This aromatic yellow rice makes a great side and has a big punch of flavor. Spiced with turmeric and cilantro for one delicious bite.

This tasty and fragrant side dish with antioxidant rich turmeric is quick and easy and full of flavor. Try it alongside Bone-in Chicken Breast or Easy Red Enchiladas. Mix in sausage for a main dish all on it’s own!

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Yellow rice close up

Easy Mexican Yellow Rice

This easy yellow rice is made all over the world, in place like Sri Lank to Peru. It gets it’s yellow color from the added spices. In this recipe, the turmeric adds the yellow color and brings unique flavors to the dish.

Turmeric is often more readily available and less expensive than saffron. Because of this in some places turmeric is referred to as the “poor man’s saffron”. Even so It is a really wonderful ingredient to use.

Turmeric adds delicious flavor, but also has many health benefits. Bonus! It can help reduce inflammation, aid with depressions, irritable bowel, arthritis, cholesterol and more. Pretty amazing right?! Turmeric is pretty flavorful so you can adjust the amount according to your taste preference.

Seasonings for yellow rice recipe

How to Make Yellow Rice

Melt butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat.

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Add the rice and cook for 1 minute .

Add the bell pepper and garlic.

Cook for 2 additional minutes.

Add salt, turmeric, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, red pepper flakes, chicken broth and cilantro stems.

Turn heat up and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low.

Add lid and simmer for 15-18 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked.

Remove from the heat and let sit (with the lid on) for 10 minutes.

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Remove cilantro stems.

Fluff with a fork.

More Mix ins: Yellow Rice pairs well with many different vegetable mix ins such as peas, carrots and corn. Firmer veggies like carrots can be sautéed along with the red peppers. Mix in the softer vegetables, like peas, when you add the chicken broth.

Once the rice has been cooked you can always mix it with other foods such as with cooked beans or add cooked shredded chicken.

Yellow rice in pot

Recipe FAQ

Can I use brown rice? This recipe is written for white rice, but you can definitely use brown rice. You just may need to increase the cook time a bit.

Can this be made in the Instant Pot? You can easily make this recipe in your instant pot as well.

  • Turn the instant pot to saute and add the butter.
  • Once the butter has melted add the rice and cook for 1 minute before adding the diced bell peppers and garlic. Cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Finally, add the remaining ingredients. Secure and seal the lid.
  • Cook on high pressure for 2-3 minutes and release the pressure using the quick release. (Check your Instant pots user guide to confirm rice cooking instructions)

How to store? Place leftover rice in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. Store in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Reheat in the microwave or stove top. If needed add 1-2 tsp of water to revive.

Yellow rice recipe

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For more rice recipes, check out:

  • Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
  • Chicken, Sausage, and Rice Skillet
  • Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice
  • Instant Pot Fiesta Chicken and Rice


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