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How to Make Green Rice

Learn how to make green rice with fresh herbs, flavorful spices and a kick of heat from jalapeño. This green rice recipe makes the perfect side dish for your favorite proteins and is a wonderful grain to add to bowls!

Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins

Remember my perfectly fluffy, delicious coconut rice I shared a few weeks back? Today we’re putting an herby twist on rice that you’re going to fall in love with. This green rice recipe is equally as fluffy but cooked in a flavorful green sauce that pairs wonderfully with your go-to proteins, in grain bowls and one pan meals.

If you’re ever looking for an easy, no-fuss side dish to meal prep or share with guests, this is seriously IT.

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green rice in a bowl with jalapeño slices and a lime wedge

What is green rice?

Green rice, or arroz verde, is a common side dish found in Mexico and Latin American countries where rice is simmered in a delicious green sauce made with a mixture of different herbs, spices, lime juice and fresh peppers. My grandma first introduced me to this green sauce when she traveled to Peru and had it with an amazing chicken dish. She recommended using poblano peppers and jalapeños, onion, cilantro and lime juice, which is where my One Pan Green Chicken and Rice came to be!

Today I put my own twist on traditional arroz verde and made green rice with onion, cilantro, jalapeño and cumin.

ingredients for green sauce in a blender to make green rice

Everything you’ll need to make homemade green rice

This easy, super flavorful green rice recipe uses fluffy white rice and plenty of fresh herbs and spices. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Rice: I like to use white basmati rice or jasmine rice because it cooks up nice and fluffy.
  • Produce: you’ll also need white or yellow onion, lime juice, garlic and jalapeño for a kick of heat and lovely flavor.
  • Herbs: we’re using fresh cilantro for the gorgeous green color.
  • Spices: to bring out all of the flavors you’ll also need ground cumin, salt & pepper.
  • Broth: I like to use low sodium chicken broth as the liquid base, but water or a vegetarian broth will also work.

green sauce in a blender to make homemade arroz verde

Recommended ingredient swaps

If you’re out of any of the above ingredients for making the green rice, here’s what I can recommend for swapping:

  • For the rice: jasmine rice will also work well in place of the basmati rice. You can also use brown rice but note that it may not come out as fluffy.
  • For the jalapeño: if you’re sensitive to spice, be sure to de-seed the jalapeño before using it. You can also use a poblano pepper to keep the green sauce super mild.
  • For the broth: as I mentioned, you can swap the chicken broth for water or vegetarian broth as well. Just be sure to adequately salt the sauce.

pouring green sauce into a pot of rice

Add a boost of veggies

If you’re looking to add some veggies to this green rice you can also blend in fresh spinach! It will keep that gorgeous green color, too.

How to make the best green rice

  1. Prep your produce. Start by chopping your onion and seeding your jalapeño (unless you like a kick of heat).
  2. Blend the green sauce. You’ll then add all of the ingredients except the rice to a food processor or high powered blender. Blend it all up until it’s nice and smooth.
  3. Mix the sauce & rice. Add the green sauce and rice to a medium pot. Bring the mixture to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover and let it cook for 20 minutes.
  4. Steam the rice. After 20 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and let the rice steam. More on this below!
  5. Fluff & enjoy. Once the rice has steamed, fluff it with a fork and serve.

homemade green rice in a pot

Don’t forget this tip for fluffy green rice

If you want super fluffy green rice, remember to let it steam after it’s done simmering. You’ll want to leave the lid on your pot, remove the whole pot from the heat and leave it be for about 10 minutes. This will let the rice steam, reduce any leftover liquid and create the best texture.

arroz verde in a bowl with a spoon

Our favorite ways to serve green rice

The options are truly endless for serving this delicious green rice. Try our favorites below!

easy green rice recipe in a bowl

Storing & freezing tips

Green rice is the perfect side dish for meal prep because it’s super easy to store and you can even freeze it for later!

  • To store: let the green rice cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container or bag. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days, and simply reheat it in the microwave before serving.
  • To freeze: let the green rice cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe, airtight container or bag. Freeze the rice for up to 3 months. To reheat, let the rice thaw in the refrigerator before reheating it in the microwave. If the rice appears dry, simply reheat with a bit of water.

More side dishes you’ll love

Get all of our delicious side dish recipes here!

I hope you love this green rice recipe! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo! 

How to Make Green Rice

5 from 2 votes
green rice in a bowl with a spoon
Course Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian
Cuisine hispanic
Keyword green rice, green rice recipe, how to make green rice
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Serves 4

Learn how to make green rice with fresh herbs, flavorful spices and a kick of heat from jalapeño. This green rice recipe makes the perfect side dish for your favorite proteins and is a wonderful grain to add to bowls!

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ white or yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded (or leave seeds in if you like it a little spicy like I do!)
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro (reserve a few for topping the rice)
  • 1 small lime, juiced
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or water also works!)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup white basmati or jasmine rice

Instructions

  1. First make the green sauce: In a large high powered blender or food processor, add in garlic, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, fresh lime juice, chicken broth, cumin, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Blend or process until completely smooth.
  2. Place a medium pot over medium high heat. Slowly pour in the green sauce and fold in the rice, making sure it is evenly distributed in the pan. Once the sauce is simmering, reduce heat to low, cover the skillet immediately and cook for 20minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the pan from heat (keep the lid on -- DO NOT OPEN), and allow rice to steam for another 10 minutes, then fluff rice with a fork. Serve with your favorite meal and garnish with extra cilantro and/or jalapeno slices for a kick of heat. Serves 4.

Recipe Notes

Add a boost of veggies: if you're looking to add some veggies to this green rice you can also blend in fresh spinach! It will keep that gorgeous green color, too.

To store: let the green rice cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container or bag. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days, and simply reheat it in the microwave before serving.

To freeze: let the green rice cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe, airtight container or bag. Freeze the rice for up to 3 months. To reheat, let the rice thaw in the refrigerator before reheating it in the microwave. If the rice appears dry, simply reheat with a bit of water.

Nutrition
Servings: 4 servings
Serving size: 1 serving (based on 4)
Calories: 181kcal
Fat: 0.6g
Carbohydrates: 39.7g
Fiber: 0.6g
Sugar: 1g
Protein: 4.5g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats

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