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Make-Ahead Green Rice

  • Author: Tessa
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 8 C 1x


Gluten free/vegan. Microwaved rice sounds like something you’d eat in a college dorm room at 2 AM, but thanks to this make ahead method, it’s fluffy, flavorful, and perfect for your next big fiesta. The rice in the pictures uses kale as the green of choice, but spinach or chard are great and offer a milder, less grassy flavor.


  • 2 1/2 T vegetable or canola oil (or butter, if you don’t need it to be vegan)
  • 1 bunch (about 8) scallions, white and light green parts, finely chopped
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 C brown basmati rice, rinsed
  • 3 C vegetable stock (or water)
  • 3 packed cups chopped, uncooked greens (baby spinach, kale or chard leaves)
  • 1 C moderately packed cilantro leaves
  • Juice of 2 limes (divided use)


  1. Heat oil or butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat for a few minutes. Add scallions and a pinch of salt and cook until softened but not browned. Add jalapeno and garlic and cook for another minute. Add rice and cook for a few minutes, stirring, until very lightly browned and nutty smelling.
  2. Add stock or water, stir, increase heat to medium high, and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce heat to low (it should simmer), and cook, undisturbed, about 15 minutes, until water is completely absorbed. While the rice cooks, food process the greens, cilantro, a generous pinch of salt, a tablespoon of water, and the juice of 1 lime if using kale. Scrape down sides of food processor once or twice while processing, and if the mixture isn’t coming together, add another tablespoon of water.
  3. Once all the water is absorbed into the rice, remove from heat, drape a clean dish towel over the pot, cover it with the lid, and let stand (to steam) for 10 minutes. Remove lid, add greens mixture and cilantro, and use a fork to fluff and incorporate the greens completely. Add more salt to taste (start with 1 teaspoon). If serving immediately, stir in juice of the remaining lime. To make ahead, place rice in a microwave safe mixing bowl (preferably glass) and cool to room temperature without adding lime juice. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to two days.
  4. To reheat, bring rice, in the covered bowl, to room temperature for 30 minutes, if time permits. Microwave, covered (don’t vent the plastic wrap), until hot, beginning to check at 6 minutes. The rice may need 12 to 14 minutes to heat. Uncover carefully to avoid hot steam, add juice of one lime and more salt if needed, and fluff with a fork. Transfer to a serving bowl since the dish will be hot.


The greens called for is equivalent to about 4 large stems of kale.

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex