Super Easy Yellow Rice Recipe + Tips (Ready in < 30 Minutes)

4.64 from 38 votes

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Super Easy Yellow Rice complements just about any meal. You can make this on the stove top or in the rice cooker. So tasty!

Yellow rice in a bowl topped with cilantro

Super Easy Yellow Rice

This yellow rice recipe is one of our favorite side dishes. It truly is “super easy” and it seriously goes with almost anything! You can keep it plain or spice it up to go with different meals. If you are in a rush and don’t have time to make it over the stove, you can also throw all the ingredients in a rice cooker and do it that way (As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.). My family loves this light and fluffy side dish and you will too!

What is Yellow Rice?

Yellow rice is basically white rice that is colored by the spices turmeric or saffron when prepared. This yellow rice recipe calls for tumeric but you could easily substitute saffron and achieve the same bright yellow color and slightly tangy flavor. Yellow rice is traditional in Spanish, Cuban, Indian and Indonesian dishes, plus many more. The flavor is mild enough that you can serve it with a million different recipes.

Toasting the Rice

A part of what makes this recipe so delicious is toasting the rice. Toasting the rice in some butter before you boil it gives it an amazing, nutty flavor. You definitely don’t want to skip this step!

Rice toasted in butter

Yellow Rice Recipe Variations

The possibilities for this rice recipe are endless! Mix and match any of these to create the perfect easy yellow rice side-dish for your next family meal.

  • Adding frozen peas or carrots to the rice while cooking is an easy way to add color, texture and added nutrients.
  • Make this dish Cajun style by adding diced onion, red and/or green bell pepper and diced jalapeno while sauteing the rice. Sprinkle with Cajun seasoning before adding the chicken broth. After the rice is finished cooking you can stir in grilled smoked sausage, shrimp or chicken. Red or black beans make the meal even more hearty and delicious.
  • For a more Indian flair, add ½ teaspoon of sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, four cardamom pods and a handful of golden raisins before bringing to boil. So yummy!
  • Add this dish to your Mexican feast by adding jalapeno and diced onion to the rice while sauteing and sprinkle with a little cumin before adding the broth.

More Yummy Rice Recipes

Rice is one of those easy to make, filling and oh-so-delicious side dishes. After you try this Yellow Rice, try a few of our other favorites:

Yellow rice in a bowl topped with cilantro

How to Make Yellow Rice

4.64 from 38 votes
Super Easy Yellow Rice complements just about any meal! You can make this on the stove top or in the rice cooker. So tasty!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian, Mexican/Spanish
Servings 4



  • Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the rice and gently stir until rice begins to lightly brown.
    Rice toasted in butter
  • Add garlic, onion powder, and turmeric and stir until well mixed in.
    Toasted rice mixed with spices
  • Slowly stir in chicken broth and raise heat to medium-high. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mix to a boil then turn the heat to low and cover the pan with a lid. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
    Cooked yellow rice in a pot
  • Remove from heat and add cilantro, and fluff with a fork. Serves 4.
    Yellow rice in a bowl topped with cilantro


Nutrition Information

Calories: 255kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 4gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 799mgPotassium: 160mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 275IUVitamin C: 8.5mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 0.8mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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How many stars would you give this recipe?


  1. 5 stars
    This is my FAVORITE rice recipe! Very easy… have it memorized. And I’m a big cheater and mix all the ingredients in a microwave dish, cover, and cook on high for about 15 mins. So easy 🙂 A big thanks for posting this recipe!

  2. Excellent recipe… particularly the broth was a nice touch. Used beef broth (instead of chicken broth)… and the result : totally awesome!

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. Will be using this for all my future rice dishes… until something better comes along….

  3. 5 stars
    This rice is delicious. I failed the first time not reading it fully, but when I actually followed directions, it was simple and delicious. I have passed the recipe on to two others.

    1. The rice goes into the pan UNcooked. You brown the rice while it is still uncooked and hard. It will cook through after you add liquids and let it simmer. Hope this helps!

  4. 5 stars
    Just made this tonight with enchiladas. The only thing I changed is I used sauteed onion instead of powder. It was so good. I’m doused to be eating healthy so I’m going to tinker with different oils, but this will definitely be made again.

    1. So glad you enjoyed this recipe! Who says healthy food has to be boring 😉 right? Thanks for the 5 stars!

  5. Rice cooker virgin!! If I want to use it, I just put all the ingredients in at once and let it go? Looking to add this to Christmas dinner.

    1. For this recipe – yes, except the cilantro. Stir it in after the rice is cooked! Hope this helps!

  6. 5 stars
    I made this tonight & tried the Indian style version you gave. Served it with chicken & it was wonderful! Thank you

  7. This looks so easy and tasty! Question: would using dried cilantro instead of fresh work? I definitely appreciate the taste of fresh herbs, but I hate buying fresh when I only need a little for a recipe but have to buy a whole package.

    1. You will definitely want to use less time. I don’t use minute rice but I would say go for the count of time indicated on the packaging. Hope this helps!

  8. Such a favorite this rice! We call this “Khichuri” in Bangladesh, and we usually add different types of lentils, potatoes and carrots (basically any vegetable). Because we mix in so many things, the word “khichuri” has come to mean ‘mess’ in our daily lives. To say someone’s mixed up things and made a mess, we just say someone’s made a khichuri.

