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Arroz Verde – Mexican Green Rice

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Arroz verde, Mexican green rice, makes a healthy and delicious side or filling for your favorite Mexican dishes. You will definitely want to make this easy dish for your next taco Tuesday. Loaded with fresh flavors from crisp cilantro, zesty hot peppers, and bright lime juice and packed with wholesome spinach, this rice is one everyone is sure to love!  

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Arroz Verde , Mexican green rice

This Recipe's Index

What is Arroz Verde?

Arroz verde translates to “green rice” and that is the perfect way to describe this fluffy, rice pilaf.

Though arroz verde rice dishes vary some, the common element is a vibrant green color. In our recipe, this color comes from the fresh cilantro, spinach, and green colored peppers.

Arroz verde has a rich flavor with a medium heat to satisfy those looking for a bit of spice. You can make this with your favorite Mexican and southwestern dishes for the ultimate side of rice.

What is green rice made of?

Green rice dishes are made with veggies, herbs, and peppers with a vibrant green color. When you make green rice, you don’t need any artificial food coloring. 

Instead, the combination of jalapeno peppers, poblano peppers, spinach, and cilantro lend their incredible flavor and color to arroz verde. 

Arroz Verde Ingredients

When you make this arroz verde recipe, you will need:

  • Cilantro sprigs - These provide a fresh flavor to this garlic cilantro rice.
  • Fresh stemmed spinach leaves - The spinach adds both green coloring and added nutrients.
  • Hot peppers - This recipe uses both poblano peppers and jalapeno peppers. You can add more or less based on your preferences. 
  • Homemade or low-salt vegetable broth - You could sub in water if you prefer.
  • Kosher salt - You could use sea salt or regular salt if you prefer.
  • Olive oil - We use regular olive oil, but extra virgin olive oil works well too.
  • Lime juice - as lit or lot !
  • Long-grain rice - You can use your favorite variety of long grain rice.
  • Aromatics - You’ll need onion and garlic for this recipe.

How to make Arroz Verde  AKA Mexican Green Rice Recipe

Here’s what you need to do to make the best arroz verde recipe.

  • First, rinse and drain the rice 3 times or until the water runs clear. This helps to remove debris and starch.
  • Stem and remove seeds from the poblano peppers and jalapeno and then add the poblanos, jalapeno, onion, garlic, cilantro, spinach, and salt to taste to a food processor. Blend until smooth. To aid the blending process, the peppers can be roughly chopped.
  • Next, set the Instant Pot on Sauté and add the oil. When HOT, add the rice.
  • Cook the rice in the oil, stirring constantly for 2 minutes or until it starts to change in color slightly.
  • Next, add the broth or water, salt, and green puree to the Instant Pot. Stir to mix and then turn the pressure cooker off.
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set it to Manual Mode, 5 minutes, high pressure. When you do this, make sure to set the valve to sealing.
  • Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally.
  • After the pin has dropped, open the Instant Pot and carefully fluff the rice with a fork.
  • Next, mix in the lime juice.
  • Finally, garnish it with some chopped onions, lime wedges, and cilantro. Serve it warm with your favorite Mexican sides, like black beans, charro beans, and sour cream.

You can also add even more flavor to rice when you serve it with one of our salsas, such as:

Pro tips and tricks

When you make this arroz verde recipe, make sure to follow these simple tips and tricks:

  • Always rinse your rice really well! You want your rice dishes to have fluffy rice, which means you need to remove as much starch and debris as you can with multiple rinses.
  • Keep an eye on the rice and do not stop stirring it. When we make this, we find it is helpful to have the broth and other ingredients handy to pour in after 2 minutes. You don’t want to leave the rice sitting or it can easily burn!
  • When you mix up the puree of peppers and herbs, you might find it helpful to use roughly chopped peppers before adding them to the food processor. This cuts down on the amount of time it takes to puree the sauce. 

FAQs

How to serve with Arroz Verde

After it cooks, you want to serve the rice warm so don’t let it cool too much. 

