I've been making big batches of this Mexican Green Rice lately and it is such a welcome change to my kitchen! Have you tried it yet?
Sure, you can serve it up as a side dish, but lately I turn it into a quick meal by tossing it with beans and cheese. You could also use it to make Bean and Rice Enchiladas.
Of course, this recipe also comes with the alluring smell of roasted Poblanos filling your kitchen. This can be reason alone to make it, but ending up with a delicious, authentic batch of green goodness helps too 🙂
How To Make Mexican Green Rice
The Poblano peppers are the key to this recipe. And yes, you'll get a massive bump in flavor if you roast them first so please don't skip this step!
Start by giving your Poblanos a good rinse, then roast them in the oven for a half hour or so (400F).
Poblanos are mild by nature, so don't worry about your green rice becoming a fireball.
It depends a little on the growing conditions of the Poblanos, but most likely your rice will have just a whiff of heat in the background. How hot are Poblano chiles?
See all those bits of puffy skin? You can peel that off and discard it, but don't worry about getting every last bit as it won't affect the final flavor.
Once the Poblanos have cooled, you can de-stem and de-seed them, then adding them to a blender along with:
1/2 small onion
1 peeled garlic clove
10-15 sprigs of cilantro
a handful of spinach (optional)
If I'm using this recipe for a simple beans and rice meal I will sometimes add a handful of spinach to the blender, but you can consider this optional.
Combine well but it's okay to leave it just a little chunky. You'll probably need to add a splash of the stock to get it rolling.
Add a glug 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 brown, 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.
I'm using less liquid for rice lately based on this rice-to-liquid ratio video. The idea is that most rice prefers a 1:1 rice-to-liquid ratio, and any additional liquid is added to compensate for evaporation during the cook.
So I used about 1.5 cups of Better Vegetable Stock for this recipe.
Add the stock and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the rice, combining 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 your rice!
Bring this mixture to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and let it cook until all of the liquid is absorbed, approximately 15-20 minutes.
Once cooked you can give it a stir and remove it from the heat. Cover and let it 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 vegetable stock I'm using has zero sodium. The converse is also true -- if you're using a high-sodium store-bought stock than you won't need to add as much salt as I did.
If all went according to plan, not only does your kitchen have neighbors' noses poking through your windows "Whatcha cookin?!", but you've also got a light, delicious batch of authentic Arroz Verde on your hands.
This can be served up with dozens of Mexican dishes, with a special nod to enchiladas.
Or you can just combine it with some beans and cheese for a quick meal!
Either way, it's worth getting familiar with this Mexican Green Rice. It's super versatile and will bring your kitchen lots of good eats.
Mexican Green Rice
- 1 cup rice
- 2 poblano peppers
- 10-15 sprigs cilantro
- 1 handful spinach (optional)
- 1/2 small onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1.5 cups stock
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
- olive oil
- Give the Poblanos a good rinse and then roast them in the oven for a half hour or so (400F).
- Once the Poblanos are roasted you can let them cool for a bit. Peel off and discard any puffy bits of skin, but don't worry about getting rid of every last bit. De-stem and de-seed the Poblanos, then add them to a blender along with: 1/2 small onion, 1 peeled garlic clove, 10-15 sprigs of cilantro, and a handful of spinach (optional). Combine well. You'll probably need to add a splash of stock to get it to combine.
- Add a glug of oil to a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 cup of rice and cook until the rice is opaque and starting to turn golden brown, stirring regularly.
- Add the blender puree to the rice and cook for a couple minutes, stirring regularly. Add 1.5 cups of stock and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir well, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook until all of the liquid is absorbed, approximately 15-20 minutes.
- Once cooked you can remove it from the heat and let it sit in its own steam for a few minutes, covered.
- Take a final taste for salt level, adding more if necessary. I added another generous pinch of salt to this batch, but keep in mind the exact salt level will depend on which stock you're using. Serve immediately and store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
Want to read our latest recipe? It's these Mexican Wedding Cookies.