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Magic Green Rice (Arroz Verde)

Magic Green Rice (Arroz Verde) – This fun take on Mexican green rice is such a favorite! Perfect for burrito bowls, beans and rice, and more! (Gluten-Free)

Mexican Green Rice (Arroz Verde) in a white bowl on a white background
I really, really love Tex-Mex food.

Living in the southwest, we have no shortage of Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants, and I love getting to try as many of them as possible. And no matter how authentic or Tex-Mex-style the restaurant is, I always love the rice, beans (and salsa!) best.

Beans and rice is usually the measuring stick I use to grade restaurants. If the beans and rice are on point, I find that much of the rest of the menu will follow suit. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s often a delicious one. #beansandriceforever

Red Mexican-style rice is incredible, but every once in awhile, I’ll order green rice (arroz verde) at a restaurant and love it.

If you’ve never had green rice before, you’re in for a delicious savory treat. It’s got a fun color that comes from all the flavor-packed ingredients used to make it, it brings a slightly different flavor profile to the meal, and, it turns out, this Magic Green Rice is super easy to make at home.

Here’s what you need to get started…

Mexican Green Rice (Arroz Verde) in a saucepan

HERE’S WHAT GOES INTO OUR ARROZ VERDE (GREEN RICE):

BASMATI RICE. I use basmati rice for most of my rice side dishes. It tends to cook reliably, has great texture, maintains its shape, and has a neutral flavor that welcomes all kinds of seasonings and spices.

ONION + GARLIC. The base of the green mixture that goes into our green rice starts with aromatics–some onion and garlic are the perfect flavors to start with!

CILANTRO. Then, for the actual green color, I add plenty of cilantro. Some recipes also invite you to toss in some parsley or spinach to play up the green even more. I generally prefer to stick with cilantro.

GREEN CHILES OR JALAPEÑO. For some warmth, I also add in some canned green chiles (for a mild version!) or a little jalapeño if I want to turn up the heat.

SALT. You’ll round things out with some salt, to taste. You can use as much or little as your tastebuds prefer!

BROTH OR WATER. Then, to help the green mixture blend and the rice cook, you’ll use some chicken broth or water. I prefer using chicken broth because it gives the rice even more flavor, but water is a great option for vegan and vegetarian folks. (I don’t recommend vegetable broth because it usually adds an orange/red color which messes up the green we’re going for in this recipe.)

Chipotle Sweet Potato Burrito Bowl with green rice (Arroz verde), black beans, honey lime slaw, avocado, and jalapeno

LET’S MAKE IT A MEAL! TRY USING YOUR GREEN RICE LIKE THIS…

WITH BEANS! Rice and beans are my FAVORITE side dish pairing. Try pairing with:

AS A SIDE DISH. Use this magic green rice with beans as a side dish next to…

IN BURRITOS OR BOWLS. Use this rice as a base for burrito bowls, then top it with goodies, or wrap up this rice with tasty fillings for an epic burrito.

WITH YOUR FAVORITE PROTEINS. 

Close up view of Mexican Green Rice (Arroz Verde) in a white bowl on a white background

FAQ + TIPS AND TRICKS FOR THE BEST GREEN RICE:

TURN UP THE HEAT! As written, this green rice is in the mild range. If you like a bit more kick, you can always turn the heat up with some jalapeño or a whole poblano chile instead of the green chiles. Different peppers will carry different levels of heat, so check your chile before adding a full one to the recipe!

CAN I USE VEGGIE BROTH INSTEAD? I love using veggie broth to flavor my rice, but I don’t recommend it here, simply because the orange/red color it imparts will muddy the green you’re looking for in green rice.

WHAT KIND OF RICE DO YOU USE FOR MEXICAN GREEN RICE? Long-grain white rice will be your best bet here. I prefer basmati or Texmati because of its texture and flavor, but you can try other varieties of long-grain rice if that’s what you have available!

CAN I USE BROWN RICE INSTEAD? I haven’t made this green rice recipe with brown rice yet, but I do think it would work, provided you adjust the water/broth and cooking times to match your specific variety of brown rice.

Mexican Green Rice (Arroz Verde) in a bowl with charro beans

TURN IT INTO A MEAL! PAIR THIS RICE WITH…

Print
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Mexican Green Rice (Arroz Verde) in a bowl with charro beans

Magic Green Rice (Arroz Verde)


  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: About 35-40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups rice 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Magic Green Rice (Arroz Verde) – This fun take on Mexican green rice is such a favorite! Perfect for burrito bowls, beans and rice, and more! (Gluten-Free)


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 white or sweet onion, cut into large pieces
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro (about 1 heaping cup)
  • 1 (4oz) can green chiles (don’t drain)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 2 cups chicken broth or water, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. avocado oil (or butter, or another neutral oil.)
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice, rinsed in a fine-mesh sieve

Instructions

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the onion, cilantro, green chiles, garlic, and salt with 1/2 cup broth or water. Puree until no large pieces remain. (You should have about 1 1/2 cups of this green mixture. I recommend measuring to be sure.)
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat and add rinsed rice. Toast the rice 2-3 minutes, or until it’s starting to turn golden.
  3. Pour in your green mixture and the rest of the broth or water.
  4. Cover the pan and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce to a low simmer and let the rice cook 15-20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
  6. (FYI – The rice will look kind of crazy when it’s done cooking, with a ring of green around it. Don’t worry!)
  7. Fluff the rice with a fork to combine any of the remaining green mixture and serve warm!
  • Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex

Keywords: green rice, arroz verde, Mexican green rice, Mexican rice, magic green rice, cilantro rice

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11 Comments

  1. I definitely will try this! Except….I am one of those sad, sad persons who have the gene that makes cilantro taste like soap. Shall substitute parsley, I think. (I suspect that gene isn’t restricted to me in my family…my beloved mother made a great “green rice” (with cheese) when I was growing up. The green was parsley.)

    1. Emily – SO SORRY for the delayed response. You could mix up the green sauce mixture a day before adding it to the rice. 🙂

  2. Why did you change your original recipe?!!! Cooked onion and no fresh spinach, among other changes – yeck. Hoping I have a paper copy of the original somewhere…

    1. Julia – Feel free to omit the onion and add spinach, as desired! I updated the recipe to be more authentic to true Mexican-style green rice, and to better reflect the flavors our family enjoys. I regularly update recipes when I make improvements or changes that our family likes, and I’m sorry this one doesn’t feel like a winner for you.

  3. Oh Emily. Why are some people
    Such trolls! 😜 you’re doing such a great job taking the time to write these recipes for people and share your experiences and ideas with us. I love your website. Thanks for all you do for those who appreciate your hard work. Don’t worry about the nay-sayers!

    1. Alyssa – Thank you for your encouragement! I really appreciate it 🙂 And THANK YOU for taking the time to leave a star review–it’s SO helpful!

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