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25 Easy Rice Side Dishes

Turn a pantry favorite into rice side dishes everyone will enjoy. Watch as something so simple transforms into many delicious options for you and your family.

Rice Side Dishes

From simple white rice side dishes to an option that will transport you to India (Perfect Jeera Rice) or the wild southwest (Southwestern Rice).

We’re here to show you how this simple food that most already carry in their pantry can be dressed up in a snap to accessorize some of your favorite entrees.

Whether it’s a weeknight meal at home or a party side, these rice side dish recipes will entertain the taste buds of your family and guests.

1. Garlic Parmesan Rice

No special trip to the grocery store is needed to make this simple rice side dish! It’s made with staples from your refrigerator and pantry. This side dish will bring a flavorful addition to a variety of entrees ranging from chicken, beef, or even seafood.

From enjoying the nutty background of the jasmine rice to the comfort of garlic and the creaminess of the parmesan cheese, this gluten-free dish is sure to be put on repeat week after week.

2. Garlic Butter Rice

Have you ever met a garlic side dish you didn’t like? Us either!

This buttery garlic rice can be paired with just about anything you’re serving. Pack it up as a side dish at a party-no matter what they serve. This is the perfect compliment.

It’s even good enough to hold its own and be the star of the show!

The chicken broth base brings that homemade feel to this easy rice side dish and will leave your belly and heart full

3. Lemon Rice

This healthy rice side dish will let you feel like you are indulging but without the guilt that follows.

The brown rice not only comes full of health benefits but is packed with flavor to match.

Adding the lemon freshness instantly awakens your taste buds to fully take in the experience.

This recipe serves as a perfect base to change up however you want. Add in whatever fresh herbs you have on hand to create a new flavor every time!

4. Buttery Seasoned Rice

This is the perfect rice side dish for chicken. Calling for one of our favorite proteins to be added to it, this can easily be a one-pot meal.

With all of the flavor packed into one easy dish, serve it alongside your favorite veggie to hit all of your major food groups.

The best part about it is you can freeze it and rediscover how much you love it time and time again (especially on nights when you don’t feel like cooking!)

5. Really Simple Rice

Well, the name just about says it all! This simple rice side dish will have dinner complete in a snap.

The rice is softened by soaking in the comfortable flavors of the chicken broth, really bringing it to life.

As you let it simmer away, you can prepare the rest of your meal and be ready to sit down and enjoy dinner quickly on those busy weeknights.

This is the perfect leftover side to make night number two of the week even simpler!

6. Rice Pilaf

This instant rice side dish recipe will make you think twice about buying those premade options at the store.

Make it homemade and take all the credit! In just about the same amount of time.

The versatility of this dish easily goes with chicken, seafood, and even beef dishes. Its light flavor will perfectly complement your main entree.

Made from common pantry-stocked items, this recipe creates an easy and simple go-to dish for any weekday dinner.

7. Lemony Herbed Rice

Simple and savory! With easy rice side dishes like this one, it will taste like you’ve been slaving away in the kitchen all day.

The spice from the green chiles will really elevate your dinner experience, giving an unexpected punch of flavor.

Substitute the chicken broth for vegetable broth in order to make this a vegetarian dish that can be served all on its own.

Freshen it up with a sprinkle of lemon zest to really satisfy the taste buds.

8. Spicy Turmeric Rice

Who said weeknight meals have to be boring?

Really spice up your dinner with one of our best rice side dish recipes. This is an easy way to bring in unique flavors for a warm and spicy addition to your meal.

Although it calls for peanut oil, you can easily substitute it with olive oil for any allergy concerns or for ease of what is already in your pantry.

This recipe allows you to escape from the norm and use some unexpected flavors.

9. Mushroom Rice

Bring an earthy and elegant feel to your dinner with this savory rice side dish. You can easily use whatever mushrooms you have on hand or even whatever is on sale that week.

All mushrooms can apply! Its creamy texture creates the perfect homey side for that comforting meatloaf, pork tenderloin, or baked chicken.

Add a veggie side dish, and you’ve got your whole meal covered. A great dish to use for leftovers as it pairs well with many main dish options.

10. Wild Rice Pilaf

Take a walk on the wild side! Healthy rice side dishes like this one will bring some excitement to your weeknight or even special weekend meals, all while sneaking in some of those veggies.

Wild rice is already rich in antioxidants, but it becomes further enhanced by the nutrient-filled Brussel sprouts and carrots.

With the perfect blend of spices mixed in, it really brings out their natural flavors. This side dish is full of color and character but not calories!

11. Forbidden Black Rice

Although the name suggests it be forbidden, this rice side dish is always welcome! Packed with powerful health benefits, this dish is also vegan and gluten-free.

Black rice provides a unique way to invent healthy rice side dishes while introducing a little creativity to those meals that can easily become stagnant in a hectic life.

With rich, warm flavors of bay leaves and thyme, this flavorful dish will help create elegant, comforting dishes that you can feel good about.

12. Cheesy Garlic Spinach Rice

Get in those greens and grains while smothering them in a delicious, creamy cheese sauce.

This vegan and gluten-free dish pack have a powerful punch of flavor and fiber all in one bowl.

This is the perfect pair to any main dish of chicken, seafood, or even a beef tenderloin. Restaurant quality side dishes like this always elevate a meal and make eating at home extra exciting but not extra difficult.

This is sure to become a crowd favorite in your home.

13. Mexican Rice

Bring the fiesta to your dinner table or your next potluck party! Basmati rice invites a plethora of veggies from carrots to peas and the creaminess of tomato paste sprinkled with the warmth of cumin and chilli powder.

Add some chicken or ground beef to make this your main dish or serve alongside fish tacos or cheesy quesadillas.

