Non-Traditional Arroz Verde (Green Rice)

by Dorothy Reinhold on July 17, 2018

Print This Post Print This Post Non-Traditional Arroz Verde (Green Rice): Vibrant fresh herbs add pizzazz to cooked rice in a Mexican side dish that tastes good either hot or at room temperature. Vegan and gluten-free, too.

Non-Traditional Arroz Verde (Green Rice): Vibrant fresh herbs add pizzazz to cooked rice in a Mexican side dish that tastes good either hot or at room temperature.

A wonderful rice dish from the excellent cookbook “Herbivoracious” has been the star of my table these past few months.

It is a spin on the usual Mexican arroz verde, or green rice, because instead of cooking the green herbs into the rice, which can dull the flavors and color, author Michael Natkin suggests we stir them in fresh as a sort of pesto. It makes for a very light, bright, clean, vibrant flavor, with the added bonus of tasting good either warm or at room temperature.

Non-Traditional Arroz Verde on Shockingly Delicious

And oh, what herbs we have in here — my beloved cilantro, Italian parsley, fresh oregano, fresh dill or even mint! And garlic, of course…always garlic.

This makes it perfect for a potluck, when dishes might sit out for a couple of hours on a buffet table.

This tastes as good 2 hours later as it does in the first minute on the table.

Non-Traditional Arroz Verde on Shockingly Delicious

Non-Traditional Arroz Verde (Green Rice)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Non-Traditional Arroz Verde (Green Rice)

Non-Traditional Arroz Verde (Green Rice): Vibrant fresh herbs add pizzazz to cooked rice in a Mexican side dish that tastes good either hot or at room temperature.


  • 1 ½ cups medium-grain white rice or basmati rice
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh flat leaf parsley leaves and tender stems
  • ½ cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • ¼ cup lightly packed fresh oregano leaves
  • ¼ cup lightly packed fresh mint or dill leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt or flaky sea salt


  1. Cook the rice in a rice cooker or on the stove according to package directions.
  2. In a food processor, combine the herbs, garlic and olive oil. Process until pureed.
  3. Just before serving, stir the herb puree and salt into the rice. Taste and add more salt as needed.
  4. Serve hot. [Dorothy’s note: I have served this at room temperature, and loved it that way!]
  5. Serves 4.


Recipe sources: “Herbivoracious,” by Michael Natkin (The Harvard Common Press; 2012; $24.95). The publisher sent me a review copy of the book. This recipe is reprinted with permission.

Vegetarian Vegan Gluten-Free

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Here’s another dish from the same author:

Ten-Minute Chickpea Salad with Feta and Basil. So good, so fast, so easy.

Ten-Minute Chickpea Salad on Shockingly Delicious

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This post was originally published on Shockingly Delicious on July 13, 2013. It has been updated.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole July 17, 2018 at 2:20 pm

I love the idea of adding the herbs like a pesto! Probably so fresh tasting!!


Dorothy Reinhold July 17, 2018 at 5:32 pm

You MUST try it this way! So, so good.


Stephanie July 17, 2018 at 2:16 pm

I’ve never tried adding so many seasonings to rice. I bet this tastes amazing! And you mention either mint or dill, I bet those are two very different but distinct flavors.


Dorothy Reinhold July 17, 2018 at 5:32 pm

They ARE very different, but either will work. If you have never added mint to a savory dish, I want you to try it. You will be surprised!


Kate Loves Travel July 17, 2018 at 12:12 pm

This looks so tasty! I love rice dishes – will definitely have a go at making this…


Jolina July 17, 2018 at 11:50 am

This is such a nice twist on rice! We always have rice but usually default to white or fried. Can’t wait to try this.


Mary Frances @ LOVE - the secret ingredient July 24, 2013 at 9:46 am

I think I’ll make this for the next picnic I go on! I can’t wait!


Dorothy Reinhold July 24, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Mary Frances,
Perfect picnic food. Won’t spoil.


Shelby Ruttan July 14, 2013 at 6:03 am

I absolutely love cilantro and this recipe sounds super flavorful. I will have to try it soon!


angela@spinachtiger July 13, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Thanks for making this. I have so many herbs in my garden and this is a salad I must make. I agree, good one to have sit out for a long time.


Michelle July 13, 2013 at 7:05 pm

This sounds wonderful!


veronica gantley July 13, 2013 at 5:07 pm

What a great Arroz Verde recipe and looks super tasty.


Hezzi-D July 13, 2013 at 11:24 am

Love the pesto sauce on this one!


Pam @ Blueberries And Blessings July 13, 2013 at 10:44 am

This sounds like a salad that is right up my alley – such beautiful color, too!


Hilary July 13, 2013 at 8:51 am

This method could be the solution to my “meh” cilantro rice. I put the broth and the cilantro in the blender, and then use that as the cooking liquid. By serving time, most of the flavor and all of the color has been cooked out of it.


Dorothy Reinhold July 14, 2013 at 6:19 am

I think you are RIGHT!


Hilary July 13, 2013 at 8:49 am

What a great idea! Sounds delish.


Wendy (The Weekend Gourmet) July 13, 2013 at 8:00 am

I LOVE this!! Can’t wait to make it as we love rice and eat it at least twice a week. Very creative!!


Marlene @Nosh My Way July 13, 2013 at 7:50 am

Great recipe choice and wonderful idea.


Lesa @ Edesia's Notebook July 13, 2013 at 7:46 am

Wow, that rice sounds so flavorful with all of those different herbs! And such a beautiful green color too.


Debra Elliott July 13, 2013 at 6:53 am

This looks yummy. I’ve never tried arroz verde, but it’s on my must try list. Thanks for stopping by Granny’s kitchen.


Shannon @VillageGirlBlog July 13, 2013 at 6:48 am

Omg-oodness! Pesto and rice?! Sounds amazing. This is a beautiful take on Arroz Verde. Can’t wait to try it.


bellini July 13, 2013 at 6:26 am

I can imagine the fresh taste by adding the pesto afterwards. Looking good.


Cynthia July 13, 2013 at 6:22 am

This salad looks so delicious. I am a big fan of Mexican food and will give this a try. I will admit that I have never tried a rice salad, but the fresh herbs in this one are calling to me.

I am off to look at your recipe for Hatch Chile Cornbread. I used to live close to Hatch, New Mexico and am a lover of the chile!


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