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Simple Yellow Rice Recipe

Our Yellow Rice Recipe is an easy side dish that’s lightly seasoned with garlic, onion, and turmeric. It doesn’t take long to make and goes great with tons of meals.

Every time we make burrito bowls, enchiladas, or other Tex-Mex dishes we always make our yellow rice recipe. Whether it’s flavored with turmeric or saffron, it’s a must have dish.

Turmeric is much easier to locate in most supermarkets, so that’s what we used in this yellow rice. That along with some finely minced garlic, minced onion, and broth make this rice flavorful and easy to prepare.

Close up of yellow rice in a blue bowl.

How to make our homemade yellow rice recipe:

  • Heat a medium saucepan over low heat.
  • Add the olive oil, garlic, minced onion, and turmeric.
  • Cook for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the broth and rice, and stir to combine.
  • Bring the ingredients to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Then, let the rice to cook uncovered (without stirring) for about 15 to 17 minutes. Little pockets will be visible in the rise and there should still be liquid in the bottom of the pan. (See photo #3.)
  • 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!
Collage style photo of how to make yellow rice.

What does yellow rice taste like?

The flavor of the rice will depend on whether you’ve used turmeric or saffron. So, if you used turmeric, then the rice will have an earthy, nutty taste and fragrant aroma. There will be a slight taste of garlic and onion, as well.

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 or homemade pico de gallo.

Does yellow rice taste different than white rice?

Yes, yellow rice does taste different than white rice when it’s cooked in seasonings and spices.

Yellow rice with parsely.

Yellow Rice Recipe Tips and Variations:

  • 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, make your homemade yellow rice with saffron instead.

Storage Recommendations:

Room Temperature: We do not recommend storing yellow rice at room temperature.

Refrigerator: This rice is best stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Freezer: We do not recommend freezing this rice.

Top down view of yellow rice sprinkled with parsley.

Yellow Rice Recipe

4.8 from 4 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 17 minutes
Rest Time for Rice: 20 minutes
Total Time: 42 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings

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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic cloves - finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced onion - dried (from the canister)
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 cups water - or broth
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • Salt and pepper - to taste


  • Heat a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, minced onion, and turmeric. Cook for about 30 seconds.
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 teaspoon garlic cloves
    1 teaspoon minced onion
    ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Add the broth and rice, and stir to combine. Bring the ingredients to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
    2 cups water
    1 cup long grain white rice
  • Cook uncovered for 15-17 minutes. Cook without stirring until the water is absorbed and pockets form in the rice. The water should be equal with the "pockets."
  • Cover, turn off the turn, and let the rest undisturbed for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, uncover and use a fork to fluff. Taste, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of ½ cup of rice. Actual calories will vary.
*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.


Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 60kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 22mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 0.1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Recipe Rating


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 :)