    1. Such a great idea! We will have to try it using all types of vegetables. Thanks for your comment!

  9. I made this tonight. Very nice. Not a very strong flavour but nice nonetheless. Used 1 teaspoon dried coriander instead of fresh and added it with the other spices. Also used dried onion flakes. Sauteed rice, herbs, spices and butter in rice cooker then added stock and cooked on Risotto setting. Next time might add a little extra coriander, garlic and maybe fresh onions instead of flaked. Family rated this 10/10. Thanks for a lovely recipe.

  10. I love how mexican rice turns out so light and fluffy when you saute it first. I just knew there had to be some orher variations. Your rice confirmed that and was just what I was looking for! It will be on my table tonight!!

    1. It might come out a little bland. If you don’t have chicken broth you can add chicken bouillon or add a little salt to the water. It won’t be as “rich” tasting but it probably still taste fine

  11. Made this tonight using bagged Minute Rice and it turned out great! I substituted vegetable broth for the chicken. YUM!

  12. Made it the other day, super easy and good, nice change from the other rice, I too left out the cilantro, we don’t care for it…. but my daughter was hoping it was greek yellow rice ( lemon rice) that they serve in Ogden close to the college where she is going to school.

  13. This rice was excellent! Was looking for a simple recipe to serve to guests that was a little more “gourmet” than white rice. This was awesome! So flavorful and easy! Everyone raved about it. Will definitely make again.

    1. This was absolutely delicious! Honestly the best yellow rice I ever made. I used a rice cooker and it came out perfect!

    2. How do you do this in the rice cooker? All the same ingredients? And can it be done with water to make it vegan?

  14. Made this rice as a side for dinner tonight with chicken. My husband, teenaged daughter, and I loved it. It was very tasty. It tastes like the rice pilaf they serve at many nice dine-in restaurants. My first time cooking with turmeric. (I had some in my pantry for a sore throat remedy.) The turmeric added a nice flavor and of course color. Only change I made was that I did not add the cilantro at the end because I needed to get dinner on the table. Will add it next time though because we love cilantro. Thank you.

  15. 4 stars
    This is a lovely recipe. I make one very similar to this with our meals when we have fish…. except that I use fresh parsley instead of cilantro, since none if us can tolerate that ‘sudsy’ flavor! I use brown rice, but I’m sure that it’s also good with long grain white rice. My family loves rice, since there are ‘so many’ different ways to prepare it. Does anyone out there remember the old 50s “Spanish Rice” side-dish? I dredged-up my mom’s old recipe last week, and made it for my family when I served Meatloaf w/Fresh Green Buttered Beans for supper. It was a “Blast from the Past”, and my hubby (especially) enjoyed it. Lets not forget those old recipes which our moms took great care to write down (back in the day.) Those ‘oldies but goodies’ are still delicious, so let’s not forget them.

    1. Angela, believe it or not, come of us did not have mothers who shared recipes-would you mind sharing the “spanish rice” side dish? The only spanish rice my family had was in a box with the logo “San Francisco treat” Thanks, Paula

      1. Lol, me too Paula. Rice-aroni and hamburger helper icky and my mom’s name was Dr Paula Green.

      1. 5 stars
        For those wanting the Spanish rice the lady above mentioned here it is. It came from a better home and garden recipe from the 50’s and was really popular. Enjoy 🙂
        6 slices bacon, cut up
        1⁄4 cup finely chopped onion
        1⁄4 cup chopped green pepper
        3 cups cooked rice (1 cup uncooked)
        2 cups canned tomatoes
        1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
        1⁄8 teaspoon pepper

        In a skillet, fry the bacon until it is crisp; remove from skillet and drain off most of the fat.
        Add onion and green pepper to bacon fat and cook over medium heat until the onion is yellowed.
        Add remaining ingredients and cook uncovered over low heat for abou 15 minutes, or until hot.
        NOTE: you can heat the oven to 400 degrees and combine the cooked bacon, onion and pepper with the rice and tomatoes, salt and pepper, in a baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

        1. My “Mexican” rice

          1.5 cups long grain white rice
          3-4 TBS tomato sauce (plain tomato sauce canned)
          3 TBS oil
          Garlic powder (to taste)
          Onion powder (to taste)
          Knorr Pollo bouillon 3-4 TBS it’s SALTY though so it’s to taste
          3 cups of water

          Lightly brown the rice with oil
          Separate bowl add seasonings, tomato sauce and chicken bouillon, whisk together

          Once rice is golden add mixture, cover and bring to a boil
          Once boiling, lower temp and give it 20 minutes
          Uncover and let stand 10 minutes

          You can also add chopped tomato’s, jalapeño.

          I make this about 3 times a week. My husbands family is Hispanic and he says this is the closest he can get to abuelas.

          1. If you add some fresh chopped tomato and onion it gives the abuelita taste. I’m Mexican and was raised with Mexican rice and now I’m a grandmother.

    2. You should stay away from Brown Rice! Most people don’t know much about what they eat, but Brown Rice contains Arsenik!!! For those who doesn’t know what that means, it simply means “Rat Poison”!

        1. ..and that boys and girls is why you should rinse your rice , repeatedly draining and re-rinsing it until the water is clear with the rice in it.

          1. Agreed Steve! And research your brands. Certain areas of the world have soil with lower concentrations levels.