Arroz Verde is a versatile side dish that goes well with nearly any Mexican or southwestern entree. You can also mix it into your favorite burritos, bowls, or tacos. 

You could even serve it alongside sopa de fideo to fill out your dinner or lunch.

Sometimes we like to mix it with our pinto beans or charro beans. We also use it as a side for our tasty fajitas. 

As a general rule of thumb, we find we can serve this rice dish with any meal that we would otherwise serve with our favorite Spanish rice.

Arroz Verde Mexican green rice

How to store

You can easily store arroz verde in the fridge. Before placing it in the fridge, scoop the cooled rice into an airtight container and seal it fully before storing. You should be able to store it fresh for about 5 to 7 days. 

To reheat, you can either microwave a portion for a few minutes until warm or place in a pot and reheat over medium low to medium heat. You may find adding a bit of water helps to rehydrate the rice if it has dried some in the fridge.
Arroz Verde Mexican green rice

Let us know what you think

If you make this delicious recipe, let us know how it went! When you make this, be sure to take a pic and tag us on Instagram @dbellyrulesdmind or Facebook @thebellyrulesthemind!

Arroz Verde Mexican green rice

Arroz Verde / Mexican Green Rice

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Arroz verde, Mexican green rice, makes a healthy and delicious side or filling for your favorite Mexican dishes. You will definitely want to make this easy dish for your next taco Tuesday. Loaded with fresh flavors from crisp cilantro, zesty hot peppers, and  bright lime juice and packed with wholesome spinach, this rice is one everyone is sure to love! 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro sprigs
  • 1 cup tightly packed fresh stemmed spinach leaves (about 1-1/2 oz.)
  • 2 Poblano peppers
  • 2 Jalapeno peppers ( increase or decrease according to your spice tolerance ))
  • 1-1/2 cups homemade or low-salt vegetable broth or water
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups long-grain rice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 clove garlic, minced

Instructions

    • First, rinse and drain the rice 3 times or until the water runs clear. This helps to remove debris and starch.

    Make the Puree.

    • Stem and remove seeds from the poblano peppers and jalapeno.
    • Add the poblanos, jalapeno, onion, garlic, cilantro, spinach, and salt to taste to a food processor. Process until smooth. Set Aside.
    • Set the Instant Pot on Sauté and add the oil. when HOT add the rice.
    • Saute the rice in the oil, stirring constantly for 2 minutes, until it starts
      to change the color slightly.
    • Add the broth or water, salt, and green puree to the Instant Pot. Stir to
      mix, then turn the pressure cooker off.
    • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set it to Manual Mode, 5 minutes, high pressure.
    • Once cooking time is done, let the pressure release naturally.
    • Open the Instant Pot and carefully fluff the rice with a fork.
    • Add Lime Juice and mix.  
    • Garnish it with some chopped onions, lime wedges and cilantro
    • Serve it warm with your favorite Mexican sides like Black beans, charro beans, sour cream.



    Notes

    Pro tips and tricks

    When you make this arroz verde recipe, make sure to follow these simple tips and tricks:

    • Always rinse your rice really well! You want your rice dishes to have fluffy rice, which means you need to remove as much starch and debris as you can with multiple rinses.
    • Keep an eye on the rice and do not stop stirring it. When we make this, we find it is helpful to have the broth and other ingredients handy to pour in after 2 minutes. You don’t want to leave the rice sitting or it can easily burn!
    • When you mix up the puree of peppers and herbs, you might find it helpful to use roughly chopped peppers before adding them to the food processor. This cuts down on the amount of time it takes to puree the sauce. 

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    About Soniya

    Hello, I am Soniya, the cofounder of The Belly Rules The Mind.  Originally from Mumbai, India, I am settled in Virginia US with my husband.

    I am a mother of 2 energetic boys, referred to as R2 (15-year-old) and R3 (10-year-old) on the blog. In case you are wondering who is R1, well that is my husband. 

    My hubby and I were born in Mumbai, India, where we were spoiled by the wealth of food choices available to us. We could enjoy everything from yummy street food to multi-cuisine restaurants and we became very picky about what we like and what we don't. Read more

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