Arroz Verde

Arroz Verde is a delicious and healthy rice recipe, perfect for any meal! You’ll love the flavor combo of the poblano pepper with cilantro and spinach. Yum! This beautiful green rice goes with anything, from enchiladas, tacos and even stews. 

A white bowl with arroz verde garnished with cilantro and sliced peppers.
Arroz Verde Poblano is easy and delicious!

Mexican Green Rice

This rice has a very aromatic smell due to the all the herbs and spices it was cooked with. Much more than the red and white rice. This Mexican Green Rice recipe is so good, you will want to eat it plain, straight out of the pot! It starts with sauteing the rice with onion then infused with a sauce made out of poblano pepper, cilantro and spinach to finish it up.

There are a few variations you can make to the ingredients used so you’re more than welcome to customize it to your liking. See the ingredients section along with my suggestion for substitutes.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • So healthy – adding the greens to the rice is the perfect way to eat good for you veggies!
  • Meal prep friendly: You can prep a big batch of this rice and use it all week!
  • Naturally gluten free and nut free, so it’s perfect for just about any dietary needs.

A white bowl with arroz verde garnished with cilantro and sliced peppers.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Different versions: To make it green you have these options of

  • The herbs: Cilantro, parsley, spinach, acelga, basil or epazote (the last two, I recommend you do a mix of herbs as their flavor tends to be too strong).
  • Long grain rice: jasmine, basmati or carolina gold rice.
  • The Chile: Use poblano pepper or jalapeño. I recommend Poblano as it’s mild and the rice can be eaten by the entire family. Or you could do a combination of both peppers if you prefer to have a small kick to the rice.
    • Substitute: Green bell peppers or fire roasted hatch chiles.
  • The herbs: You can choose your prefer herbs but the original recipe is made with cilantro only. On this recipe I added a cup of fresh spinach since it enhances the green color plus is a great way to add more green leaves to your dish!
    • Substitute or do a mix and match: Parsley, spinach, basil or epazote (the last two, I recommend you do a mix of herbs as their flavor tends to be too strong).
  • The Veggies: Use 1 cup total of your prefer veggies: corn kernels or a combination of vegetables like peas and carrots (frozen or from a can).
  • Oil for sauteing the rice (vegetable, avocado or grapeseed oil will work)
  • White or yellow onion
  • Garlic cloves
  • Chicken or vegetable broth – homemade is best but store bought will work too.
  • Chicken or vegetable bouillon
  • Table salt & black pepper

***Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

All ingredients for arroz verde on a white board.
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How To Make Arroz Verde

Making this green rice is easy peasy! Have all ingredients ready before you start as the preparation takes no time at all.

Rinsing rice in a fine mesh colander over a bowl.

Step 1. Rinse rice: Place it in a small hole colander and rinse well with cold water. Drain to make sure it does not have any water residue. Set aside to drain well.

Step 2. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a medium saucepan and heat over medium high heat. Add the ⅓ onion, garlic & poblano pepper and saute for about 2 minutes or until onion starts to get clear.

Step 3. Transfer to a blender and add 1 cup broth, cilantro, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth and well combined. Set aside.

Step 4. Heat: On the same medium saucepan, add the other 1 tablespoon of oil and heat on medium high.

Step 5. Saute rice: Once the oil is hot, add the rice and sauté. When it starts to turn opaque add the 2 tablespoons of chopped onion. Saute for another 3 minutes or so until the rice is dry and toasted.

Step 6. Add: the corn, the green sauce mixture and remaining broth. Stir well to integrate all ingredients. Cover with a tight lid and bring to a boil.

Swirling broth into the blender's cup.

Tip! Use the remaining of the broth to get the leftover sauce in the blender. Swirl it around and pour into the rice mixture.

Step 7. Turn the heat to low and bring it to a gentle simmer. Cook undisturbed for 15 minutes.

Step 8. Now here is the key to make sure the rice stays fluffy: Remove rice from the heat, leaving the lid on, and let rest for another 15 minutes. Remove lid and cool for 5 minutes before fluffing it with a fork.

Taste, season with salt if needed and serve with a wedge of lime.


Chef's Hat Icon.

Chef’s Tips and Notes

  • For this recipe use broth instead of water. It’s a total game changer to cook rice in either chicken or vegetable broth. It just adds so much flavor!
  • I want to emphasize that rinsing is an important step since removing the starch, prevents gumminess. Rice that has been rinsed will have nicely separated grains.

Can this Arroz Verde be made with brown rice?

Yes! This green rice can be made with brown rice but increase the cooking time by 5 minutes. Also, you may have to add a few extra tablespoons of water so that it doesn’t dry out with the extended cooking time.

A white pot with a fork fluffing the green rice, corn kernels.
Remove lid and cool for 5 minutes before fluffing it with a fork.

