Make any meal more satisfying with these easy rice recipes. Rice is always a crowd-pleaser and can be used in so many ways!
Rice is a favorite pantry staple in most homes (including mine).
It’s such a versatile, nutritious grain you can serve as a side dish, main course, afternoon snack, and even dessert!
It’s almost always used as a base for various saucy and savory meals. But now, it’s time to put the spotlight on this glorious grain.
Say goodbye to plain rice because by using a few simple ingredients, you can turn it into a winning meal.
I have 35 rice recipes that will convince you to keep the holy grain in your kitchen forever.
Read on, reinvent, and use any type of rice you like!
35 Best Rice Recipes and Ideas Your Family Will Love
1. Benihana Fried Rice
For a bowl of delicious fried rice served plain or with chicken, Benihana is one of the restaurants I love to go to.
As much as I adore visiting this gem of a place, it’s so satisfying to recreate their wildly popular fried rice.
I always make this recipe every time I crave Japanese-flavored rice.
With basic ingredients like white rice, eggs, veggies, chicken, herbs, and spices, you can whip up this recipe in 15 minutes!
2. Mushroom Risotto
Risotto is an Italian rice dish cooked in stock until it reaches creamy perfection.
It’s also one of the most common ways of cooking rice in Northern Italy.
This recipe creates a one-pan hit that marries creamy white mushrooms and soft arborio rice.
Constant stirring is a must (and worth it) to achieve the perfect texture.
To deglaze the cooking juices and create more aroma, don’t skip adding a splash of white wine.
3. Coconut Milk Rice
Nothing could be easier with this 2-ingredient side dish that stars jasmine rice and a can of coconut milk.
Plus, your rice cooker will do most of the work for you!
Surprisingly, these simple ingredients yield fantastic flavors.
In its basic form, coconut milk rice is buttery, creamy, savory, with a little hint of sweetness.
The coconut milk does a great job of making the rice slightly sticky and much more flavorful.
This dish is the perfect base for tacos, burrito bowls, and fried rice.
4. Chicken Fried Rice
Here’s an easy chicken fried rice recipe with a restaurant-quality. You’ll forget about takeout orders!
Making chicken fried rice is quick and easy. Everything will be done in 30 minutes or less. The best part? You can make different variations of it.
Drizzle some sesame oil for an Asian flavor, add a dash of red pepper for a spicy kick, or leave out the chicken to make a vegan dish.
5. Dirty Rice
Sometimes called cajun rice, dirty rice is a classic Creole recipe made with white rice and cajun flavors.
Throw in some diced chicken livers and ground sausage for a comforting and oh-so-filling dinner.
Don’t worry, it’s “dirty” for a good reason. The white rice turns brown after cooking, making it look like, well, dirty.
Not a fan of chicken livers? Swap them out for a combination of ground beef and pork.
6. Chicken Wild Rice Soup
Ride out the winter with this chicken wild rice soup recipe.
It’s like an upgraded chicken noodle soup, only creamier. It’s also filled with flavorful rice instead of noodles.
All in all, this dish has the makings of cozy comfort food — velvety, hearty, and satisfying.
It’s loaded with lightly sweet wild rice, tender chicken breasts, fresh veggies, and a perfect mix of herbs.
For warmer winter nights, serve this creamy soup with an unoaked white wine. So exquisite!
7. Brown Rice and Apple Salad
This recipe combines sweet and earthy flavors in a comforting side dish.
Although this is super easy to make, cooking the brown rice yourself may add several minutes to your prep time.
If you don’t like the extra work, opt for instant rice. Been there, done that, and the result is still excellent!
Once you get everything ready, all it takes is some mixing and stirring. It’s definitely a no-sweat recipe you will enjoy making.
8. Mexican Rice
Mexican rice is hard to resist if you have taquitos, tacos, or burritos that need a good side dish.
You need not visit a Mexican restaurant because this recipe is super easy to do at home.
All it takes is some stirring to create a light, tomato-packed rice meal.
Like other dishes, you can customize it according to your taste.
Use brown rice for a healthier side dish or add protein to turn it into a complete meal.
Rice balls, anyone? Arancini, it is! These Italian snacks are such a delight to eat. They’re breaded, deep-fried, and loaded with rice and cheese.
These little balls of happiness can also be infused with other yummy ingredients. A cut of pepperoni is by far, my favorite!
10. Wild Rice Stuffing
During the holidays, this wild rice stuffing is always present at my home.
It’s moist and tasty, with an earthy flavor and a hint of light sweetness. It’s pretty wild! No pun intended.
Whether you’re a stuffing person or not, you’ll come back for this side dish within seconds!
Dried pears are a must-have for this recipe, but sometimes they’re hard to find.
Use dried cranberries for convenience. They work just fine.
11. Salsa Rice
Have a busy weeknight? You can still make a fantastic side dish with this easy-peasy recipe!
If you’re going to use a store-bought salsa (which is totally okay), I promise you there’s no slicing and dicing for this recipe.
The results will still be incredible. You’ll have a light and a little toasty white rice simmered with chicken broth and your choice of salsa.
