35 Essential Rice Recipes You Can Make Any Night of the Week

If you’ve got rice in your pantry then you’re well on your way to something delicious. By adding just a few other ingredients, you can turn this versatile grain into a savory side dish, a satisfying main or even dessert!

March 21, 2022

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Rice, Rice Baby

Rice is a delicious and versatile pantry staple everyone should keep on hand. And even if you don't learn how to process the plants for food at home, as that is a time-consuming process, it’s still worth knowing how to grow rice — it’s a great ornamental feature to grow alongside shrubs or even in containers on your porch. You can easily make rice part of your weeknight routine, just keep our tried-and-true cooking guide on hand so you never end up with mushy or gummy results! If using a rice cooker is more your style, we can recommend the best models on the market too. Rice can be a great side, main or even dessert. Whip up this cheesy, Tex-Mex-inspired rice casserole whenever you serve tacos or quesadillas. You won't regret it!

Get the Recipe: Mexican Rice Casserole

Garlic Cilantro Lime Rice

Ree’s easy trick for transforming rice into a super-flavorful side? Cook the grains in chicken stock instead of water. In this recipe, she also throws in some sautéed onion and garlic and some lime zest and juice, for good measure.

Get the Recipe: Garlic Cilantro Lime Rice

Curried Chicken and Rice Soup

Rice is the key ingredient in making this comforting chicken soup (layered with the flavors of Madras curry, cilantro and lime) hearty and satisfying.

Get the Recipe: Curried Chicken and Rice Soup

The Best Chicken and Rice

Could classic chicken and rice be one of the most beloved comfort dinners to ever hit the plate? We think so. And to blow your mind even more, this version is made in just one skillet. Here we use bone-in, skin on chicken thighs which cook up in exactly the same time as the rice to guarantee juicy chicken. A quick broil at the end creates the perfect crispy skin and gives a little crunch to the rice and vegetables.

Get the Recipe: The Best Chicken and Rice


If you’ve got arborio rice in your cupboard (a short-grain variety that cooks up nice and creamy) then you’re in luck. It’s the perfect choice for these cheesy, breaded-and-fried rice balls.

Get the Recipe: Arancini

Tex-Mex Lazy Tomato Rice

This recipe uses a rice cooker to get a full rice dinner on the table in a fun, fast, hands-off way. We used a Japanese-style cooker, but you could do this with almost any version. The tomato gets super soft and stirs right into the rice, making an instant sauce. Feel free to play with the ingredients and flavor profiles once you have the technique down.

Get the Recipe: Tex-Mex Lazy Tomato Rice

Black Rice

Black rice is an ancient grain known for its nutty, earthy taste, distinctive color and high levels of antioxidants. There are many different varietals from places such as China, the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Thailand and the United States. Some cultures prepare black rice as congee (rice pudding) or as a side dish topped with cooked chicken, eggs or pickled vegetables. Steamed black rice is also delicious served plain or used as a base for rice salads topped with nuts, herbs and roasted vegetables. It is perfect as a substitute for sushi rice too because of its slightly chewy, sticky and tender texture.

Get the Recipe: Black Rice

Filipino Yellow Rice with Shrimp and Chorizo

Unlike many yellow rice recipes, this one — influenced by Spain’s colonization of the Philippines — is a main course, similar to paella. I usually make it with jasmine rice, which is all about texture (slightly sticky and soft, yet firm enough to hold its shape) and smell (slight, but distinct floral notes). That said, I have substituted extra-long grain rice, the classic choice for Mexican- and Puerto Rican-style yellow rice, with good results. The shrimp and/or chorizo can be swapped with other quick-cooking proteins or vegetables. Use only vegetables and vegetable stock if you want to make the dish vegetarian.

Get the Recipe: Filipino Yellow Rice with Shrimp and Chorizo

Gingery Tofu and Shiitake Fried Rice

Rice becomes a memorable meatless meal when it’s pan-fried with tofu, mushrooms and fresh ginger.

Get the Recipe: Gingery Tofu and Shiitake Fried Rice

Firecracker Shrimp and Rice

Good news: You're a mere twenty minutes (and one skillet) away from this all-in-one, spicy-sweet shrimp dinner.

Get the Recipe: Firecracker Shrimp and Rice

Bacon and Broccoli Rice Bowl

Who says bacon and eggs can't be healthy? When used sparingly and in the right way, you need only a little. If you're in the mood for something a little fancier, dress this rice bowl up by poaching the egg instead of hard-cooking it.

Get the Recipe: Bacon and Broccoli Rice Bowl

Tomato Rice

A simple puree of tomato, onion and garlic totally transforms plain rice. Cook the grains with the veggie puree and chicken stock and they’ll soak up all the delicious, savory flavor.

Get the Recipe: Arroz Rojo

Skillet Bibimbap Pizza

This easy dinner has all the zingy, savory flavors of the Korean crispy rice dish, but is compacted to serve in slices — like a pizza.

Get the Recipe: Crispy Skillet Rice with Gochujang, Ground Beef and Kimchi

South Indian-Style Yellow Rice

This vibrant rice is cooked with turmeric, tempered with mustard seeds, nuts and dal and finished with lemon zest and juice, resulting in an aromatic, bright, tangy and crunchy rice. It’s also a great way to revive leftover rice the next day.

Get the Recipe: South Indian-Style Yellow Rice

Sweet and Spicy Ham Fried Rice

Pair sweet chili sauce with chili oil to get a sweet heat for this simple rice dish. Savory ham and earthy shiitake mushrooms make it a meal.

Get the Recipe: Sweet and Spicy Ham Fried Rice

Instant Pot Chicken with Rice and Peas

The multi-cooker makes quick work of this tasty chicken-and-rice dinner. It’s on the table in just 40 minutes.

