This turmeric rice is a delicious and quick Indian-inspired side dish perfect for any night of the week! This easy, fluffy rice is packed with flavor from turmeric and aromatic seasonings to make an incredible side dish that goes well with any main course! Light, perfectly seasoned, and beautifully golden turmeric rice is a side anyone will enjoy!
Rice is one of the most popular side dishes in the world, but sometimes it can get a little tiring. This delectable turmeric rice shakes things up a little!
I cook long-grain rice with onion, garlic, delicious herbs, spices, and chicken stock to kick up the flavor! Turmeric rice, also called yellow rice, is as easy to make as steaming rice, so there's no reason not to add it to your go-to rice side dishes!
It comes together super quickly, too! In under 30 minutes, you can have perfectly fluffy, seasoned rice with your dinner that tastes just like out of a restaurant.
- Long Grain Rice – 1 cup of white rice. I like to use white, long-grain rice like basmati or jasmine! You can substitute brown rice, but the spices won’t soak into the rice as much.
- Butter – 1 tablespoon of butter. You can use whatever your favorite brand of butter is here, but I recommend using real butter and not margarine for the best flavor! European butter has a higher fat content, adding a richer flavor!
- Coconut Oil – 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or olive oil. The extra oil helps the butter not to burn as we sauté the onions and garlic. Coconut oil also has a slightly nutty taste that compliments the rice well. You can also use olive oil.
- Onion – ¼ cup of onion. The onion should be finely diced or grated to meld perfectly into the rice. You can use either white or yellow onion – whatever you prefer!
- Garlic – 1 teaspoon of garlic, or about 1 clove. You should finely mince or use pre-minced garlic.
- Ginger Paste – Ginger adds a delicious warmth to the rice. It’s a classic pairing with garlic in Indian cooking. You can also use freshly minced ginger or ¼ teaspoon of dried ginger.
- Turmeric – 2 teaspoons of turmeric. Turmeric is a spice often used in South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking. It gives the rice a beautiful golden glow!
- Chicken Broth – 1½ cups of chicken broth. Adding chicken broth instead of water makes this dish extra delicious!
- Bay Leaf – 1 bay leaf. Bay leaves add a light floral note that helps to balance the dish's flavors. You can use fresh or dried.
- Thyme – ¼ teaspoon of thyme. I love the peppery, herbal bite that thyme gives to this dish! You can use fresh if you have it, but dried thyme is perfect.
- Salt & Pepper – ¼ teaspoon each. You’ll just add these to taste to help balance the rice flavors.
*Be sure to see the free printable recipe card below for ingredients, exact amounts & instructions with tips!*
🔪 How To Make Turmeric Rice
My perfect turmeric rice is perfectly tender and fluffy, never mushy! Be sure to watch the onion and garlic while it sautés so it doesn’t burn. You will need a fine mesh sieve, a sharp knife, a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and a silicone spatula to get started.
This recipe makes about 4 servings but can easily be doubled with a larger pan!
- Prep. Rinse 1 cup of long-grain rice in a fine mesh sieve under cool running water until the water runs clear. Let all the water drain out, and then set it aside. Then finely mince or grate enough onion to make ¼ cup (about ¼ large onion or 1 small onion). Then finely mince enough to make 1 teaspoon (about 1 clove). Finely mince or grate fresh ginger now, if not using ginger paste or dried ginger.
- Sauté the aromatics. In a heavy-bottom saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add ¼ cup of finely diced onion and 1 teaspoon of finely minced garlic (add minced or grated fresh ginger too, if using). Sauté until tender and opaque, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the rice and spices. Add 1 cup of rinsed rice and 2 teaspoons of turmeric to your saucepan and stir to coat. Then add 1 ½ cups of chicken broth, 1 bay leaf, ¼ teaspoon dried thyme, and ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper, or to taste (if using ginger paste or dried ginger, add that now).
- Cook rice. Stir the rice and spices to combine, then bring to a boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 17 minutes.
- Serve! Once cooked, remove the lid, and fluff the rice with a fork. Serve immediately or cover until ready to serve.
Indian-inspired Turmeric Rice goes perfectly with slow cooker butter chicken, my great naan bread, or an amazing grilled or roasted main. Try making my curry chicken marinade for tender spiced chicken that would pair wonderfully with this rice! Enjoy!
💭 Tips & Notes
- Rice Rinsing: Always rinse the rice before cooking. This crucial step removes excess starch, ensuring that the rice cooks up fluffy, with distinct grains, and avoids a mushy or starchy texture.
