Pesto green rice is flavored with jarred pesto and topped with fresh herbs and sliced almonds. A simple and delicious side dish recipe that can be cooked on the stove top or in the rice cooker!
I was kind of hoping this 'green rice' would end up a bit more green, but here we are, green-ish rice 😉
If you are looking for a simple rice side dish but want to take things up a notch, this recipe is perfect for you! I’m on a mission to kick our boring rice habit, and this pesto rice recipe is definitely not boring!
All it takes is a scoop of pesto, some fresh herbs and sliced almonds, and you've got yourself a super tasty side dish that goes well with Italian flavors.
The pesto infuses the rice with a ton of flavor, and no one will know how easy it was to throw together.
Looking for rice recipes? Check out this post with 7 Easy Rice Recipes!
How to make it
Like the other rice recipes in this series, you don’t need to chop or sautee anything, and you can cook it either in a rice cooker (I love the Aroma 8 Cup Rice Cooker) or in a pot.
- Rinse rice under the tap using a colander. Honestly? I skip this half the time. But for the fluffiest rice, I recommend rinsing.
- Combine all ingredients in a pot (with minimum capacity of 4 cups), or a rice cooker (I love the Aroma 8 Cup Rice Cooker)
- Cook! If you are using a rice cooker, just press the ‘white rice’ button. If you are using the stove top method, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer (covered) for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand (covered) for another 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
Can I use jasmine rice in this recipe? Brown rice? Any other rice?
Pesto green rice will work well with a long grain white rice such as jasmine or basmati, but this particular recipe has only been tested with basmati. It should work as written for jasmine as well.
Brown rice *may* work, but you will need to increase the cook time as indicated on the package. Par-boiled/pre-cooked rice won’t work in this recipe.
Can I freeze it?
YES. This rice recipe freezes well. You can freeze it in meal prep containers or in freezer bags (I love these re-usable silicone freezer bags!). Some people add a little bit of water when re-heating freeze/thawed rice, as it does end up slightly dryer than fresh rice.
Can I cook this recipe in the Instant Pot?
I have not tried, but I bet it would work! I'd refer to this tutorial for Fail Proof Instant Pot Rice and remember to adjust the cooking liquid/rice ratio to 1:1.
Pesto green rice is creamy and indulgent...and it goes well with Italian flavors! Here are some suggestions:
- Instant Pot Creamy Lemon Chicken
- a salad tossed with this Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Honey Roasted Carrots
- the Italian meatballs found in this post with Healthy Baked Turkey Meatballs 7 Ways
- I recommend rinsing your rice under the tap through a collander
- I love the Aroma 8 Cup Rice Cooker, but if you have a large family, you might want to consider the Aroma 20 Cup Rice Cooker
- Looking for more rice recipes? Check out this Instant Pot Wild Rice Pilaf, this Coconut Rice, or this post with all 7 Easy Rice Recipes
Pesto Green Rice
- 1 cup basmati rice rinsed
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- ¼ cup pesto
- 2 cups stock (veggie or chicken)
- fresh basil leaves
- sliced almonds
- In a medium pot, combine the basmati rice and all other ingredients not marked 'to serve'.
- Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer (covered) for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let sit for another 10 minutes before adding the ingredients marked 'to serve' and stirring up.
- Combine the basmati rice and all other ingredients not marked 'to serve' in the rice cooker base.
- Cook using the 'white rice' function (or regular function if there is not a white rice option).
- Once the cook time is up, stir in the ingredients marked 'after cooking' and stirring up.