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What to Add to Cooked Rice for Flavor (15 Easy Things)

Do you ever find yourself eating plain, cooked rice and wondering what to add to it for flavor?

You’re not alone.

Rice is a staple food in many cultures, but it can be pretty bland on its own.

The good news is that there are plenty of easy ways to add flavor to your rice.

In this article, I’ll go over 15 easy things to add to cooked rice for flavor!

What to Add to Cooked Rice for Flavor

What to Add to Cooked Rice for Flavor?

There are many ways to add flavor to cooked rice. One way is to cook the rice in broth instead of water. You can also add spices or herbs while the rice is cooking. Another way to add flavor is to stir in some cooked vegetables, meat, or seafood after the rice is cooked. You can also top cooked rice with a sauce or salsa.

Still looking for more ideas?

Here are 15 of the best things to add to cooked rice:

1. Butter


Who doesn’t have some butter in their fridge?

It’s a great addition to cooked rice for flavor and depth of flavor.

When adding butter, it is important to use a light or unsalted variety.

The butter will add richness and depth of flavor, but if you overdo it, the rice will become too greasy.

Adding butter to cooked rice is a simple process:

  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat.
  2. Once melted, add the cooked rice and stir to combine.
  3. Cook until the rice is heated through and the butter has been absorbed.

Be sure to taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

2. Olive Oil

Olive Oil

Olive oil is another ingredient that most people have on hand.

It’s a great way to add flavor and richness to cooked rice.

You can use it as a base for your sauce or simply add it directly to the pot with the rice.

  1. Start by heating up some olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Once hot, add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the grains are tender and the oil is evenly distributed.
  3. Add any desired seasonings, like salt or pepper, and serve warm.

3. Salt


How could I forget about salt?

This essential seasoning is one of the most important things you can add to cooked rice.

Not only does it add flavor, but it also helps to keep the rice from becoming sticky.

When cooking rice, it’s important to use a ratio of 1 teaspoon salt to 1 cup of uncooked rice.

You can either sprinkle the salt directly onto the rice before cooking, or dissolve it into a little bit of water and then add that to the pot.

Once the rice is cooked, fluff it up with a fork and let it sit for a few minutes so that the salt has time to soak in.

Add more salt if you’d like, but be careful not to overdo it since too much salt can make your rice taste salty and unpleasant.

4. Pepper

Black pepper

Pepper is one of the most popular spices in the world.

It’s used in everything from stir-fries to soups to stews.

In addition, it’s a great way to add flavor to cooked rice.

Start by adding a pinch of salt and pepper to your cooking rice.

This will help to season the rice while it’s cooking.

You can also add other spices, such as cumin or chili powder, if you’d like.

Be sure to add these spices sparingly, however, or you’ll end up with a spicy mess on your hands.

Finally, be sure to add your spices just before serving so they don’t over power the flavor of the rice.

5. Garlic Powder

Garlic Powder

If you don’t have some cloves of garlic on hand, you can add a tablespoon of garlic powder to cooked rice for a little extra flavor.

Garlic powder is a common seasoning found in most kitchens.

It’s made up of ground up garlic cloves and is often used to add flavor to foods like bread, pasta, and rice.

To add garlic powder to your rice, simply mix it with some water before cooking.

You can also use it as a condiment on its own. Just sprinkle it over your cooked rice and enjoy!

Garlic powder can be added either before or after cooking the rice.

6. Onion Powder

Onion powder

If you don’t care for all the chopping that goes into making your own cooked rice, you can reach for a premade version instead.

Just be sure to add some onion powder to the mix to give it that savory flavor.

A little goes a long way, so don’t overdo it.

You could also try adding some soy sauce or chicken broth to deepen the flavor.

Once you’ve added the flavorings, just stir everything together and cook according to the package directions.

7. Cumin

Ground Cumin

Cumin has a way of making everything taste better, from potatoes to chicken to rice.

In fact, it’s such a versatile seasoning that it can be used in many different ways.

For example, you can add cumin to cooked rice for a little extra flavor.

Just be sure to start with a small amount and add more as needed.

You can also use cumin as a base for your own creations.

For instance, you could make a cumin-based sauce for your favorite dish.

Or you could combine cumin with other spices to create your own unique flavor profile.

The sky is the limit!

8. Curry Powder

Curry powder

Curry is popular in many parts of the world, and for good reason.

It’s a flavorful way to add depth and complexity to any dish.

In particular, curry powder is great for adding flavor to cooked rice.

Add it directly to the pot before cooking, or sprinkle it on top after cooking.

The key is to use a high-quality curry powder, which will have a more intense flavor than grocery store brands.

If you’re not sure how much to add, start with a teaspoon and experiment until you find the perfect balance of spice.

Adding too much can overpower your dish, while not adding enough can leave your rice bland and flavorless.

9. Turmeric


If you don’t know of turmeric, it’s time to get acquainted.

This yellow spice is a powerhouse when it comes to adding flavor to rice.

When you add turmeric to cooked rice, be sure to use a light hand.

Too much will overpower the delicate flavors of the rice.

Also, be sure to let the rice cool slightly before serving so that the spices can fully absorb into the grains.