Adding shredded rotisserie chicken or cooked ground beef can also turn this side dish into a complete meal.
Jambalaya is a quintessential dish coming straight from New Orleans. Inspired by dishes like paella and jollof, this recipe combines West African and Spanish flavors.
Jambalaya is basically a mix of meat, vegetables, and rice. Traditionally, it’s not vegetable-heavy.
You’ll only need the holy trinity of Creole cooking — onion, celery, and green bell pepper.
In terms of meat, you can add two to three types. You’re going the love the burst of flavors coming from sausage, chicken, and shrimp!
13. Arroz Caldo
This Filipino rice dish will warm you up from head to toe! The dish calls for white rice and chicken stock and is cooked until thick and creamy.
In the Philippines, Arroz Caldo is typically cooked with onions and ginger to create complementary tastes.
But what makes this dish fantastic is the pack of condiments starring toasted garlic bits, boiled eggs, and a pinch of calamansi!
14. Almond Rice Pilaf
For a side dish that goes well with all kinds of meat, you should try almond rice pilaf.
This plump, golden beauty is a speedy side dish that you can make in less than 30 minutes.
The ingredients are easy to spot in your kitchen pantry. I won’t be surprised if this recipe becomes a staple at your home.
Note: You can add pineapple chunks into the rice mix and serve with pork chops, and voila! It’s dinnertime Hawaiian-style!
15. Ginger Rice
Warm, fragrant, and slightly peppery, ginger rice gives comfort at every bite.
The addition of fried tofu skin and soy sauce-based sauce makes this dish incredibly delicious.
So, yes, you can eat it on its own!
To achieve the right flavor and texture, it’s ideal to use young ginger, which is juicier and has a mild taste.
16. Cumin Rice
Cumin rice is an everyday rice dish in North India and Pakistan.
Also known as jeera rice, this recipe requires cumin seeds (jeera in Hindi) and, of course, rice.
You can use any type of rice you like, but jasmine and basmati work best.
If you haven’t had cumin seeds before, expect a peppery dish with sweet and bitter notes.
Serve this with a spicy curry, and you’re in for a flavorful treat!
17. Caribbean Confetti Rice
Colorful, easy to make, and loaded with Caribbean flavors, this rice meal makes carb-eating so worthy!
The dish is basically coconut rice, cooked with pineapple juice, garlic, salt, cayenne, and allspice.
Meanwhile, the “confetti” is a concoction made from bell peppers and onions sautéed in butter.
Serve this tropical delight hot or cold. It’s a fantastic meal at any temperature!
18. Brown Rice With Spinach and Parmesan Cheese
Brown rice, spinach, and cheese in one meal? Even the pickiest eaters will love this!
This recipe strives to create a healthy yet delicious meal with simple ingredients, using just a single pot.
The result is a velvety, tender, and hearty side dish.
Make it extra cheesy by sprinkling grated cheese after cooking. For a little crunch, top it off with some pine nuts.
19. Cheesy Broccoli and Rice
Cheese definitely makes everything better. If you’re not convinced, this recipe is another proof.
It combines half rice, half vegetable, and Parmesan cheese, creating a light yet flavor-packed side dish.
Of course, you can also turn this into a complete meal by adding grilled proteins.
Want a vegetarian version? Replace cheese with nutritional yeast and add more butter.
20. Garlic Butter Rice
Garlicky and buttery without being over the top, this recipe is what you need for the perfect garlic butter rice.
Depending on your personal taste, you can add extra garlic or butter, or both!
Some countries, like the Philippines, eat garlic rice almost every day. Judging by its taste, it doesn’t come as a surprise.
Plus, you can pair it with any main course from different cuisines. Asian, French, Mexican — you name it!
It’s a handy recipe to learn if traveling to different places.
21. Seafood Paella
Paella is one of the most famous Spanish dishes, originally from the Valencian region.
Traditionally, this rice meal combines white rice, chicken, vegetables, and saffron.
But for this recipe, you’ll use seafood! Take your pick from shrimps, lobsters, fish fillets, clams, or mussels.
Your choice of rice is also important. You wouldn’t want creamy rice. Leave that to a risotto recipe.
Paella, on the other hand, should have dry, separated rice.
22. Coconut Sticky Rice With Mango
Dinner and dessert in one meal? I present to you this recipe for coconut sticky rice with mango.
Using only four ingredients, this recipe creates a pair of warm sticky rice and chilled mango. It’s a heavenly combination!
Complete the meal by garnishing it with toasted sesame seeds or drizzling the remaining coconut milk on top.
23. Rice Krispies
Crispy rice treats are a must-have for a retro dessert night.
This recipe is what you need if you want to turn your Rice Krispies cereal into something much, much better.
Following the correct ratio of marshmallow to cereal is a crucial step so that your treats are gooey and crisp, but not too crunchy.
Don’t forget the add-ins like chocolate chips, dried berries, or crumbled Grahams cereal. The kids will love it and finish everything in seconds!
