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

4.83 from 127 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 turmeric, but you could easily substitute saffron and achieve the same bright yellow color and a 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 countless 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 jalapeño while sautéing 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 jalapeño and diced onion to the rice while sautéing, 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

4.83 from 127 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 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
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, 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 three beautiful 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. 2 stars
    I don’t know what I did wrong. I cooked it exactly how instructed but it soaked up all the broth burnt to the bottom of the pot and still isn’t cooking all the way through.

    1. I am so sorry! It sounds like maybe the heat was too high. What temperature were you cooking it at?

  2. 5 stars
    I’m a bit lazy and mix all the ingredients (minus cilantro) together in my glass casserole, cover, and microwave on high for 15 mins. Turns out great! I’ve tried doing the microwave method with brown rice and all attempts are fails so I don’t recommend it (needs much more time and liquid). This is a go-to easy side for our family. Everyone enjoys it!

  3. 5 stars
    Super yum!! I would normally buy the yellow rice from the store, but everything made from scratch tastes so much better.; plus I had everything on hand. I sautéed an onion and some garlic in EVOO before toasting the rice. Absolutely delicious!

  4. 5 stars
    Wonderful recipe, cooked it twice already. The family, specially my toddler loves it. I added spinach to the rice because I am always trying to find ways to give veggies to my family. So I sneaked them in anywhere I can.

  5. 5 stars
    First time making, didn’t have a garlic clove to mince so I substituted 1tsp garlic powder and fresh turkey stock from thanksgiving for the chicken stock. Turned out great! Not spicy at all.

  6. 5 stars
    I absolutely love yellow rice. The turmeric flavoring is excellent. Especially good with a little squeeze of lime! Yum! I think I’ll have to make this again tonight!

  7. 4 stars
    This recipe is very tasty, but be sure to check the cooking instructions of the particular brand of long grain rice you use. My brand specified 15 minutes of simmering, whereas this recipe calls for 20 minutes. I didn’t realize this the first time, so the rice ended up cooking 5 minutes longer than needed and it turned out kind of dry.

    1. That’s so weird! Maybe try using low sodium chicken broth and omitting the Kosher salt. Did you use salted butter?

  8. 5 stars
    I made this rice for the first time and it tasted Amazing. I doubled the recipe since I had a feeling my family would love it!

    1. I enjoyed the rice as is, but it was buttery to me, and I wasn’t really in the mood for a buttery rice. I think I might just use oil next time, or go half and half.

  9. 5 stars
    I made this for the first time tonight, my kids loved it. My son typically doesn’t like rice either:) thank you for sharing!

  10. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe..Added carrots,peas and jalapeños…My Indian guests were so impressed……How do l post photo..You have to see..

  11. Make your favorite takeout recipes at home with our cookbook! Get it free when you sign up for our newsletter.

  12. 5 stars
    I’m almost 50 and this is the first time I’ve ever made rice! Your recipe looked unpretentious, so I went for it. I was inspired to improve on the plain white rice being served alongside the beans here in our quarantine. I had to work with what was available, so instead of broth, I added 2 cups of water with 2 teaspoons of ‘better than bullion’ broth paste-like stuff. I had no cilantro so I added a tablespoon or so of dried parsley flakes instead. For garlic, I used jarred minced. The rest was by the book.

    Needless to say, everyone was impressed that I had done this because it was out of character, and also tasted awesome. So thank you for this. Your presentation of the recipe made it approachable for a non-cook kind of guy. Much appreciated!!

    1. Wow! What a compliment! Thank you so much! Also, thank you for sharing your substitutions. We are all doing that lately – trying to make our pantry supplies stretch.

    2. I LOVE Better then Buillion. I use it whenever anything calls for broth! I will certainly try it with this as well. Thanks for posting.