How to Make Green Rice

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Big bowl of Mexican Green Rice topped with fresh cilantro

After taking a cooking class in Mexico, I came home inspired to make green rice! Who knew you could make such beautiful, colorful rice with such little effort?

I’m showing you how to make a simple, minimal ingredient version with my own twist. Let’s get started!

Wood cutting board with ingredients for making our Mexican-inspired Green Rice recipe

This 7-ingredient rice starts with making a green “broth” by blending cilantro, jalapeño pepper, water (or broth), and salt until smooth. Spirulina is a stealthy optional ingredient added for extra green color without affecting the flavor.

Using a wooden spoon to lightly toast rice in a skillet for our Mexican-inspired Green Rice recipe

You’ll rinse your rice and set aside before heating a large pot or skillet over medium heat. Once hot, sauté your onion and garlic until tender, then add rinsed rice and stir, cooking for a few more minutes to add some toasty flavor to the dish.

Next, you’ll add your green broth, stir, bring to a low boil, then cover and turn to a simmer. Cook until tender — about 18-20 minutes.

There are three keys to achieving fluffy rice here:

  1. Just cover the rice with the broth (it should be the perfect amount!) — drowning it in liquid will make it mushy or soggy. I’ve found a good ratio of rice : liquid to be 1 cup rice : 1 ¾ cups water or broth.
  2. Do not remove the lid until your timer goes off or steam will escape and the rice will take longer to cook and potentially cook unevenly.
  3. Once the timer goes off, turn off the heat and let the rice sit for 10 minutes undisturbed so the moisture can redistribute throughout the rice, which prevents it from being mushy or sticky!

If you’re looking for more tips and a video on how to cook white rice, check out our How to Cook Perfect White Rice recipe.

Blender filled with ingredients for making a green sauce for our Green Rice recipe

Pouring a green sauce made with cilantro, jalapeno, salt, and water into a pan of rice to make homemade Green Rice

The end result is a tender, fluffy pot of white rice infused with big flavor and green color.

Wooden spoon resting in a pan of homemade Mexican-inspired Green Rice

We hope you all LOVE this rice! It’s:

Simple
Tender
Fluffy
Flavorful
Versatile
& Delicious!

This would make the perfect side to the Easy Herb Baked Fish with Rainbow Peppers recipe we just shared! But it would also go well with just about any main — Mexican-inspired or not — from Collard Green Burritos and Butternut Squash Black Bean Enchiladas to Mediterranean Baked Sweet Potatoes.

Into grain dishes? Be sure to check out this Easy Vegan Fried Rice, Curried Quinoa Salad, Easy Bibimbap with Gochujang Sauce, and Veggie Brown Rice Sushi.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Spoon resting in a bowl of gluten-free Green Rice beside fresh limes, jalapeno, and cilantro

How to Make Green Rice

Fluffy, fast white rice infused with green broth made from herbs and peppers! Just 7 ingredients and simple methods required + fluffy rice cooking tips!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Big bowl of Mexican-inspired Green Rice topped with fresh cilantro
5 from 15 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 (Servings)
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mexican-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

RICE

  • 1 cup uncooked white rice (we used basmati, but jasmine will also work)
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped white or yellow onion (or sub shallot)
  • 3 cloves garlic, skins removed and minced
  • 1 healthy pinch sea salt

GREEN MIX

  • 1 ¾ cup water (or sub broth of choice for more flavor)
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeds and stems removed and chopped (or green bell pepper for less spicy rice)
  • 2 cups cilantro, large stems removed (as recipe is written, about 1 large bundle)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp spirulina (for added color // if you don't have it, omit))

