Mexican Green Rice. Take your cilantro lime rice up a notch and make this Arroz Verde! Full of flavor thanks to roasted poblano peppers, onion, garlic, and of course lots of cilantro and fresh lime juice.
This Mexican Green Rice is the perfect side dish to your Tex Mex or Mexican meals. It’s especially good with shrimp, fish, and chicken! Although it pairs nicely with beef also. Since it’s loaded up with fresh greens this rice is a light, citrusy side that will brighten up any meal! It’s a fun alternative to a traditional Mexican Rice (Arroz Rojo).
How to make Mexican Green Rice:
- Roast the poblano pepper, either in the oven or in a skillet on the stovetop. Once cooled to the touch, peel off the loose and blistered skin, cut off the stem, and remove the seeds from the inside.
- Rinse rice if desired, then fry the rice in a large skillet with a small amount of oil. You can use any oil you prefer or have on hand. Olive oil, avocado oil and vegetable oil are all good options. Fry the rice until it is toasted.
- Blend together the roasted poblano, a bunch of cilantro (about 2 cups) half a white onion, 4 garlic cloves, and the juice of one lime.
- Add the greens to the toasted rice. Stir together to coat the rice.
- Pour the chicken broth over the rice, stir and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover and then reduce the heat to low.
- Cook the rice while covered for 20 minutes. Then remove from the heat, keep the lid on and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Fluff the rice and stir to ensure the green mixture coats all of the rice. Most of the greens will have floated to the top during the simmering process.
Keep the lid on the skillet while the rice is cooking and cooling. This helps to ensure the rice cooks evenly.
Does the poblano make it spicy?
Not really.. It does add some spice to the rice. But poblano is a a mild pepper. It is milder than jalapeno. If you want more spice, you can absolutely add a jalapeno instead. Remove the seeds and membranes for reduced heat, or go all in if you want.
What rice should I use?
Use a long grain rice. Short grain rices are starchy and will cook up sticky. Long grain rice has less starch and will cook up drier with more defined grains, which is what we want. Jasmine, Basmati and regular long grain white rice are good options.
Do I need that much cilantro?
No. I just LOVE cilantro. Although this is my preferred method to make this rice, everyone has their own way. Other ways I have seen this rice made is to use half cilantro and half parsley. Or half cilantro and half fresh baby spinach.
Mexican Green Rice (Arroz Verde)
- 1 poblano pepper
- 1 tablespoon oil*
- 2 cups rice, long grain white rice*
- 2 cups cilantro, one bunch
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/2 white onion, quartered
- juice 1 lime, fresh
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 4 cups chicken broth, no sodium
- Roast the poblano pepper in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook the pepper on all sides until the skin is blistered and the pepper is soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Once the pepper is cooled to the touch, remove the stem, slice open and remove the seeds.
- Add the pepper, onion, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, salt, cumin and coriander to a food processor or blender. Pulse until no large chunks remain.
- In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the rice. Stir to coat the rice in the oil. Continue to cook over medium heat until the rice is lightly browned and toasted.
- Add the blended greens to the rice and stir to coat the rice in the mixture.
- Pour the chicken broth into the skillet with the rice. Stir to combine.
- Bring the rice to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, remove the skillet from the heat, keep the lid on and allow the rice to cool for 10 minutes.
- Remove the lid and stir the rice. Most of the greens will have floated to the top during cooking. Stir and fluff the rice before serving.