Rice is one of those ingredients that everyone has in the cupboard, but it never seems to be the star of any meal. It is usually cooked unimaginatively and served on the side of a main dish.
But there are plenty of amazing recipes with rice as a main ingredient that are easy to make and incredibly delicious.
We have put together a list of the 25 best easy rice recipes for you to try. Whether you are looking for a vegetarian dish, a meaty meal, something for the whole family, or even a dessert, there is something for everyone on this list.
If you are looking for a tasty vegetarian rice dish then this recipe for mushroom risotto is perfect. The parmesan cheese gives the risotto a nice creamy texture whilst adding a rich flavor.
With a splash of brandy and plenty of mushrooms, each mouthful tastes amazing. You need to keep stirring whilst it is cooking and add the liquid gradually, but it only takes 25 minutes and then you have a fantastic restaurant-quality meal ready to enjoy.
Risotto is such a classic amongst easy rice recipes, we had to include one.
Searching for a good Vegetarian Restaurant in Sydney? See our guide.
Paella is a classic Mediterranean rice dish that has some similarities to a risotto. The chorizo adds a deep flavour to the whole dish and also gives the rice a nice warm colour. You can add whatever seafood that you fancy, but this recipe uses prawns (shrimp) and mussels. They are lightly steamed then added to the paella not long before serving to ensure that they aren’t overcooked.
The paella is flavoured with garlic, fresh lemon juice, fresh parsley, white wine and saffron. Your kitchen will fill with a mouthwatering smell as you cook this tasty dish.
Looking for more Easy Seafood Recipes. Click the link for inspiration.
And if you’ve every thought about getting Paella Catering in for your next event, see our post.
Sometimes you get a craving for a Chinese takeout, but you don’t need to order in to have a tasty meal. This recipe for fried rice is healthier than a takeout, much cheaper, and is very easy to make.
You can customise the recipe to include whatever vegetables you fancy – whatever needs using up in the refrigerator! To make the best fried rice, you should cook the rice earlier in the day or even the night before so it is cold when you use it. This will stop the rice going mushy.
The rice is fried in butter and toasted sesame oil which adds so much flavour and gets all of the ingredients nice and browned in the pan.
Having said that, if you feel like letting someone else cook, here are some great Chinese Restaurants in Melbourne.
Who said rice can only be eaten as a savoury dish? This creamy rice pudding is the perfect traditional dessert to enjoy as a comfort food. It is served warm, with accents of cinnamon and brown sugar that will make you feel nice and cozy on a cold day.
The addition of an egg in this version of rice pudding makes it richer and tastier, along with whole milk and heavy whipping cream. If you make rice pudding in the oven it can take quite a long time, but this is a stovetop recipe that takes only 30 minutes. It one of our top easy rice recipes.
Kheer is an Indian dessert that is similar to rice pudding, but flavored with rosewater and cardamom and topped with nuts. It is one of the most popular desserts eaten in Indian households and is served at many Indian restaurants.
With this recipe, you can enjoy this delicious dish with your family. You can eat it warm, or serve it cool for a refreshing treat on a warm day. There are lots of variations on the classic Kheer, with additional ingredients like carrots, almonds or tapioca.
Once you have tried this recipe you can experiment and see which versions you like.
See our guide to the top Indian Restaurants in Adelaide.
What can be easier than a one pot meal? They are perfect for busy weeknights when you don’t want to do lots of dishes but you need a hearty, nourishing meal. This King amongst easy rice recipes is simple but tastes very decadent.
You need to be patient as the onions are caramelising in the butter, but the flavour is definitely worth the wait. The beef broth gives this dish the rich taste that is reminiscent of French Onion Soup.
This recipe uses gruyere cheese for a more authentic french flavour, but you can use mozzarella, cheddar, provolone or a Swiss cheese. Whatever you fancy.
Easy meal prep is what Hello Fresh is all about. See our top dinner plans.
Our easy rice recipes just had to include this soup.
A nourishing bowl of warm soup is the ultimate comfort food. Luckily, this recipe for chicken and rice soup is no exception. It has a delicious, savoury flavour with soft, tender chicken and lots of healthy vegetables.
Including the rice makes it feel like a substantial meal. There’s no need for bread on the side. That being said, if you do want some bread then a warm crusty roll with salted butter would go perfectly.
Again, you can customise this recipe to suit your preferences. This makes it ideal for using up leftovers.
This dish is a great use of leftover chicken. See here for more Leftover Chicken Recipes.
If you have some minced beef but don’t want to make another lasagne or chilli then you should try these Asian Beef Rice bowls. Quick and easy to make but is super satisfying, they have a mouthwatering oriental flavour.
