White Rice with Chepil


Arroz con Chepil

Chepil Rice

Arroz con Chepil 

Recipe Yield

4 to 6 servings

Cooking time

35 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.84 from 6 votes


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups jasmine white rice or extra long white rice
  • 1/2 cup white onion finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 serrano or jalapeño chiles finely chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup chepil or chipilin leaves or substitute for baby watercress

To Prepare

  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the rice and cook, stirring often, until it becomes milky white, crackles and feels heavier as you stir it in the pan, about 3 minutes. Make room in the center of the pan, add the onion, garlic and chile, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring and mixing with the rice, until the onion begins to soften.
  • Add the chicken broth and salt and stir once. Raise the heat to high, bring to a rolling boil, add the chepil leaves, stir, cover and reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Simmer 12 to 15 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed but there is still some moisture in the pan. The rice should be cooked and tender; if it is not, but all the liquid has been absorbed, add 2 tablespoons of water, cover again, and cook for a couple more minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and let the rice rest, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork, and serve.


30comments inArroz con Chepil

  1. Margaret Little

    Jul 11

    I noticed you didn’t rinse the rice to remove the starch. Why is that!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 05

      Sometimes I just don’t wash my rice, I like it starchy 🙂

  2. Carol Whitlock

    Apr 23

    No fresh chepil in the North Carolina mountains, but I can find dried chepil online. Would that be better than watercress or is freshness more important that precise flavor?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 25

      Dried Chepil works as well Carol, just remember to ask maybe half because the flavor is much more concentrated. Enjoy!

  3. Rebekah

    Aug 30

    I used brown basmati rice and left out the jalapeño because I didn’t have one. I substituted baby watercress, like you suggested, because I couldn’t find any chepil. Flavorful and delicious! Next time I’ll make sure I have a jalapeño on hand! I also baked my rice in the oven. It comes out foolproof every time when you bake it, and you don’t have to fool with stirring it on the stove or worry about it sticking and burning. Simply put it in a greased casserole dish, cover tightly with foil, bake at 375 for an hour. Check it after and hour. Carefully uncover the foil (watch out for steam burns!), fluff with a fork. If there is still liquid in the bottom, recover, and put it back in the oven for a few minutes.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 06

      Thanks Rebekah, that is a great tip. Glad you enjoyed this recipe 😉

  4. Leider James and Todd Scher

    Sep 14

    Hi Pati
    Watching you every day at diner , I feel you as family and love your ideas and cocina .
    You are so brave and no limits to please your audience
    I found in the Bravo Supermarket in South Florida the chepil ($ 2.65 a bunch ) after I saw the show yesterday and we decided to do the arroz von chepil and the famous albóndigas con Gusjillo pepper .
    Looks and taste fenómenal
    Discovering the really out of extraordinary Mexican food through you is a pleasure
    Wishing you a good Rosh Hashana and a terrific new year with Health and Prosperity
    Todd and Jimmy

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 17

      Oh thank you so so much Todd and Jimmy!!

  5. Stewart.

    Jul 13

    I made this today to go with your guajillo meatballs. I too live in the DC metro area, and, in Falls Church there is a Latino market with excellent produce, but no Chepil. I used cilantro instead, as I don’t like cooked spinach much. It was delicious. Made a nice counterpoint to the meatballs. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 16

      I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the rice and meatballs, Stewart!

  6. Tammy H, Powhatan, VA

    Apr 26

    Best tasting rice I’ve ever had! I found frozen Chipilin in my area.

    1. Pati

      Apr 26

      So glad you loved it, Tammy.

  7. Cynthia L., Los Angeles, CA

    Dec 06

    I am a ‘nortamericana’ who lived in Mexico for 10 years now residing in SoCal. I love your show and ALL your recipes.
    This meatball quajillo sauce over white rice chipilin was SUPER popular with the men & boys-especially sprinkled with queso fresco or anejo and served with toasty little white corn tortillas to scoop up the rice and gravy. Double it AT LEAST!

    1. Pati

      Dec 06

      I’m so happy to hear that, Cynthia!

      1. Lynda Sanders

        Jan 18

        yup that is it! thank you so much. For the leaves can you substitute spinach leaves?

        1. Pati

          Jan 19

          Absolutely or baby watercress.

  8. Debbie

    Oct 23

    Where would I find chapil? I live in East Texas, is there a way to buy it online or would a Mexican grocery carry it?

    1. Pati

      Oct 26

      I would try your local Mexican Grocery or international market. It’s also known as chipilin…http://patijinich.com/pati_2020/chipilin/

  9. Martha Munguia

    Oct 19

    this is my family new favorite when made with Jasmine rice totally fantastic! the meatballs were awesome. Thank you for the recipes and your diligence to educate us on the different regions of Mexico.

    1. Pati

      Oct 25

      Thank YOU for trying so many recipes Martha!

  10. SteveS

    Oct 14

    Whats a good substitute for the Chepil? Thanks.

    1. Pati

      Oct 20

      You can substitute it with baby watercress.

  11. Ana Laura

    Oct 09

    Hola Pati,

    Soy Mexicana y vas a creer que nunca había escuchado sobre el Chepil!!!!!
    Quiero preparar esta receta mañana, tendré que sustituir el Chepil, no creo encontrarlo aquí en MN.

    Me encanta tu programa.

    1. Pati

      Oct 18

      Hola! No te apures que yo tampoco conocía el chepil hasta que visité Chiapas ya de adulta…. ​Si claro que puedes utilizar baby watercress, se parece mucho al chepil!​

  12. Diane Benites

    Oct 08

    Pati, I saw this recipe on your program!! I would love to know where you get those beautiful tips you wear on your show!!

    1. Pati

      Oct 12

      I get my tops from all over the place…Mexico, Anthropolgie…

  13. Valerie Stevens

    Sep 21

    What is Chepil?

    1. Pati

      Sep 22

      It’s a delicious herb with a grassy taste. It’s like a mellow version of spinach or a gentle variation of watercress with a silky delicate bite. Yum!

  14. Sofia Cervantes

    Sep 18

    Hi pati!

    Big fan of your cooking. I would like to know regarding the chiles that are put into the arroz con chepel.. I will have children eating this dish, so my question for you is if the rice will be spicy? Should I remove the chiles or only use one?

    Hope to hear from you soon,

    1. Pati

      Sep 19

      Thank you Sofia! You can use serrano or jalapeño chiles in the rice. The jalapeños will be less spicy, and you can remove the seeds and ribs to reduce the spice level. You can also use fewer jalapeños or remove them altogether so that the spice level is right for your kids.

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