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What to Add to White Rice for Flavor (29 Options)

White 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 white rice, you’re in luck.

There are a variety of things you can add to white rice to give it a boost of flavor.

What to Add to White Rice for Flavor

From simple seasonings like salt and pepper to more complex ingredients like sautéed vegetables or shredded chicken, there are plenty of ways to make white rice taste great.

And the best part is that most of these things can be easily added to your rice while it’s cooking, so you don’t have to do any extra work.

So, what can you add to white rice for flavor?

There are many ways to add flavor to white 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, such as peas, carrots, or corn. Finally, you can top the rice with a sauce or gravy.

But, of course, there are tons of other ways!

Let’s take a look at what to put in white rice for flavor!

What to Add to White Rice for Flavor?

There are many things you can add to white rice to give it flavor. One popular method is to fry the rice in a little oil before adding water. This gives the rice a nutty flavor. You can also add herbs, spices, or stock to the water before cooking the rice. This will infuse the rice with flavor as it cooks. Finally, you can add sautéed vegetables, meat, or seafood to cooked white rice for a complete meal.

White rice

But, I promised to get more specific, and give you more ideas.

So…

Here are 29 things you can add to white rice to make it more flavorful:

1. Garlic

Garlic

I’ve always said that garlic is the superhero of the culinary world.

It can make just about any dish taste better, and it’s a great way to add flavor to white rice.

Garlic has a strong, pungent flavor that can really liven up a dish.

It also has a bit of a bite to it, so it’s great if you’re looking for something to add a little texture to your rice.

Garlic pairs well with just about anything, so feel free to experiment.

I think it goes particularly well with chicken or seafood.

Just be careful not to add too much, as garlic can easily overpower a dish.

2. Onion

Onion rings

Onion is one of the most powerful ways to add flavor to any dish, and white rice is no exception.

By adding onion to your white rice, you can expect a boost of savory flavor that will complement any other ingredients you’re using.

Keep in mind that onion can also add a bit of texture to your dish, so if you’re looking for a smooth, fluffy rice, you may want to use another ingredient.

Onion pairs well with a variety of other ingredients, so feel free to experiment and find what you like best.

3. Green Onion

Green Onion

I often use green onion in my cooking at home to add a bit of flavor to otherwise bland dishes.

I really enjoy the sharp taste that it can add to food. It’s also a great way to add some extra texture and crunch.

Green onion pairs particularly well with rice dishes, as the onion can help to liven up the flavors.

4. Cilantro

Cilantro Leaves

Cilantro is usually known for its savory flavor which can be a great addition to many white rice dishes.

When adding cilantro to your dish, you can expect a slightly different texture as well.

The leaves of the cilantro will add a bit of crunch to your dish.

This ingredient pairs well with other savory flavors, such as garlic or onion.

When using cilantro, be sure to chop it up finely so that the flavor is evenly distributed throughout your dish.

5. Basil

Basil

Basil is one of my go-to herbs for adding flavor to white rice.

It has a nice, fresh flavor that pairs well with a variety of other ingredients.

I also love the way it adds a bit of texture to the rice.

6. Thyme

Thyme

Ah, good old thyme.

This versatile herb can be used in so many different dishes, from savory to sweet.

When it comes to flavoring white rice, thyme can add a lovely earthy flavor that really brings out the best in the dish.

Keep in mind that a little goes a long way with this herb, so start with just a pinch and add more to taste.

Thyme pairs well with other savory flavors like garlic, onion, and rosemary.

So if you’re looking to add a little depth of flavor to your white rice, give thyme a try.

7. Oregano

Oregano

Any pizza lover knows that oregano is a must-have topping.

This herb adds a sharp, pungent flavor to any dish, and its strong aroma is instantly recognizable.

When it comes to white rice, oregano can really liven things up.

Its assertive flavor pairs well with other bold ingredients, and a little goes a long way.

8. Rosemary

Rosemary

Rosemary is something that most home cooks have in their spice cabinet.

It’s a great way to add some flavor to your white rice.

The herb has a slightly minty flavor with a hint of pine.

Rosemary also has a woodsy aroma that can really liven up a dish.

When using rosemary, it’s best to add it towards the end of cooking.

This will help to preserve its flavor.

Rosemary also pairs well with other herbs like thyme and oregano.

9. Sage

Sage

If you’ve got some sage on hand, try adding it to your next batch of white rice.

The herb has a woodsy, slightly peppery flavor that can liven up any dish.

Plus, sage is a great way to add a bit of texture to your rice.

Sage pairs well with other strong flavors, like garlic or onion, so feel free to experiment.

