Green Rice

Green Rice

Arroz Verde, recipe courtesy of Tamara Belt

Recipe Yield

3 1/2 cups

Cooking time

40 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.50 from 6 votes


For the rice:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped white onion
  • 1 clove garlic coarsely chopped
  • To taste kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1 whole serrano chile

For the green sauce:

  • 3 cups packed baby spinach washed and drained
  • 1 jalapeno chile coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil or chopped cilantro or both
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • kosher or coarse sea salt to taste

To Prepare

To make the rice:

  • Combine the water, onion, garlic and salt in a blender and puree until smooth.
  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until it is translucent. (There should be an occasional crackle and sizzle, but don’t let your rice color and pop. This means you should lower the heat.)
  • Pour in the onion/garlic puree and add the whole chile. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked though.

To make the green sauce:

  • In a large saucepan, put enough water to cover the bottom, approximately 1/4 cup, add the spinach and set over medium heat. Cover and let cook until the spinach is wilted, about 2-3 minutes, checking to make sure the spinach looks bright green. If it turns a deep green, it has cooked for too long.
  • Put the spinach and water into a blender and add cilantro or basil, jalapeño and garlic cloves. Puree until smooth.
  • When you are ready to serve the rice, pour the green sauce over the rice and mix thoroughly, so all grains are coated in the sauce.


43comments inGreen Rice

  1. KS Ellinwood

    Jul 25

    My husband makes your green rice often. It has become a family favorite. We live in Arizona and really enjoyed and appreciated your journey to the southwest. We serve your Arroz Verde con Guajillo meatballs (made with Turkey!) Amazing combination. Mil gracias por todo lo hace. Nos inspira hacer muchas nuevas comidas y innovar las tradicionales.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 04

      Muchas gracias to you and your husband for following and for trying my recipes 🙂

  2. Kaya stewart

    Jan 18

    Hi patI.!!! I made this green rice and it was so yummy! I watch your Episodes! I love that you share your Recipes!! Next time I will make Tamales! I’ve been waiting to make Tamales! I’am going to watch a Episode “how to make Tamales”
    From your Mexican table.
    Thank you…. Adios !

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 29

      Good luck making the tamales Kaya, you are going to love them!

  3. michaelspannmtg@yahoo.com

    Jun 24

    This sounds so yummy! I love to make fried rice, in so many dishes! I can’t wait to make this! Thanks for sharing!God Bless!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 28

      My pleasure Michael, hope you’ll like it 😉

  4. Liz

    Feb 11

    Terrific recipe, if you use brown rice and 1/2 cup of black lentils with an extra cup of water it gives it a nutritional boost.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 15

      Glad you liked it Liz, great suggestions as well 😉

  5. Lefrance

    Feb 19

    It was too bland for my family. I had to alter the recipe by adding some chicken boullion cubes and fresh minced garlic. Otherwise it was good. 👍

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 19

      Thanks for the feedback Lefrance!

  6. Trish

    Jan 09

    Made these a couple days ago and it was a hit! The only changes I made was using Kale instead of spinach cuz that’s what I had on hand and I added a squirt of half a lime at the end. Fantastic recipe!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 09

      Great substitution, Trish!

  7. Tcooks

    Mar 26

    I always enjoy your show and feel excited as you showcase some of the beautiful cooking being done in Mexico. Then I saw this recipe and thought it is very exciting and smart, and I might not want to ever cook rice a different way!

    I have prepared this once and I discovered my family is a little overwhelmed by the very strong taste of raw garlic (such as the 3 cloves that go into the green sauce). I wonder if I should try roasting or saute the garlic before adding, or maybe you have some other hints on how to tame it for people who are sensitive to raw garlic taste.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 27

      Go for it….or you can use just one or two cloves.

  8. Joel Clark

    Jan 20

    We are a low carb family. I made the green “rice” with riced cauliflower. We usually find no difference in dishes where we substitute cauliflower for rice. I made your Carnitas and Salsa Verde as well for this meal.

    1. Pati

      Jan 23


  9. Kymberli Hagelberg

    Jul 09

    The rice came out wonderful, and we’ve been using it as a side for Mexican and Indian dishes. I can’t wait to try the tamales!

    1. Pati

      Jul 10

      Kymberli, have fun making the tamales as well…and I hope you enjoy them as much as the rice!

