuffed in Tacos
  5. stuffed in Burritos
  6. sprinkled on Nachos
  7. with Chips - been there done that
  8. with Fried Plantains like these totally drool-worthy Garlic Tostones - similar to what you see pictured.
Green Mexican Rice with Corn in a bowl.

I see visions of this versatile, simple rice all over my summer. Pop some food on the grill, cook this fluffy Mexican rice up in all it's green glory, make some fresh guacamole, and you've got yourself a shnazzy fresh summer meal. I am already so excited to make this for parties and get-together and grill outs and for meeee to eeeeat.

Coming in hot ->

Green Mexican Rice with Corn in a white bowl.
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A picture of Green Mexican Rice with Corn

Green Mexican Rice with Corn


This Green Mexican Rice with Corn is made with spinach, jalapeno, garlic, and cilantro, and it goes perfectly with anything!


  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup or more cilantro leaves
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  • 1 cup corn


  1. Pulse the spinach, cilantro, pepper, and garlic in a food processor until very finely chopped (almost like a paste).
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the rice and stir continuously for 5-8 minutes, until the rice is starting to turn light golden brown. Add the water, salt, corn, and green paste from step one. Cover and boil for 5 minutes. Stir, replace cover, and lower the heat to simmer for another 10-20 minutes or until the rice is soft and fluffy. Serve with additional salt, cilantro leaves, and lime if desired.


This goes really well with grilled chicken, grilled shrimp, fried plantains, spicy beans, in burritos and tacos, or straight up on tortilla chips. YUMMY.

For the fried plantains recipe, try these Garlic Tostones. My fave!

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: green mexican rice, mexican rice, rice with corn

Thanks for being my favorite blog peepsters! Now off to Green Mexican Rice land.

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow! Popping greens and yellows.

    I love eating green and yellow food…just makes me feel so healthy and happy.

    But please, don’t ever ask me to invite a food blogger over for dinner….anything but that =)

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    Being puertorican, I must say nothing makes me happier than seeing a recipe that involves rice and fried plantains on the side! OH YES!!! 🙂

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    oooooh, I love this idea! Since it has so much flavor, what do you think about making it with brown rice? I love white rice, but I’m thinking I really don’t feel so guilty when I eat the whole bowl and it was brown rice 🙂

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Yep! That would be great! The color might be a little interesting (the brown + the green?) but for sure worth a try! I love brown rice!

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Mmm! I actually just had cilantro rice at a Latin restaurant the other day and was thinking about making it at home. This looks even better with the addition of spinach and corn. Good inspiration!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    There’s a certain percentage of a cookbook which you may legally photocopy, not to be used for profit, for personal use. I can’t remember the exact number, but it may be 30%. A librarian should be able to tell you, that’s how I found out even this much.

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        This is funny, as I was going to tell you the same thing. You can photocopy up to 10% of a book without editor/publisher permission before you venture into illegal territory (I teach at a university and have verified this when making photocopies of chapters for my students). So, onward to recipe sharing! 🙂

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      It’s this weird sort of recipe where it’s not really a full meal by itself, yet for the last three days I’ve been eating bowls of it… as a full meal. Today I tossed some fresh spinach leaves in for a little vegetable balance and it was great. 🙂

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Plantains are my favorite! I can remember the first time I had them at a tiny hole-in-wall restaurant in Key West–and they were so good!
    This green rice looks good, but I’m curious how much it tastes like spinach…I’m trying to imagine the flavor, and I can’t.

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Although I should add that I always use fresh spinach in cooking because I find that the frozen stuff can taste yucky. So use fresh for sure if you’re worried about taste.

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Would it be weird if I seared the corn kernels and added them at the end? How would the smoky flavor go with the freshness of the spinach and cilantro?

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Lindsay, this looks so good! I’m always trying to think of ways to dress up my boring white rice and this recipe is definitely a keeper! I love the color and all the flavors. My mouth is now watering for fried plantains 🙂

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love when people give me little clippings from magazines of a new recipe to try. I think it’s funny how friends and family think of me before themselves when they are cutting them out.
    This is some beautiful rice! That beautiful green with the bits of yellow corn in it really make it pop! I love the flavor combo in it as well.

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh my does this look good! I’m all about Mexican food but I’ve never heard of green rice. It will be happening soon, especially with the corn!

    So funny that you are gifted random recipes and cookie sheets. My grandma always sends me clippings of recipes in the mail too. I love it!

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love this post! I’ve only been blogging for a few months, and lovely random people in my life have begun sending me recipes to try… it is truly the coolest thing to be known as a food-obsessed blogger!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Isn’t it though? Such a unique way to connect with people that you might otherwise not have much in common with. It’s awesome.