Mexican Green Rice | Arroz Verde – a refreshing spin on your everyday basic white rice, transforming it in a few simple steps, into a bold, zesty, colorful, flavorful, sassy side dish loaded with a bright beautiful green assortment of pureed peppers, spinach, onions, and parsley.
Arroz Verde will have your mouth saying ‘Ole’ after just one bite!
Why You’ll Love Arroz Verde
- Makes a new spin on your everyday basic white rice
- It’s an easy Mexican side dish to prepare
- Easy to find ingredients
- One-pot easy
- It’s a bold-flavored green-colored rice
Whether you are celebrating every Taco Tuesday, Cinco De Mayo (Cinco de Drinko), or any other Mexican meal you might be preparing, you’ll find this green rice recipe to be the BFF side dish to each!
Say goodbye to refried beans and HELLO to green Spanish rice!
Equipment Needed To Make Arroz Verde
- Food Processor or a blender
- Large saute pan with lid
- Cutting board
- Measuring Cup
- Serving Bowl
You will need a way to puree the vegetables used in this rice recipe with greens, as that will be what you are simmering and cooking the rice in.
Ingredients For Your Mexican Green Rice
These are everyday basic ingredients that are not hard to find.
You’ll be able to add more or less of the garlic as well as the onion as you prefer without ruining the balance of the recipe, so feel free to experiment and adjust as necessary.
- Spinach fresh, Whole Baby, or regular leaf
- Cilantro or Parsley
- Mediterranean Salt optional*
- Vegetable Broth
- Milk at least 1% (don’t use coconut milk or almond milk)
- Salted Butter
- Olive Oil extra virgin
- Yellow Onion skinned and chopped.
- Garlic Cloves: peeled and cut
- Shishito peppers (Poblanos or Anaheim if you prefer heat)
- Medium Grain Rice Jasmine
How To Make Mexican Green Rice
This is a very simple recipe to make, and there are many ways you can work around my steps.
I have shortcutted the entire process as much as possible without short-changing the taste, or appearance.
Step 1: Food Processor Step for the Mexican Green Puree
In a food processor combine spinach, cilantro, parsley, milk, and broth.
You’ll be processing combining, and pureeing at the same time to create a liquid.
Once done set it aside.
Step 2: Rice Recipe Preparation
Using a saucepot with a lid (frying pan) add the olive oil and butter.
Try to keep that to one side of the pan, then drop the rice in.
On the other side of the large saute pan, add garlic, onion, and peppers.
Use the video to see exactly how I did this.
Alternatively, you can brown rice and then add veggies. Once the rice is browned (about 3 minutes) combine with veggies in the pot and stir so nothing sticks to the bottom.
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)
Step 3: Add the Finishing Pureed Mixture to the Spicy Green Rice In the Pan
Once the vegetables are softened, and you’ve stirred the rice content, you will be adding in the pureed liquid of Mexican greens you previously combined and set aside.
Gradually add the pureed Mexican greens into the pan and stir as you do to combine.
Then you will add the peas and cover.
Step 4: Allow The Green Spanish Rice To Simmer
Simmer to allow the rice to absorb the mixture to fully cook as the box instructions indicate.
Step 5: Lime Time For the Spinach Pepper Green Rice
Once the rice is fully cooked, you will then remove it from heat.
Remove the lid on the pan, set it aside, and then add the lime zest as well as a generous fresh squeeze of the lime.
Stir this and make sure the Mexican green rice is evenly distributed across the pan.
Step 6: Cover To Add Moisture to the Fabulous Spicy Mexican Rice
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!
What To Serve With Your Arroz Verde?
Honestly, this rice can be a main meal or an appetizer, or even a side dish, so pairing it up is easy.
I’ll share a few thoughts below to help you figure out what dishes to serve it with.
Main Entrees and Your Rice
Arroz Verde is really a versatile dish that you can use as a side, lunch, or dinner!
Also, consider this alongside a white fish or even salmon.
How To Reheat & Store Mexican Green Rice
You can store and reheat your spicy fiesta rice, and I will share how.
Best Way To Store Arroz Verde
If you have leftovers, you will want to store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
How Long Will Mexican Green Rice Last in the Fridge?
As there is dairy involved in this recipe, 3 days is the maximum amount of time I would suggest storing the rice in the refrigerator.
How To Reheat Arroz Verde
Choose the portion of rice you want, place it on a microwave-safe plate, and reheat it according to your heating preference.
- You can use both milk and broth or just one or the other in this 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 the 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.
- 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.
Arroz Verde FAQs
Can I use any rice in my Mexican Green Rice Recipe
Do I Have To Use Cilantro In Arroz Verde?
You do not have to use cilantro and in fact, I am one of the people that have the possible genetic makeup that makes me taste soap when I use Cilantro so instead, I use something else! the taste of Cilantro and I believe it tastes like dish soap.
Instead of using Cilantro I simply substitute parsley and it tastes good to me!
Do I Have to Use Salt And Pepper?
No to Salt. Yes To Pepper.
When I prepare this, I don’t add salt because the salt I need comes from the broth.
Additionally, for the pepper, I always have at least a dash of black pepper, but when I want to add more heat, I speckle it with red pepper, or cayenne just to kick it up a notch!
Other Mexican Recipes You’ll Love
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! ~