This Mexican Green Rice is the perfect counterpart to our easy Arroz Rojo. They use similar techniques; once you’re familiar with one of them you’ve always got the option of making the other one just by swapping out the puree.
Of course, this batch also comes with the alluring smell of roasted poblano peppers infiltrating your house. This can be reason alone to make the recipe, but ending up with a delicious, authentic batch of green goodness helps too.
Authentic Mexican Green Rice Recipe
The poblano peppers are the key to this recipe. I’ve also been adding in a handful of spinach lately but you can consider that optional if you are making it for the first time.
Start by roasting the two green beauties.
These poblanos will need 20-25 minutes in a 400F oven. You can flip them halfway through the roasting period if you want.
See all the bunched up skin? You can peel that off and discard. Don’t worry about getting every last bit though as it won’t affect the flavor too much.
De-stem and de-seed the poblanos, adding them to a blender along with 1/2 onion, 1 garlic clove, 10-15 sprigs of cilantro, and a handful of spinach.
You’ll need to add a few tablespoons of the stock to get the blender contents rolling.
Combine well but it’s okay to leave it just a little chunky.
Add a dollop of oil to a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 cup of rice and cook for a couple minutes, stirring regularly until the rice is opaque and just starting to turn golden brown.
This pilaf style of cooking the rice will reduce clumping and help the grains absorb flavor. It will only take a couple minutes to turn golden so keep an eye on it to prevent burning.
Add the puree from the blender and cook over medium heat for a couple minutes, stirring regularly.
Each cup of rice will need approximately 2 cups of liquid. Try to use a stock that you trust. Yes, you could just use water, but I think you’ll notice quite a flavor difference using stock as your liquid. (I use this homemade stock but it’s not required for this recipe.)
Add the stock and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the rice and stir well. I usually pour the stock into the blender and then into the saucepan. This gets any leftover puree bits out of the blender and into the action!
Bring to a boil and then let simmer over low heat until all of the liquid is absorbed, approximately 15-20 minutes.
Give a stir and remove from the heat. Cover and let sit in its own steam for a few minutes.
And now the most important part…take a taste for salt level. Rice is hypersensitive to salt amount and it might take a bit of taste testing to get the appropriate level for your taste buds.
I always add another generous pinch of salt because the homemade stock I’m using has zero sodium. The converse is also true; if you’re using a high-sodium storebought stock than you can adjust accordingly.
If all went according to plan, not only does your kitchen have neighbors’ noses poking through windows “Whatcha cookin?!”, but you’ve also got a light, delicious batch of authentic Arroz Verde on your hands.
This can be used in dozens of Mexican dishes, with a special nod to enchiladas and burritos.
Or you can just grab a spoon and eat on its own. Your choice.
Either way, it’s worth getting familiar with this style of cooking rice. It’s super versatile and by adding a spoonful of creativity to the blender you’ve got dozens of variations to play with. And eat!
Roasted poblano peppers are the key to this authentic Mexican Green Rice. I've also been adding a handful of spinach to it lately. So good!
- 1 cup rice
- 2 poblano peppers
- 10-15 sprigs cilantro
- 1 handful spinach (optional)
- 1/2 onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 cups stock
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- olive oil
Roast the poblano peppers in the oven for 20-25 minutes. You can flip them over halfway through the roasting period if you want.
De-stem and de-seed the poblanos. Add them to a blender along with 10-15 sprigs of cilantro, a handful of spinach, 1/2 onion, and 1 garlic clove. Combine well.
Add a dollop of oil to a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 cup of rice and cook until opaque and starting to turn golden brown, stirring regularly. This should only take a couple minutes so keep an eye on it to prevent burning.
Add the blender puree to the rice and cook for a couple minutes, stirring regularly. Add 2 cups of stock and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir well, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and let cook until all of the liquid is absorbed, approximately 15-20 minutes.
Remove from heat. Give a stir and cover the rice, letting it sit in its own steam for a few minutes.
Take a final taste for salt level, adding more if necessary. Serve immediately and store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
Try to use some stock that you trust. And if you are using a high sodium storebought stock then adjust the salt level accordingly.
I usually twist off and discard the bottom, thicker portion of the cilantro stems but use the upper portion of the stems that hold the leaves.
You might need to add a couple tablespoons of stock to the blender to get the ingredients to combine.