Skip to main content

23 Rice Side Dishes & 7 Tasty Appetizers

The best thing about a rice side dish is its savory and delicious flavors and aromas. Plus, it makes a wonderful addition to almost any type of dinner you can think of. Find here the most tasty rice side dishes you should try.

Nothing completes a meal like an amazing rice side dish. It’s the perfect finishing touch for nearly every meal mainly because it’s easy to make and comes together pretty quickly.

Also, if you have picky eaters, these hearty side dishes will do the trick. Your kiddos will love it and it’ll make dinner time much more enjoyable.

We rounded up some of the most versatile, nutritious, and delicious rice side dish recipes we can’t wait for you to try. Let’s get started.

Best Rice Side Dishes You Need to Try

Best Rice Side Dishes You Need to Try

Rice is one of the most popular grains worldwide that’s grown on every single continent except for Antarctica. But it’s earned a reputation for being bland and tasteless, though it doesn’t have to be that way.

Why not switch things up and try these tasty rice side dishes for dinner any time you’re in the mood for something new and creative?

You can make them healthy or fried, sweet or savory, for chicken or steak. Either way, these tasty rice side dishes are sure to impress you and your family.

Rice Side Dishes for Chicken

Rice Side Dishes for Chicken

What makes rice a popular side dish is the fact that you can easily find it in any grocery store. Plus, it’s budget-friendly and keeps you satiated for several hours on end.

Oven-Baked Brown Rice

Oven-Baked Brown Rice

Tasty and full of nutrients, this side dish takes only 10 minutes of preparation time before placing it in the oven to bake. You can even bake your chicken at the same time and make meal preparation a breeze.

First, you’ll need to preheat the oven to 325℉ and grease a 2 ½-quart baking dish. Next, pour 1 cup brown rice into the baking dish.

Stir in 2 ¼ cups water, ¼ cup butter, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon white vinegar. Finally, bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until the rice is tender.

Dirty Rice

Dirty Rice

Dirty Rice is a spicy dish full of flavor and bright colors. It’s made from white rice and gets its ‘dirty’ color from finely chopped chicken livers. Even if you’re not a big liver fan, you’ll hardly feel their flavor.

Because the liver is so finely chopped, the flavor gets dispersed so all you’ll left with is a big bowl of nutritious, vibrant rice.

How to make it:

  1. Fill a medium saucepan with 2 cups water and bring to a boil.
  2. Add 1 ½ cups long-grain rice, cover, and cook for 20 minutes until tender. Remove from heat.
  3. In a cast iron Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, add ½ pound of ground beef, and crumble it with a wooden spoon.
  4. Add 1 medium chopped onion, 1 chopped celery rib, and ½ chopped green bell pepper. Stir until beef is cooked and vegetables are softened.
  5. Add ½ cup chicken livers and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Stir in ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon dried thyme, and 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning.
  6. Cook for five minutes, then add chicken broth.
  7. Add the rice to the Dutch oven and stir it into the ground beef mixture until well combined.

Southwestern Rice

Southwestern Rice

Made with cubes of grilled chicken breasts, this rice side dish is a full meal in itself. It’s also full of hearty and nutritious vegetables, herbs, and spices. Even though this recipe contains a long list of ingredients, it’s pretty quick and easy to make.

How to make it:

  1. In a large skillet pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil, and saute 1 medium diced green pepper and 1 medium chopped onion for a couple of minutes.
  2. Stir in 2 minced garlic cloves.
  3. Stir in 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ⅛ teaspoon ground turmeric, and 1 can chicken broth.
  4. Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes until the rice is tender.
  5. Stir in 2 cups thawed corn, 1 cup drained black beans, 1 can diced tomatoes and green chiles.
  6. Cover and leave on medium heat until everything cooks through.

Easy Rice Side Dishes

Easy Rice Side Dishes

Need something to spice up your meals but doesn’t take more than 20 minutes to prepare and serve? Then, these mouthwatering dishes are just for you.

Chicken Bouillon Rice

Chicken Bouillon Rice

This rice side dish may look like any plain rice dish. Yet, one bite and your taste buds will be rejoicing. The bouillon adds a chock full of flavor to the rice and gives it a nice punch.

To make this quick and easy dish, place 4 cups of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add 2 cups of uncooked white rice and 2 cubes of bouillon, and stir. Reduce the heat and let the rice simmer for 20 minutes until tender.

