Green Rice, also known as Arroz Verde, is an upgraded, special-occasion version of Mexican Rice. Go ahead, try something new! Your family is going to LOVE IT.
Green Rice is a lot like that except instead of tomatoes, it’s made with poblano peppers and cilantro. That means loads of flavor and a pretty, green-flecked appearance.
This rice is more than a pretty face and a flavor powerhouse, though. Rice packs a serious nutritional punch.
Whether you’re eating enriched white rice or whole grain brown rice, U.S.-grown rice provides more than 15 essential vitamins and minerals. It provides an affordable foundation for any meal whether you’re pairing it with lean protein, vegetables, or eating it on the side of your favorite Mexican dishes.
I came across a version of Green Rice in The San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook and was immediately intrigued. After reading through, it sounded a lot like my Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice, so I basically just modified that recipe to use poblanos instead of tomatoes.
The Chronicle recipe calls for roasted poblano peppers. I get “a kick” out of things like roasting poblano peppers, but I also tested the recipe with raw poblanos. And other bloggers have made the recipe with raw poblanos.
My point? You can make Green Rice with roasted poblano peppers OR with raw peppers. Either one.
Speaking of options:
Make the Poblano Puree in a Food Processor
I prefer using a food processor for my poblano puree. It is “more fun.” Maybe I like the way the blade whirs? Who knows.
But you could also:
Make the Poblano Puree in a Blender
It’s good to have options.
Green Rice Pilaf-Style
Just like my Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice, Green Rice is cooked in a small amount of oil, pilaf-style (while it’s still crunchy). This helps ensure the grains are separated and fluffy by the end.
While the Chronicle recipe finishes on the stove-top, I followed the Mexican Rice method and finished my rice in the oven. Why mess with a good thing?
Once the rice is out of the oven, fluff it with a fork, taste for salt and pepper, and garnish with a few cilantro leaves if you want.
Green Rice is great on the side of all your favorite Mexican dishes (such as these enchiladas as shown in the photos). I love it on burritos, on salads, and even plain garnished with cheese and sour cream.
Look for “Grown in the USA Rice” logo on packages of 100% domestically-grown rice in grocery stores. You’l help yourself (wholesome nutrition) and the planet (fewer food miles).
Green Rice (Arroz Verde)
- 2 large poblano peppers roasted and chopped (the roasting is optional, see notes)
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro plus a few leaves for garnish
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 cups water or chicken broth
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups US-grown long-grain white rice rinsed (the rinsing is optional, see notes)
- 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers stemmed, seeded, and minced (optional, wearing gloves is recommended)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a food processor or blender, blend the poblanos, cilantro, garlic, and water.
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or a 3-quart saucepan until shimmering (see notes). Add the rice and sauté, stirring frequently, until light golden in color, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add jalapenos (if using) and stir until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in poblano puree and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil.
- Cover and bake (or transfer to a baking dish and cover) until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Stir halfway through baking time.
- Fluff rice with a fork. Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with reserved cilantro leaves if desired.