FOR SERVING optional

  • Cilantro
  • Lime wedges

Instructions

  • Begin by rinsing the white rice in a fine mesh strainer until water runs clear. Set aside.
  • To a blender add water, pepper, cilantro, sea salt, and spirulina and blend on high for 30 seconds or until completely combined. Set aside.
  • Heat a large saucepan, dutch oven, or skillet (with a secure lid) over medium heat. Once hot, add avocado oil then onion and garlic and a healthy pinch of sea salt. Sauté until just tender — 3-4 minutes. Then add well-drained rice and begin toasting, stirring occasionally, for about 2-3 minutes. 
  • Slowly add the green mix from the blender to the pan and stir to fully combine — it should just cover the rice. Increase heat to high until the mixture reaches a low boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and set a timer for 18 minutes. DO NOT open the lid until the timer goes off. At that point, the rice should be fluffy and the liquid should be absorbed. Turn off the heat, leave the lid on, and let the rice rest for 10 minutes before removing lid so the moisture can redistribute — this will help prevent mushy rice.
  • Add lime juice or cilantro wedges as a garnish for serving. Rice is best when fresh, but will keep in the refrigerator up to 2-3 days. It is freezer-friendly up to 1 month.

Video

Notes

*Recipe adapted from one we learned at a cooking class at Restaurante Los Tamarindos in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
*For more preparation and troubleshooting tips for cooking perfect white rice, we like referencing this post from Fine Cooking.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 servings Calories: 214 Carbohydrates: 40 g Protein: 4 g Fat: 3 g Saturated Fat: 0.4 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4 g Monounsaturated Fat: 1.72 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 305 mg Potassium: 144 mg Fiber: 1 g Sugar: 1 g Vitamin A: 575 IU Vitamin C: 9.4 mg Calcium: 30 mg Iron: 0.6 mg

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  1. LaShae says

    This rice is wonderful. I did not use spirulina, however I did use more parsley and and cilantro and better then bouillon veggie paste for broth. Excellent!
    I do have a question. Where did you get your white ceramic pot with the wooden handle? I clicked the link but it comes up a stainless steel set.

  2. Mick says

    I’ve made green rice for years, only my version has just 2 ingredients: cooked, short grain brown rice and avocado. I also top it off with a sprinkling of “Boona Bugs” (gomashio). My 40 yr old daughter still asks for green rice when she is home to visit.

  3. tywana says

    I made this last night & it was outstanding! I used the Texmati brown & wild blend ’cause that’s what I had. I also used plain canola oil & my jalapeno was sooo hot I substituted green bell pepper.

  4. Blue says

    MMM I’ll have to make this tonight. I alway fill the water to middle of the bottom and middle knuckle on my index finger. This is how my grandmother from Indonesia made rice and it always works perfectly!

  5. Afrenchielove says

    Just FYI for those of you that asked about brown rice, Aldi has a brown rice that cooks in 15 minutes and is delicious in this recipe!

  6. Erin Gorman says

    Hello, first off this recipe looks really yummy. I was wondering though, is the rice spicy? I have a low tolerance to heat.

  7. Mary says

    Can I use olive oil instead of avocado oil? I’m new to the cooking scene so I’m not sure and do not want to mess anything up.

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      That’ll work! Olive oil just has a lower smoke point than avocado, so we generally recommend avocado (or refined coconut) if cooking on high heats.

  8. Ronica says

    Yum! I’ve had this a few times before but never attempted to make it. As usual, thank you for such a yummy easy dish!

  9. Natasha says

    I first tried out this rice for girls night. We all loved it with our grilled fish and veggies. I liked it so much that I made a second batch with an extra jalepeno to take on a camping trip that weekend- once again, LOVED it. I then made it for friends visiting from North Carolina who are real foodies and they asked for the recipe. PLEASE post more rice variation recipes. I don’t want to burn myself out on this recipe ;)

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Tami. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  10. Amy says

    So flavorful and delicious! I’ve tried a handful of recipes on this site and have NEVER been disappointed. Thank you!

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      So kind, thanks Amy!! Next time would you mind leaving a rating? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. xoxo!

  11. Beth Weston says

    We made this for dinner last night along with the Sheet Pan Curried Sweet Potato and Chickpea recipe from the post a couple of days ago. Wonderful combination. The rice was very easy to make, was very flavorful and turned out perfectly. I used water (not broth) and blended it up in the Vitamix. Will definitely keep this on the rotation! Thanks!!

  12. Naeemah says

    This recipe is delicious and so easy to prepare! After reading Chelsea’s comment I’m going to try it in rice cooker next time.