Brown Basmati Rice

Brown Basmati Rice

In general basmati rice is one of the more nutritious types of rice. Plus, the brown variety is packed with good-for-you nutrients and added fiber. We also like this side dish because of its nutty flavor and light, airy texture.

The best part is that you can make it on the stove or in an Instant Pot if you’re short on time. Either way, it’s easy to make and will come out tasting amazing.

Bell Pepper Rice

Bell Pepper Rice

Easy, colorful, and loaded with nutrients, bell pepper rice is the ultimate go-to when you’re looking to make a rice side dish that won’t take a long time. You can use almost any type of rice for this recipe like brown, basmati, or jasmine rice, but we recommend using long-grain.

You can also add a tomato and red onion, as well as tasty herbs and spices to add a bit more punch to the flavor. On the whole, the entire dish shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes to prepare.

Wild Rice Side Dishes

Wild Rice Side Dishes

This may come as a surprise to many people, but wild rice isn’t a type of rice, but a species of grass. It has fewer calories than traditional rice and is full of protein, potassium, zinc, and fiber.

Here are a couple of creative ways you can create the ultimate wild rice side dish.

Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole

Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole

This tried-and-true casserole is sure to win over family and friends every time. It’s creamy, hearty, and full of mouth-watering flavor. You can prepare it ahead of time, store it in an air-tight container, and freeze it. Then, the morning of your meal, heat it up and you’re all set.

How to make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350℉.
  2. In a shallow pan, bake 1 package of sliced almonds until golden brown.
  3. Prepare 2 boxes of fast-cooking long-grain rice according to the directions on the package.
  4. In a large skillet, melt ¼ cup butter. Add 4 celery ribs and 2 medium chopped onions, and saute until tender.
  5. Stir in 5 cups chopped cooked chicken, rice, 2 cans cream of mushroom soup, 1 container sour cream, 1 cup milk, ½ teaspoon table salt, ½ teaspoon ground pepper, and 3 cups of cheese.
  6. Spoon the mixture into a lightly greased 15×10-inch baking dish or 2 11×7-inch dishes.
  7. Top with 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs and bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes. Sprinkle with the 1 cup shredded cheese and bake for 5 more minutes.

Slow-Cooked Wild Rice

Slow-Cooked Wild Rice

Once you try this dish, you’ll keep going back to it time and again. Preparation time is only 15 minutes, then you just stick it in the slow cooker and let it do its thing while you sit back and relax.

Start by cooking 1 pound of sausage in a skillet until it’s no longer pink. Stir in 4 chopped celery ribs and 1 small chopped onion.

Then, transfer to a 3-quart slow cooker, add 1 cup of uncooked wild rice, 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, 1 can of cream of chicken soup, and 1 can of mushroom slices. Stir in the 3 cups of chicken broth and leave to cook for 4 to 5 hours or until tender.

Wild Rice Stuffing

Wild Rice Stuffing

Moist, full of flavor, and easy to make, this wild rice side dish will wow your friends and family. To make it, you’ll need to first prepare the rick according to the directions on the package. In a small skillet, saute 1 small chopped onion and 1 chopped celery rib, then add to the rice.

Stir 2 and a half cups crushed seasoned stuffing and 1 and a half cups chicken broth into the rice. Finally, spoon everything into an ungreased 1 and a half-quart baking dish, and bake uncovered at 350℉ for 25 to 30 minutes until heated.

White Rice Side Dishes

White Rice Side Dishes

Who said white rice has to be flavorless? Below are some of the tastiest and most versatile ways you can turn good old white rice into something extraordinary.

Salsa Rice

Salsa Rice

This rice side dish recipe is proof that white rice can wow even the pickiest eaters. And it can be ready to serve in under 20 minutes. So, it’s a win-win.

One of the reasons we love this dish is that it’s perfect if you’re having a hectic week, but still want to eat something full of flavor.

To make this recipe, you’ll need to saute 1 ½ cups of long-grain white rice with 2 teaspoons of taco seasoning mix on medium heat. Stir in 2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth and a jar of store-bought chunky salsa, and let simmer for 5 to 10 until tender.

Mushroom Rice

Mushroom Rice

We prefer using white rice over brown for this recipe because the latter takes longer to cook. Yet, they both taste delicious. To make this delectable dish, you’ll need your choice of mushrooms, butter, vegetable or chicken broth, and garlic cloves.

