Arroz Verde con Piña (Green Rice with Pineapple)

Arroz Verde con Piña ©Rhonda Adkins 2013-2

Last month I taught a cooking class, it was Mexican cooking.  Not your standard heavy Tex-Mex loaded with cheese, sauces and sour cream.  Our theme was Mexi-light, Mexi-easy, Mexi-delicious.  We started off with the basics, salsa and guacamole and then things got better.

Taking my cues from Baja and the Yucatan region we started off with a mock shrimp ceviche, this citrus salad, Baja style fish tacos, Arroz Verde con Piña, finished off with a tres leches and fresh berry trifle.  Of course I came up with a cocktail fitting the menu.

As always my Winter Sals-tice (and I don’t mean that arrogantly) gets rave reviews.  The students were surprised at how delicious a simple guacamole of avocado, salt and lime juice was.  My opinion alert! I think our Mexican chain restaurants put way too much in their version, hiding the beautiful flavor of the avocado. I have to say that the surprise dish of the evening was this Arroz Verde con Piña.

There are two things that are essential to this dish, it’s short grained rice and…wait for it…

Arroz Verde con Piña ©Rhonda Adkins 2013

Canned green enchilada sauce.

But why?

Would you believe it if I told you that this rice dish is more like a Mexican risotto than anything else?  The short grained rice is super starchy, similar to arborio rice, which helps make it thicker-er.  Adding the canned green enchilada sauce during the last 5 minutes of cooking gives you that creaminess, that’s so risotto like.

But why the canned stuff?

Everything has it’s place, like beer and Velveeta at Super Bowl parties.  The super velvetiness of the canned sauce makes a huge difference. And the mild flavor compliments, rather than competes with the pineapple.  Not to mention it’s Mexi-easy! (my homemade sauces tend to be a bit chunkier, spicier and more time consuming)

If you are looking for a change to your regular Mexican inspired side dishes, if you want something lighter and easy you have got to try this rice dish.


Arroz Verde con Piña (Green Rice with Pineapple)
Serves 6
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
  1. 1 cup rice
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. ½ cup diced onion
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 can (14.5 ounce) lower sodium chicken broth
  6. 1 jalapeno, minced
  7. ¼ cup minced cilantro
  8. 1 can (10 ounce) green enchilada sauce
  9. 1 (8 ounce) can pineapple tidbits (juice reserved)
  10. Salt to taste
  1. In a large saucepan or non-stick frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add rice, garlic and jalapeno and sauté until rice turns opaque. Add broth bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the green enchilada sauce and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the green enchilada sauce and cilantro. Add pineapple juice if desired for a creamier rice.
The Kitchen Witch
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11 Responses to Arroz Verde con Piña (Green Rice with Pineapple)

  1. Veronica June 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    Oh this sounds lovely and a quicker alternative to the green rice I usually make. Also I plan to make your simple guacamole soon–it was one of the recipes I considered for SRC!

    • Giggles June 8, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

      Let me know what you think of the guacamole. This last time I went a little heavier on the lime juice and loved it.

  2. Nusrat Azim June 7, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    Look what my favorite witch did ! She made me drool over her pictures !
    Super comforting rice dish. A must try 🙂

    • Giggles June 8, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

      You are always so sweet!

  3. Debra June 8, 2013 at 1:40 am #

    So, in a pinch, one could use risotto? This sounds delish and I would have loved attending your class!

    • Giggles June 8, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

      If you want to get all fancy pants, of course substitute risotto but you’ll have to adjust the cooking method and liquid ratio. If you’re doing that I’d consider adding some tequila! Like you need to attend one of my classes…you could teach ME a thing or two!

  4. Karen June 8, 2013 at 11:41 am #

    Now why haven’t I thought of this? I always have a can of red and a can of green sauce on hand.

    • Giggles June 8, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

      Karen, I’ve done this with red sauce, onions, green peppers and black olives also, just as good!

  5. Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) June 9, 2013 at 8:26 am #

    When I first saw that photo, I thought it looked like Risotto! And it looks incredible. And what good timing. I bought a whole pineapple at Costco this week, and we’ve used it, used it and used it and there’s stall almost half of it left. It’s the never ending food supply for this week. I’ll make this tonight to get rid of a little bit more of it. I also agree about that guac. The simpler, the better. I’m a big fan of fresh authentic Mexican Food, not so much for the Tex-mex greasy cheese offerings.

    • Giggles June 11, 2013 at 10:18 am #

      I have a cantaloupe that has been are fruit nemesis…Everytime I look in the fridge there is still some left! I know you’ll love the rice, the flavors are right up your alley!

  6. Kitchen Butterfly June 28, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    What a wonder Rhonda = classes again? How wonderful to share this love for cooking in a different way! I love the sound of your guacamole – lime and I are becoming best friends! Well done