  10. C. D. Hunter

    May 06

    I just watched thr show. I intend to make the rice next week. We’re trying to find new recipes to try. It looks delicious…can’t wait to try it. I really enjoyed watching. I felt like I was there!!! The tamales looked delicious!!

    1. Pati

      May 07

      I hope you enjoy the rice and many more new recipes, C.D.!

  11. Anonymous

    Feb 14

    I am making this right now, omg I already know it is going to be delicious!

    1. Pati

      Feb 15


  12. Marla Shoemaker

    Feb 16

    I’m totally intrigued with flavoring the water you cook the rice in! Seems like it would add soooo much flavor to it! Love your show! Loved the”Girlfriend” dinner! We all need to do that once in a while!

    1. Pati

      Feb 16

      Yes! Dinner with your girlfriends is always super fun. I hope you enjoy the rice!

  13. Ken Clements

    May 22

    Pati, This rice was ridiculously good! Loved the spicy garlic flavor.

    1. Pati

      May 23


  14. Mickey

    Mar 18

    I love patis recipes! Jus made this arroz with chicken soooo gooood….. You can make anything with this rice as a side dish can never go with out it. Love your recipes Pati. Much love….

  15. Cari G

    Mar 16

    Pati, do you soak/rinse this rice to prep if for this recipe? Same as your Orange Blossom Rice?… WHICH I LOVE ! (I’M SHOUTING)… so good.

  16. M. Rangel

    Mar 13

    My family and I love your delicious recipes! Thank you so much for sharing and teaching my daughters how to prepare the delicious flavorful dishes from Mexico!! I also love how you take the viewers on a tour from different parts of the beautiful Mexico while you showed us the typical food from the region! loved San Miguel de Allende!
    Thank you.

    1. Pati

      Mar 14

      Ivy, I so appreciate you tuning into the show! I am thrilled that your family likes my recipes. Thank you so much for trying them!

  17. Mani

    Jan 09

    Hola, Pati:

    ¿Cómo estás? Really like your program.

    I am looking for the recipe for a delicious dish called “Pollo Loco” which I had at a Mexican restaurant (‘Papas and Beer’) in Asheville, NC.

    This dish consists of a grilled chicken breast with sautéed mushrooms and spinach, topped with some sort of white sauce. The sauce seems to include melted cheese and/or ‘crema dulce.’

    Would you happen to know the recipe for this Mexican dish? I have not been able to find it.

    ¡Gracias, Pati

    P.S.: The dish is #39 on page 5 below.

    1. Pati

      Jan 12

      Hola! Sounds yummy! I will try to post a recipe of this soon!


    Dec 28

    Hi Pati, just wanted to know if you by chance know of a good posole recipe you can share.

  19. Karen

    Nov 16

    Is the taste of the rice mostly spinach, or mostly the herb (cilantro or basil)? I’ve been looking for a good cilantro rice recipe – this looks like it could be close, but not if the main flavor is spinach… ??

    1. Pati

      Nov 16

      Its a combination… you can sub the spinach for other greens that you like, watercress? or more herbs?

  20. MaryJoy

    Aug 24

    Came out great with Brown Rice.
    Used less water for the brown rice as well.
    Also seeded a jaiapeno for a milder taste, as I was afraid it would be too hot for my dinner guests.
    They loved it!
    Will try with Serrano Chile next time…… Thank you.

  21. MaryJoy

    Aug 20

    Can you use organic brown rice for this recipe or does it need to be definitely white rice?

    Very anxious to make this recipe.

    1. Pati

      Aug 21

      You can absolutely try it with brown rice! Go for it!

  22. Sydney | Modern Granola

    Aug 04

    My dad loves your show, and I sat down to watch the tamale party episode with him and we both fell in love with the recipes you made! I just made this green rice tonight and it was such a hit that it’s already a weeknight staple. I’ve never had so much fun making rice before! Now I can’t wait to try your tamale pie and your other recipes.
    Go make this, world! It’s incredible!
    Xx Sydney

    1. Pati

      Aug 18

      Thank you, Sydney!!

  23. tim

    Jun 27

    i just saw this episode today and while the tamales looked amazing, this green rice is the recipe that I WANT TO MAKE. que rico!!

    1. Pati

      Jul 01

      Thank you, Tim!! I hope you make the green rice.

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