10. Salt

Salt

Of course, how could I almost forget about salt?

It’s a classic seasoning for a reason – salt can really help to bring out the flavor of food.

When it comes to white rice, a little bit of salt can go a long way in terms of flavor.

But don’t add too much, as it can quickly become oversalted.

And, as always, taste as you go!

Salt is also a great way to add a bit of texture to your white rice.

If you’re looking for a heartier dish, you can add a bit of salt to your rice while it’s cooking.

This will give the rice a bit of a bite, which can be really nice.

But be sure to add the salt early on in the cooking process, so that it has time to really absorb into the rice.

11. Pepper

Black pepper

Pepper has always been popular in the kitchen because it can add a lot of flavor to food.

When it comes to white rice, pepper can give it a boost of flavor that makes it more enjoyable to eat.

Pepper also has a bit of a kick to it, so if you’re looking for a little bit of heat, this is a great ingredient to add.

12. Butter

Butter

If you’re not trying to cut down on calories, butter is a great way to add flavor to your white rice.

A small amount of butter can go a long way in terms of flavor.

You can expect your rice to be more rich and creamy with the addition of butter.

This ingredient pairs well with savory dishes.

13. Olive Oil

Olive Oil

I often use olive oil on my rice because it helps to add a lot of flavor.

The olive oil also gives the rice a nice texture.

I find that it pairs well with a variety of dishes.

Just keep in mind that a little goes a long way.

You don’t want to use too much or it can overwhelm the dish.

14. Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil

If you want some exotic flavor in your white rice, try cooking it with coconut oil.

This will give the rice a subtle coconut flavor that is perfect for pairing with other dishes.

The coconut oil will also add a slight richness and creaminess to the rice.

However, be sure not to use too much, as it can make the rice greasy.

15. Vegetable Broth

Vegetable Broth
Source: minimalistbaker.com

You must try cooking your rice in vegetable broth instead of water – it makes such a difference!

The broth adds so much flavor and really brings out the best in the rice.

You’ll find that the texture of the rice is much better too – it’s more moist and tender.

This is a great way to add flavor to your rice without using any additional ingredients.

But be sure to use a good quality vegetable broth for the best results.

16. Chicken Broth or Bouillon

Chicken Broth
Source: healthyrecipesblogs.com

Here’s another great way to add flavor to your white rice: cook it in chicken broth or bouillon.

This will give the rice a nice savory flavor and make it more moist and tender.

But be sure to use less water than you would normally use when cooking rice, since the broth will add extra liquid.

This is a great way to make plain rice more exciting, and it pairs well with just about any dish.

17. Beef Broth or Bouillon

Beef Broth
Source: simplyrecipes.com

If you don’t want to use chicken broth, why not try beef broth or bouillon instead?

This will give your white rice a delicious beefy flavor that pairs well with many different dishes.

18. Fish Stock

Fish Stock
Source: thespruceeats.com

Although not as popular as chicken or beef broth, fish stock can be a delicious way to flavor your white rice.

This ingredient imparts a light, delicate flavor to the dish, and can also add a bit of creaminess.

Fish stock pairs well with seafood, as well as vegetables.

19. Milk

Milk

Milk has the ability to add some mild flavor to your white rice.

You can expect the rice to become more creamy and have a slightly sweeter taste.

This is a good ingredient to add if you are looking to pair your white rice with something savory.

Just keep in mind that if you are using milk to flavor your rice, you’ll want to cook it for a bit longer so the milk has time to absorb.

20. Cream

Cream

Cream is an interesting ingredient to add to white rice.

It can add a lot of flavor, but it also changes the texture quite a bit.

The rice will become much creamier and more dense.

This ingredient pairs well with other strong flavors, such as curry or garlic.

However, be careful not to add too much cream, or the rice will become too rich.

21. Cheese

Parmesan

Trust me, if you haven’t tried adding cheese to your white rice then you’re missing out.

It might sound strange, but the cheese really helps to bring out the flavor of the rice.

Plus, it adds a great creamy texture that is simply divine.

I like to pair my cheesy rice with a simple sauteed vegetable, like spinach or broccoli.

Here are some of my favorite cheeses to add to white rice:

  • Parmesan
  • Cheddar
  • Gouda
  • Provolone
  • Mozzarella

22. Sour Cream

Sour Cream

LOVE sour cream.

Seriously, it makes everything better.

I’m pretty sure it’s a rule of thumb that if something can be topped with sour cream, it should be.

Anyway, if you’re looking to add some flavor to your white rice, sour cream is a great option.

