From Spanish paella to Indian biryani, rice is the foundation for many iconic global dishes. This versatile grain is satisfying, nutritious, and pairs well with countless ingredients.
With so many varieties and cooking methods, the possibilities for rice recipes are endless!
In this article, we will highlight 5 must-try rice dishes spanning a variety of cuisines.
1) Coconut Rice:
This coconut rice recipe infuses fluffy basmati or jasmine rice with the tropical essence of coconut milk and ginger. It’s easy to make and pairs perfectly with curry dishes.
- 1 cup jasmine or basmati rice
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 3/4 cup water
- 1-inch knob fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp butter
- Rinse rice until water runs clear to remove excess starch.
- Combine rinsed rice, coconut milk, water, ginger, and salt in a pot. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes until rice is tender.
- Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff rice and stir in butter.
The simple addition of coconut milk and ginger gives this basic rice a huge flavor. Try it with your favorite Thai or Indian dishes. Adjust the coconut to your taste by using full or light coconut milk.
2) Spanish Rice:
Rice is essential in Spanish cuisine, used in everything from paella to stews and more. This classic Spanish rice recipe packs big flavor into a quick, easy side dish. Try it with fajitas, tacos, or grilled chicken.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup long-grain white rice
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. Sauté onion and garlic until soft, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add rice and stir to coat in oil. Cook for 2 minutes more.
- Pour in diced tomatoes, broth, paprika, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes until rice is tender.
- Fluff rice with a fork and adjust seasoning as desired.
This easy Spanish rice complements any Tex-Mex or Latin dish. Adjust the spice level to your taste and enjoy!
3) Baked Chicken and Rice Casserole:
Chicken and rice combine in this easy one-dish casserole, with no stovetop cooking required. Kids and adults alike will love this classic bake.
- 6 boneless chicken thighs
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
- 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- Chicken broth
- Spices: 2 tsp each chili powder, cumin, paprika
- Chopped cilantro
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
- Arrange chicken over rice, tomatoes, onion, and bell pepper in a baking dish.
- Pour over enough broth to partially submerge the ingredients.
- Sprinkle spices over the top and cover the dish with foil.
- Bake for 30 minutes until rice is tender and chicken is 165°F.
- Garnish with cilantro before serving.
As it bakes, the rice soaks up the tomato broth, adding awesome flavor. For extra veggies, add carrots, peas, or spinach. This easy-baked chicken and rice is family-friendly comfort food at its finest!
4) Risotto with Mushrooms
Creamy risotto makes an elegant, restaurant-worthy meal but traditionally requires constant stirring on the stovetop. However, this shortcut mushroom risotto is made easily in the pressure cooker. No stirring is needed! The result is perfectly creamy rice infused with earthy mushrooms and Parmesan.
- 1 onion, diced
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3 cups broth
- 1/3 cup frozen peas
- Parmesan cheese
- In Instant Pot on Sauté, cook onion and mushrooms until softened.
- Add garlic and rice, and stir for 2 minutes.
- Deglaze the pot with wine, scraping any bits from the bottom.
- Stir in broth, lock the lid, and cook at high pressure for 4 minutes.
- Release pressure naturally for 10 minutes, then quick release remaining.
- Stir in peas and Parmesan before serving.
Use chicken or vegetable broth to suit your diet. This shortcut risotto will be your new favorite stress-free weeknight meal.
5) Fried Rice
Takeout fried rice is great, but even better when you make it yourself. This recipe is packed with fresh veggies and a light sesame flavor. Fire up the wok for this easy, crowd-pleasing stir-fry.
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 eggs, scrambled
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups cooked rice
- Soy sauce
- Sesame oil
- Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a wok over high heat. Cook scrambled eggs and transfer them to a plate.
- Add 2 Tbsp oil and sauté onion carrots for 3 minutes.
- Add peas, garlic, and rice. Cook for 5 more minutes.
- Make a well in the center and add the remaining 1 Tbsp oil.
- Add the cooked egg back to the wok and gently stir everything together.
- Drizzle with soy sauce and sesame oil to taste.
Jazz up the veggie mix with mushrooms, corn, or bell peppers. For extra protein, add cooked chicken, shrimp, or beef. This fried rice is a filling meal with endless mix-in possibilities!
Rice is an incredibly versatile base grain that absorbs flavors beautifully. From Spanish rice to risotto, fried rice to rice pudding, it can be sweet or savory. These five recipes provide a global sampler of rice dishes you need to try. Now it’s your turn to get cooking! Experiment with new rice varieties, mix-ins, and seasonings to make these recipes your own. With a little creativity, humble rice goes from a boring side to a spectacular main dish.