NOTE: This post contains affiliate links to products I regularly use and love. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Green rice is the revival of a classic staple pantry item
Rice is one of the best food staples in the world. But plain cooked rice can be incredibly boring. So I like to spice it up a bit with some onions, poblano, cilantro, cumin, oregano, AND spinach to make it super green!
Instantly, ordinary rice gets a complete makeover and becomes a brand new type of “staple” dish–Mexican green rice or arroz verde (which sounds even sexier). And if you are trying to trick your kids into eating more vegetables, this is a great way to make them do just that!
The flavor of this green rice comes from the seasoned liquids
The key to infusing both flavor and vibrant green color in this rice occurs in two stages:
Stage 1: Toasting the rice and cooking it in a white cooking liquid. This is a mixture of onions, peppers, dried herbs, and spices. (NOTE: Adding heavy seasoning during the first stage of cooking allows the rice to absorb the most flavor in the beginning.)
Stage 2: Blending the green liquid made of the spinach, cilantro, scallion, poblano, and lime juice. Then, saturating the cooked rice in the green liquid. (NOTE: If the green liquid was simply mixed into the rice prior to cooking it, the green color would become yellowed and the taste would change significantly.)
The versatility of green rice
I enjoy this tasty rice most with chicken. It can be grilled, baked, or even cooked with the rice (like arroz con pollo). But there are many other things you can do to make it shine like the emerald star that it is. For example:
You can eat green rice with…
- Beans (pinto or black would be great)
- Grilled veggies
- Fish (made any kind of way, just not canned in this case)
- Shredded or ground seasoned beef
- Mexican-spiced tofu
- Poached, fried, or scrambled eggs
Or use it to make…
- Burritos or burrito bowls
- A unique and zesty stir-fried rice
- A casserole with meat, cheese, and an enchilada sauce
This rice is just as versatile as regular rice, but with much more flavor and pizzazz!
Pin this Recipe
More easy and flavorful rice (or grain) recipes (click the pic!)
- Jamaican Rice and Peas
- Fried Onion & Roasted Carrot Rice
- Orange Basil Chicken Fried Rice
- Veggie Quinoa Bowl
- 1 c white parboiled rice
- 1 tsp avocado oil (or any type of cooking oil)
- 1 tbsp plant-based margarine (or butter)
White Cooking Liquid
- 1 1/3 c water
- ½ onion, cut into large chunks
- 3 scallions, sliced (white parts will be used in the water to cook the rice; green parts will be used in the green sauce)
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- ½ jalapeno or habanero pepper seeded and white membrane removed
- 1 tsp Adobo seasoning
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp Mexican oregano (or Italian oregano)
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
Green Post-cooking Liquid
- ½ cups spinach, fresh or defrosted
- 1 poblano pepper, seeded, large dice
- 1 c cilantro
- Green parts of the scallion sliced earlier
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Toast the rice. In a medium-sized pot on low-medium heat, add the oil and margarine/butter. Add the rice to the pot and toast it for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the grains are golden.
- Make the White liquid. In a small blender, add all of the White Cooking Liquid ingredients. Blend until smooth. Then, pour the liquid over the rice and stir. Allow the rice to come to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook for about 15-20 minutes.
- Make the Green liquid. While the rice is cooking, add the Green Post-cooking Liquid ingredients to the same blender. Blend the ingredients until smooth.
- Fluff and serve. When the rice has finished cooking, remove the lid and fluff it with a fork. Next, pour in the green liquid and continue to fluff as it absorbs. Top with fresh cilantro, if desired, and serve.
- Adding heavy seasoning during the first stage of cooking allows the rice to absorb the most flavor in the beginning. So if you are tempted to skimp out on any of the ingredients...just resist the urge.
- Only add the green liquid after the rice has finished cooking. This way, the green color will remain vibrant (not yellowed) and fresh tasting.
Feel free to swap:
- Shallots and chives instead of onion and scallions
- Serrano or habanero in place of the jalapeno
- Green bell pepper rather than poblano
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 107Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 974mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g
The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used. I am not a doctor, nor a certified nutritionist and make no claims to the contrary. Each individual’s dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual. You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health. Please consult your personal physician with any questions you may have regarding your own health and diet.
Shop this Post | Products
This section contains affiliate links to products I use to reign in my kitchen! As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.