Our Favorite Ways To Change Up The Flavor Of Rice

by Texas Homesteader~ 

Rice is an inexpensive pantry staple here. So I prepare it as a side with our meals often.

The beautiful thing about rice is that it’s easy to mix up the seasonings for completely different rice flavors.

I’ll serve rice often as a side dish, whether we’re enjoying Mexican dishes or grilled chicken. It’s very versatile and easy to change up the rice flavors to pair with whatever meal you’re enjoying on any given night.

Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite (yet super EASY) rice flavors to serve:

There are many super-easy ways to dress up the flavor of plain rice. Cheap, fast, delicious! #TexasHomesteader

Basic Rice-Cooking Directions

Conventional wisdom for cooking rice is simple: Measure & rinse rice until water runs clear. Add 1 part rice, 2 parts water or broth to a pot.

Cover & simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and serve.

Sounds simple enough, right?

But DANG if I follow those directions my rice is always over-cooked and mushy. I’m really not sure what the difference is. Maybe the strength of the gas burners on my stove. Maybe the minerals that are in my water. I have no idea!

But if you experience the same rice-cooking frustrations, I’ll share how I do it differently for deliciously-cooked rice every time.

My Different Rice-Cooking Method

Instead of traditional rice-cooking wisdom, my rice-cooking procedure typically looks like this:

  • Measure & rinse rice until water runs clear.
  • Add 1 part rice, 2 parts Homemade Broth to a pot.
  • Cover & simmer for 10 minutes
  • Then turn off heat, leaving pan covered.
  • Allow rice to steam in covered pan to soak up remaining broth for the final 10 minutes.
  • Remove lid, fluff rice with a fork and serve.

This always results in tender rice, not a mushy, overcooked pile of goop.

Whichever way you prepare your rice, I think we can all agree that cooking rice is easy. But how to change up the rice flavors to go with different dishes?

Well I’m able to make a rice side dish to go with whatever I’m serving. It’s easy, it’s inexpensive and it’s always delicious.

Buttered Rice With Garlic & Fresh Sage

Buttered Rice with Fresh Sage & Garlic. I'm sharing different rice flavors that I can whip up fast to go with any meal. Cilantro/Lime, Rosemary, Fresh Garlic/Sage and more. #TexasHomesteaderButtered Rice with Garlic & Fresh Sage – This is RancherMan’s favorite. I rinse the rice and add 1 part rice to 2 parts broth and simmer it for 10 minutes.

When cooking time is up I’ll turn off the heat and leave the pan covered. The rice will steam & soak up the rest of the broth for the remaining 10 minutes.

In the meantime I prepare the minced garlic & fresh chopped sage by sautéing it with some butter until tender.

After rice has steamed for the remaining 10 minutes and the broth is all soaked up, I add this buttery, sagey, garlicy goodness & fluff with a fork.

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Fresh Rosemary Rice

Rosemary Rice. I'm sharing different rice flavors that I can whip up fast to go with any meal. Cilantro/Lime, Rosemary, Fresh Garlic/Sage and more. #TexasHomesteaderFresh Rosemary Rice – This dish goes well with meatloaf or pot roast. I often serve this side when we have company for supper.

The procedure for cooking the rice is of course the same. The only difference is that I add minced fresh rosemary when I add the broth. This assures the rosemary is soft when the rice is served.

So I rinse the rice and add 1 part rice to 2 parts broth. Then I add minced rosemary.

I cover the pot and simmer the rice for 10 minutes. When cooking time is up I’ll turn off the heat and leave the pan covered. The rice will steam & soak up the rest of the broth for the remaining 10 minutes.

Then I fluff with a fork and serve.

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Cilantro Lime Rice

Cilantro-Lime Rice. I'm sharing different rice flavors that I can whip up fast to go with any meal. Cilantro/Lime, Rosemary, Fresh Garlic/Sage and more. #TexasHomesteaderCilantro Lime Rice – I enjoy making this with any of our Mexican-themed dishes.

We’re always having Carnitas Tacos or Pulled Pork Enchiladas, Homemade Tamales or fajitas made with Leftover Grilled Chicken.

Since we eat south-of-the-border themed meals often, this is one of my favorites.

I typically focus on this rice dish in the earlier spring months when the fresh cilantro is abundant in the garden. You know I hate for it to go to waste!

And I often buy limes when they’re on sale and toss them in the freezer. This way it’s easy to thaw and zest.

And I use a Vintage Juicer to get the lime juice required in the recipe. No plastic trash made!

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Texas Style Spanish Rice

Texas-Style Spanish rice is a delicious & simple way to dress up plain rice. #TexasHomesteaderSpanish Rice – When my cilantro isn’t producing in the garden but I need a Tex-Mex side, I’ll often make Spanish rice instead.

I use 1 part rice, 2 parts broth and 1 part chunky salsa to cook the rice. So typically this means 1 cup rice, 2 cups broth, 1 cup chunky salsa all cooked together.

Sometimes I’ll sauté aromatics like chopped onion & minced garlic before adding the rice, broth & salsa. Sometimes not. I mean, the salsa already has those things in the ingredients. So either way I’m good to go.

Yep, I’m a shoot-from-the-hip cook that way.

But RancherMan always raves when I make Spanish rice.

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Using Leftover Rice

I find it helpful to have cooked rice at my disposal. And remember, rice freezes beautifully. So go ahead and make lots while you’re at it.

Section leftovers into serving sizes and freeze it for another quick & easy meal later. This is a real time saver when I’m making my Stuffed Peppers.

Leftover rice makes stuffed bell peppers a fast menu option. #TexasHomesteader

If there’s not much rice leftover I’ll just put it to good use by adding it to whatever soup we may be enjoying for lunch. It makes for a less brothy soup (which RancherMan prefers) and adds flavor as well. No food goes to waste in my kitchen.

Rice is such an inexpensive yet versatile pantry staple. We always have rice in the pantry. So it’s on our menu often! Thankfully there are many rice flavors from which to choose.

~TxH~

Other Side Dishes We Love

…and MANY MORE!

See All Our Recipes

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