You’ve heard of Mexican Red Rice, but have you ever had Arroz Verde or Green Rice? This vibrant recipe is super healthy made with poblano peppers, cilantro, and kale and goes with all your favorite Mexican dishes.
A week or so ago I posted an Instagram Reel of our newest dinner obsession: Carne Picada. In the Reel I spooned the sultry tomato sauce and tender beef over a bed of Green Rice and so many of you asked for the rice recipe.
Which then made me realize I’ve never posted it, even though I make it all. the. time.
Have I ever told you about the kale forest growing in our garden? What happened is I planted kale in one of our raised beds about 3 years ago and it just keep growing. Living in Southern California means annual plants don’t really die as much as they wither away, except apparently kale, which keeps growing and growing until it has taken over the entire bed and all this is to say we have a ton of kale.
Traditionally Mexican Green Rice doesn’t have kale in it, but because of the aforementioned kale forest, I tend to add it to everything. And really, I just love the flavor and nutrient boost it adds to this Green Rice Recipe.
Ingredients To Make Green Rice
- Olive oil
- Poblano peppers
- White onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, about 1 1/2 cups cilantro
- Chicken broth or vegetable stock for a vegan version
- Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice. I like to use jasmine rice but basmati would also work.
- 1 lime for lime juice
How To Make It
If you’ve ever made Red Rice the technique is pretty much the same. Once the rice starts simmering turn the heat to low and prep the rest of your dinner while you wait for the cooking time to finish.
Sauté vegetables. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the poblano pepper, onion, garlic, and kale and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and just beginning to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Puree. Transfer vegetable mixture to a food processor or a blender. Wipe out the frying pan with a paper towel (it doesn’t have to be impeccably clean) and return it to the stove. Add cilantro, chicken broth, and the teaspoon of salt to the blender and blend until smooth.
Fry the rice. In the same frying pan as you sautéed the vegetables, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the rice and toast, stirring frequently, in the oil until the grains go from translucent to opaque and lightly brown in spots. Have patience with this part, you want to take about 4-6 minutes, stirring and toasting the rice.
Simmer. Add the green puree to the pot, stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover tightly, and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 30-40 minutes (check after 30, if rice isn’t tender, cover and keep cooking another 5-10 minutes).
Serve. Fluff the rice with a fork and mix in the green puree that rises to the top. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the top of the rice and stir that in as well. Serve warm as a side dish or as the base to burrito bowls or as a filling inside burritos.
What To Serve With It!
We’ve already talked about how delicious this rice was with Carne Picada but what are some other dishes that would go with this Mexican Green Rice Recipe?
- Classic Grilled Steak Fajitas
- Shredded Beef Tacos
- Authentic Chile Relleno Recipe if you want to be super fancy.
- Oaxacan-Style Chicken Picadillo
- Beans and rice are a natural combo. Try this green rice with my Perfect Pot of Beans recipe.
Green Rice FAQs
Can I use brown rice? I’ve never made this with brown rice, but I’m assuming it would work. Use the same amount 1 1/2 cups. If you try it, please let me know how it goes in the comments.
Can I substitute another kind of greens for the kale? I used roughly chopped curly kale but you could use chard, spinach or the pre-washed bagged baby kale. I wouldn’t use the more strongly flavored greens like mustard greens.
How far in advance can I make this? You can let the rice rest, covered for up to 30 minutes. It will stay hot. Any longer than that and you will have to keep it warm in a low (200°F) oven.
More Mexican Side Dishes To Try!
- This Best-Ever Canned Black Beans Recipe takes about 15 minutes and would go great with the rice.
- Pickled Red Onions are really easy and go with everything.
- Crockpot Borracho Beans
- Veracruz-Style Hominy
- Cilantro-Lime Slaw
- Papas Con Chile
- Sofrito Black Beans
A New Way To Eat Your Greens
Flavorful kale sautéed with onion and garlic takes white rice to new heights. Try them and let me know how it goes by snapping a pic and tagging me on Instagram @holajalapeno and #holajalapeno so I can see or leave me a comment below (don’t forget to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating) ! Also, make sure to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!
- Saute vegetables. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add poblanos, onions, kale, and garlic and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.
- Blend. Transfer sauteed vegetables to a blender. Wipe out the frying pan with a paper towel and return to the stove. Add the cilantro, broth, and measured teaspoon of salt to the blender and blend until smooth.
- Toast rice. In the same frying pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add rice and toast, stirring frequently, in the oil until the grains go from translucent to opaque, about 4 minutes.
- Simmer. Add the pepper puree, stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover tightly, and cook until the rice is tender, about 30 minutes.
- Serve. Squeeze the lime over the rice and fluff with a fork to mix the lime juice and the green puree that has floated to the top back into the rice. Serve warm.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 128Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 564mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 3g
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