Green rice, or arroz verde, is a traditional vibrant green Mexican rice dish that is full of the flavor of poblano chiles and cilantro. Making the dish in the Instant Pot makes it a quick and easy side dish for tacos or burritos.
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When I make rice to go with a Mexican or Southwestern meal I usually make this red Mexican Rice recipe, which is flavored with tomatoes and cumin. And that recipe is tasty and a huge favorite for my family. But recently I wanted to try something different, which is why I made this traditional Mexican Green Rice, also called Arroz Verde.
Green rice gets its vibrant green color from added chile peppers and coriander. They also give it a distinctive and rich flavor which makes the rice delicious!
Why Make Green Rice in the Instant Pot?
I decided to adapt the arroz verde recipe for the Instant Pot, because I like making rice in my pressure cooker. There are a few reasons:
- It is easy – you don’t have to worry about stirring the rice on the stove top or turning the heat down or anything – you just set it and forget it.
- Using the saute function of the Instant Pot makes it easy to make rice dishes like this one which call for browning the rice.
- The rice stays warm until the rest of dinner is ready, meaning I don’t have to time everything around the rice.
- Most importantly – the rice is perfectly cooked every time!
What kind of chile peppers should I use?
Poblano peppers are traditional to use in Mexican green rice. They are a mild chile pepper with gives the green rice a slightly spicy taste but nothing overwhelming. If you want to make spicy rice then you can add in a jalapeno or other spicy pepper to give a rice a distinctive kick!
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I didn’t roast my poblano peppers when I made this dish and it tasted excellent. Roasting the poblanos would give the rice a little bit deeper flavor, but it also adds about half an hour to the preparation time. You can roast the peppers by broiling or cooking over a flame until the skin is blackened and then peeling off the blackened skin after they cool.
How to make Instant Pot Green Rice
The first step in making the green rice is to prepare the green puree that will flavor the dish. To do this you want to puree the poblano peppers, jalapeno (if using) and coriander along with some onion and garlic. I put all the ingredients into a food processor and pulsed it until they were a bright green paste. You could also use a blender for this step, although with a blender you might need to add a little bit of the chicken stock to help it blend.
Then I set the Instant Pot on Saute, added some oil to the Instant Pot and sauted the rice. This step has two main functions, first it adds some flavor to the rice from the oil. Secondly it changes the consistency of the rice so that it is less sticky. This extra step of sauteing the rice is common in pilaf style recipes.
The rice will start to brown quickly, in just 2 or 3 minutes. Once it has started to brown add the green puree and stir it for a minute or two. Then add the chicken stock and salt and the rice is ready to cook. Set the Instant Pot on Manual (or Rice) mode for 8 minutes and make the rest of dinner.
Once the rice is done it should release naturally for at least 5 minutes. Then you can either release the remaining pressure manually or let the Instant Pot sit until dinner time. In the pressure cooker the rice will stay warm and moist for a couple hours, so you can make the rest of dinner at your convenience. The rice also tastes delicious with served with a squeeze of lime juice.
This side dish was delicious, and the rice had a distinctive flavor which was a mix of cilantro and peppers. I liked it better than the more typical Mexican rice I’ve made before. Some of that is just because it was something different, but I also really liked the texture of this dish. Toasting the rice made the rice grains more distinct and fluffy, and it was not sticky at all.
This different texture also made this dish reheat very well. Rice can be tricky to reheat in the microwave because it clumps together and get sticky but this rice didn’t do that at all. I think this rice would be great for food prep for that reason. You can make a big pot of rice on Sunday and reheat for the rest of the week.
This arroz verde side dish can be used for any Mexican dishes you are making, like tacos, burritos or quesadillas . But you don’t have to just serve it with a Mexican inspired meal, I actually served this with fried fish and added some excitement to a boring American meal! So don’t limit yourself to serving only themed meals, this rice is delicious anytime.
- 2 poblano peppers
- 1 jalapeno pepper (optional)
- 1 cup cilantro
- 1 small onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups long grain rice
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste, some chicken stock is salty)
- Stem and remove seeds from the poblano peppers and jalapeno (if using).
- Put all the peppers along with the cilantro, onion and garlic in a food processor or blender and mix until pureed. If you need extra liquid add a little bit of chicken broth to the mixture.
- Set the Instant Pot on Saute and add the oil. Let it heat for a couple minutes, then add the rice.
- Cook the rice in the oil, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes, until is starts to brown lightly.
- Add the chicken stock, salt and green puree to the Instant Pot. Stir to mix, then turn the pressure cooker off.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set the it to Manual Mode, 8 minutes, high pressure. It should take about 5 minutes for the Instant Pot to reach pressure.
- Once the Instant Pot reaches pressure and finishes let the pressure release naturally for at least 5 minutes.
- At that point you can manually release the pressure and serve, or let it sit until the rest of dinner is ready.
Add the jalapeno if you want your rice spicy.
Serve with lime wedges if desired.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 124 Total Fat: 5g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 2mg Sodium: 441mg Carbohydrates: 16g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 2g Protein: 3g