This healthy spinach rice with Mexican flavors like lime and cilantro is a simple and delicious way to get in an extra serving of greens. It works great as a side or served up in a burrito or wrap. Naturally vegan and gluten-free.
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What you’ll love about this recipe
- It’s loaded with fresh greens! Sometimes it’s hard to get enough greens in your diet. This rice makes it so easy though. With a whole bunch of spinach and a whole bunch of cilantro, this rice is packed full of healthy greens that are nutrient-rich and antioxidant high.
- It’s kid-approved! How many of you struggle to get your kids to eat spinach? Of all the vegetables, spinach is one of the more difficult ones to get my kiddos to consume – I imagine I am not alone. This flavorful green rice almost completely masks the taste of the spinach. I feed it to my children all the time and guess what?!? They LOVE it! Never thought I’d say that.
- It’s different but similar! If you’re a fan of cilantro-lime rice and you don’t hate spinach, then this rice definitely will not disappoint. As the title suggests, it’s got lime juice and plenty of cilantro. The addition of spinach doesn’t add much to the flavor department, but it’s a nice healthy twist.
Ingredients (+ notes & substitutions)
- Olive oil: For sautéeing the aromatics.
- White onion: Could sub for yellow onion.
- Garlic: Two cloves.
- Long-grain rice: Jasmine or Basmati are the way to go. If you opt for a different variety of rice, keep in mind the cooking time as well as the liquid required may need to be adjusted.
- Vegetable/chicken broth: If you would like the rice to be vegan, vegetable broth works great. Chicken broth adds additional flavor so if dietary restrictions are not a concern it would be my recommendation. If you don’t have any broth handy, water is also an option, although the end result will be less flavorful.
- Fresh spinach: One bunch – I’ve experimented with different size bunches and they all work equally well so feel free to add as much or little as you like.
- Cilantro: One bunch.
- Lime juice: Preferably fresh!
- Kosher salt
- Jalapeno (optional): Feel free to process a jalapeno with the greens for a spicier version of this rice.
How to make cilantro lime spinach rice (+ tips)
1. Heat oil to medium heat in a saucepan with a lid.
2. Sauté the onion for approximately two minutes or until the onions are slightly translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional one minute.
3. Increase heat to medium-high. Add the rice and cook for 1-2 minutes or until slightly browned stirring as needed to prevent burning.
4. Add the broth or water, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil.
5. Meanwhile, add the spinach, cilantro, lime juice, and salt to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until smooth.
6. Remove the rice from heat and let stand for five minutes with the lid on. **Do not remove the lid at any point as it will release steam disrupting the cooking process.
7. After five minutes, stir in the greens mixture. Serve warm.
Leftover Mexican spinach rice with cilantro and lime may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to six days.
What to serve with Mexican style cilantro lime spinach rice:
- Fajita Stuffed Chicken w/ Cheese Sauce: This fajita stuffed chicken smothered in cheese sauce is a fun, low-carb way to enjoy fajitas from home. Pair it with rice and/or beans, crown it with your favorite toppings, and dinner is served. Naturally gluten-free.
- Green Goddess Enchiladas: Get your daily dose of greens from these green goddess enchiladas. Spinach, cheese, and onion enchiladas smothered in verde sauce made from scratch, and heaped with sautéed broccoli and zucchini. Naturally gluten-free e=and vegetarian.
- Mexican Street Corn Quesadillas w/ Creamy Chipotle Sauce: A hearty vegetarian option for a weeknight meal, these loaded Mexican street corn quesadillas with mucho cheese can be prepped and plated in just 20 minutes.
- Hatch Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas: Hatch chile chicken enchiladas are a great way to make use of hatch chiles while they are in season. These made from scratch enchiladas feature a creamy chicken filling and homemade hatch chile enchilada sauce. Naturally gluten-free.
If you make this cilantro lime spinach rice I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light, and happy cooking ya’ll ♥
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion, approximately half of a medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 cup Jasmine or Basmati rice
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth, chicken broth, or water
- 1 bunch fresh spinach, stemmed
- 1 bunch cilantro, stemmed
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Jalapeno (optional) (see notes)
- Heat oil to medium heat in a saucepan with a lid.
- Sauté the onion for approximately two minutes or until onions are slightly translucent. Add the garlic and sauté an additional one minute.
- Increase heat to medium-high. Add the rice and cook for 1-2 minutes or until slightly browned. Stir as needed to prevent burning.
- Add the broth or water, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the spinach, cilantro, lime juice, and salt to the bowl of a food processor fit with the blade attachment. Process until smooth.
- Remove the rice from heat and let stand for five minutes with the lid on. Do not remove the lid at any point as it will release steam disrupting the cooking process.
- After five minutes, stir in the greens mixture. Serve warm.
Storage: Leftovers may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to six days.
- If you opt to add jalapeno for spice, pulse it along with the spinach, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. You may leave the seeds and membranes for extra heat or remove them.