Rice baked in vibrant salsa verde sauce with nopales, fresh lime juice and chicken is the ultimate baked dinner recipe. Made with traditional Mexican flavors, my nopalitos con arroz recipe reminds me of dinner at abuelita’s house; she loved adding nopales to her dishes and she said it reminded her of the ranch where she grew up. I am excited to partner with Mahatma Rice to share with you this very special recipe for nopalitos con arroz.
The culture, the food and people of Mexico have been a huge influence in my life and even inspired this blog, Sweet Life. Over the years, I’ve shared recipes with you that remind me of my childhood, recipes I cooked with my abuelita, and recipes inspired by growing up in a Mexican home filled with love and plenty of delicious food. I am extremely grateful to celebrate the amazing food culture that exists here, with so many unique and wonderful flavors and ingredients available to explore.
As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, I want to share two of my favorite childhood ingredients — rice and nopales paired together to create a delicious dinner, and even tastier leftovers.
In Náhuatl, the word nopalli translates to fruit of the earth. Legend has it that a nopal upon which an eagle and a snake were engaged in mortal combat marked the location where the sun god Huitzilopochtli told the Aztecs to build the great city of Tenochtitlan, which means “the place of the nopal leaves.”
Rice pairs perfectly with salsa verde, but jarred nopalitos are what really add the tasty zing to this dish. Jarred nopalitos are brined in vinegar, onions, cilantro, chiles and spices. Using jarred nopales in this recipe cuts my cooking time in half, not having to brine and cook the nopales myself. And at the end of a long day, this mami finds any tasty shortcut available that helps me have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes. I also used cooked chicken in this recipe, but you can add any protein you have on hand — fajitas would be great; shredded carnitas, yes please; or simply add roasted veggies or canned beans.
I’m excited to be partnering with Mahatma Rice this year to be a brand ambassador and share all the yummy possibilities of rice. Stay tuned for more tasty rice recipes every month featuring Mahatma rice.
Mahatma is America’s favorite long grain rice. For over 93 years, Riviana Foods Inc. has been packaging and marketing rice for the U.S. consumer. Known for its consistent high quality, Mahatma rice is the preferred brand among many families. Mahatma rice is available in a variety of sizes from 1lb. to 20lb. bags. It’s easy to prepare, economical, versatile, and a healthy complement to any meal.
Mahatma rice is grown in the U.S.A. and is kosher approved. Families can trust Mahatma to cook into fluffy white rice. Mahatma rice is naturally sodium-free, cholesterol-free, and fat-free.
The Mahatma brand of rice was introduced in 1932. Having many of the table characteristics of the Indian patna variety, it was named “Mahatma,” which means “outstanding” or “superior” in character.
Find more tasty recipes at https://www.mahatmarice.com/
- 1 lb. tomatillos husk removed and rinsed
- ½ white onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ cup cilantro leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup Mahatma rice
- 1 cup jarred nopales drained and sliced in half
- 2 cups fully cooked chicken diced
- For tomatillo sauce: Place tomatillos, onion and garlic in a saucepan, cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove tomatillos, onion and garlic and place in a blender, with ½ cup cooking liquid. Blend until smooth. Stir in fresh lime juice and salt.
- For rice: Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Stir in 1 cup rice. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Liberally spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Stir together the rice, tomatillo sauce, nopalitos and fully cooked chicken. Bake for 15–20 minutes. Remove from oven, drizzle with fresh lime juice and serve warm.