Are you looking to switch it up at dinnertime? If you’re in the mood for something new but are stuck in a rut with the same old sides, look no further than this tasty list of creative Rice Side Dishes!
Whether your family loves Italian food, has an affinity for Middle Eastern flavors, or simply craves something indulgent, these unique recipes will be sure to please their taste buds.
With easy-to-follow instructions and a dash of creativity, these recipes will make it easy to create the best sides ever. So what are you waiting for? Cook your way through all of these delectable rice side dishes!
Rice Side Dishes:
1. Saffron Rice
Make your meal more exotic with the scrumptious and effortless Saffron Rice recipe. Elevate your plain grains to a whole new level of deliciousness in just half an hour.
No more bland sides, this dish packs a punch of flavors that will surprise and delight your taste buds.
2. Pork Fried Rice
The quintessential Chinese takeout side dish, Pork Fried Rice, right in your own kitchen!
It’s literally a breeze to throw together this easy fried rice recipe, and it’s the perfect use for leftover rice.
Tender pork, an array of colorful veggies, and the perfect balance of sauces make this recipe even better than takeout. All in about 20 minutes!
3. Greek Lemon Rice
Looking for a way to take your plain white rice to the next level? Try out this simple and delicious Greek Lemon Rice recipe!
A touch of refreshing lemon juice brings all the flavors together for a side dish that is anything but boring. It’s the perfect side for many of your favorite Mediterranean dishes, boosting your meal’s flavor profile to another level!
4. Cilantro Lime Rice (Chipotle Rice Recipe)
Revamp your plain rice game with a few simple ingredients! Elevate your taste buds to new levels with this incredibly delicious Cilantro Lime Rice recipe inspired by Chipotle’s.
It’s a fantastic way to add some zesty flavor to your meal without much work. Trust us, your taste buds will thank you.
This is one if the easiest rice side dishes you’ll ever cook.
5. Arroz con Gandules
This Arroz con Gandules recipe may be my new favorite rice side dish! Tender rice with pigeon peas, generously flavored with salted pork, sofrito, tomato sauce and some great Latin seasonings.
Along with pernil (roasted pork), this is the national dish of Puerto Rico. It’s such a great side dish to have in your repertoire, as it goes well with so many things.
6. Dirty Rice
Get ready for your taste buds to explode with this classic dish from Creole and Cajun cuisines. Dirty Rice is a flavorful and aromatic recipe that will transport you straight to Louisiana.
The secret to its rich and “dirty” color? Fragrant seasonings and savory bits of meat mixed with fluffy white rice. It’s so good!
7. Green Rice Casserole
Introducing the delectable green rice casserole – a versatile addition to your holiday spread or perfect for a quick, meatless weeknight dinner.
Let the creamy goodness of cheese blend with the flavors of spinach and peppers, creating an unforgettable experience for your taste buds. One bite and you’ll understand why this cheese-infused rice is a fan favorite.
Green rice casserole is also the perfect solution for repurposing your leftover rice, giving you one more reason to add it to your recipe collection.
8. Japanese Hibachi Fried Rice
Indulge in a taste of Japanese cuisine without leaving your home kitchen! Whip up a delectable and irresistible batch of hibachi-style fried rice that’s sure to please your palate.
Get tantalized by the mixed veggies, scrambled egg, fresh garlic, and ginger that’s perfectly combined in this recipe.
What’s more, the secret ingredient that elevates the flavor to another level is none other than butter!
9. Jamaican Rice and Peas
Jamaican Rice and Peas is an easy-to-make side dish that’s both flavorful and savory with its creamy texture by using coconut milk, aromatics such as garlic and spices.
It’s a must alongside Jerk Chicken for your next summer barbecue or dinner party.
10. Hawaiian Pineapple Fried Rice
Aloha! Is that what this bowl of Hawaiian Pineapple Fried Rice is saying to you? This colorful, pretty little bowl is loaded with so many flavors.
Sweet? Yup. Savory? Yeah. Umami? Oh boy!! All this from a few left over ingredients lying around your house.
11. Rice Pilaf
Level up your rice game with the rich depth of flavor found in Rice Pilaf!
This incredible side dish is perfectly seasoned and adorned with a delightful blend of crunchy nuts and sweet dried fruit, taking your taste buds on a journey like never before.
It’ll be one of your favorite rice side dishes!
12. Cheesy Zucchini Brown Rice
Looking to get some veggies into your little ones’ diets without any fuss? Look no further than this clever and delicious recipe!
With a creative blend of wholesome ingredients and a touch of cheesy goodness, this dish is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.
So go ahead and enjoy all the nutritious benefits, without any dinnertime battles.
13. Mexican Rice
It is astonishing to witness how a few additional ingredients can contribute so much flavour.
This genuine Mexican rice recipe is an excellent accompaniment to your preferred Mexican delights, as well as grilled meats or seafood.
14. Creamy Mushroom Risotto
Are you ready to master the art of Italy’s famous risotto? Don’t be intimated by this classic rice dish – this recipe is foolproof and incredibly delicious.
With a generous amount of savory mushrooms inside, this risotto makes for the perfect side dish to any meal.
15. Broccoli Brown Rice Casserole
Looking for a way to sneak some vegetables into your diet without sacrificing flavor? Look no further than this delectable broccoli brown rice casserole!
Overflowing with creamy, cheesy goodness, every bite is a celebration of rich, indulgent taste. And with a crispy, buttery topping to round out the dish, even the most picky eaters will be begging for seconds.
Don’t wait to try this treat, your taste buds will thank you!
16. Greek Stuffed Tomatoes
These Greek Stuffed Tomatoes, or yemista, are full of good stuff like rice, potatoes, olives, pine nuts, feta cheese, and plenty of fresh herbs.
