Arroz Verde (Mexican Green Rice)

The BEST rice to go with Mexican food? This Mexican Green Rice! A cilantro rice pilaf cooked in chicken stock with poblano chiles, parsley, cilantro, onion, and garlic.

Mexican Green Rice
Elise Bauer

Can't Stop Eating This Rice! Have you ever had green rice? It's basically a simple rice pilaf in which you brown the rice first by frying it with a little oil. Then you mix in a purée of chiles and herbs, add stock, cover and cook.

This green rice recipe easily feeds six, but somehow I've been eating through each batch all on my own. I just sneak into the fridge, pull out a small bowlful, zap it, and have my green rice morning-afternoon-late-night-whenever snack.

The following recipe is loosely based on a somewhat more involved recipe for arroz verde by Diana Kennedy. A classic Mexican side, the green comes from poblano chiles, parsley, and cilantro.

Mexican Green Rice
Elise Bauer

I've also seen versions with spinach and Anaheim green chiles or jalapeños. It's a perfect side for Mexican dishes, or alongside steak and beans.

I love the idea of incorporating greens and herbs into a rice pilaf this way, and am wondering about similar recipes from other cuisines. If you have suggestions, please let us know in the comments!

Arroz Verde (Mexican Green Rice)

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 60 mins
Servings 6 servings

Use the amount of stock that is the liquid requirement of your particular brand of rice. Long-grain rice typically ranges from 1 1/2 cups of liquid per cup of rice to 2 cups of liquid per cup of rice.

If you are using homemade unsalted stock, you will want to add at least half a teaspoon of salt to the stock.


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice

  • 2 1/4 cups chicken stock (or more depending on your rice, see recipe note)

  • 1 cup roughly chopped parsley, lightly packed

  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro, lightly packed

  • 2 large poblano chili peppers, seeded and roughly chopped

  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled, roughly chopped

  • Salt to taste (see recipe note)

Special Equipment

  • Food processor


  1. Purée parsley, cilantro, chiles, onion, garlic, 1/2 cup of stock:

    Place the parsley, cilantro, poblanos, onion, garlic, and 1/2 cup of the chicken stock in a food processor. Pulse until smooth.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
  2. Brown the rice:

    Heat the oil in a thick-bottomed pot on high heat. Add the rice and stir to coat all of the grains with oil. Spread out in an even layer.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer

    Let the rice lightly brown. When it starts to brown, stir it and spread it out in an even layer again so that more of the rice browns.

  3. Stir parsley cilantro mixture into rice:

    When much of the rice has lightly browned, scrape out the parsley purée from the food processor into the rice. Stir to evenly mix the purée with the rice. Let cook for a minute or two.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
  4. Add remaining stock, simmer, cover, cook:

    Add the rest of the chicken stock to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover the pot. Let cook on a very low simmer for 15 minutes, or as long as your package of rice indicates is the right cooking time for your rice.

  5. Remove from heat, cover with towel and lid, let sit:

    After the cooking time indicated on your rice package, remove the pot from heat. Uncover the pot and place a clean terry towel or dish towel over the pot, then re-cover.

    The towel will help absorb excess liquid as the rice continues to cook in its own steam. (If you don't have a clean towel, you can skip this step, just cover normally.) Let sit for 20 minutes.

    Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer

Recipe inspired by recipe for Arroz Verde in Diana Kennedy's The Essential Cuisines of Mexico.


Green rice with smoked paprika from Heidi of 101 Cookbooks

Mexican Green Rice Salad from Angie of Eclectic Recipes

Mexican green cilantro rice from Girl Cooks World

Mexican Green Rice
Elise Bauer
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
154 Calories
8g Fat
17g Carbs
4g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 154
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 3mg 1%
Sodium 233mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 23mg 114%
Calcium 28mg 2%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 210mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.