These go-to rice recipes show how to cook it to perfection! Enjoy basics, side dishes, and filling main dishes made with this whole grain.
Looking to eat more whole grains? Here’s the world’s most popular one: rice. Rice is eaten all around the globe in almost every cuisine! It’s easy to make, full of nutrients, and shelf stable for years. But it can also be botched: cooked to be too gummy, too watery or too crunchy. With rice, you can end up with a sloppy mess.
Here are all the best go-to rice recipes so you can cook it perfectly every time! This list includes basics like how to cook white rice and brown rice, and ways to make rice into a tasty side dish. It also shows how to turn rice into tasty healthy dinner recipes. Ready to get started?
When it comes to side dish recipes…this one is a staple everyone needs. Try this easy Cilantro Lime Rice! Sure, you can make a pot of rice as a side. But add cilantro, lime juice and lime zest and it catapults it to an entirely different level. The ways to serve it are endless: use it in burrito bowls, tacos, or as a side for grilled shrimp skewers.
Next, a knock-out side dish rice recipe: Southwest rice salad! It combines long-grain basmati rice with black beans in a protein-packed side dish. The rice is seasoned with cumin, garlic, and cider vinegar, then mixed with colored bell peppers, green onions and rice. It's a great healthy lunch idea or dinner side dish.
Here’s a fun way to turn everyday rice into a classy side dish: Spinach Rice! Take plain old white rice and cook up a pot with spinach and garlic, then flavor it with a pop of lemon and sprinkle of feta cheese. It’s an elegant Mediterranean-style side dish that you can serve for guests or just use to spice up weeknights. And, it’s a great way to load up on spinach. The savory, fresh flavors are unreal!
Rice as a main dish recipe: dress it up as fried rice! There’s something about the chewy clumps of eggs and the savory ginger and soy-infused bites that feels positively life giving. After years of tinkering, we wanted to share our master method. Here’s how to make the very best fried rice!
Next up: let's talk basics. Here's a white rice recipe that comes perfect every time! Have you ever over-cooked rice and ended up with a glue-y mush? Under-cooked it to where it’s crunchy? Gotten it stuck to the bottom of the pan? Any way you can think of to botch rice, we’ve done it! Until, we met the perfect way to cook rice…and our lives changed forever. (Really!)
Ever wanted to cook brown rice, until you saw the 1 hour cook time? Who has 1 hour to cook rice on a weeknight? Here's the “fast way” to cook brown rice. It’s not instant, but it cuts down the time investment for sure. In just 35 minutes, you’ve got a big pot of nutritious brown rice that cooks perfectly every time!
Here's a delicious side dish for Mexican-style meals: Spanish rice!Contrary to its name, it’s actually not Spanish at all: it’s a Mexican-style red rice. This recipe is a quick and easy spin: it uses salsa to get big flavor quickly. It’s also got a special flavor secret that takes it from good to irresistible.
Looking for a great side dish with bold, tropical flavor? Try Coconut Rice! There’s just something about the subtle fruitiness of coconut that makes each bite of this fluffy rice intriguing. Coconut rice can often come out gummy and waterlogged. Here’s how to make it so it’s fluffy and coconut-scented: two different ways!
Here's another fantastic rice recipe: black beans and rice! Here long-grain rice is jumbled with black beans and green bell pepper, and seasoned with cumin, lime and cilantro. It’s the a great side to serve with tacos or any Latin-style meal, or as a lunch idea (it saves well for eating throughout the week).
Here’s one to file under dinnertime basics: this Easy Rice Bowl! This 30 minute dinner features these easy black beans, a trick to make a bland can of beans taste amazing in 5 minutes. Pair it with rice and colorful veggies. The kicker? A zingy cilantro lime ranch that you’ll want to bathe in
One of the easiest concepts for rice there is? The bowl meal. So here’s the epitome of a healthy bowl meal: this Salmon & Rice Bowl! The tender, seasoned fish is offset with fluffy rice, crisp tender broccoli, and an easy, creamy flavor popping sauce. Try the Tahini Dressing or Miso Dressing, and prepare to be amazed.
Bibimbap is a Korean rice recipe: a bowl of warm white rice topped seasoned vegetables, spicy gochujang, Korean chili pepper paste, and a fried egg. The best part: stirring the dish together before digging in melds together all the zingy pickled and fermented flavors from the vegetables with the creamy egg yolk. It's absolute magic.
Welcome to…your new favorite healthy rice recipe for dinner. This burrito is packed with flavor from Spanish rice, seasoned black beans, peppers and onions, and mashed avocado. It's a great way to turn this filling whole grain into a meal!
Another classic rice recipe made with short grain rice: risotto! Risotto is a traditional Italian dish where short grain arborio rice is cooked in broth. Adding the broth gradually makes the grains plump up and become creamy. Here's our mushroom risotto recipe, with tender sauteed mushrooms and savory Parmesan cheese.
Another traditional short grain rice recipe: paella! Paella is a traditional rice dish from Spain. It's easy to make at home and a great dish for entertaining or celebratory meals. This one features shrimp and artichokes, cooked on a bed of arborio rice that's seasoned with turmeric and smoked paprika. It's a showstopper! See also: Simple Vegetarian Paella.
Wild rice is actually not technically rice! It looks like rice, but it's not the same as white and brown rice. It's actually a seed from a water grass that grows in lakes and rivers. But since it's treated like rice in cooking, we've included it in our rice recipes, too! This wild rice soup is impossibly creamy, packed with flavor and full of tender veggies and hearty rice. White beans and cashews bring a creamy body and protein. Everyone asks for the recipe—it’s that good.
White rice vs. brown rice
What’s the breakdown of white rice vs brown rice? Is brown rice healthier? When you have time to make it, brown rice has a lot of nutritional benefits. Brown rice has an impressive amount of vitamins, minerals and beneficial compounds because it is less processed than white rice. Here’s a breakdown:
Brown rice is less processed so has more nutrients. White rice has its hull, bran and germ removed, but brown rice has only the hull removed and keeps the nutrient-packed bran and germ. As a result, brown rice retains the nutrients that white rice lacks such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Brown rice has more fiber. 1 cup of cooked white rice has 0.6 grams fiber, but 1 cup cooked brown rice has 3.2 grams of fiber, 13% of your daily need. (Source)
Wild rice vs. brown rice
Did you know that wild rice is not actually rice? (You did if you read about our wild rice soup above!) It’s the seed from a grass that grows in lakes and streams. But since it looks a lot like rice, most cuisines treat it like rice.
Add the rice to a saucepan with 2 cups water. Bring it to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the water is completely evaporated. While the rice cooks, prep the cilantro, lime juice and lime zest.
Remove the cover and stir in the salt and garlic powder. Return the cover and allow to steam for 10 minutes. Uncover and stir in the cilantro, coconut oil, lime juice and lime zest. Refrigerate leftovers; to reheat, heat on the stovetop or in the microwave with a few tablespoons water until warmed and moist (you may need to add a pinch more salt).
*This recipe makes 4 modest servings. For larger servings, make 1.5 or 2 times the recipe.
**You can also use this method with brown rice if you like. Follow the same instructions, but simmer for 45 minutes in Step 1.