It’s creamy and tangy, and it pairs well with a variety of dishes.

23. Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Got some tomatoes lying around?

Toss them in your next batch of white rice for a boost of flavor.

The tomatoes will add a slight acidity to the rice, along with a pop of sweetness.

This is a great way to use up any overripe tomatoes you have.

Just make sure to chop them up into small pieces so they’ll cook evenly.

24. Tomato Sauce

Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce is an easy and healthy way to add flavor to your white rice.

Simply pour some tomato sauce over your cooked rice and enjoy.

The sauce will add a delicious, slightly acidic flavor to your rice.

Additionally, the tomato sauce will add a smooth, creamy texture to your dish.

This ingredient pairs well with other savory flavors, such as meats, vegetables, and cheeses.

25. Tomato Paste

Tomato Paste
Source: thekitchn.com

This ingredient is stronger than tomato sauce and can be used to add a bold flavor to your white rice.

You can expect a thick, pasty texture from the tomato paste.

This ingredient goes well with meats, vegetables, and other bold flavors.

However, be careful not to add too much, as the paste can easily overwhelm a dish.

26. Red Pepper Flakes

Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Red pepper flakes can add some heat and flavor to your white rice.

Keep in mind that a little goes a long way, so start with a small amount and add more to taste.

This ingredient goes well with other spices like cumin and chili powder.

27. Hot Sauce

Hot Sauce
Source: thecuriouschickpea.com

If you like your food spicy, hot sauce is a great way to add flavor to white rice.

Just a few drops will give the rice a nice kick. Keep in mind that the longer the rice cooks, the more the hot sauce will flavor it.

So if you want a milder flavor, add the hot sauce towards the end of cooking.

Hot sauce goes well with just about anything, so feel free to get creative.

28. BBQ Sauce

BBQ Sauce
Source: addapinch.com

Has BBQ sauce really ever let anyone down?

The answer is no, because it’s sticky, sweet, smoky, and tangy all at once.

Adding BBQ sauce to your white rice will give it a boost of flavor that is sure to please.

You can expect the rice to take on the sticky, sweet, smoky, and tangy flavors of the sauce, and it pairs well with just about anything.

But be careful not to add too much, or the rice will be too sweet.

29. Soy Sauce

Soy Sauce
Source: thethingswellmake.com

And lastly, of course, we have soy sauce.

A little bit of soy sauce can go a long way in terms of adding flavor to your white rice.

The umami flavors of soy sauce will help to enhance the blandness of the rice.

Keep in mind that a little bit goes a long way though, as soy sauce can be quite salty.

Try pairing it with other ingredients like green onions or sesame oil for an even more flavorful dish.

What Is a Good Seasoning to Add to Rice?

There are many different seasonings that you can add to rice to give it flavor. Some common seasonings include: salt, pepper, garlic, onion, butter, margarine, cheese, and parsley. You can also add other spices such as: cumin, curry powder, turmeric, and chili powder.

You can experiment with different combinations of seasonings to find the perfect flavor for your rice dish.

Conclusion

Anyone who has ever eaten plain white rice knows that it can be a bit bland.

However, there are a variety of easy ways to add flavor to this staple dish.

For example, adding a dollop of butter or olive oil can give rice a richness that plain water cannot provide.

Alternatively, try stirring in some garlic, ginger, or other herbs and spices for an extra kick of flavor.

If you want something more substantial, try adding cooked vegetables or protein-rich ingredients like beans or lentils.

And of course, there are always sauces and condiments that can be used to enhance the flavor of rice.

With so many options available, there’s no excuse for eating bland rice ever again!

what to put in white rice for Flavor

What to Add to White Rice for Flavor (29 Options)

If you're like me, you probably grew up eating a lot of white rice.
It's a versatile side dish that goes with just about anything.
But after a while, it can start to feel a little bland. That's where this list comes in handy.
With 29 different options, there's sure to be something here that will pique your interest.
And the best part is that most of these ingredients are probably already sitting in your pantry.
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 2 mins
Total Time 4 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 51 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Green Onion
  • Cilantro
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Vegetable Broth
  • Chicken Broth or Bouillon
  • Beef Broth or Bouillon
  • Fish Stock
  • Milk
  • Cream
  • Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Tomatoes
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Tomato Paste
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Hot Sauce
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Soy Sauce

Instructions
 

  • Pick your favorite ingredient from this list to add to your white rice.
  • Prepare the rest of your delicious meal.
  • Enjoy in no time!
Keyword what to add to plain white rice, What to Add to White Rice, What to Add to White Rice for Flavor, what to put in white rice