  13. Chelsea says

    This was delicious! I actually made this in the instant pot. I sautéed onion and garlic first and then I used a ratio of 1 cup of rinsed rice per 1 cup of green purée. I cooked it with the same timing I usually do for my rice in the instant pot & it came out perfectly.
    So flavorful!!

    Thanks for the great recipes :)

  14. Dana says

    Thank you! I always always manage to mess up my rice if I’m not cooking it in the rice cooker. This came out amazing!! Made it as a side for your fish tacos- also so good! I cooked mine with broth and jasmine rice and followed recipe to a T! Next time I will double the batch because we gobbled this up way too fast. So happy I can make a flavorful rice that isn’t from a box packed with salt. <3

  15. Amy says

    Holy smokes! I made this tonight and WOW!!! The whole family loved it! Going to have to make more next time.

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay yay! SO glad you enjoyed it, Amy! Next time would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers! xoxo

  16. Tiffany says

    This is fabulous!! I followed the instructions to a ‘T’ and I am glad I did not peek under the lid after I covered it. Thank you!

  17. Elisa says

    Made this tonight because I had all the ingredients and wanted a chipotle style bowl. WOW!!!!!! This is sooo flavorful and easy to make. I followed the recipes exact measurements and directions just to make sure it came out right and it did! Used it as a bed and topped with black beans, corn, avocado and tomatoes. Super easy dinner and I can’t wait to eat it again tomorrow.

  18. SandyinAnaheim says

    This was a great base recipe!! Super flavorful and a great side to tempeh tacos. I modified it a little to add more vegetables. I made 1.5 cups of Uncle Ben’s long grain rice with no rinsing, to 3 cups of water as the vegetables will lose their moisture in the cooking. I added veg base to the blender ingredients and upped the jalapenos to 3. Before adding in the rice, I added cumin and diced carrots, zucchini and mushrooms. I served this beautiful and tasty rice without the lime (it was flavorful enough on its own), topped with chopped avocado. My husband went back for seconds and said the recipe is a keeper….and I agree!! Thank you Dana!

  19. Lucia Arieira says

    Hi! I love most of the recipes. Sometimes I don´t have the ingredients here in Brazil.
    As a suggestion, could you write the names of the ingridients on the picture as we point at them?

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Lucia, thanks for the feedback! How might putting the names of the ingredients on the picture(s) be more helpful than the list of ingredients in the recipe box?

  20. Jen says

    So tasty! I actually tripled the recipe because I had so much cilantro in the garden that needed to be used. I substituted the jalapeño with canned chilies and a bit of salsa verde. Perfect timing for my cilantro glut! Will be great on its own, for burritos or even along Indian curries.

  21. Jini Aroon says

    I made this recipe with cilantro and jalapino, and used a whole bundle if cilantro to achieve the green colour. I loved the combination of cilantro and jalapeno, and it reminded me if the green Persian rice made with Dill. Using Spirulina is a great suggestion to enhance colour as well as the nutrition content. Thank you!

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks, Jini!! Next time would you mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers! xo

  22. Bec says

    Hi Dana,
    Just wondering if you think this would work with brown basmati rice and if so, what adjustment would you make to the cooking time?

    Thanks and kind regards,
    Bec

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Bec, yes I think most rice varieties would work. However I wouldn’t be able to comment on all other types of rice regarding their cooking time. In general I find brown rice takes a bit longer to cook than white, so maybe adjust by 5 minutes and go from there?

  23. Toni says

    How cool is THIS recipe! I’m a neurotically whole grain chick, so I used short grain brown rice but I love this food! I’m always looking for a good way to use up the last of a big bunch of cilantro, or the other half of a jalapeno, so, it also will help out with my Waste Less Food resolution! Thanks!

    We have been drinking a bit of spirulina in our morning health brew for a while now (my husband refers to it as ‘Green Paint’, since the interesting teal color it turns plain water is nearly identical to the new trim color he put on the exterior of our house. So it will be interesting to see how it changes the color here… I’m low on it so didn’t use the first time! Keep these great recipes coming!

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks, Toni! Next time would you mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers! xo