Mexican Green Rice (Arroz Verde)

This Mexican green rice (arroz verde) is so fragrant, delicious and very easy to make at home. A staple in the Mexican cuisine, this side dish is perfect to pair with your favorite protein.

Also, we will tell you how to prepare it with ingredients that are perhaps easier to find in your country; so you can enjoy this delicious green rice and make it any time you want.

Mexican green rice (arroz verde) topped with poblano peppers strips.

What is arroz verde?

Arroz verde (in english: Mexican green rice) is a staple in the Mexican cuisine alongside with red rice and white rice. It is used in a wide variety of dishes as a side dish, the most common are those with white meats such as fish, seafood, or chicken.

The green and bright color is achieved by using different ingredients, for example: poblano peppers, cilantro, tomatillos and even radish leaves, spinach, or lettuce.

Mexican green rice close up.

The ingredients

Since it’s not always easy to find fresh and authentic Mexican ingredients outside the country; I want to share a couple of suggestions for those who live abroad but still want to enjoy a bowl of this delicious arroz verde:

POBLANO PEPPER – Fresh poblano peppers are perhaps the most difficult ingredient to find outside of Mexico; so I’ll leave you with two options:

  • one is to use canned poblano peppers, they’re sold in many Latino American stores or also in Amazon.
  • The other options is to use another type of green pepper that resembles the poblano in flavor.

For example, here in Italy I can find “friggitelli” and “peperone corno”, those are green chilies that taste very similar to poblano peppers. They’re a type of peppers well known throughout the world as Italian green pepper. In southern usa you can find Anaheim and Hatch chili peppers, both are a good option to make this Mexican green rice.

Do a local research and find something similar, I am sure there is something you could use. Or, you can also use green bell pepper that can be find worldwide and it’s a good substitute too.

Peperone Corno
  • CILANTRO – You can use dried cilantro to get that delicious flavor. Or you can also use coriander seeds and ground them in a mortar. Then, to give it some color to the rice (since you won’t use cilantro) you can add a few sprigs of parsley.
  • FRESH CORN – Use canned corn if you can’t find fresh corn. 1 cup of corn kernels will be enough for this recipe.
  • RICE – With rice we have several options to substitute the one we use in Mexico. For example: Basmati, Thai or Jasmine are all good to make Mexican green rice.
Ingredients for arroz verde(Mexican green rice).

The Step By Step Recipe

Put the rice in a large bowl and wash it with water to remove the starch (when the water looks transparent). Place it in a colander and let it drain completely until is almost dry.

Collage showing rinsing rice and placed on a plate to dry.

Roast the peppers, remove the skin, cut them lengthwise and remove the seeds and stem.

Poblano peppers roasted, peeled, and seeded.

Place it in the blender along with the garlic peeled, the onion in quarters and the cilantro. Add a cup of chicken stock and blend until obtaining a smooth sauce.

In a frying pan heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the rice, stirring constantly for about 1 minute. Add the corn kernels and sauté for 1-2 minutes, taking care that the rice doesn’t get brown (we don’t want it to look yellow at the end, but green).

Frying the rice with corn on a pan.

Add the green sauce and mix. Allow the sauce to simmer for about 30 seconds then add 2/3 cup of chicken stock. Adjust salt to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan.

Adding green sauce to rice.

The Mexican green rice will be ready in about 18 minutes, you don’t need to stir at all but every 5 minutes check if there’s still enough liquid to allow the cooking (with a spoon dig down to the pan’s bottom to check it).

If you notice that after 18 minutes the rice isn’t completely cooked through, add a little bit more chicken stock and keep cooking uncovered.

Useful recipe notes

  • Even though Mexican green rice is usually made with tomatillos, I haven’t include them in the recipe because I rarely use them (tomatillos are not easily available where I live). So, if tomatillos are easy to find where you live, add them. You don’t need to cook them, just blend them together with peppers. For this recipe you’ll need about 1 cup of tomatillos (halved).
  • I always use corn in this recipe because in my opinion it adds a nice sweet touch. But feel free to leave it out if you want.
  • Make it spicy: Add one serrano pepper or any other spicy green pepper you have. You can stir fry it and use it as garnish or you could also blend it into the sauce.
  • Reserve some strips of green pepper to use them as garnish or a few cilantro leaves as well.

Got some Mexican green rice leftovers?

  • If you end with some arroz verde leftovers, you can place them in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I don’t recommend freezing because rice gets too soggy after thawed.
  • To reheat it you can do it in the microwave or also in a pan with a few tablespoons of water so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Make it vegan

For a vegan version of Mexican green rice, you can omit the chicken stock and replace it with vegetable broth. Use then your green vegan rice to serve as a side dish for your favourite vegan meals like buddha bowls, vegan burritos, etc.

Mexican green rice arroz verde.

Mexican Green Rice (arroz verde)

Delicious and fragrant, this Mexican green rice is one of our favorites because it is also budget-friendly and very easy to prepare.
PREP 20 minutes
COOK 20 minutes
TOTAL 40 minutes
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 4
Author: Maricruz

Ingredients 

  • 7 oz long grain rice (mexican, jasmine, thai, basmati)
  • 1 cup corn kernels (optional)
  • 1 large poblano pepper (or any other green sweet pepper)
  • a bunch of cilantro
  • ½ small onion
  • 1 garlic clove (peeled)
  • 3 Tbsp oil (olive, canola, sunflower, etc)
  • 2 cups chicken stock (divided)
  • salt (to taste)

Instructions

  • Roast the peppers, remove the skin, cut them lengthwise and remove the seeds and stem.
  • Place it in the blender along with the garlic, onion, and cilantro. Add a cup of chicken stock and blend until obtaining a smooth sauce.
  • In a frying pan heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the rice, stirring constantly for about 1 minute.
  • Add the corn kernels and sauté for 1-2 minutes, taking care that the rice doesn’t brown.
  • Add the green sauce and mix. Allow the sauce to simmer for about 30 seconds then add ⅔ cup of chicken stock.
  • Adjust salt to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan.
  • Cook for about 18 minutes without stirring but from time to time check out if there’s still enough liquid to allow the cooking (with a spoon dig down to the pan’s bottom).
  • If you notice that after 18 minutes the rice isn’t completely cooked through, add a little bit more chicken stock and keep cooking uncovered until rice is done.
  • Turn off the heat, allow to rest for 5 minutes then fluffy the rice with a fork.

NOTES

  • Even though this dish in Mexico is made also with tomatillos, I haven’t include them in the recipe because I rarely use them (tomatillos are expensive where I live). So, if tomatillos are easy to find where you live and cheap, add them. You don’t need to cook them, just blend them together with peppers. For this recipe you’ll need about 1 cup of tomatillos (halved).
  • I always use corn in this recipe because in my opinion it adds a nice sweet touch. But feel free to leave it out if you don’t like it or have.
  • Make it spicy: Add one serrano pepper or any other spicy green pepper you have. You can stir fry it and use it as garnish or you could also blend it into the sauce.
  • Reserve some strips of green pepper to use them as garnish or a few cilantro leaves as well.
Nutrition
Calories: 335kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 115mg | Potassium: 275mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 111IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg
Don’t miss any recipe.Subscribe for free to our Newsletter!

If you liked this easy recipe for Mexican green rice, please don’t forget to rate it below in the comment section. Thank you for your support.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




One Comment