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!
Mexican Green Rice
- 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.
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I love this rice; it’s my favorite to have with any Mexican entree. I had some Green rice in a little restaurant in Santa Barbara, CA, asked the waitress about the ingredients and found this! Amazing, easy and heats up well! Enjoy!
I prefer brown rice. Will this work? Do I need more liquid? Going to try anyway, and will let you know how it turns out, if you haven't tried it.
Hey King! Yeah you can still make it with brown rice. I would probably add a little more liquid but lately I have been re-thinking rice to liquid ratios after watching this good Dan vid on rice ratios. Cheers.
This is a really nice recipe. It is not a dish that overwhelms the main course or other sides. Rather, it is a tasty accompaniment brings the meal together - which is why I gave it 5 stars. I served it with a spicy chicken chile verde from the crock pot and roasted Mexican zucchini. A lot of green food, but there were no complaints. My only embellishments were to add a roasted jalapeno pepper (seeded and de-veined) and a little more spinach than a handful.
Yowsa that is quite a meal, those are some very lucky peeps at the table! Thanks for mentioning your adjustments Curt. Cheers.
Thank you so much!! It came out perfectly!! I am just beginning in Mexican food. This was the first time I’ve ever roasted chilies. Absolutely loved the poblanos!! I brought the dish to a potluck and my friends loved it!! I’m grateful for your wonderful idea, what a nice recipe!! Many thanks
Awesome thanks for your note Keith!
If I want to make 2 cups of rice do I just double everything?
Hey Jasmine! Yeah if you want to start with 2 cups of dried rice you can double everything else.
Also worth mentioning that 1 cup dried rice will give you 2-3 cups cooked rice in case that's helpful. Cheers.
I've looked at this recipe a few times now & am so excited to try it this week hopefully! If I cook the rice with the green mix in a rice cooker, will it stain my rice cooker? Have you tried cooking it in a rice cooker? I've tried like a turmeric-based sauce before & my rice cooker turned a little yellow 😛
Hi Roxanne! I've never tried cooking the Mexican Green Rice in a rice cooker, but I think you should just go for it. I feel like turmeric is much more stain-prone than any ingredients in this recipe. Good luck!
Do you cover the rice with a lid as it cooks? Thanks.
Hi Sarah! I usually let it cook uncovered but once all the liquid is absorbed I take it off the heat, cover, and let it sit in its own steam for a few minutes. Cheers.
In this recipe I roast everything like garlic, onion, tomato, chilly ......this tastes good
Hi Rany, this is a great adjustment to the recipe -- sounds good!
Hi, Patrick, this looks awesome! Thank you for sharing it. Do you know if I can freeze it?
Hi Carolina, thanks for your note!
Hmmmm to be honest I never freeze rice and haven't tried that with this recipe. Looks like in general though rice freezes pretty well and this green rice would probably do fine in the freezer. Here are some quick tips on freezing grains:
Hope that helps 🙂
I made this tonight, and it came out really good. I think the next time I make it, I will cook the onion first--I don't generally like the taste of raw onion. The final dish had a beautiful color green. I couldn't resist adding a splash of lime juice!
Hey Rob, glad you had success with the recipe! Two options jump to mind if you want to experiment with cooking the onion. You could roast the onion along with the poblanos, or you could finely chop the onion and saute it as you brown the rice. Let me know how it goes!