Arroz Verde, also known as Green Rice, is a quick and easy side dish to pair with your favorite Mexican recipes. Long grain white rice is cooked with a puree of cilantro, onions, peppers and garlic for a dynamic flavor and fluffy texture.
Arroz Verde, translated to green rice in Spanish, is a Mexican and Latin American dish comprised of white rice cooked in a medley of herbs and peppers, such as jalapeños, and poblano peppers.
Some recipes for green rice include parsley and cilantro while others only utilize cilantro. This version is parsley-free, however it’s a quick swap to use both parsley and cilantro. Totally up to you.
Green Rice Recipe
Here are the main ingredients required to make Green Mexican Rice. For the full list of ingredients, and quantities, see the recipe card below.
Fresh Lime Juice
It’s imperative to use fresh lime juice when making arroz verde. The flavor profile is vastly superior to bottled lime juice. While you’re at it, add some lime zest to the mix for another layer of flavor.
Use as much or as little chopped fresh cilantro as you see fit. The stems of cilantro are edible and delicious, however have a much stronger flavor than the leaves. It’s up to you whether you want to include cilantro stems or not.
We recommend using Jasmine rice or Basmati rice when making arroz verde, although any long grain white rice would work.
Do not skip rinsing the rice as it will drastically affect the outcome of the recipe in a negative way. Rinsing the rice removes all the starch thereby making it less likely to be mushy and clump.
Plan on spending 2-3 minutes to properly rinse the rice.
How To Make
Only a few short steps are required to make this easy green rice recipe.
This only highlights the key steps. For the full list of instructions reference the recipe card below.
- Rinsing – Place the rice in a mesh sieve and hold under cold running water until the water runs clear (approx. 2 minutes). Drain well.
- Make the Sauce – Put all the sauce ingredients into a blender and blend away!
- Toast the Rice – Sauté the rice until toasty!
- Cooking – Add the broth and herb puree and simmer away!
- Serve – Fluff, taste and serve!
Cilantro Lime Brown Rice – swap in equal parts brown rice for white rice. Brown rice does take longer to cook, so check the back of the bag for the time you’ll need to boil the rice.
Green Rice with Parsley – Swap in chopped parsley for half the cilantro. Or, for those cilantro haters, just use all parsley.
In addition to serving green rice on the side of a main protein, there’s a ton of other ways to use arroz verde in a dish, including:
Rice Bowl – add your favorite protein and vegetables to make a Chipotle-style bowl, with your favorite toppings.
Here are a few of our favorite plates to serve this rice recipe with:
- Carne Asada Recipes
- Achiote Chicken
- Instant Pot Carnitas
- Tacos al Carbon
- Milanesa de Pollo
- Camarones a la Diabla
- 1 cup of uncooked white rice makes 3 cups cooked white rice. As this recipe takes 1 cup of rice, you’ll have 3 cups of cooked rice.
- We highly recommend using a non-stick pan to avoid the rice sticking to the bottom and burning.
- Make sure to fluff the rice with a fork after cooking (don’t stir) to ensure a nice consistency.
- Throw in a extra jalapeños or serrano peppers for added heat.
- Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth for a vegetarian rice dish.
- For maximum nutrition, use Instant Pot Bone Broth in place of store bought chicken broth.
Storage and Re-heating
Refrigerate – after cooling, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for 4-5 days.
Freeze – after cooling, transfer to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Re-heat – add to a microwave safe container along with a few tsp of broth or water and heat for 1 minute. Stir and repeat in 30 second increments until the rice is warm through out.
- 1 cup basmati or jasmine rice (*Note 1)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ¾ cup cilantro leaves (*Note 2)
- ½ small white onion, roughly chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped (*Note 3)
- ½ poblano pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
- 1¼ cup chicken broth
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
PREP THE RICE
- Place the rice in a mesh sieve and place under cold running water until the water runs clear. This removes the excess starch. It will take approx. 2-3 minutes. Drain well.
MAKE THE HERB MIXTURE
- Add the onion, jalapeno, poblano, cilantro, garlic and salt to a food processor and blend until smooth. If needed, add a splash of the chicken broth. Set aside.
MAKE THE RICE
- Pre-heat the oil in a medium-size heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the rice and sauté for approx. 8-10 minutes until the rice is toasted.
- Mix in the herb mixture and broth and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, until the rice is tender.
- Remove from the heat and let sit, with the cover still on, for 15 minutes.
- Mix and fluff with a fork (the herb mix will be on top). Taste and add extra salt, if needed.
- Serve with lime wedges and enjoy.