Healthy Green Rice Recipe

Sneaking plenty of fresh vegetables and herbs into a dish is a great way to increase the nutritional benefits. Rice lends itself quite well to incorporating additional ingredients. Recipe developer and owner of YouCare-SelfCare Miriam Hahn used this fact to create a flavor-packed recipe for green rice. She explains, "This is a Mexican dish, and the traditional name is arroz verde!" The name says it all, and thanks to the inclusion of green vegetables and herbs, it indeed takes on a bright green hue. Hahn remarks, "I love making food that uses lots of fresh produce," and you'll definitely be on board once you have a bite.

If you're feeding picky eaters, this preparation camouflages the background ingredients by pureeing them before they are mixed into the rice. You'll have the same texture of any classic rice preparation with bonus flavor. Hahn says, "This is great with any Mexican food," which leaves the options plentiful. If you're tired of eating ordinary rice, this delicious vibrant green rice will definitely change your dinner game in the best of ways.

Gather the ingredients for green rice

Start off by gathering the ingredients for this delightful green rice. You will need avocado oil or your preferred cooking oil to toast the rice. For this preparation, long-grain rice is ideal, since the grains don't stick together like shorter grain varieties. 

Next, the ingredients for the green sauce are all combined in a food processor, so you don't have to worry too much about chopping them up in a specific way. You will need ½ cup of onion, one poblano pepper, one jalapeño, two cloves of garlic, 1 cup each of cilantro and Italian parsley, vegetable broth, salt, and pepper. If you've never had a poblano pepper, it's a common ingredient in Mexican cuisine and is only mildly spicy. The jalapeño is added for extra spice, but if you don't want to overdo it, be sure to remove the seeds. 

Finally, lime juice adds the perfect tangy touch at service. You'll be glad to know that Hahn says, "This rice is actually super healthy." She explains, "Fresh cilantro and parsley are so good for you and are known for helping the body release toxins." Pass the rice, please!

Rinse and toast the rice

First things first: Rinse the long-grain rice in a fine mesh colander. This step will help assure that the grains remain properly defined instead of sticking together. Next, pour the oil into a large pot on the stovetop, setting the heat to medium. Add the rice to the pot, and cook it for 10 minutes, stirring to prevent the rice from sticking to the pot. Toasting the rice amplifies the flavor and again minimizes stickiness.

Meanwhile, mix the vegetables and broth in a blender to make a sauce

While the rice is toasting in the pot, you can prepare the green sauce. Add the chopped onion, poblano pepper, jalapeño, garlic, cilantro, parsley, ½ cup of broth, salt, and pepper into a food processor. Blend all of the vegetables until they form a smooth mixture. Hahn points out, "You can easily mix the green sauce ahead, and use it when you are ready to make the rice."

Mix the green sauce and remaining broth into the rice, and cook

After the rice has toasted for 10 minutes, add the green sauce into the pot along with the remaining 1 ¼ cups of vegetable broth. Bring the contents of the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot, and cook the rice for 15 minutes. "The rice is ready when all of the liquid is absorbed," Hahn indicates. She adds, "The cooking time may vary a bit based on the rice you are using, but if it is long-grain, it should be pretty close!"

Serve this green rice with lime juice and cilantro

When the rice is ready, fluff it up with a fork, squeeze the lime juice over top, and sprinkle on some extra cilantro if you wish. Serve this tasty green rice as a side dish with your favorite Mexican mains. Hahn remarks that it is a great match for tacos, adding, "I also love to make bean burritos out of it with black beans, tomato, and guacamole." She gives more serving suggestions such as having it with fajitas or a taco salad.

As far as leftovers, Hahn says, "This will be great for five days in the fridge." When you're ready to enjoy more rice, she recommends reheating it in the microwave or oven. To keep it from drying out, she notes, "Sometimes I will add a little water before reheating, because the rice tends to soak up any extra liquid."

Healthy Green Rice Recipe
5 from 43 ratings
If you're tired of eating ordinary rice, this delicious vibrant green rice will definitely change your dinner game.
Prep Time
Cook Time
bowls of green rice
Total time: 42 minutes
  • 2 cups long-grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro + more for garnish
  • 1 cup Italian parsley
  • 1 ¾ cups vegetable broth, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • juice of 1 lime
  1. Rinse the rice in a colander.
  2. Add the oil to a large pot, and then add the rice.
  3. Cook the rice on medium heat for 10 minutes to toast it, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the onion, poblano pepper, jalapeño, garlic, cilantro, parsley, ½ cup of broth, salt, and pepper to a food processor, and blend until smooth.
  5. Once the rice has been toasted, add the green mixture to the pot along with the remaining 1 ¼ cups of broth.
  6. Bring the contents of the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes covered.
  7. Once the rice has absorbed the liquid and finished cooking, fluff it with a fork, and add the lime juice.
  8. Serve the rice topped with more cilantro and lime, if desired.
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