You can also find other tasty ingredients like green peas, parmesan cheese, green onions, or baby spinach.

Almond Pilaf Rice

Almond Pilaf Rice

The term ‘pilaf’ refers to the way the rice is sauteed in butter before it’s cooked. This brings out the nutty, rich flavor of the rice, which perfectly complements the crunchy almonds.

For this recipe, we typically use long-grain white rice. Although, basmati rice works just as well. You can also add some diced onions and finish it off by sprinkling the dish with a layer of finely chopped parsley.

Rice Side Dishes for Steak

Rice Side Dishes for Steak

Looking for that perfect rice side dish to go with your juicy steak? Look no further than these three.

Jamaican Rice and Beans

Jamaican Rice and Beans

This is the ultimate one-pot dish. It’s made with long-grain rice, kidney beans, and a handful of other tasty ingredients that bring out its heavenly aroma.

To make it, prepare the beans according to the directions on the package.

Then, in a medium saucepan, add 1 cup cooked kidney beans, 2 cups uncooked rice, 400 grams of coconut milk, 2 sprig spring onions, 1 sprig thyme, 1 tablespoon Jamaican Jerk seasoning, 1 whole scotch bonnet, and salt and pepper to taste.

You can always substitute the coconut milk with water or vegetable broth, and the beans with green peas.

Stir everything together, cover the pot, and leave on medium heat for around 20 minutes until everything cooks through. When the rice is tender and the liquid dries up, stir the rice and beans together.

Summer Squash Rice

Summer Squash Rice

This summer squash rice dish is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. It’s loaded with vibrant colors and packed with tons of flavor. Plus, it’s pretty versatile.

You can either use a combination of yellow squash and zucchini or just make it using one or the other. It’ll be perfect either way.

You can also add cooked carrots or sweet corn for a nice crunch or other vegetables as well like broccoli, mushrooms, or diced bell peppers.

If you want to turn it vegan, that’s easy too. Simply substitute the chicken broth for vegetable broth and you’re all set.

To make this colorful dish, cook the rice in the broth and butter. In a medium pan, cook the vegetables with garlic butter. Add a diced tomato and a sprinkle of parmesan. When vegetables are tender, add the rice, and leave on low heat for 5 to 10 minutes.

Cowboy Rice Salad

Cowboy Rice Salad

A fun and tasty choice for a rice side dish, this nontraditional salad will wow the socks off your guests. It’s made with brown rice, and vegetables, and topped off with a zesty lime dressing.

Here’s how to make this quick and tasty side dish:

Cook the rice according to the package. For the salad dressing, combine ⅓ cup lime juice, ½ cup olive oil, 1 ½ tablespoon honey, ½ teaspoon chipotle powder, ½ teaspoon cumin powder, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste.

For the salad, dice and combine 3 small tomatoes, 1 red bell pepper, 1 green bell pepper, and 1 small red onion. Add 1 can of sweet corn, 1 can of black beans, and 1 cup chopped cilantro leaves. Mix in with the rice, add dressing, and serve.

Healthy Rice Side Dishes

Healthy Rice Side Dishes

With these healthy side dishes, you can enjoy seconds without worrying about taking on extra calories.

Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower Rice

This dish is a great way to add more veggies to your diet while still not overdoing it with the carbs. The trick is to ‘rice’ the cauliflower using a food processor or coarse-grate box grater. On average, a medium-sized raw head of cauliflower can yield around 4 cups of cooked cauliflower rice.

The next step is to cook the ‘rice’ by either sauteeing it for 5 minutes on the stove with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. You can also steam it, bake it in the oven, or microwave it until tender.

After that, it’s all about adding your favorite ingredients to make it pop with flavor. For example, add diced tomato, fresh parsley, and diced garlic cloves, then garnish it with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

Brown Rice with Mushrooms

Brown Rice with Mushrooms

Quick, tasty, and loaded with nutrients, this dish is sure to wow your guests.

First, heat ½ teaspoon vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add ½ a chopped yellow onion and 2 minced garlic cloves. When tender, add 1 cup brown rice and stir constantly for about a minute.

Stir in 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth and water. When it boils, turn down the heat, and cover the saucepan.

In a large skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil. Then, add 8 ounces of sliced crimini mushrooms and stir until brown. Stir in 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme and 3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Finally, mix in the mushroom with the rice, stir, and serve.