If you like to cook stir fries then you will probably already have the ingredients you need for this recipe in your cupboard. It’s all the classic flavourings – Hoisin sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and Shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine). You can buy Shaoxing here.
You also need onion, garlic, minced beef (or minced chicken, pork or turkey if you prefer), and green onion. The beef is served on top of rice, and you can also serve it alongside whatever vegetables you fancy. Green vegetables like broccoli, spinach or pak choi work really well.
Asian food is often quick and easy to make. Here are our go to Vietnamese Recipes.
Jollof is a delicious Ghanian rice dish that is often served at weddings, parties and festive occasions. It is colourful and flavoured with rich spices and meat cooked in a tomato based sauce.
The two elements – the rice dish and the meat dish- are prepared and served separately. Then the guests can help themselves and decide if they want to mix them together.
Goat, lamb or beef are the most common choices of meat to use in this dish. These have a nice strong flavour and become meltingly tender when cooked.
When it comes to seasoning, some grocery stores sell ‘Jollof Seasoning’ which is a pre-prepared mix. The main flavours are cloves, thyme, and bay leaves. You can buy Jollof Sauce here.
This recipe can be used as a side dish alongside a curry or grilled meat, or you can serve it as the main meal. It uses a classic Indian cooking ingredient – ghee- a type of clarified butter which adds a rich and decadent flavour.
The dish is seasoned with yellow curry powder and curry leaves, along with fresh ginger and garlic, cayenne pepper and cumin. You can include various vegetables and even meat in this dish if you want to, or keep it simple.
And feel free to add a garnish to finish off the dish. Perhaps some cooling mint yogurt and cucumber, or a fried egg and a sprinkle of fresh coriander.
Looking for an Indian feast in Brisbane? Try these places.
If you want to develop your skills in Japanese cooking then you definitely need to master the art of making perfect onigiri- Japanese rice balls. You can serve them alongside lots of different Japanese dishes or enjoy them as a snack.
They often are wrapped in nori seaweed and include a filling of meat, fish, or vegetables. They make a fantastic alternative to sandwiches. So instead of reaching for the sliced bread why don’t you try making onigiri instead?
And how about a Traditional Japanese Dessert to finish? See our recipes.
This classic Thai dessert is often served in Thai restaurants or as a street food in Thai markets. The rice is cooked with coconut milk to give it a sweet flavour and a sticky, pudding-like consistency. It is served with chopped fresh mango, and an optional sauce made with coconut milk and tapioca.
For more luscious Mango Dessert Recipes, see here.
This is another excellent risotto recipe, but this time with sun-dried tomatoes which lend the dish a bright, summer flavour. The risotto is enhanced with fresh basil, white wine, and crushed garlic. In a stroke of genius, the flavoursome oil that the tomatoes are stored in is also used.
The chicken stock gives the dish a wonderful savoury taste. When the risotto is almost cooked you add in pecorino cheese for a creamy, indulgent texture.
This wonderful meal can be ready in only 30 minutes. It is ideal for those busy weeknights when you want to get something on the table without spending too long in the kitchen.
Once you have a go at this recipe it will soon become a family favourite. Whilst it takes an hour to bake in the oven, there’s only 30 minutes of prep time. All in all, it is still an easy meal to make. This recipe serves 8 people so it is ideal for a hungry family to tuck in after a busy day.
It has a very comforting, homely flavour with herbs like sage, thyme and basil and a lovely creamy sauce. And the most fabulous part of this stand-out amongst best rice recipes? It is topped with cheese which is melted and bubbling when you take the dish out of the oven.
It has everything you need already inside – meat, vegetables, rice and sauce. However, if you want a side dish then you could serve it with steamed vegetables, salad, warm bread, or mashed potatoes.
Keeping up with the Italian theme, here are our recommendations for Italian Restaurants in Perth.
If you are looking for a rice recipe that is a bit unusual, with bright summery flavours that make you feel like you are on holiday, then this recipe is perfect for you!
With coconut oil, coconut milk, and toasted coconut it is packed with tropical flavour. Cleverly, the fresh pineapple compliments the coconut but also cuts through the creamy richness with a citrus twist.
The fried rice has plenty of healthy vegetables like bell peppers, carrots and onions. The succulent shrimp is cooked very simply and served on top of the rice. Not only does it look appetising but it tastes fantastic- perfect for a summer dinner party.
This recipe uses jasmine rice which has a naturally fragrant flavour. This pairs perfectly with the cilantro (coriander) and the zesty lime, and contrasts with the earthy flavour of the beans. The savoury chicken broth that the rice is cooked in ties all of the ingredients together.
