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 Mexican cuisine, this side dish is perfect to pair with your favorite protein.

Mexican green rice in a bowl with lime wedges.

About

Mexican green rice is a staple in Mexican cuisine. The recipe consists of fluffy rice cooked with an aromatic and flavorful salsa made of poblano peppers, cilantro, and sometimes tomatillos.

In Mexico, this dish can be found as arroz verde and together with red rice and white rice is one of the most popular side dishes in the country.

Is mainly served as a side dish for stews like pipián or mole. It has a herbaceous and smoky taste because of the roasted poblano peppers and fresh cilantro.

Mexican green rice in a plate.

This authentic Mexican green rice recipe is naturally vegan, gluten-free, and can feed a crowd. Let’s see what you need to make it…

Ingredients

  • RICE: We have a few options to substitute the one we use in Mexico. For example, Basmati rice, Thai, or Jasmine are all good for this recipe.
  • POBLANO PEPPERS: You can use fresh or canned poblanos, whatever is convenient for you. If they’re fresh you need to roast them first. Or you can also substitute with green bell peppers or Anaheim peppers.
  • CILANTRO: Fresh cilantro adds not only a beautiful color to this dish but also a superb flavor, if you don’t like cilantro use parsley instead and add any fresh herbs you prefer for flavor.
  • CORN: You can use a can of white corn (now available in many countries), yellow corn, or just fresh corn available to you. 1 cup of corn kernels will be enough for this recipe.
  • STOCK: I like to keep this recipe on the vegan side, so I use vegetable stock, but feel free to replace with chicken stock or chicken bouillon.
  • ONION & GARLIC: For flavor, use any type of onion you prefer and garlic cloves or powder.
  • OIL: Use any vegetable oil such as olive oil, canola, or sunflower.
Ingredients for Mexican green rice displayed and labeled on a kitchen countertop.

How To Make Mexican Green Rice

Put rice in a bowl and wash it, changing the water 2-3 times or until it becomes transparent.

Drain rice to get rid of excess water then place it on a plate and allow it to dry almost completely.

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

Roast the peppers, place them in a container or a resealable bag, and leave them to rest for 10 minutes. Then remove the skin, stem, and seeds.

Poblano peppers roasted, peeled, and seeded.

Place roasted peppers, onion, garlic, cilantro, and 1 cup of vegetable stock in a blender or food processor.

Some ingredients for Mexican arroz verde in a blender.

Blend at high speed until you will have a smooth green salsa.

Green salsa for Mexican green rice.

Heat the oil in a cooking pan over medium heat. Add rice and stir until slightly golden.

The rice in a pan slightly golden.

Pour over the poblano sauce, add corn kernels, a pinch of salt, and the remaining vegetable stock.

Mexican arroz verde before cooked in a pan.

Mix to blend all flavors and cover the pan. Simmer for about 12-15 minutes, depending on how long it takes the rice you used to cook (read notes).

Mexican green rice fully cooked in a pan.

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).

Before serving, fluff the green rice with a fork.

Close-up of Mexican green rice.

Useful Recipe Notes

  • Make sure the rice is almost dry before adding it to the pan or the oil could splatter.
  • Depending on the brand and type of rice you will use, the cooking time can vary, so check up on the rice after 10 minutes to make sure there’s still liquid. If you notice that after 15 minutes the rice isn’t completely cooked, add a little bit more stock and keep cooking.
  • Do not uncover the pan before 10 minutes have passed, the rice needs that steam to cook and fluff.
  • Reserve some strips of poblano pepper to use as a garnish or a few cilantro leaves as well.
  • If you want this rice dish to be spicier, add one serrano pepper or any other spicy green pepper you want. You can stir fry it and use it as a garnish or you could also blend it into the sauce.

Related article: Poblano Vs. Jalapeno: Which Is Hotter? 

How To Serve

This flavorful Mexican green rice can be served as a side for your favorite protein or vegetable dishes. Here are a few suggestions to serve it:

How To Store And Reheat

  • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
  • Glass containers preserve the best flavors and aromas, we recommend using those.
  • Reheat in the microwave in 1-minute intervals, or in a pan over medium heat stirring from time to time.
  • We don’t recommend freezing this rice dish.

More Mexican Sides

  • Calabacitas. Mexican squash sauteed with vegetables and tossed with melty cheese.
  • Arroz a la mantequilla. This buttery rice is perfect to serve as a side for fish and seafood dishes.
  • Frijoles puercos. This bean dip is flavored with chorizo and chipotle peppers.
  • Nopales. Mexican cactus salad, this healthy recipe goes nicely with grilled meats.

Watch How To Make It

Mexican green rice recipe.

Mexican Green Rice (arroz verde)

author Maricruz
4
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

Ingredients 

  • 7 oz long grain rice (Mexican rice, Basmati, Jasmine, etc.)
  • 1 cup corn kernels (optional)
  • 1 large poblano pepper (or any other green sweet pepper)
  • handful cilantro
  • ½ small onion
  • 1 garlic clove (peeled)
  • 3 Tbsp oil (olive, canola, sunflower, etc)
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (divided)
  • salt (to taste)

Instructions
 

  • Wash rice, drain it, and then place it on a plate to dry out.
  • Roast poblano pepper, place it in a bag, and leave it to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the skin, stem, and seeds of poblano pepper.
  • Place roasted poblano, onion, garlic, cilantro, and 1 cup of vegetable stock in a blender.
  • Blend until you will have a smooth salsa.
  • Heat oil in a cooking pan over medium heat.
  • Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly golden.
  • Add the green sauce, corn kernels, a pinch of salt, and the remaining stock.
  • Mix and cover the pan. Simmer for about 12-15 minutes, depending on how long it takes the rice you used to cook (read notes).
  • Once done, fluff the rice with a fork.

Notes

  • Depending on the brand and type of rice you will use, the cooking time can vary, so check up after 10 minutes to make sure there’s still liquid.
  • If you notice that after 15 minutes the rice is not fully cooked, add a little bit more stock and keep cooking.
  • Do not uncover the pan before 10 minutes have passed, the rice needs that steam to cook and fluff.
  • Reserve some strips of poblano pepper to use as a garnish or a few cilantro leaves as well.
  • If you want the poblano rice to be spicier, blend one serrano pepper or any other spicy green pepper into the sauce. 
Nutrition Information
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
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Recipe Rating




12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is one dish that is super easy to make, yet so important when it comes to having a proper dinner. I love it!

  2. 5 stars
    What a lovely side dish! We use homegrown green bell peppers and served this rice with baked chicken. Delicious and a really nice change from a typical plain rice side dish! Thanks!

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve never had this before but so love the flavors – perfect for a gathering! It’s definitely a crowd pleaser!

  4. 5 stars
    This rice is seriously SO GOOD. I’m addicted!! To make it quicker, do you think I could use canned diced green chilis? Doubt it would be as flavorful but maybe I’ll try it as a shortcut!

  5. 5 stars
    We’ve made red rice countless times, but this is our first time making green rice. So easy, and so flavorful! The smokiness of the roasted poblano peppers is a game-changer. Thanks for the recipe!