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. Also called Arroz verde.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6


  • 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*)
  • 1 cup roughly chopped parsley, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro, lightly packed
  • 2 large poblano chiles, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled, roughly chopped
  • Salt to taste**

*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.


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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  • Susan

    Delicious! And the perfect complement to red sauce dishes. I used a blender rather than a food processor. Worked perfectly. Will want to use salted chicken broth next time, or add a bit more salt. As good as the green rice I crave in my favorite Mexican restaurants. A keeper.

  • Mark

    Darned good rice. I made it w/ a combination of poblano, jalapeno, and Anaheim peppers, along w/ a handful of garlic and equal parts cilantro and parsley. I ended up w/ about 2.5 cups of green. I used about 1.75 cups of it to a cup of rice. Turned out just right for my tastes. Very tasty–a recipe to print and keep in the binder.


  • Renee

    This was really good. I made a few modifications: veggie stock, 2 bunches of cilantro, no parsley, 3 poblanos, 1 jalapeno (it was pretty spicy), roasted the peppers. My foodie kid loved it and requested it for multiple lunches (topped with grated cheddar).


  • Caitlin

    This is delicious! I made served with carnitas and was a huge hit! I used jalapenos as that was all I had.


  • Pia

    Great rice recipe and tasted just as good reheated the next day!


  • Donna

    Wonderful. I added one jalapeno along with the other poblanos, since I had one on hand.



    Too dry and needs some sort of acidity like lemon or lime

  • Jody C.

    I added lime zest and lime juice after cooking. This is very good.


  • Jenny

    Love this recipe! This is my go to rice for chicken enchiladas now. I shared this with some Costa Rican friends of mine and they love that nice kick of cilantro. Red rice is nice too, but I’m a huge fan of cilantro.

  • Gretchen

    This recipie sounds delicious, although I will try it with vegetarian broth, as I’m a vegetarian. Thanks for sharing!

  • Sara

    Your recipe sounds amazing! I am planning to make it for a luncheon, and wondered if it would be okay to prepare it the day before or would that make it gummy?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Sara, you can make it the day before and reheat to serve. It should be fine.

  • [email protected]

    This rice is so good! I used roasted poblanos, and added a seeded jalapeño, and two cloves of garlic. So fluffy, and fresh. So glad to add this to the rice repertoire.

  • Chad

    The amounts of parsley and cilantro need to be swapped. This tasted like a garnish.

  • Jessica

    Great recipe!! Loved it!

  • Natalya

    Made this for a girls’ night potluck! Everyone loved it and it was easy enough to make! I used brown rice, just adjusted for a little more liquid and longer cooking time. I did think that it tasted better right after being made vs the next day. what I liked about it is how versatile this dish is – it can complement a variety of meats/veggies and can be fit with many cuisines! Thanks, so glad I made it!!

  • Shannon

    Made this today as posted. Was good but definitely needed something. A little bland. Next time, I’m going to add much more garlic & onion, a Goya Sazon packet, and something to add some spice. Fresh lime juice at the end before serving might help too.

  • Kerstin

    Wow – this was a wonderful dish. So easy to make and so fragrant and tasty. We finished off the whole lot between the two of us (with my fussy eater daughter even picking up a few spoons). I think I’ll have to make it again this weekend to get another green fix :-)


  • Karen

    I’ve had a wonderful green rice and veggie dish in a local (California’s central coast) Mexican restaurant. Fresh veggies (zucchini, yellow squash, red onions) and chunks of chicken (or shrimp) mixed in with the rice for a fantastic entree. So good, I was inspired to make it at home, hence my search for an awesome green rice recipe, which I have now found! Can’t wait to pick up the herbs and veggies at the farmers’ market:)

  • Sue S.

    Have you ever tried this in a rice cooker?

    • Elise Bauer

      I have not, but if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you!

