Mexican Green Rice

Arroz Verde Mexicano

Mexican Green Rice, also known as cilantro rice is the perfect side dish and not just for when you are serving Mexican food. Its bright but not overpowering flavor goes well with fish or chicken. We also have a great recipe for Mexican Red Rice too.

Mexican Green Rice
Mexican Green Rice also Known as Cilantro Rice

Morelos Rice

We prepared this dish with Morelos rice which is the only rice in Mexico with a Designation of Origin. To receive the designation it must come from the state of Morelos. (More about the Designation of Origen) It is considered to be the highest quality rice in Mexico.

At the supermarket, Morelos rice costs about 60% more. If you can’t find Morelos rice, this dish will turn out well with your favorite white rice.

Morelos Rice
Morelos Rice, the Highest Quality Mexican Rice

How to Prepare Mexican Green Rice (Cilantro Rice)

This recipe makes a large batch of rice, about 12 portions. We always like to make a big batch so that we have rice all week. You can cut the recipe in half if you don’t need so much.

Pureed Cilantro Onion Garlic
A few ingredients make surprisingly flavorful rice.

Start by getting all of your ingredients together.

Prepare the Cilantro Mixture

Add the cilantro, garlic, onion, and 1/2 cup of water to your blender. Use the freshest cilantro you can find.

It makes a big difference in taste. Before blending, discard any sprigs that are pale in color or have black spots.

Cilantro Onion Garlic in Blender
Ready to blend.

Blend the mixture for 1 minute until smooth.

Pureed Cilantro Onion Garlic
Looking good.

Cooking the Rice

Pour the rice into a pan that has 2 tablespoons of medium-hot preheated oil. This is an important step to build flavor and get the proper texture.

Adding Rice to Oil in Pan
The rice is coated in oil before cooking.

Stir the rice to coat with oil. Keep stirring for about 30 seconds until the rice just begins to turn golden and become fragrant. Don’t let the rice burn.

Browning Rice
Stir continually so that it doesn’t burn.

Pour the cilantro mixture into the rice.

Adding Cilantro Puree to Rice
Add the cilantro mixture.

Add 4 cups of water and the teaspoon of salt. Stir once and reduce the heat to low.

Mexican Green Rice Cooking
Add 4 cups of water and only stir one time.

The rice will absorb the liquid as it cooks. It takes about 30 minutes for the rice to fully cook.

If the rice has absorbed all of the liquid and it hasn’t quite finished cooking add 1/4 of water at a time until the rice is cooked and all of the water has been absorbed.

Getting perfect rice is an art. It may take you a few times to get it just how you want it.

When the rice is cooked to your liking turn off the heat and fluff it with a fork. Let it rest 5 minutes and then serve.

Ready to Serve

Mexican Green Rice
A dish of perfect rice.

You will enjoy the results of this recipe.


Mexican Green Rice on Plate
Print Pin
5 from 3 votes

Mexican Green Rice Recipe

Recipe for Mexican green rice, also known as cilantro rice, a perfect side dish and not just for Mexican food. Its bright but not overpowering flavor goes really well with fish or chicken.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword cilantro, green rice, Mexican, rice
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 182kcal
Author Douglas Cullen


  • 2 cups short grain rice preferably Morelos type
  • 1 bunch cilantro reserve a few sprigs for garnish
  • 1/2 medium white onion
  • cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 to 5 cups of water


  • Add the cilantro, onion, garlic and 1/2 cup of water to your blender jar
  • Blend until smooth about 1 minute
  • RICE
  • Preheat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pot over medium heat
  • Pour the uncooked rice into the hot oil
  • Stir to coat the rice with oil and cook for about 30 seconds until the rice is just starting to brown and become fragrant
  • Add the pureed cilantro mixture to the rice
  • Add 4 cups of water to the rice
  • Add 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Stir once to evenly disperse the cilantro mixture
  • Reduce the heat to low (do not cover)
  • Cook the rice for about 20 minutes. It will completely absorb the liquid
  • If the rice isn't fully cooked after it has absorbed the liquid add 1/4 cup of water as needed until the rice is fully cooked and the water has been absorbed
  • Once the rice is done cooking. Turn off the heat. Fluff the rice with a fork and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving
  • Garnish with a sprig of cilantro


Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 306mg | Potassium: 48mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 2.1mg

More Mexican Rice Recipes

More Mexican Side Dishes

8 comments… add one
  • Oh, this looks good. And the tidbit about Morelos rice being the only rice in Mexico with a Designation of Origin is pretty cool. I doubt I have tried it, but now I am gonna have to search it out.

    Jasmine is my rice on the regular (and buy it in 25lb bags), but love exploring the small differences between different rices.

  • Elaine

    How much garlic for the Green Rice recipe?

  • Jose

    Indeed no garlic amount specified in the recipe ingredients, the picture suggests two cloves…

  • Acer

    I never cook rice uncovered. I am making this right now, but covered!

  • Tina

    You don’t specify to rinse the rice 1st.
    Cooking instructions on my bag of rice (Verde Valle brand) say to rinse. I’m going to go with my gut and not rinse. I’m thinking a hot pan with hot oil would not receive wet rice very well.
    Snap …crackle….OUCH!!

  • Valerie M

    I thought this was really delicious! I served it alongside hibiscus/potato tacos and refried beans and fresh tortillas! I kept it warm after cooking it by putting it in my rice cooker (can’t cook it in the rice cooker because it releases steam from the water, or in this case, crazy looking green smoothie!).

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