Get the Recipe: Instant Pot Chicken with Rice and Peas

Turkey Fajita Rice Bowls

If you’re a fan of fajitas, then you’ll love the flavors of this quick-and-easy rice bowl. Char-grilled turkey, onion and bell peppers are layered over rice and then dressed up with all your favorite toppings, like avocado, sour cream and pico de gallo.

Get the Recipe: Turkey Fajita Rice Bowls

Almond Cranberry Rice Pilaf

Skip the trail mix and use your nuts and dried fruit to elevate a simple, buttery, homemade rice pilaf.

Get the Recipe: Almond Cranberry Rice Pilaf

Cinnamon-Raisin Rice Pudding

This bowl of creamy, comforting rice pudding features the classic combo of cinnamon and raisin. What’s not to love?

Get the Recipe: Cinnamon-Raisin Rice Pudding

Bacon and Egg Fried Rice

Intimidated by the though of making your own fried rice at home? Jet’s version is simple and uses lots of basic ingredients like bacon, egg and veggies.

Get the Recipe: Bacon and Egg Fried Rice

Tandoori Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Bowl

These rice bowls have all the spice-forward flavors you would expect from tandoori chicken, thanks to ginger, garlic and curry powder. If you have basmati rice, use it. The long grains cook up nice and fluffy, with a subtle nutty flavor.

Get the Recipe: Masala Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Bowl

Sticky Rice

Sticky (or glutinous or sweet) rice is a popular grain in much of Asia, used in both sweet and savory preparations, including Japanese mochi, Korean rice cakes and Chinese eight treasure rice. It differs from regular rice in that it has more starch. As such, the grains tend to stick together, resulting in a slightly chewy texture. This is a basic recipe for plain steamed sticky rice. You can serve it as a side dish as you would conventional steamed rice, stir fry it with Chinese sausage and mushrooms or pair it with sweetened coconut cream and sliced mango.

Get the Recipe: Sticky Rice

Carbonara Fried Rice

The rich flavor of a carbonara combined with the crispy, crunchy texture of fried rice. Need we say more?

Get the Recipe: Carbonara Fried Rice

Risotto Stuffed Peppers and Zucchini

The risotto is delicious stuffed in either peppers or squash so keep that in mind if one looks better than the other at the market. Also, the zucchini can be mixed with small firm yellow squash rather than red peppers.

Get the Recipe: Risotto Stuffed Peppers and Zucchini

Arroz Valenciana

This Filipino adaptation of Spanish paella is a staple at holidays and family get-togethers with my mom's family and it’s certainly easy enough to prepare for a hearty dinner any day of the week. The countless variations on what's mixed in depend on where in the Philippines you’re from. Some people include shellfish, chorizo, chicken livers or pork but this version is how my family always prepares it — simple, vibrant and comforting.

Get the Recipe: Arroz Valenciana

Perfect Brown Rice

Though it's easy to do, preparing brown rice can seem daunting when you're trying to get that perfect not-too-chewy, not-too-soggy texture. This method produces flawless results every time with little fuss!

Get the Recipe: Perfect Brown Rice

Sheet Pan Fried Rice

Baking the rice on a sheet pan guarantees more of the crispy, crunchy bits that make fried rice the perfect food. For this recipe, the older and drier the rice the better. If you must start with freshly cooked grains, spread them out on a sheet pan to dry out in the refrigerator first.

Get the Recipe: Sheet Pan Fried Rice

Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup

Brown rice is the perfect addition to this slow-cooker chicken soup. The wholesome, whole grain adds heft, without altering the nostalgic flavor the classic.

Get the Recipe: Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup

Brazilian Yellow Rice

This dish is a staple that was brought to Brazil in the 1500s by Portuguese colonizers. Saffron was originally used to season and color the rice, but turmeric became more popular due to its greater abundance and lower price. This version is based on a college friend’s recipe. Her family in Brazil usually served it alongside black beans stewed with similar ingredients to compliment the flavor and make a complete meal. For special occasions, they added chicken, peppers and peas, transforming the rice into a popular dish called galinhada.

Get the Recipe: Brazilian Yellow Rice

Risotto with Parmesan and Lemon

The secret to ultra-creamy risotto is simple: add the cooking liquid slowly, about a cup at a time. This helps release the starch from the rice, creating just the right texture.

Get the Recipe: Risotto with Parmesan and Lemon

Teriyaki Chicken Fried Rice

Cancel the takeout order. Chicken, veggies and cooked rice coated in a teriyaki sauce make a tasty and hearty dinner that gets to the table fast.

Get the Recipe: Teriyaki Chicken Fried Rice

Red Beans and Rice

This Louisiana-inspired, rice-and-beans dish couldn’t be easier. It just takes a bit of planning, since the beans need to soak overnight. But trust us, it’s worth the wait!

Get the Recipe: Red Beans and Rice

Microwave Mushroom Risotto

Here is a risotto that doesn't demand you spend 30 minutes stirring a hot pot. We start with an earthy broth made with dried mushrooms, then add fresh mushrooms and Arborio rice. One stir and, minutes later, you'll have the easiest, creamiest risotto imaginable.

Get the Recipe: Microwave Mushroom Risotto

Fried Rice

Never order takeout again with this fried rice recipe. You'll need a few special ingredients that you might not regularly stock in your pantry (like dried shiitake mushrooms and sesame oil) along with a wok or nonstick skillet but once you have those, the rest is easy!

Get the Recipe: Fried Rice

Perfect Long-Grain White Rice

Cooking rice is simple to do but there is a trick to getting it to come out just right. Follow this foolproof technique and you'll end up with rice that's wonderfully tender, never mushy.

Get the Recipe: Perfect Long-Grain White Rice