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Yellow Rice From Scratch

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Have you ever wanted to make yellow rice from scratch? Well now you can with our delicious recipe. It’s a simple step-by-step guide almost anyone can use!

Every time we make burrito bowls, Kim and I always make yellow rice. Whether it’s flavored with turmeric or saffron, it’s a must have dish.

For today’s recipe we’re going to teach you how to make yellow rice from scratch using a few simple ingredients.

The hardest part is the last step, when you have to let the grain rest on your stove-top.

Yellow rice served in a bowl surrounded by fresh parsley.

What does yellow rice taste like?

Well, that depends on your choice of seasonings. Typically, yellow rice is made using saffron or turmeric.

So, if you used turmeric, then the rice will taste slightly bitter and earthy.

On the other hand, if you used saffron, then it will taste slightly sweet and flowery.

For even more flavor, top this rice with our homemade, fire-roasted Hatch green chile sauce.

Close-up of the finished rice to display the color.

How to make homemade yellow rice?

First, grab a medium saucepan and combine the water (or vegetable broth), garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, turmeric, and black pepper.

The water and spices in a medium saucepan.

Next, place the mixture over high heat and bring it to a boil. Now, stir in the rice and reduce the heat to low-medium (simmer).

Then, let the rice to cook uncovered (without stirring) for about 15-minutes. Turn off the heat, and cover the saucepan with a lid.

Last, let the rice finish absorbing the liquid for about 20-minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork, and serve!

The cooked and fluffed rice in a saucepan.

Recipe Tips:

  • Do not stir the rice while it simmers. As the liquid cooks down, pockets will open up in the rice (spots where the water boiled up). Once the water level is equal with these pockets, it’s time to turn off the heat and cover the rice with a lid.
  • Don’t care for turmeric, then make your homemade yellow rice with saffron instead.
A serving of the rice in a white bowl.

We use this rice on Taco Tuesdays and as a side dish for our Mexican grilled chicken salad.

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The finished yellow rice served in a white bowl.

Yellow Rice from Scratch

Yield: 4 Cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 37 minutes
Total Time: 42 minutes

Have you ever wanted to make yellow rice from scratch? Well now you can with our delicious recipe. It's a simple step-by-step guide almost anyone can use!


  • 2 Cups Water or Broth
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Turmeric
  • ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Cup Long Grain White Rice


In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups of water or broth, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, turmeric, and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then add the rice. Stir to combine.

Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 15-17 minutes. Cook without stirring until the water is absorbed and pockets form in the rice. There should be very little water left in the pan.

Cover, turn off the turn, and let the rest undisturbed for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, uncover and use a fork to fluff. 

Serve hot, and store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


For a different flavor try using saffron instead of turmeric. The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card. Actual calories will vary.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1/2 Cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 40Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 310mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g

The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card. Actual calories will vary.

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Saturday 2nd of January 2021

Can you make this in an Instant Pot?


Sunday 3rd of January 2021

Good Morning KT, that's a good question. I'm sure the rice can be made in an Instant Pot, sadly, I've never made rice in one. However, Kim makes rice in a pressure cooker using a 1.25:1. So, I would try using 1 1/4-cup of water (or broth) and 1 cup of long grain white rice. Then add the spices as directed. After that, stir the mixture, seal the machine, and set it to cook for about 12 minutes (low pressure or using the rice setting) with a 10-minute natural release. I hope this information helps and I wish you a lovely day :)