Think rice is bland and boring? Think again with this colorful and tasty verde rice! You'll love mixing things up with this delicious blend of flavors.

Overhead image of a white casserole dish with verde rice. There are slices of lime and cilantro springs on the counter around it, along with a wooden spoon and blue tea towel. - Shelf Cooking

We love rice for so many reasons! This humble little grain is inexpensive, shelf-stable, and oh-so versatile. Spicy, sweet, garlicky, buttery, or plain, rice can be made with wide variety of flavor profiles to fit anyone's preference. It's a shelf cookers dream!

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That's why we love having this delicious verde rice in our side dish rotation. It's easy to make and healthy, and an inexpensive way to add bulk to your meals. Plus, the pretty color will make your other side dishes positively green with envy!

Ingredients Needed To Make Verde Rice

Close up image of verde rice in a white casserole dish. A spring of cilantro rests on top. - Shelf Cooking

Verde means “green” in Spanish, and to get the beautiful green color of this rice we add vitamin-rich spinach! Delicious AND healthy?! That's what we call a win-win!

Here's what you'll need to make our favorite verde rice recipe:

  • rice
  • cilantro
  • spinach – fresh or frozen is fine
  • chicken broth
  • milk
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • butter
  • yellow onion
  • garlic
  • a large skillet or Instant Pot

Don't have some of these items on hand? Don't stress! Some easy swaps would be:

  • Kale in place of spinach
  • Water instead of chicken broth (or add a chicken boullion cube to your water!)
  • garlic powder instead of fresh garlic
  • dried onion flakes in place of fresh onion
  • garlic or seasoned salt instead of regular salt

If you like a little heat to your rice, you can also add some finely diced or pureed jalapeno or poblano peppers. Caliente!

What To Serve With Verde Rice

Close up image of verde rice on a wooden spoon. The dish of rice is in the background. - Shelf Cooking

Verde rice can be served as a more flavorful alternative to white rice in a wide variety of dishes. We also think it makes for a delicious snack on it's own! Some of the things we like to serve verde rice with are:

  • Rice bowls – we think verde rice would be amazing in this Cafe Rio Sweet Pork rice bowl!
  • Chimichangas – add a spoonful of verde rice to this easy chimichanga recipe and hello, deliciousness!
  • Enchiladas or burritos – we even have an amazing homemade enchilada sauce recipe for you to try.
  • Taco salad – the easiest way to use up your Mexican food leftovers!
  • Tortilla soup – add a scoop of verde rice to your bowl to make the soup even heartier and more filling.
  • Fajitas – um, yes please! You can always sign us up for these sheet-pan fajitas with a side of verde rice!
  • Tacos – we love these fish tacos or these easy oven-baked tacos!
  • Cilantro lime chicken – this recipe can be used in so many ways, but no matter how you decide to prepare it, verde rice will make an excellent companion.

So many amazing options…what would you choose?

How To Make Verde Rice

We'll show you how to make this fabulous rice using both your stovetop or your Instant Pot. Whip up a big batch for your next Taco Tuesday or whenever you feel the need for a fiesta!

Verde Rice

This delicious green rice is full of flavor and easy to make!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6


  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, packed
  • 1 cup spinach, packed (thaw first if using frozen)
  • cup chicken broth
  • cup milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • cup rice


  • Add the cilantro, spinach, and broth to a blender or food processor and pulse until the cilantro and spinach are finely pureed. Add the chicken broth, milk, and salt and blend once more to form a cohesive mixture.
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter. Once the butter is melted and hot, add the rice and saute until lightly toasted, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Once the rice is toasted, add the onion and garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  • Pour in the cilantro spinach mix and stir to combine.
  • Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Uncover, fluff with a fork, and enjoy!
Keyword green rice, mexican, rice, verde rice

Instant Pot Instructions

To use your trusty pressure cooker, start by following step one in the instructions above.

Next, set the Instant Pot to saute mode and add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter is melted and hot, add the rice and saute until lightly toasted (about 3-4 minutes).

Once the rice is toasted, add the onion and garlic and saute for one minute.

Pour in the cilantro spinach mix and stir to combine.

Lock the lid in place and make sure the vent is set to sealing. Cook in high for 5 minutes, then let pressure naturally release until the pin drops.

Uncover, fluff with a fork, and enjoy!

We hope you love this one, friends! It's definitely a favorite of ours!

We'll keep the goodness coming with these awesome recipes and ideas:

Rice is nice, and so are you! Thanks for stopping by!