This 15-minute side dish will brighten up any plate. This recipe is kicked up with Southwestern flair that’s a little smoky from the cumin and poblano chile. Instead of instant Spanish rice, try this recipe the next time your family is craving fajitas, tacos, or enchiladas.

Paige Grandjean
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Credit: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Tina Stamos

Recipe Summary test

15 mins
15 mins
Serves 4


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium. Add poblano and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cumin; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a food processor; add cilantro, salt, pepper and remaining 2 tablespoons oil.

  • While poblano and onion cook, place water in a large microwavable bowl, and microwave on HIGH until hot, about 4 minutes. Add spinach, and let stand 1 minute. Remove spinach, and squeeze between paper towels to remove excess moisture. Add spinach to mixture in food processor. Process until smooth, about 45 seconds, stopping to scrape sides as needed.

  • Cook rice according to package directions. Transfer to a large bowl, and stir in cilantro mixture. Top with queso fresco, and, if desired, additional chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.