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Yellow Rice Recipe

This aromatic yellow rice makes a great side and has a big punch of flavor. Spiced with turmeric and cilantro for one delicious bite.

This tasty and fragrant side dish with antioxidant rich turmeric is quick and easy and full of flavor. Try it alongside Bone-in Chicken Breast or Easy Red Enchiladas. Mix in sausage for a main dish all on it’s own!

Yellow rice close up

Easy Mexican Yellow Rice

This easy yellow rice is made all over the world, in place like Sri Lank to Peru. It gets it’s yellow color from the added spices. In this recipe, the turmeric adds the yellow color and brings unique flavors to the dish.

Turmeric is often more readily available and less expensive than saffron. Because of this in some places turmeric is referred to as the “poor man’s saffron”. Even so It is a really wonderful ingredient to use.

Turmeric adds delicious flavor, but also has many health benefits. Bonus! It can help reduce inflammation, aid with depressions, irritable bowel, arthritis, cholesterol and more. Pretty amazing right?! Turmeric is pretty flavorful so you can adjust the amount according to your taste preference. 

Seasonings for yellow rice recipe

How to Make Yellow Rice

Melt butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat.

Add the rice and cook for 1 minute  .

Add the bell pepper and garlic.

Cook for 2 additional minutes.

Add salt, turmeric, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, red pepper flakes, chicken broth and cilantro stems.

Turn heat up and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low.

Add lid and simmer for 15-18 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked.

Remove from the heat and let sit (with the lid on) for 10 minutes.

Remove cilantro stems.

Fluff with a fork.

More Mix ins: Yellow Rice pairs well with many different vegetable mix ins such as peas, carrots and corn. Firmer veggies like carrots can be sautéed along with the red peppers. Mix in the softer vegetables, like peas, when you add the chicken broth. 

Once the rice has been cooked you can always mix it with other foods such as with cooked beans or add cooked shredded chicken.

Yellow rice in pot

Recipe FAQ

Can I use brown rice? This recipe is written for white rice, but you can definitely use brown rice. You just may need to increase the cook time a bit.

Can this be made in the Instant Pot? You can easily make this recipe in your instant pot as well.

  • Turn the instant pot to saute and add the butter.
  • Once the butter has melted add the rice and cook for 1 minute before adding the diced bell peppers and garlic. Cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Finally, add the remaining ingredients. Secure and seal the lid.
  • Cook on high pressure for 2-3 minutes and release the pressure using the quick release. (Check your Instant pots user guide to confirm rice cooking instructions)

How to store? Place leftover rice in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. Store in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Reheat in the microwave or stove top. If needed add 1-2 tsp of water to revive.   

Yellow rice recipe 

For more rice recipes, check out:

Yellow Rice Recipe

This aromatic yellow rice makes a great side and has a big punch of flavor. Spiced with turmeric and cilantro for one delicious bite.
4.78 from 57 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Mexican
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
20 mins
Servings: 5
Calories: 388kcal
Author: LifeMadeSimpleTeam
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/4 c unsalted butter - (½ stick)
  • 2 c long grain rice
  • 2 tbsp red or green bell peppers (or both) - minced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 4 c low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 stems cilantro

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, add the butter. Once melted, add the rice and cook for 1 minute.  Add the bell pepper and garlic, cook for 2 additional minutes
  • Add salt, turmeric, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, red pepper flakes,chicken broth and cilantro stems. Turn heat up and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low
  • Add lid and simmer for 15-18 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked. Remove from the heat and let sit, with the lid on for 10 minutes. Remove cilantro stems,then fluff with a fork
Nutrition Facts
Yellow Rice Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
388
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
11
g
17
%
Saturated Fat
 
6
g
38
%
Cholesterol
 
24
mg
8
%
Sodium
 
529
mg
23
%
Potassium
 
265
mg
8
%
Carbohydrates
 
63
g
21
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
1
g
1
%
Protein
 
9
g
18
%
Vitamin A
 
411
IU
8
%
Vitamin C
 
3
mg
4
%
Calcium
 
33
mg
3
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    This is so flavorful! This side dish can be paired with any entree! If there are leftovers, its reheats well!

  2. 5 stars
    The yellow rice 🌾 was terrific, therecipe only needed 1/4 tsp salt, and I used my rice cooker,
    I did 2 C water and 1.5 tsp Better Than Boullion
    Chicken, 1/8 tsp Old Bay, I was out of the red
    pepper, those are the only changes I made,
    and Hubby loves it with my Sherried Beef (a
    40 y/o recipe)

  3. 5 stars
    I finally learned what makes yellow rice yellow: turmeric! The recipe instructions were easy to follow and the ingredients were simple, too. I loved how the rice turned out; it tasted awesome, and I will definitely make it again!

    1. It took me forever to learn that too. IDKY! I learned it years ago tho and I’m happy! (BTW.. my mom’s name is Carol G too!)

  4. 5 stars
    Made it to go with Chili’s Rellenos, because I didn’t have a box of ready make Mexican rice. Family loved it and no another thing I’m never buying from a box again, thank you!

  5. 4 stars
    Is it seriously only 2 tbsp of red or green peppers? I feel like that may not be enough for the amount of rice this recipe makes.

  6. 5 stars
    Great easy recipe! I was looking for a rice to serve with sausage and peppers. If I made this with a Spanish or Mexican dish i would leave the cilantro but i swapped it out for fresh parsely instead. (prob could have used basil also). I also left out the red pepper flakes since I used hot italian sausage in the main dish. Mine wasnt as bright as the picture but that’s ok. It still tasted wonderful. I also added a 1/2 tsp of sugar (I cut recipe in half). Will def. make this again I love yellow rice. 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! I do add peas and corn. Instead of red or green bell pepper during cooking time, I prefer to add chopped roasted red bell pepper strips at the end of cooking time whic I believe adds great flavor. Simple recipe and we love to add this rice to our tortillas with chicken tenderloins. It’s a WINNER in my book!

  8. 5 stars
    I’ve tried another recipe prior to finding this one. This recipe adds tons of flavor especially by adding peppers and garlic (which I love). This is my go to when I want yellow rice!