Yellow Rice

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.

Close up of yellow rice in a blue bowl.

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.

How to make our homemade yellow rice recipe:

You’ll find the exact measurements and full instructions in the recipe card near the bottom of the page.

  1. Heat a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, minced onion, and turmeric. Cook for about 30 seconds.
Garlic, minced onion, and spices in a saucepan.
  1. Add the broth and rice, and stir to combine. Bring the ingredients to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  2. 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.
Top down view of yellow rice in pan.
  1. Turn off the heat, and cover the saucepan with a lid.
  2. Last, let the rice finish absorbing the liquid for about 20 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork, and serve!

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.

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Top down view of yellow rice sprinkled with parsley.

Yellow Rice Recipe

4.8 from 6 votes
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Author: Kim
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 17 minutes
Rest Time for Rice: 20 minutes
Total Time: 42 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings


  • 2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon(s) garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon(s) minced onion, dried (from the canister)
  • ½ teaspoon(s) ground turmeric
  • 2 cup(s) water, or broth
  • 1 cup(s) 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 tablespoon(s) olive oil
    1 teaspoon(s) garlic cloves
    1 teaspoon(s) minced onion
    ½ teaspoon(s) ground turmeric
  • Add the broth and rice, and stir to combine. Bring the ingredients to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
    2 cup(s) water
    1 cup(s) 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.

Suggested Equipment


*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: 0.5cupCalories: 60kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 3mgPotassium: 22mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 0.2gVitamin A: 0.1IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 0.1mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

Kim and John Vargo of More Than Meat and Potatoes and its affiliates are not dieticians or nutritionists. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If preferred, use your favorite online nutrition calculator to double check the amounts. Calories and other nutritional values can vary based on brand and serving size.

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    1. Thank you Yvonne! Kim and I are thrilled you and your husband enjoy the rice. Thank you commenting and rating the recipe card. Have a lovely day 🙂

    1. 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 🙂