It’s a party in a pot that will serve even better as leftovers the next day (if there are any!).

14. Curried Rice

Another basmati rice recipe here. The nutty flavor of this rice is perfectly paired with the curry, cumin, ginger, garlic, and other bold spices that are sure to warm up your dinner table.

This simple rice side dish will fluff up to perfection in order to hold onto your carrots, peas, or whatever veggies you want to add, with the crunchiness of cashews hidden throughout.

Add a fried egg to really bring a full meal to you or your family in a snap.

15. Lemon Parmesan Rice

Healthy rice side dishes are an easy and fun way to jazz up a weeknight meal.

This recipe calls for brown rice, which brings a larger nutritional value than its counterpart and another one of our favorites, white rice.

The nutty flavor of the rice is balanced out by the freshness of the lemon juice perfectly complemented by the parmesan cheese.

This is a simple and delicious way to complete your meal and make everyone happy with an added health benefit!

16. Easy Rice Pilaf

Easy rice side dishes are our favorites! This one has a little surprise that awaits you. Mixing orzo in with your rice creates a dynamic pairing of both texture and taste.

Plumping each one up with chicken broth will give that homemade taste.

The creaminess and nuttiness from the parmesan cheese that mixes so perfectly with the garlic and onion give that warm, comforting taste that just feels like home.

A great go-to side dish to complement any entree.

17. Salsa Rice

Dinner can be made easy with one of our instant rice side dishes. This recipe keeps things super simple by using a bag of instant rice and then dressing it up with your favorite salsa to really turn up the heat on an otherwise boring meal.

Melt some Monterey jack cheese for an added creaminess and flavor to put it over the top.

The perfect pair for taco Tuesday or Fajita Friday! Whatever type of fiesta you are having, salsa rice needs a seat at the table.

18. Mushroom Risotto

Introducing a new type of starch for our rice side dish recipes with the hearty, creamy risotto. Using the risotto helps to create a thick sauce without any added butter or flour.

It is starch enough on its own to do the work.

Packed with mushrooms and parmesan cheese for a lovely mix of textures and flavor makes, this is one of the perfect rice side dishes for chicken entrees.

The splash of white wine helps for those background flavors and to match what is poured into your glass!

19. Brown Rice and Apple Salad

Dare we say this is one of the best rice side dishes? It just might be! The combination of sweet and tangy in this recipe by mixing apples with brown rice brings a unique bite to your meal.

Lemon juice not only keeps your apples from browning but gives an added flavor of freshness.

The onions, peppers, and apples equally bring a fresh crunch to your rice and help you get in veggies, fruits, and whole-grain with just one simple rice side dish!

20. Turmeric Rice

Add a splash of sunshine with one of our favorite healthy rice side dishes!

The Tumeric helps bring out that bright yellow color in this dish! Added splashes of green and orange bring the rainbow to this one pot of deliciousness!

Not only is this dish healthy and vegan friendly, but it’s also easy to make, giving you a quick and simple go-to for dinner.

If turmeric isn’t a spice you use often, this is a great way to introduce it to your pallet.

21. Perfect Jeera Rice (Indian Cumin Rice)

This rice side dish will bring a unique and delicious flavor to your dinner table. No special utensils are required to create this fluffy rice. Super simple and easy.

With hints of cinnamon and coriander mixed with the cumin seeds, this creates a lovely warmth through perfectly paired spices.

Bring your favorite Indian restaurant straight to your home in under 10 minutes.

22. Restaurant Style Coconut rice

Make your meal extra sweet with this amazing rice side dish. We have the secret to making this amazing rice extra fluffy and not gluey like some coconut rice out there can be.

Want in on the secret? We know you do . . .

Rinse then soak! That’s right! These steps allow you first to remove any extra starch from each grain so that the thicker coconut milk can be fully absorbed. Voila! Fluffy, restaurant-style, sweet coconut rice that everyone will enjoy.

23. Cilantro Lime Rice

This simple, easy, and healthy rice side dish will bring that bit of freshness to your meal in a snap. The cilantro and lime pair perfectly to keep this dish light, airy, and guilt-free.

The perfect match for any Mexican or Asian dish even stuffs a burrito with it!

Simple enough that you are most likely to have all of the ingredients on hand at any given moment giving you one of the best homemade instant rice side dishes.

24. Broccoli Rice Casserole

This is definitely a comfort food if we ever saw one.

This creamy, cheesy rice side dish can easily be transformed into a main meal. Just add in chicken or even tuna, and you have a one-pot dinner ready to serve.

Creating a roux helps you give this dish that rich, creamy texture that pulls all of it together.

The best part is, save this recipe and change out the cheese or veggie choice to turn it into a brand new recipe!

25. Southwestern Rice

Bring the rainbow to your dinner table with this gluten-free rice side dish. This is full of color from the beans, peppers, and corn that lays on the neutral rice backdrop.

A perfect option to complement fish, chicken, or fajitas! This is a great recipe to bring to a potluck or picnic.

Made to serve 8 there will be plenty to share!

Make sure to have the recipe on hand, though-we guarantee you will be asked to share the recipe!

Rice Side Dishes

25 Easy Rice Side Dishes

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 c uncooked long-grain (white) basmati rice
  • 1 3/4 c water
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsps minced fresh curly parsley leaves
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh dill leaves
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh scallions, white and green parts
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan bring 1 ¾ cups of water, salt, butter, and rice to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, give one good stir and simmer with the pan covered tightly for 15 minutes. Keep a close eye, so it doesn’t boil over! After it simmers, turn off the heat and allow the rice to sit covered for 5 minutes.
  3. Then add in the parsley, dill, scallions, and pepper. Mix it all but carefully fluff with a fork and serve this simple rice side dish warm.

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