This green rice, Arroz Verde, is fresh and flavorful with cilantro, spinach, green chili peppers and lime, and it fits perfectly into any Mexican meal.
Here's a rice recipe you'll be making over and over, because it's healthy, packed with flavor and you can eat it with anything, although it is especially wonderful with a side of refried beans and guacamole, which makes dinnertime SO easy!
My Mexican Green Rice.
This is an easy rice to make, and you need no more than 25 minutes to go from scratch to finish. And it's guaranteed to please nearly anyone who eats it, unless they are ridiculous, and then why would you want to please someone like that?
Why we love this green rice
- It's packed with flavor from the cilantro, spinach, garlic, chili peppers, lime and onions.
- It take less than 30 minutes to cook.
- It's so healthy.
- It's delicious.
- It's versatile.
Tips and substitutions
- This rice is typically made with just cilantro, but I added spinach for some extra green and flavor and nutrition. You can go without the spinach, if you wish, or add another quick-cooking green, like watercress or arugula.
- You can also add mint, in the same proportion as the cilantro.
- Be adventurous with your peppers. Use jalapenos or serranos or a poblano pepper.
- Wash the rice in running water before you add it to the pot, making sure it runs fairly clear. This will keep your grains separate and fluffy.
- Toast the rice with the oil before you add your green puree to it.
- Let the rice cook undisturbed after you cover the pot. If you stir rice as it's cooking with a ladle, you will also end up mashing the grains, which you don't want.
- Once you turn off the heat, resist the urge to peek and wait another 10 minutes.
- As soon as you open the lid fluff the grains of rice delicately with a fork.
How to make this dish even healthier with brown rice
You can use brown rice to make this Mexican green rice. It will take longer for the brown rice to cook, and you will need to add more water. For two cups of rice, use 4 ¾ths cup of water, and after the liquid has come to a boil, cover and cook 45 minutes.
Cooking the rice in an Instant Pot
- You can make this recipe in an Instant Pot but cut down water or vegetable stock to 2 cups for 2 cups of rice.
- After you add the liquid, set the IP to pressure cook on high for five minutes. About 10 minutes after cooking has ended, release any remaining pressure, open the lid, and fluff the grains.
- For brown rice, use the same proportion of water (2 cups brown rice to 2 cups water/veggie stock) but increase cooking time in the IP to 15 minutes.
What to serve with the rice
- Refried beans (updated recipe coming soon)
Mexican Green Rice
- 2 cups basmati rice (or any long grain rice)
- 1 packed cup cilantro (roughly chopped)
- 1 ½ cups spinach (frozen is fine, thaw before using)
- 2-3 green chili peppers (like serrano or jalapeno)
- 1 medium onion (coarsely chopped)
- 4 cloves garlic (coarsely chopped)
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- Salt to taste
- 3 ½ cups vegetable stock (or water)
- Place the rice in a colander and hold it under running water until the water runs fairly clear. Set aside.
- Place the spinach, cilantro, green chili peppers, garlic, onions and lime juice in a blender and blitz into a smooth paste. You shouldn't need any water, but if you do, add a tablespoon at a time to keep the blades running.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the rice and toast it, stirring frequently, until the grains start to turn opaque.
- Add the blended spinach-cilantro, season with salt, and mix well. Add the vegetable stock or water. Taste, and add more salt if needed. The water should be slightly saltier than you'd like your rice to be.
- Bring the liquid to a boil, then cover the saucepan with a lid, turn down the heat to low, and let the rice cook, undisturbed, for 15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat. Do not open the lid but let the rice stand 10 minutes undisturbed. Then open the lid and fluff the grains with a fork.