      • LWF

        Hi, I just tried this tonight with the rice cooker. I followed the recipe here though step 3, then finished in the rice cooker. I think it may have lost a little of the nice green colour, but it still tasted great. Fortunately, I was using this for burrito filler, so the color wasn’t as important.

  • Mary Jo Martin

    Used roasted green chilies and omitted parsley. Added a squeeze of lime juice. Awesome!

  • Lisa Marlow

    Hi Elise, I would like to try this recipe. How would it work in a crock pot?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Lisa, this recipe requires that you brown the rice first, which is hard to do in a crockpot unless you have a particular type of slow cooker that allows for that. If you don’t brown anything first, then I guess you could just put everything in the crockpot. The flavor will suffer though. If you try it in a crockpot, please let us know how it turns out for you.

  • Jennifer

    I have had this before, it is so good! About how much poblano is that, weight wise? I have some chopped poblano in my freezer that I would like to use up. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Gaby

    Hello Elise, first of all I wanted to say thank you for your wonderful site. I’m Mexican and just got married and the truth is I never cooked before, I’ve been learning with you, your recipes are great, you are an amazing teacher.
    This recipe is great, I love it, it tastes like the rice my grandma used to made. Thank you!

  • Jenny

    Great recipe! I’ve had plenty of tomato based red Mexican rice, but never green. I think that this is my new favorite Mexican rice recipe.

  • Sara Robinson Chambless

    I am planning on serving this lovely dish as a side dish for a Tex-Mex dinner party tomorrow night. I like to prepare as many dishes ahead of time as possible. How do you think this would work cooked today and served tomorrow?

    • Elise Bauer

      You can easily make the rice a day ahead and reheat it before serving.

  • Florence S

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I’ve been looking for one forever. My brother-in-law’s grandmother makes something like this but she doesn’t have an actual recipe. She usually adds some corn and it’s so so delicious!

  • Kiran @

    I love the chicken stock used in this recipe. Adds so much more flavor!

    • Rosewoman

      Try a ginger broth…oh so much better. TJ’s ginger miso broth is the best
      with this, adding immeasurably to the taste!

  • Larry

    Great rice, we tried it this evening. sooooo good. Question: potato tacos, could I use potatoes instead of rice? potatoes put through a ricer and using your ingredients? Oh! your beer braised chichen was a big hit for Sat. dinner. especially the left over beer, thank you so much.

    Hi Larry, You mean mix the green ingredients with cooked potatoes put through a ricer? Sure, it’s worth a shot. ~Elise

  • Gregg

    I made mine using a blender and I just added the stock as suggested.

  • Mrsbeach

    Made this twice since I found the recipe. It’s a hit!

  • Gregg

    I made the rice this weekend for a party to serve with pinto beans and Texas bbq. My guests wanted doggie bags of the bbq and the green rice.

    I shared the recipe with my brother in China. He cooks Texas BBQ on Sunday for a restaurant in Suzchou. They are going to try it for a side for a buffet.

  • Jax

    Hi Elise, I am definitely a rice person, and a cat person though don’t tell that to our wonderful Samoyed!!! This rice dish was fabulous. The kids’ first reaction when they saw the green colour was ‘yuck’ but once it was cooked they were all hovering over the stove, savouring the wonderful aromas. I added the juice and zest of a lemon to my dish and threw some toasted pine nuts and chopped coriander (cilantro) over the top to serve with pork chops and rocket & tomato salad. I am cooking the rice again tonight … yum! I love your inspiring recipies and can often adapt them to fit my coeliac diet, so keep them coming. Every blessing from The New Forest, Hampshire, UK xxx

  • christina Stone

    I really appreciate this recipe, I made it and we were pleased not only with the taste, but how healthy it is, like the asparagus pasta, just two really healthy meals for our weight loss/health goals. My husband encouraged me to make it again in the future. Thanks.

  • Amanda

    I made this today amd it came out really good! I used equal parts Parsley and Cilantro and added in some garlic salt. Perfect!

  • erin

    how do you think this would freeze? this sounds really good, but my hubby doesn’t like cilantro so i’ll probably be the only one eating it.