Saffron Rice

Saffron Rice

Saffron rice, or pulao, is an aromatic, mouthwatering dish. Made with basmati rice and saffron-infused broth, you can have it cooked and ready to serve in 30 minutes or less. Best of all, it cooks on the stove or in an Instant Pot as it does in the microwave.

Start by soaking ½ teaspoon of saffron in 1 cup warm broth of your choice for 5 to 10 minutes. Place the saffron-infused broth and 1 cup of water in a medium pot and let boil. Add the rice and 1 teaspoon salt, cover the pot, and turn down the heat.

Fried Rice Sides

Fried Rice Sides

Fried rice may not be the healthiest choice on the menu, but it’s still one of the tastiest. Plus, it helps you transform leftovers into something entirely new.

Indian Fried Rice

Indian Fried Rice

In just 15 minutes, you can make Indian fried rice that’s packed with flavor. It’s made with your choice of white or brown rice mixed with juicy, tender veggies.

The trick is in the seasoning and special sauce like soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce, and rice vinegar. You can also opt to top it off with a couple of scrambled eggs for added flavor and nutrients.

Chinese Egg Fried Rice

Chinese Egg Fried Rice

This vegetarian dish is delicious and full of flavor, even though it takes only minutes to prepare. All you need is 4 cups of long-grain rice, 4 large eggs, 1 medium onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 cup chopped carrots, sweetcorn, and peas.

Scramble the eggs in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet. Remove when done, then saute the onion and garlic in the same skillet.

Add the vegetables until they’ve cooked through then add them to the skillet. Mix in 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, and the scrambled eggs. Stir well to combine.

Vegetable Fried Rice with Cashews

Vegetable Fried Rice with Cashews

This stir-fry dish comes together pretty quickly. Another reason we like it is that it’s a great way to make use of leftover rice. Add to that the colorful blend of whatever fresh veggies you have on hand, sprinkle in a handful of chopped cashews, and you have a winning dish on your hands.

Mix in 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, 1 medium green onion, and salt to taste. Stir all the ingredients in a wok with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat until they’re fully cooked.

Sides for Red Beans and Rice

Sides for Red Beans and Rice

Red beans and rice is a dish that’s both hearty and full of flavor. It’s also super versatile and can go with almost any type of side dish, including these 10 delicious choices:

  1. Southern fried corn: a blend of sweet corn, fresh chives, sauteed onions, and tasty garlic butter
  2. Roasted cajun potatoes: seasoned with a tasty blend of herbs and spices and roasted until crisp
  3. Zucchini fritters: a great way to get even the pickiest eaters to eat their vegetables
  4. Jalapeno cornbread
  5. Southern coleslaw: a nice twist to a timeless classic
  6. Creamed corn: contains, heavy cream, butter, sugar, milk, parmesan, flour, salt, and pepper for a super delicious side dish
  7. Sour bread cornbread: crispy golden edges and moist buttery insides make this the perfect side dish for almost any meal
  8. Vegetarian nachos: quick, easy, and full of good-for-you crunch
  9. Fried green tomatoes: tangy and juicy, this fried side dish is rich in flavors
  10. Crispy smashed potatoes with lemon garlic sour cream sauce: crispy on the outside, tender and zesty on the inside

Tasty Appetizers Before Serving Rice

Tasty Appetizers Before Serving Rice

These mouth-watering appetizers are sure to get raving reviews. From canapes and roll-ups to dips and salads, these appetizers are perfect for serving hungry guests before presenting them with your fabulous rice side dish and the rest of the main course.

Take a look.

  • Barbecued meatballs: the secret in the delicious homemade sauce made with chili sauce and grape jelly
  • Cucumber canapes: creamy, colorful, and packed with flavor
  • Mexican fiesta platter: simply mix the rice, corn chips, cheese, and beef for a quick, no-fuss crowd-pleaser
  • Southwest egg rolls: crispy on the outside, moist and tender creamy filling on the inside
  • Party pesto pinwheels: the ultimate hors d’oeuvres made with crescent roll dough, pesto sauce, and roasted red peppers
  • Veggie ranch tortilla pinwheels: easy to make ahead of fun and filled with delicious, creamy filling
  • Aussie sausage rolls: quick and easy to make, these bite-size sausage rolls strike just the right balance between savory and spicy

Find here tasty summer side dishes to try.

0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5 (0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5)
You need to be a registered member to rate this.
Loading...

Related Posts

Similar Articles