🍽 What to serve with Arroz Verde

Serve this rice warm as a side dish or a healthy main dish by adding any grilled meat. Here are some recipe pairing ideas:

A white small pot with arroz verde garnished with cilantro sprigs.

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How to Store

The key is to cool and refrigerate leftover rice as quickly as possible. When cold, put into an airtight container and cover.

  • Fridge – Store in the refrigerator for no more than a day before reheating it – and then only reheat it once.
  • Freezer – I like to store my rice in the freezer, stacked flat. They’ll keep well this way for up to 2 months.
  • Reheat

To reheat:

On the stove: Put the rice in a heavy bottom saucepan with a splash of water and break up any clumps. Add a few drops of oil or a little butter if needed. Cover with a lid and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until steamed through and piping hot.

In the microwave: Put the rice in a microwaveable dish, sprinkle lightly with water and add a splash of oil or a little bit butter. Cover and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes. Stir with a fork, then microwave for 1-2 minutes more until heated through and steaming.

A white bowl with arroz verde garnished with cilantro and sliced peppers.

💫 If you enjoyed this recipe I’d love it if you take 5 seconds to rate and review it below on the blog. It’s also super helpful to me and other readers if you share any changes you made to the recipe. I’m so grateful you’re here! 🙏🏼

Print Recipe:

A white bowl with arroz verde garnished with cilantro and sliced peppers.

Arroz Verde (Mexican Green Rice)

Servings 8 servings
Ana Frias
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Arroz Verde is a delicious and healthy rice recipe, perfect for any meal! You’ll love the flavor combo of the poblano pepper with cilantro and spinach. Yum! This beautiful green rice goes with anything, from enchiladas, tacos and even stews. 

Equipment

  • 1 Medium saucepan
  • Blender or food processor
8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 2 Tablespoons oil (vegetable, avocado or grapeseed oil will work)
  • 1 large poblano pepper (see notes on substitutions) seeds removed and cut in pieces
  • medium white or yellow onion (chopped in large pieces) + 2 tablespoon of chopped onion, divided.
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro washed
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth see note below
  • 1 tablespoon chicken or vegetable bouillon
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 1 cup corn kernels or a combination of vegetables like peas and carrots (frozen or from a can)

Instructions
 

  • Rinse rice: Place it in a small hole colander and rinse well with cold water. Drain to make sure it does not have any water residue. Set aside to drain well.
    1 cup long grain rice
  • Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a medium saucepan and heat over medium high heat. Add the ⅓ onion, garlic & poblano pepper and saute for about 2 minutes or until onion starts to get clear.
    1 large poblano pepper (see notes on substitutions), 2 garlic cloves
  • Transfer to the blender and add 1 cup broth, cilantro, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth and well combined. Set aside
    ½ cup fresh cilantro, 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth, ½ teaspoon table salt, ¼ teaspoon fresh black pepper, 1 tablespoon chicken or vegetable bouillon
  • Heat: On the same medium saucepan, add the other 1 tablespoon of oil and heat on medium high.
  • Saute rice: Once the oil is hot, add the rice and sauté. When it starts to turn opaque add the 2 tablespoons of chopped onion. Saute for another 3 minutes or so until the rice is dry and toasted.
  • Add: the corn, the green sauce mixture and remaining broth. Stir well to integrate all ingredients. Cover with a tight lid and bring to a boil.
  • Turn the heat to low and bring it to a gentle simmer. Cook undisturbed for 15 minutes.
  • Now here is the key to make sure the rice stays fluffy: Remove rice from the heat, leaving the lid on, and let rest for another 15 minutes. Remove lid and cool for 5 minutes before fluffing it with a fork.
  • Taste, season with salt if needed and serve with a wedge of lime.

*Ana’s Notes:

  1. Use poblano pepper or jalapeño. I recommend Poblano as it’s mild and the rice can be eaten by the entire family. Or you could do a combination of both peppers if you prefer to have a small kick to the rice.
    • Substitute: Green bell peppers or fire roasted hatch chiles.
  2. The herbs: You can choose your prefer herbs but the original recipe is made with cilantro only. On this recipe I added a cup of fresh spinach since it enhances the green color plus is a great way to add more green leaves to your dish!
    • Substitute or do a mix and match: Parsley, spinach, basil or epazote (the last two, I recommend you do a mix of herbs as their flavor tends to be too strong).
  3. If you don’t have chicken broth (or vegetable), you can add 2 cups of water + 1 chicken or vegetable bouillon cube. Dissolve the cube in the water prior to adding it to the rice. 

ADD YOUR OWN PRIVATE NOTES

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you’ll be able to see your notes.

NUTRITION

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 120kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 355mg | Potassium: 190mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

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Recipe Rating




3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This arroz verde is super aromatic and delicious! It’s a great recipe for when you need a break from the standard red rice. Yum!