    Don’t know about freezing it. But you can easily skip the cilantro. Just add more parsley or some fresh spinach. ~Elise

  • symbol

    Is there any way I can still make this delicious recipe without a food processor? I haven’t invested in one due to the size of my kitchen :(

    You can try using a blender. If there is difficulty, just add more of the stock. ~Elise

  • Laura

    I’ve been making this rice for years, tho I use a serrano chili or 2, instead of poblanos, for a bit more spice. And I prefer all cilantro instead of part parsley, bu really depends on what I have on hand. Have even gotten pretty picky kids to try this, and learn to love something green!

  • alma

    this is an old family recipe in our household, but we add shredded asadero cheese at the end and let it stand till the cheese melts.

  • Jimena


    This is actually very similar (just lacking some ingredients) to the Peruvian “Arroz con Pato/Pollo”, which is also done with cilantro but is cooked with duck (pato) or chicken (pollo).

    We add our own kind of corn (“choclo”, which is not as sweet as the American corn and is considrably bigger), chopped carrots, red bell peppers in slices. We also add a small quantity of liquor made of fermented maize. However, any kind of brandy works too.

    You just inspired to try it this way too! Thanks for that.

  • KariVery

    What do you think about roasting the pepper and peeling it prior to pureeing? I love roasted poblanos – seems like it would add a good flavor.

    Not necessary with this recipe. I would try it first as written, with the raw poblanos so that you can see the flavor that naturally comes through. Then if you want, try it with roasted. My guess is that the resulting flavor of the dish will be more muted. ~Elise

  • Rachel

    What could you use instead of cilantro?

    Fresh spinach. ~Elise

  • Su

    There are a lot of green rice recipes in the South Indian cuisines – we do not brown the rice usually, but I’m sure it would help hold the shape of the grains better. The Indian food recipes involve frying up a mix/puree of ginger, garlic, mint leaves, cilantro, green hot peppers – maybe a bit of grated coconut, maybe a dash of garam masala – to which the rice and water are mixed and cooked. The mint really makes the difference. I sometimes add green peas to switch up the texture too. It’s a pretty forgiving recipe.

  • Chitra

    This is cooked in India too.You could add some fresh shredded coconut too in the cilantro paste and some peas or sweet corn kernels to the rice. Cummin powder too and garam masala powder for a very Indian take on it :-) Serve it with a side dish of cold yoghurt dip!

  • Rossella

    Ciao Elise!
    Italians commonly make a similar recipe, though it is creamier due to the risotto-technique you use to prepare it (and the rice variety: Arborio or the more precious Carnaroli).
    And obviously it is a good way to disguise spinach to children ;)
    The link is in Italian, but since I think you speak some French and Spanish, I am sure you will get the general idea:
    buon appetito!
    PS. I like to add add a spoonful or two of cream cheese to my spinach risotto…;)

  • The Duo Dishes

    That green herb/spice mixture is somewhat similar to the same one used in many Caribbean dishes. It adds such a mellow layer of flavor to anything. The spicier, the better!

  • Greg

    I’m sitting in Bangalore, India on my first business trip here, and love the food. This recipe seems like a great way to bring some of the flavors home in an easy way! Curries, masala, etc., etc.

  • Maria Elena

    This looks delicious, can it be made with brown rice?

    Great question. I haven’t tried making a rice pilaf with brown rice so I don’t know. You would definitely need more liquid and a much longer cooking time. If you try it, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise

    • monica

      I have made similar green rice recipes with brown rice, and even with quinoa – it tastes great, a little different, but good just the same!

  • Lora

    instead of dishtowel, you can just use a sheet of paper towel, works great!

  • ALEX

    May I use regular green peppers instead of poblanos? It is kinda hard to get them here. And maybe adding a halapeno.
    Thank you very much for your beautiful blog.

    I wouldn’t. I would just use maybe some spinach, and also a jalapeno. ~Elise