24. Rice Pudding
A warm bowl of dessert that speaks highly of comfort, rice pudding will bring you cozy and satisfying nights.
This dessert is renowned in various parts of the world and thus has different variations. In some countries, this meal is served cold.
But for me, I love it hot and creamy, infused with cinnamon, nutmeg, and raisins. It’s simply perfect for a chilly night.
Not a raisin lover? You can easily tweak this recipe by adding other fruits, fresh or dried.
For a vegan variation, you can use coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk.
Persian saffron rice, also called Tachin, is indeed a show-stopper. It has a lovely golden crust with vibrant yellow rice within. But that’s not all.
It’s loaded with barberries and infused with yogurt mixture to achieve authentic Persian flavors. You can eat it plain because it’s that tasty!
If you feel like having a Persian food party at home, serve this baked rice with lamb shawarma or chicken doner kebab.
26. Cowboy Rice Salad
Trust the cowboys to turn a light salad into a hearty dish!
This isn’t the kind of salad you serve as an appetizer or side dish, folks. This is a complete meal on its own.
This Southwestern recipe combines colorful vegetables, beans, brown rice, and lime dressing to make one hefty salad.
With all its different colors, flavors, and textures, this salad won’t just satisfy – it’ll exceed expectations.
27. Spinach Rice with Feta
Give your typical American meal a Mediterranean flair with this spinach rice with feta.
It’s basically as described: white rice, cooked with spinach and feta. But, there are a few additions that make this dish even more scrumptious than you can imagine.
Also seasoned with garlic and lemon, this rice dish is bursting with deliciousness. It’s mainly rich and savory, but the pop of garlic and lemon gives it additional layers of flavor.
28. Spanish Rice
Here’s another Spanish-inspired rice dish you’ll want to add to your weekly meal rotation.
This dish starts with white, long-grain rice that’s toasted in oil. This process gives the rice a nutty flavor and a heavenly aroma.
Then, it’s simmered in tomato sauce, chicken broth, and tons of spices. This is where it absorbs so much flavor and becomes extremely addictive.
Serve Spanish rice with any meat or vegetable-based entree for a satisfying feast.
29. Easy Rice Bowl
I love rice bowls. The concept of filling a bowl of rice with a variety of toppings excites my soul.
There’s no limit to what toppings you can use here. They can be as simple or as creative as you like.
They can be all-protein, all-veggie, or a combination. It’s really up to you.
But, in case you’re looking for ideas, this recipe has you covered.
This particular rice bowl is vegetarian, but it doesn’t mean it’s boring!
Loaded with rice, beans, tomatoes, avocado, and corn, this is what I call happiness in a bowl.
If you’re a huge fan of Korean food, then you must know how unbelievably delicious bibimbap is.
The first time I had bibimbap, I couldn’t stop raving about it. I knew at that moment that it was going to be part of my life forever.
Meaning “mixed rice with meat and vegetables,” bibimbap is a traditional Korean rice bowl full of fun and color.
Toppings include minced beef, bean sprouts, carrots, seaweed, and an irresistible sauce called gochujang.
There are many toppings you can add to the list. The best one for me, though, is the fried egg on top. I just can’t resist its golden charm!
31. Curried Rice
From Korea to India. Curry rice is a simple yet outrageously fragrant and flavorful dish.
It’s a pilaf made of basmati rice cooked in curry powder and other Indian spices. Again, very simple, but its flavors do not disappoint.
In fact, you can serve this dish with just a piece of fried egg and you already have a meal!
It’s so tasty you don’t need to pair it with complex dishes to complete it.
The Japanese are masters of rice dishes, and this onigiri is clear evidence.
In case you’re not familiar, onigiri is a ball of rice with a savory filling. It comes in either a round or triangular form and is most of the time wrapped in nori.
The great thing about it is there’s no limit to the fillings you can use. Now’s the perfect time to raid your fridge for leftovers!
I love to fill onigiri with tuna salad and teriyaki chicken. If you have other ideas, comment them down below.
33. California Roll Sushi Bowl
Here’s yet another Japanese-inspired dish you’ll surely enjoy.
This rice bowl is topped with crabmeat, nori, fresh vegetables, avocado, and creamy sriracha mayo.
It has all the elements of a California roll, but is served in deconstructed form.
Pro-tip: sprinkle the bowl with extra toasted sesame seeds for added crunch.
Did you know you can turn rice into a beverage? Say hello to horchata, an authentic Mexican drink that’s full of flavor.
Made of pureed white rice, milk, almonds, cinnamon, and sugar, horchata is a creamy and nutty treat your taste buds will fall in love with.
You also don’t have to be a kitchen expert to make it! In fact, all it calls for is 10 minutes of prep – and it only really involves pushing the button of your blender.
35. Cajun Rice
You can see from the color of this dish alone that it’s insanely packed with flavor.
Spiced with paprika, thyme, garlic, bay leaf, and pepper, this rice dish is bursting with scrumptiousness.
Joining the party are bell peppers and onions which add a sweet and peppery taste to the dish.
Serve Cajun rice with Cajun shrimp or chicken for the full Louisiana experience.
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