This dish is refreshing and light, making it the perfect side dish to serve with grilled meats or to use as a filling for tacos or burritos. If you are serving this at a dinner party then garnish the bowl of rice with fresh cilantro (coriander) and slices of lime for a really eye-catching masterpiece.
Melbourne has some very good Mexican eateries. Here is a selection.
This recipe is simple, yet so satisfying. It’s right at the top of our easy rice recipes list.
The chicken is cooked with onions and garlic, then the rice is added and cooked in chicken stock. When the rice is getting closer to being ready, you add the broccoli and continue cooking.
Once all of the ingredients are cooked perfectly you remove the pan from the heat and add the cheese, letting it melt before serving. Straightforward but very tasty and filling- a perfect meal to cook for the family.
Fancy something sharp and fruity for dessert after all that cheese? See our top Grapefruit Recipes.
Dirty rice is a classic cajun dish that is traditionally made with a variety of ground meats including gizzards and liver. Nowadays, most dirty rice from restaurants and food trucks use ground pork or beef.
It is a fairly simple recipe – onions, green peppers, ground meat, and long grain rice cooked in chicken stock, all flavoured with cajun spices.
You can add extra vegetables or meat if you want to. Something like smoked sausage or even seafood such as prawns would work very well. If you like spicy food then add some hot sauce for a tasty kick.
Jambalaya is a traditional New Orleans one pot rice dish that is addictively delicious. You can customize this recipe to include various ingredients, but this classic recipe is perfect if you want that authentic creole flavor.
Chicken or pork, andouille sausage, and prawns or crawfish are cooked with onions, celery and bell peppers. Then seasoning is added, along with rice, stock and tomatoes. The combination of flavours will blow you away.
Are you a fan of chocolate? See our Best Chocolate Dessert Recipes for ideas.
This is a very hearty dish that is perfect for the fall when lots of tasty root vegetables are in season. It looks very colourful on the plate, with purple potatoes, orange sweet potatoes and carrots, and red onions.
You could also make a summer version with beetroot and goat’s cheese. A dressing of cranberries, maple syrup and vinegar is drizzled over the dish to bring all of the flavours together and add some sweetness to contrast the earthy rice.
The adaptability of this dish makes it one of best easy rice recipes.
Do you follow a plant-based diet? See our Ultimate Vegan and Vegetarian Eating Guide.
This easy meal is ready in less than 30 minutes so you can have a healthy, satisfying dinner on the table very quickly.
The teriyaki sauce is made from scratch, so you can adjust the ingredients to suit your preferences. If you like spicy food then you can add more chili for a bigger kick, or you can use more honey if you like it sweeter.
You can serve whatever vegetables you fancy with this rice bowl, but it works particularly well with fresh steamed broccoli and carrots. Not only do they add a lovely colour to the bowl but they have a simple, bright flavour that compliments the complex sauce.
Enjoy the clean flavour of Japanese food but prefer someone else to prepare it? See our top Japanese Dining Spots in Sydney.
Horchata is a traditional Mexican drink that is often served at parties and holidays. It is also a perfect refreshing drink for a warm summer day. It is made from rice soaked in water, flavored with cinnamon and sugar.
The ingredients are blended together and then strained to produce a smooth, light drink that is served over ice and garnished with a cinnamon stick. This recipe also uses vanilla and almonds for even more flavour, and whole milk to make it nice and creamy.
It is traditionally a non-alcoholic drink, but a bit of white rum would turn it into a lovely cocktail.
Did your ears prick up at the mention of Cocktails. Click here for some recipes.
This is a really healthy and nutritious recipe that is ready in just 20 minutes. It makes a fantastic lunch or a light dinner and is very filling, packed with protein, vegetables and grains.
Chicken thighs in a greek marinade, feta cheese, red onion, Kalamata olives, hummus, cucumber and tomatoes are all served on a bed of rice.
Easy rice recipes don’t come much simpler than this.
And nothing could be more perfect to follow this dish than one of our Greek Desserts.
Wild rice makes a nice change from the usual long grain or basmati, with an earthy flavor that pairs well with vegetables. That is why it is perfect in this harvest bowl that is packed with seasonal vegetables like kale and sweet potato.
The grilled chicken is succulent and delicious, and crunchy apples and a sprinkle of nuts add a lovely texture.
And all you have to do is toss it all in a bowl. Clearly this meal deserves its place on our easy rice recipes run-down.
This 15 minute recipe is quick and easy, but results in an impressive and tasty stack of rice, chicken, avocado, sesame seeds and sriracha mayonnaise. This is a great lunch to make if you have friends over and you want something nourishing but delicious.
Want to push the dessert boat out with a more unusual pudding? See our Filipino Dessert Recipes.