This Peruvian Green Rice is hands down the best rice side dish ever! The fresh cilantro not only makes the rice green, but it’s also extraordinarily nutritious and delicious. And with the addition of peas, carrots, onion, and garlic, this rice is sure to be a hit at the family dinner table. And if you enjoy Peruvian cuisine in general, try my Peruvian Lamb Stew and Cauliflower Fried Rice!
What Makes Peruvian Green Rice Green?
All of that glorious, green cilantro! Now, don’t just add a teaspoon of ground coriander or even chopped fresh cilantro and expect the rice to become green. You have to blend the fresh cilantro with the water you cook the rice in first.
The cilantro needs to be completely liquified so that the dry rice absorbs it while it cooks. Blend for at least 5 minutes until you basically end up with very, very green water. Then, add that green water to the rice and cook it. The rice absorbs the green coriander water and becomes green.
If you want to incorporate more rice into your diet, but you’re not a big rice fan, I urge you to try this recipe. I promise you, you will love it. Besides, who doesn’t want their kitchen to smell like a 5-star Peruvian restaurant?!
5 Tips for Making Perfect Rice Every Time
I have yet to meet a person I (or my mother) have made this rice for who doesn’t love it. And most people who claim to not like rice were probably served poorly cooked rice.
If you cook rice in too much unsalted water, it ends up being a tasteless mush. But by following these simple steps, I promise you’ll convince a rice hater that there is nothing more delicious than Peruvian Green Rice!
- Don’t be afraid of salt! Rice needs the flavor from a heavy amount on sodium. I’m talking about more than just a pinch! You could even cook rice in chicken or vegetable stock for more flavor.
- Don’t overcook rice! Most types of white rice need a 1 to 1.5 ratio of rice to liquid when cooked on the stove in a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. And only a 1:1 ratio if cooking rice in the instant pot.
- Add crushed garlic! This infuses the rice with the beautiful, aromatic flavor from the garlic and cooks it so it’s completely absorbed by the rice.
- Fry some onion first, then add the rice and liquid. Even better, toast the dry rice in the same oil first to add even more flavor!
- Use herbs like cilantro or basil to add to the taste. But remember my trick of blending the fresh, green herbs in the water you plan to cook the rice in first so that they’re all absorbed while the rice boils.
- Fresh Cilantro — You’ll need 50-60 grams, in total. This is green rice, after all!
- Broth — To blend with the green herbs to use when cooking the dry rice. Any broth works: chicken, vegetable, herb.
- Oil — You’ll need a little oil to fry the onions and garlic first.
- Onion and Garlic — This rice needs aromatics like fresh onion and garlic to add flavor that pairs well with the cilantro.
- Jasmine Rice — I’ve found that white jasmine rice has the best texture for this Peruvian Green Rice, but you could also use basmati.
- Ají Paste — This is optional of course because it’s not always easy to find outside of Peru but if you want authentic Peruvian green rice try and get your hands on it. If you live in the US you can find it online (affiliate link).
- Peas and Carrots — These are some components that make this rice so special. You could also add celery and spinach if you want more veggies.
How To Make Peruvian Green Rice
- Prep — Peel and chop onion, peel and crush garlic, and peel and dice the carrots.
- Make the Green Water — Add cilantro and broth to your blender, and blend until the cilantro is completely liquified. If your broth is low-sodium you may want to add extra salt.
- Cook the Veggies — Add a drizzle of oil to a pot on the stove or your instant pot, then add onion and garlic. Fry until translucent.
- Add Ají — add the ají paste and stir it into the onions and fry for a few seconds. This makes the green rice truly Peruvian.
- Boil the Rice — Add jasmine rice, carrots, and cilantro water, and if using a pot on the stove bring to a strong boil. Once it boils, immediately turn the heat down to low and cover with a lid. Cook the rice for approximately 15 minutes, until all water has been absorbed. Or, if using a pressure cooker like I am, put on the lid and seal it and then set the cooker to 3 minutes on high pressure and then wait for full natural pressure release.
- Fluff and Serve — Add frozen peas, and fluff the rice with a fork, and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Storage, Freezing, and Reheating Tips
- Store leftover Peruvian Green Rice in an airtight container or plastic bag in your refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Freeze cooled rice in an airtight, freezer-safe container or plastic bag for up to 3 months.
- Reheat by letting frozen rice thaw in the fridge overnight. Reheat in the microwave or in a pan on the stove until steaming hot. Add some water or broth if dry.
More Recipes To Try
If you enjoyed my Peruvian Green Rice, then you’ll love these other easy rice recipes:
- Instant Pot Chicken and Rice
- Quinoa Fried Rice
- One-Pot Lentils and Rice
- Warm Wild Rice Salad
- Failproof Instant Pot Rice
Peruvian Green Rice
- 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
- 1 – 1.5 cups broth - * see notes
- 2 tsp avocado oil
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp Ají amarillo paste
- 1 cup Jasmine rice
- 1 carrot
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- sea salt and pepper - if necessary
- Chop onion and garlic and peel and dice carrot.
- Add cilantro and broth to your blender and blend until the cilantro is completely liquified.
- Preheat the Instant Pot or a small saucepan over medium heat and once hot add a drizzle of oil, then fry chopped onion and garlic in it until translucent. Then add ají and stir-fry for a few more seconds.
- Add rice, cilantro water, and carrots to the onions and stir to combine.
- Stove-top: bring to a boil and as soon as slightly bubbly, reduce heat to low and immediately cover. Set a timer for 15 minutes.Instant Pot: put on the lid and seal. Set the pot to 3 minutes on high pressure, then wait for full natural pressure release.
- Add frozen peas and use a spoon or fork to mix in and fluff the rice. Then serve immediately.