Finally, try adding a little bit of turmeric to your favorite pilaf or risotto recipe for an extra zing.

10. Ginger


Ginger has hundreds of different uses in the kitchen, but one of its most popular is adding flavor to rice.

Whether you’re making risotto or paella, ginger is a common ingredient that gives both dishes a boost.

In general, you can add ginger to cooked rice either before or after it’s been cooked.

Adding it before cooking helps to soften the ginger and enhance its flavor.

After it’s been cooked, adding a little ginger juice to the rice will help to bring out the flavors even more.

When adding ginger to your rice, be sure to use a small amount.

Too much ginger can overpower the other flavors in the dish.

For best results, start by adding just a pinch of ginger and work your way up from there.

11. Chicken Broth or Stock

Chicken Broth

Chicken broth is an easy way to add some extra flavor to your rice.

Simply add a cup or so of the chicken broth to a pot of cooked white or brown rice, and let it simmer for a few minutes.

This simple step will add depth of flavor to your rice and make it taste more like something you would eat at a restaurant.

12. Beef Broth or Stock

Beef Broth

Similar to chicken broth, beef broth is a great way to add flavor to your rice.

As the name suggests, beef broth or stock is made from beef.

However, you can also make it with other types of meat, like chicken or turkey.

Be sure to choose a high-quality stock or broth if you’re looking to add a lot of flavor to your rice.

Try bouillon cubes or chicken bouillon paste for a more intense flavor.

When adding broth or stock to your rice, be sure to use about two tablespoons per cup of uncooked rice.

You can either add it right before you cook the rice or let it simmer on the stovetop for a bit before serving.

13. Vegetable Broth or Stock

Vegetable Broth

If you don’t want to use beef or chicken broth, vegetable broth or stock is a great option.

Both are made from vegetables, so they have a different flavor than beef or chicken broth, but they’re still tasty.

Adding vegetable broth or stock to cooked rice can add a lot of flavor and moisture.

You can also use it to make risotto or pilaf.

  1. Start by measuring out the desired amount of broth or stock.
  2. Then add it to the pot with the rice and stir until the broth or stock is absorbed.

You can also heat up your broth or stock before adding it to the pot if you want it warmer.

14. Fish Sauce

Fish Sauce

Fish sauce is super popular in Asian cuisine, and for good reason.

It’s a unique and flavorful addition to cooked rice.

Fish sauce is made from fermented fish, and it has a complex, savory flavor that is perfect for adding depth of flavor to your rice.

In addition, fish sauce contains amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that can help to boost the immune system.

Simply add a tablespoon or two to your cooked rice before serving.

Be sure to use a high-quality fish sauce if you want the best results.

Some brands that are commonly used in Asian cooking include Nam Pla and KC Masterpiece.

15. Soy Sauce

Soy Sauce

If you’ve ever been to a sushi restaurant, you know that soy sauce is a common addition to cooked rice.

Soy sauce is a fermented product made from soybeans.

It’s full of flavor and provides a depth of flavor that can be difficult to replicate with other ingredients.

How Do You Flavor Already Cooked White Rice?

There are many ways to flavor already cooked white rice. One way is to add sautéed vegetables, such as onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Another way is to add a protein, such as chicken, beef, or shrimp. You can also add a sauce, such as soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, or curry sauce. Finally, you can top the rice with chopped green onions, cilantro, or peanuts.

What Can I Add to Rice After Cooking?

Once the rice is cooked, you can add different things to it to change the flavor or texture. This includes things like spices, herbs, sauces, vegetables, meats, or cheeses. You can also add fruits, nuts, or seeds to rice for a sweeter dish.

Can You Season Rice After It’s Cooked?

Yes, you can season rice after it’s cooked. In fact, it’s often necessary to do so in order to get the most flavor out of your rice. Seasoning your rice after cooking allows you to control the amount of salt and other flavors that you add to it, which can be helpful if you’re trying to watch your sodium intake.

How Do You Spice up Cooked Rice?

If you prefer your cooked rice spicy, there are a few different ways you can go about adding spice. One option is to cook the rice with aromatic spices like cloves, cinnamon, and bay leaves. Another way is to stir in some chopped chili peppers or jalapeños when the rice is finished cooking. You could also top cooked rice with a spicy sauce or salsa.

what to add to cooked rice

What to Add to Cooked Rice for Flavor (15 Easy Things)

Cooked rice is a staple in many cuisines, but it can be pretty bland on its own.
If you're looking for ways to add some flavor to your rice, this blog post has 15 easy ideas.
From adding herbs and spices to using stocks and sauces, there are plenty of ways to give your rice a boost.
The next time you're stuck with boring cooked rice, be sure to reference this blog post for some inspiration.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 4 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 59 kcal


  • Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Cumin
  • Curry Powder
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Chicken Broth or Stock
  • Beef Broth or Stock
  • Vegetable Broth or Stock
  • Fish Sauce
  • Soy Sauce


  • Pick your favorite ingredient from this list to add to your cooked rice.
  • Prepare the rest of your tasty dish.
  • Enjoy in no time!
Keyword What to Add to Cooked Rice for Flavor