Crazy Good Mexican Green Rice. Arroz Verde
What are you putting on your plate? I hope it’s not those ugly refried beans?
Mexican Green Rice. Arroz Verde!
Arroz Verde is the authentic name for Green Rice.
Food Culture Day Hit: Mexican Rice. Arroz Verde.
When I was teaching Spanish and I hosted a Mexican Food Culture day, I prepared Arroz Verde.
Watching parents and kids alike enjoy this dish reaffirms how tasty and crazy good Mexican Green Rice (Arroz Verde) is.
The flavor is amazing and better yet, you can make Mexican Green Rice vegetarian-based or not!
Arroz Verde is really a versatile dish that you can use as a side, lunch, or dinner!
Serve with beef tacos, seafood tacos, chicken tacos, or traditional tacos.
What Rice Do I use for Arroz Verde? That Mexican Green Rice Pantry Cleanout!
I’d even consider this a great pantry cleanout meal of sorts! Allow me to offer the rice types I have successfully used in this recipe.
Mexican Green Rice or Arroz Verde no matter the name, it’s pretty in a bowl!
Cilantro. Parsley. Let’s make Mexican Green Rice, Arroz Verde – Verde (green!)
Here’s the thing, when I use cilantro I taste soap, and that is not an uncommon thing.
Thank goodness that this recipe is flexible enough that you can use either cilantro or parsley, depending on how you ‘taste’ cilantro.
Once my neighbor prepared a side dish for me and added cilantro, it really was NOT my favorite.
Why? It tasted like soap.
If I don’t Like Cilantro Can I Oust Cilantro for Mexican Green Rice?
Truly a flavor boost and enhancer, cilantro can’t be skipped in this recipe but it can be substituted with its ‘kissing cousin’ as I call it: Parsley!
Use equal parts, or use more of one or the other! Don’t forget to cut off any NON-GREEN sprigs or leaves, you don’t want an awful taste in your mixture for Arroz Verde.
Salt & Pepper with Mexican Green Rice.
So I added Mediterranean sea salt, it’s more coarse and I did not use pepper.
For those that want more of a KICK go ahead and add in cayenne pepper 1/4 teaspoon at a time when you are preparing the rice portion in the recipe!
Broth and Milk for Arroz Verde
You can use both milk and broth or just one or the other in this Mexican Green Rice (Arroz Verde) recipe.
Actually, I have done both, because it does what I call, ‘Tame the beastie!”
The Poblano pepper can pack a nice jolt of heat into the Arroz Verde, therefore, milk will lessen burn (maybe that is all in my mind?)
So while I love the heat, not everyone in Casa Vento does, so I don’t always use poblano peppers.
However, please note, there are times when I make Arroz Verde just for me, and I use peppers (anaheim/poblano) and then I definitely add the milk in.
Tips: Peppers + Arroz Verde
Every batch of peppers is different and sometimes I’m not in the mood for heat.
Therefore, adding milk to tame the intensity of the heat and makes Mexican green rice a very flexible dish when it comes to temperature.
Also, always rid the seeds of ANY Pepper you are using in this recipe for Arroz Verde.
Disposing of the seeds tampers the heat and best allows the flavor to evenly distribute creating outstanding Mexican green rice, mmmm!
Tip No. 2 For Mexican Green Rice
Last, wear gloves if you don’t know the heat of the pepper or HOW it will burn your skin.
Since you are cutting peppers it gets on your hands which touch your nose and face and well consider how bad the burn can be!
Mexican Green Rice/Arroz Verde Means Going Green
Spinach was Popeye’s favorite food and as an ingredient, it will be yours for this recipe!
You’ll just need one of those pre-rinsed bags of spinach to conquer Arroz Verde unless you prefer your Mexican green rice a bit more ‘spinachy’.
No chopping, instead, you’ll pack up that food processor! It’s going to look so pretty because the green changes as it breaks down!
Kale Info & Mexican Green Rice.
Don’t use Kale, been there done that and you’ll not like the end result of Arroz Verde. If you don’t heed the advice, cook the Kale down with garlic ahead
Then process it in the food processor, and add a teaspoon of salt.
Pretty Plates & The Recipe for Mexican Green Rice
Remember, to plate this up on colorful plates and enjoy each bite.
Here’s the recipe!
Mexican Green Rice. Arroz Verde.
- 4 C spinach fresh, rinsed, dried, whole Baby or regular leaf.
- 1 C Cilantro or Parsley you can also do a 1/2 c of each if you like Cilantro (see my post for more info on this)
- 1 Tsp Mediterranean Salt optional*
- 1 1/2 C Vegetable Broth if using Vegetable Bouillon skip salt addition, you can also use chicken broth instead without ruining the taste.
- 1 C Milk at least 1% (don't use coconut milk or almond milk)
- 2 Tbsp Salted Butter
- 3 Tbsp Olive Oil extra virgin
- 1/2 C Yellow Onion skinned and chopped.
- 3 Cloves Garlic - peeled and cut Use more if you love garlic
- 5-6 Shishito peppers seeds out, tops chopped off *refer to note in the post on handling peppers for safety. I've posted this recipe as MILDER but I have shared in the blog post you can add poblanos or anaheim for more heat. Reference blog post
- 1 1/2 C Medium Grain Rice Jasmine, or whatever rice you prefer
- 1/2 C Peas
- 1 Medium lime rolled and ready to juice! P.S. Zest a little of the lime skin and toss it in at the end, it's awesome!
- In a food processor combine spinach, cilantro, parsley, milk, and broth.
- Process to combine well and break all whole into liquid.
- Set Aside.
- Using a saucepot (will need a lid), dispense olive oil, and butter.
- Then, on one side of the pot, drop in rice (alternatively you could brown rice and then add veggies, I just add it all and divide pot into 2 portions!**see the video to understand) and on the other side add-in garlic, onion, and shishito peppers.
- Once the rice is browned (about 3 minutes) combine with veggies in the pot and stir so nothing sticks to the bottom.
- You want the peppers and onions to be 'softened' or tender NOT crunchy.
- Continue to move the ingredient mixture until vegetables are softened (about 8-10 minutes on medium-low heat)
- Once softened add in the Green Processed mixture.
- Stir to combine.
- Now add the peas.
- Simmer to allow the rice to absorb mixture (as long as box instructions for rice would recommend) - Generally between 18-20 minutes.
- Then, remove from heat and Squeeze fresh lime, then stir.
- Next, place a clean towel across the opening of the pot and replace the lid. Do this to make the seal tighter and therefore the moisture that is normally accumulated on the lid won't drop down onto the rice! ***(optional you can just replace the lid!)
- After 10 minutes, remove the cloth (lid) and serve!
- Enjoy! ~