They’re a great rice side dish, or meatless main.
17. Tahdig (Crispy Persian Rice)
Have you heard of the mouth-watering Persian Rice, aka Tahdig? It’s a sensational culinary creation that you absolutely must taste!
This scrumptious dish boasts a tantalizing texture – the fluffy top will make your taste buds dance, while the crispy bottom is a delightful surprise.
And let’s not forget the marvelous mix of dried cherries and pistachios that elevate it to heavenly heights. YUM!
18. Thai Mango Sticky Rice
Have you heard about mango sticky rice? It’s a popular, delicious Thai dessert made with warm coconut sticky rice along with fresh mango slices.
You would love to round up your Thai meal with this creamy, sweet side dish, wouldn’t you?
19. Kimchi Fried Rice
Make a little twist on your regular fried rice with a huge flavor! This Kimchi Fried Rice recipe is so amazing with spicy Korean ingredients that will take your leftover rice to another level.
Satisfy your Asian craving by making this super simple recipe.
20. Brown Rice Risotto with Mushrooms and Fresh Oregano
Risotto is a popular Italian rice preparation, though some find it intimidating.
This recipe shows you how to make perfect brown rice risotto, which is enhanced with mushrooms and fresh oregano.
It’s too good!
21. Tawa Pulao
Spice up your rice in a snap with this tasty and trendy Tawa Pulao recipe.
Taking street food to the next level, this Indian dish is chock-full of exotic spices and delicious vegetables that will leave your taste buds wanting more.
Give your cooking skills a well-deserved upgrade with this fun and flavorful recipe!
22. Cowboy Rice Salad
This is the ultimate Cowboy Rice Salad recipe. It’s extremely flavorful and loaded with lots of delicious ingredients and a super tasty and zingy lime dressing.
You will love these Southwestern flavors, and it will be a hit salad dish in your home.
23. Stick of Butter Baked Rice
Turn your plain old rice into a mouth-watering masterpiece with Stick of Butter Baked Rice!
Infused with the succulent tastes of onion soup and creamy butter, this dish is guaranteed to please your taste buds. Plus, it requires minimal prep and bakes to fluffy perfection in the oven.
Trust us, you’ll want to add this recipe to your meal rotation!
24. Coconut Rice
Looking to add some pizzazz to your rice side dishes? Look no further than Coconut Rice!
This dish is guaranteed to become a staple in your recipe collection, especially if you’re a fan of tropical cuisine.
Whether you’re serving up a spicy Thai dish or some fresh seafood, Coconut Rice is the perfect complement.
25. Pomegranate Rice Salad
Bring some flavor and color to your fall and winter meals with this vibrant rice salad recipe.
Packed with juicy pomegranate seeds, crunchy pistachios, and fragrant herbs, this fresh and striking side dish is sure to impress your guests at any holiday gathering.
Don’t settle for boring, bland sides – set the table with this stunning salad and watch it steal the show.
Rice Side Dishes Tips
- Rinse the rice before cooking. This will help to remove any dirt or impurities that may be on the surface of the grain.
- Use the correct water ratio. The ratio of water to rice should be 2:1, so for every cup of rice, add 2 cups of water.
- Use a heavy-bottomed pot. This will help to distribute the heat evenly and prevent the rice from burning.
- Adjust cooking time to your preference. For firmer rice side dishes, cook for a shorter amount of time. For softer rice, cook for a longer amount of time.
- Adjust for brown rice. If you’re using brown rice, you’ll need to cook it for longer than white rice. The general rule is to cook brown rice for twice as long as white rice.
- Do not stir the rice while it is cooking. This will release the starches and make the rice sticky.
- Rice can also be cooked in a microwave oven. Simply add the rice and water to a microwave-safe dish and cook on high for 3-4 minutes per cup of rice.
- Let the rice rest for a few minutes after cooking. This will allow the grains to absorb any remaining moisture and become fluffy.
If you love rice side dishes, you’ve come to the right place. Each of these dishes offers something different and is sure to tantalize even the most sophisticated palate.
Whether you are looking for flavorful earthy spices from the east, or prefer traditional western ingredients like tomatoes and garlic, there’s something here that will satisfy everyone.
No matter what your budget or culinary skill set might be, rice side dishes present a wonderful opportunity for everyone to enjoy. So go ahead and try out one today – you won’t regret it!
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Check out these other great recipe collections!
Brown Rice Recipes
Leftover Rice Recipes
Fried Rice Recipes
Chicken and Rice Recipes
Shrimp and Rice Recipes
Ground Beef and Rice Recipes
Rice Cooker Recipes
- 1 lb ground beef (see note 1)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp Creole seasoning (see note 2)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1.5 cup white rice, uncooked (see note 3)
- 3.5 cups beef broth
- Brown ground beef in a pot or large skillet over medium high heat, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon or spatula. Cook until there is no more pink, about 5 minutes.
- Add in onions, bell pepper, celery, garlic and Creole seasoning. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring until veggies start to soften.
- Stir in broth and deglaze the pan. Add rice and bay leaves, and mix well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer covered about 20 minutes, or until rice is cooked.
- Ground beef can be substituted with ground pork, chopped chicken, chicken livers, andouille sausage, or a combination. Just use a total of one pound of whatever you are using.
- You can use Cajun seasoning, but we prefer to use our customizable homemade Creole Seasoning.
- Basmati rice works great here, and is our go to rice. It is mush easier to work with than conventional long grain, and always seems to end up perfectly cooked.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 425Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 101mgSodium 1720mgCarbohydrates 22gFiber 1gSugar 2gProtein 36g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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