Green Rice (Arroz Verde)

Colorful and loaded with flavor, this Green Rice Recipe also known as “Arroz Verde” is delicious and surprisingly easy to make! This homemade Green Rice is laced with fresh herbs, lime juice and spinach, and also chili peppers for a kick of heat! It goes with all of your Mexican favorites (tacos, burritos, enchiladas) and is perfect anytime!

Rice takes on flavor so well and goes with almost anything! For your next Taco Tuesday, try my Instant Pot Spanish Rice, and my Mexican Chicken and Rice Casserole is a one-pan healthy meal, perfect any time!

Green rice in a white bowl with a silver spoon lifting out a bite.

The Best Arroz Verde

If you come for dinner at my house, you will never find plain white or brown rice. I just can’t do it! I LOVE upgrading rice with flavor and color. From my classic Fried Rice recipe to a simple healthy Cilantro Lime Brown Rice, rice is just a blank canvas waiting for herbs, aromas, and spices to make it spectacular!

This Green Rice recipe is just that: Spectacular! It’s creamy thanks to the milk and bursting with fresh flavor from the chopped cilantro and parsley. For a kick jalapeno and poblano peppers are added. Along with fresh squeezed lime juice, spinach, chicken stock, butter, and of course rice to make this easy rice recipe a Mexican staple you will just love!

This green rice recipe goes with anything! It’s great with Mexican favorites like tacos, burritos, and enchiladas, as well as recipes like grilled chicken and pan-fried salmon. It’s easy and quick to make, and while it simmers you can prep the rest of dinner.

Green rice in a white pot with a wooden spoon.

Ingredients for Green Rice

  • Spinach: You can use either fresh or frozen spinach, completely thawed out. I always have a bag in the freezer to throw into things like rice or smoothies!
  • Rice: For this Arroz Verde recipe I used long-grain white rice. It gets toasted with butter and oil and tastes amazing! Another white rice like basmati or Carolina would work really well too. For an even healthier option, you can try brown rice, however,  it will take a little longer to cook.
  • Chiles: I added one poblano pepper and one jalapeno. I would not consider this rice spicy at all! My two year old loved this rice and is not a fan of heat. If you do want this green rice to be spicier replace the poblano pepper with two jalapenos instead.
  • Broth: Chicken broth brings salt and enhances the flavor so much more than plain water would. For a vegetarian version of this Green Rice recipe, you can use vegetable stock.
  • Milk: Have you ever added milk to rice before? Definitely give it a go! It makes the rice so creamy!
  • Onion & garlic: These two staples add so much flavor to green rice! It’s delicious!
  • Oil & butter: Unsalted butter and olive oil are used to toast the rice before boiling it.
  • Lime: Lime juice bring a tart, citrusy taste to this dish and adds balance to the other flavors.
  • Herbs: Other recipes called for adding the herbs before cooking the rice. I decided to add them in after the rice has been cooked so the cilantro and parsley would not get wilted. Fresh uncooked herbs add so much for flavor to this dish.

How to make Green Rice

1. Begin by adding the spinach, jalapeno, poblano, onion, garlic and chicken broth to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse for 2 minutes or until everything is combined.

Blender with spinach, peppers, onion, garlic, and broth, blended.

2. Next, heat butter and olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the rice and cook until it gets toasted and golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.

Rice toasting in a white pot with a wooden spoon.

3. Add the pureed peppers and onion mixture to the pot. Cook for 1-2 minutes. It will smell amazing!

Add pureed mix to the toasted rice in a white pot with a wooden spoon.

4. Now add in milk and bring everything to a simmer.

Add milk to the ingredients in the white pot with a wooden spoon.

5. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed.

Cooked ingredients in a white pot with a wooden spoon.

6. Finally, mix in the cilantro, parsley, and lime juice, and then season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve Green Rice immediately and enjoy!Add fresh herbs to to the ingredients in the white pot with a wooden spoon.

Storage & Reheating Instructions

  • Store cooled green rice in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat in the microwave or in a pot on the stove until it’s thoroughly hot.

Tips for success

  • Long-grain white rice is preferred for this green rice recipe, however, you can use brown rice instead! It will need to be cooked a little longer so just adjust the cooking times by 5-10 minutes.
  • If you can’t find poblanos, just use another jalapeno or other spicy green pepper.
  • Prefer less heat? Just add half or one pepper instead of 2.
  • Prefer more heat? Leave the stems and seeds intact.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is green rice made of? Green rice (also known as Arroz Verde) has spinach, hot green chili peppers (jalapeno and poblano), fresh cilantro and parsley as well as butter, oil, milk, chicken broth, and of course white rice.
  • What does green rice mean? Green rice can refer to two things. This recipe is a recipe for green rice which is loaded with green herbs, spinach, and chilis. On the other hand, it can refer to green grains of rice that haven’t matured yet and are still growing. Usually, the rice kernels at the bottom of a stalk of rice grow slower than the top and may still be green when harvested. If you find green rice grains in your rice there is no need to panic! You can cook them with the rest of the rice or just discard them.

What can I serve Green Rice with?

Green rice in a white pot with a wooden spoon lifting out rice to be served.

More rice recipes you will love

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Green Rice (Arroz Verde)

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Colorful and loaded with flavor, this Green Rice Recipe also known as "Arroz Verde" is delicious and surprisingly easy to make! This homemade Green Rice is laced with fresh herbs, lime juice and spinach, and also chili peppers for a kick of heat! It goes with all of your Mexican favorites (tacos, burritos, enchiladas) and is perfect anytime!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 poblano pepper, stem removed and seeded
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, stem removed and seeded
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice, rinsed
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced

Instructions

Images:
  • Add the spinach, jalapeno, poblano, onion, garlic and chicken broth to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse for 2 minutes or until everything is combined.
  • Heat butter and olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
    Add in rice and cook until the rice gets toasted and golden brown 3-4 minutes.
  • Add in the pureed peppers and onion mixture to the pot. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add in milk and bring to a simmer.
  • Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Add in cilantro, parlsey and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    Serve immediately and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
Green Rice (Arroz Verde)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 410 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 26mg9%
Sodium 319mg14%
Potassium 410mg12%
Carbohydrates 66g22%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 1927IU39%
Vitamin C 47mg57%
Calcium 153mg15%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Arroz Verde, Green Rice, Long grain white rice