- Chicken Broth Variations: You can use homemade, store-bought, or bouillon paste or cubes for the chicken broth. If using bouillon, ensure you use enough to make 1 ½ cups of broth to avoid dilution. Beef broth is also a great alternative, especially if paired with a beef or lamb main course.
- Instant Pot Option: To make this dish in an Instant Pot, follow the initial step as usual. Then, use the Sauté function to cook the aromatics with butter and olive oil. Add the rice, turmeric, chicken broth, and other spices as directed. For cooking, seal the lid, set it to Manual, High Pressure, and cook for 5 minutes. Allow a natural release for 10 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure. Fluff and serve immediately. Avoid using the Rice function for this recipe, as it yields a different result.
🥡 Storing & Reheating
This rice stores very well in the refrigerator! Add cooled rice to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Turmeric rice can also be frozen! Transfer the cooled rice to an airtight container or freezer storage bag, which will keep for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to use it, it’s best to let it defrost in your fridge overnight.
You can easily reheat it in the microwave! Simply transfer to a microwave-safe bowl or container (if not in one already), add a drizzle of water or chicken broth over the top, and microwave for 1-minute intervals until heated through, stirring between.
You can also heat on the stovetop! Transfer rice to a saucepan, add a drizzle of water or chicken broth, then reheat gently over medium heat, stirring often until heated to keep it fluffy and prevent sticking.
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Turmeric is a spice commonly used in South Asia, the Middle East, and other places around the world! In its fresh form, turmeric looks similar to ginger, but it has a distinct yellow-orange color. It adds gorgeous color to dishes, and it’s good for you, too – turmeric is high in antioxidants, vitamins C & B6, and manganese, and it’s very anti-inflammatory!
Not at all! Though turmeric and ginger give the dish warmth and lots of flavors, they’re not spicy. If you’d like to make it spicy, however, you can add some cayenne or sauté a chopped chile like jalapeño or bird’s eye chili with the other aromatics!
You can easily make this recipe vegan or vegetarian! For a vegetarian version, simply substitute your favorite veggie broth for the chicken broth. For a vegan spin, use veggie broth and either use vegan butter or extra coconut oil in place of the butter.
😋 More Easy Side Dishes
- Roasted Potatoes & Onions - An easy savory side dish that pairs well with almost anything!
- Greek Pasta Salad - This easy side dish is made with farfalle pasta, onion, tomatoes, artichokes, and Greek dressing!
- Sauteed Zucchini & Yellow Squash - A quick veggie side dish that is nutritious and delicious!
- Velveeta Mac and Cheese - An extra creamy macaroni and cheese that only takes 20 minutes from start to finish!
- Macaroni and Tomatoes - This old-school recipe is full of smokey bacon flavor!
- Wedge Salad - A refreshing wedge salad is always a great choice when you need a quick side dish for dinner.
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📖 Recipe Card
- 1 cup long grain rice (white rice like basmati or jasmine)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or olive oil)
- ¼ cup onion (white or yellow onion, finely diced or grated)
- 1 teaspoon garlic (finely minced)
- 2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon each, salt & pepper (to taste)
- Rinse the 1 cup long grain rice in a fine mesh sieve under cool running water until the water runs clear. Set aside.
- In a heavy bottom saucepan, melt the 1 tablespoon butter with the 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the diced ¼ cup onion and minced 1 teaspoon garlic and saute until tender and opaque, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the rinsed rice and 2 teaspoon turmeric to your saucepan and stir to coat.
- Add the 1 ½ cups chicken broth, 1 bay leaf, ¼ teaspoon dried thyme, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon each, salt & pepper. Stir to combine, then bring to a boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 17 minutes.
- Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork once cooked. Serve immediately, or cover until ready to serve.
- Rinsing the rice is an important step, don’t skip it! Rinsing the rice removes the excess starch from the outside of the rice, so it cooks up perfectly fluffy with visible grains of rice and it’s never mushy or starchy!
- Want to make this amazing dish in an Instant Pot?
- Complete Step 1 as normal. When you’re ready to sauté, use the Sauté function on your Instant Pot and add the butter and olive oil. Then cook the aromatics as directed, and add the rice, turmeric, chicken broth, and other spices.
- When you’re ready to cook – seal and lock the lid, set it to Manual, High Pressure, and cook for 5 minutes. When finished, allow to naturally release for 10 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve immediately!
- I recommend using these settings and not the Rice function on the Instant Pot, as it will yield a different result.
- You can use homemade, store-bought, or even bouillon paste or cubes when using chicken broth!
- If using bouillon cubes or paste, make sure to follow the directions and use enough to make 1 ½ cups of broth so it isn’t too diluted.
- If you prefer, you can also use beef broth if making a beef or lamb main course to go with the turmeric rice!
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!