Arroz Verde (Green Rice)

Arroz Verde | Pinky's PantryThe first time I tried arroz verde was at the home of my Mexican friend, Vicky. I haven’t seen Vicky in years. We lost touch when we moved away but I loved her a lot. Vicky was a kind, caring person with a no-nonsense streak tempered by a great sense of fun. She was hardworking, practical, and a warm, loving mother. She was also a really good cook. I don’t know how she made her green rice but I never forgot it and I always wished I had asked her for her recipe. I know it had some kind of pureed peppers in it. I assume they were chili peppers but they could’ve been bell peppers for all I know.

Anyway, I decided to make my own version of the green rice I remembered from Vicky’s house with one difference….. I decided to use pre-cooked rice instead of cooking the rice from scratch. It didn’t look like Vicky’s rice which I remember had an even, pale green color all over, but I think it’s because I threw in some cilantro. The cilantro didn’t puree into a smooth sauce but instead broke down into tiny green flecks. Still, I thought it tasted pretty darn good! And using rice which I had cooked ahead of time in the rice cooker just made the arroz verde that much quicker and easier to prepare as far as I was concerned. It was so yummy and is the perfect side to a Mexican entrée. I might just be making this instead of Spanish rice from now on!


  • 3 cups rice, cooked (day old rice is better)
  • 2 tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ large onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup packed cilantro
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp. salt, or to taste
  1. Cook rice in rice cooker or over the stove. It’s better if you cook the rice the day before so it’s a little bit dry.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter or margarine.
  3. Saute garlic, onion and bell pepper in melted butter.
  4. Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Add cilantro and puree with immersion blender until cilantro is very finely minced. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, you could puree mixture in a regular blender, then return mixture to pot.)
  6. Squeeze in lime juice.
  7. Season with salt.
  8. Add cooked rice and toss together until well mixed.
  9. Taste and add more salt if desired.