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Arroz Verde - Mexican Green Rice Side View

Arroz Verde - Mexican Green Rice

This light and fluffy rice pilaf is popular with Mexican food or grilled meats. Packed with fresh spinach, it makes a healthy side dish that’s vegetarian and gluten-free. It’s so versatile, you can also enjoy it for breakfast with eggs and black beans.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 224kcal
Author Michele Peterson
Cost $5


  • Skillet
  • food processor
  • Knife


  • 1/2 pound fresh spinach Washed and trimmed, packed tightly
  • 1 poblano pepper Roasted, peeled, and seeded
  • 1 cup cilantro Roughly chopped
  • 2 green onions Chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1 tsp salt


  • Wash spinach thoroughly in a sink to remove all grit and sand.
  • In a food processor, puree the spinach, cilantro, green onion, poblano pepper and one cup of water. (The puree should equal about 2 cups when done.)
  • Heat vegetable oil in a non-stick pan over medium high heat. Add rice and toast very lightly, stirring frequently so the rice does not burn or stick.
  • Add the 2 cups of spinach puree, 1 cup of water and salt to the rice. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover with a tight-fitting lid, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let sit, still covered, for 10 minutes.
  • Fluff the arroz verde with a fork, and serve.

How to Roast a Poblano Pepper

  • To roast peppers in your oven, place whole peppers on an oiled baking sheet and broil for 10 minutes, then flip and broil on the other side for an additional 10 minutes -- until skin is blackened.
    Another option is to char them on the gas stove top or in a cast iron frying pan.
  • Once the peppers are charred, seal them in a plastic bag or on a plate covered in plastic wrap for about 5 minutes to loosen the skin. Then remove the papery outer skin, pull off the stem from the flesh and slit the chile up the side. Remove and discard the seeds and stem.


  • Garnish your finished arroz verde with additional chopped cilantro and/or thin slices of red bell pepper.
  • The poblano pepper in this recipe can be substituted for a jalapeno, if you prefer.
  • When toasting the rice, be sure to just brown it lightly. Toasting imparts a wonderful layer of nutty flavour. But if the rice is browned too much, it won't be able to absorb the additional flavours in the cooking liquid. 
  • The key to an authentic arroz verde is allowing it to completely absorb all the liquid.  Allow it to rest (covered) for at least 10 minutes. You can place a clean tea towel between the lid and the skillet to absorb any condensation that forms. 
  • Some people aren't keen on cilantro. A great substitute is a mix of fresh mint and parsley. 
  • If you don't like green peppers or can't handle any hot peppers at all, feel free to completely omit the poblano pepper.
  • If you love spicy heat, then you can substitute a jalapeño pepper for a poblano pepper. 
Note: Nutritional information is created by online calculators and figures are only estimates. 


Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 426mg | Potassium: 324mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 3838IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 2mg