White rice on a place with sauces, vegetables and meat

How to Season Rice

Rice is a starchy grain that can be a blank canvas for experimenting with different flavors and seasonings. Whether you’re following traditional seasoned rice recipes or innovating a flavor profile all your own, you can use this guide to learn how to season white rice or other kinds of plain rice to create your new favorite way to enjoy rice.

What Is Seasoned Rice?

Seasoned rice is made by cooking rice with different herbs and spices. Many cultures have utilized this technique, which is why there isn’t a singular seasoned rice recipe. There are several ways to infuse flavor and each recipe can be completely customizable to your taste.

What Seasonings Can You Use to Flavor Rice?

You can season your rice with a variety of herbs, spices, broths, milks or sauces. If you prefer a Mediterranean flavor profile, cook your rice using chicken broth, lemon juice, garlic and onion. For a rich and creamy rice dish with a kick, cook the rice in coconut milk infused with spicy peppers.

There are limitless flavor combinations to experiment with when making seasoned rice, so you can use this cooking method to get your creative juices flowing.

Tips for Adding Flavor to Rice

  • Rinse rice before cooking to wash away excess starch that can alter the final texture.

  • You can saute dry rice on your cooktop with butter before cooking to create a more rich and flavorful end result.

  • For a deep, nutty flavor, try toasting rice in the oven or on your stovetop before cooking it.

  • If you’re cooking rice as a side dish to a meat, you can add the drippings from chicken, beef or pork to your rice to add even more flavor.

  • Cover the pot with a lid during the cooking process.

  • Avoid stirring rice until it has cooked completely to protect the texture of the dish.

  • You can make simple ingredient swaps to accommodate for any dietary restrictions. For example, you can switch chicken broth for vegetable broth or substitute butter with coconut oil or vegan butter.

Seasoned Rice Recipe

Seasoned rice can upgrade this traditional staple into something truly spectacular. Read on to learn how to make seasoned rice in your kitchen.

Tools
Prep Time
  • 10 minutes
Cook Time
  • 20 minutes

Total Time
  • 30 minutes
Yields
  • 6 servings
Ingredients
  • Rice, like jasmine, basmati, white or brown rice

  • Herbs, such as dill, parsley, oregano or cilantro

  • Garlic, minced

  • Onion, diced

  • Spices, like cumin, curry powder, paprika or red pepper flakes

  • Olive oil

  • Chicken or vegetable broth

  • Milk, like coconut milk, heavy cream or whole milk
Person prepping ingredients on a cutting board

Step 1: Rinse rice and gather ingredients

Before you begin cooking your seasoned rice, you need to rinse off the excess starch from the grain. Place the rice inside a rice strainer and run it under cool water, stirring with your hands to allow each grain to be rinsed. When the water that comes out of the strainer runs clear, your rice is ready to cook. Once you’ve rinsed your rice, gather your ingredients and prep as necessary.

Aromatics sauteing in a frying pan

Step 2: Saute garlic and onions

Set your cooktop burner to medium heat and heat oil in your saucepan and add garlic, onions or other aromatics. Saute until they’ve become soft and translucent. If you want to infuse more flavor into the rice itself, you can also saute the rice during this step. If you aren’t adding any vegetables or aromatics, you can skip this step.

Pan heating on a KitchenAid® stovetop

Step 3: Cook rice

After you’ve sauteed your aromatics, add in your rice, seasonings, broth and/or milk to the saucepan. Stir your ingredients together and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover until rice is cooked and all the liquid has been absorbed.

Person scooping rice into a bowl

Step 4: Fluff and serve

Using a rice paddle, fluff your rice by scooping the paddle to the bottom of the pan and turning it over. This helps to prevent clumps so that each grain of rice will be more distinct when it’s time to serve.

Seasoned Rice FAQs

Explore some frequently asked questions about homemade seasoned rice to better understand how to make this versatile recipe.

Assorted vegetables on a wooden cutting board

Do You Season Rice Before or After Cooking?

Seasoning your rice before cooking helps to deeply infuse the flavor into the recipe. When you season rice after cooking, the flavors don’t have a chance to cook into the rice and will simply layer on top — similar to sprinkling a finished dish with salt.

Close up image of seasoned rice

What’s the Best Rice to Use for Seasoned Rice?

It is typically recommended to use long-grain rice like basmati or jasmine when making seasoned rice as shorter grains can become sticky or mushy depending on the ingredients you use to season your rice. This type of rice is perfect for seasoned rice recipes like sazon rice, cumin rice, citrus rice and more.

This type of rice is perfect for seasoned rice recipes like sazon rice, cumin rice, citrus rice and more. Infuse forbidden black rice with coconut milk and roll in sweet potato sheets made with a KitchenAid® Vegetable Sheet Cutter Attachment. Season rice with butter, tumeric and chicken stock to form the base of this classic chicken tikka masala. Or, elevate camp cooking with this flavorful sausage and rice recipe.

Bowl of rice topped with fresh fruit

What to Do With Overcooked Rice?

If you’ve accidentally overcooked your rice, all is not lost. The soft, mushy texture can actually be an asset to a variety of recipes. You can use overcooked rice as a base ingredient for recipes like crispy rice cakes, porridge, soups, omelets or even rice pudding.

Copper pot on a KitchenAid® stovetop

What to Do With Undercooked Rice?

When the cooking process is disrupted, rice can end up being hard, crunchy and undercooked. If this happens, simply add up to ½ cup of water to your rice, cover and bring it to a simmer until the additional liquid has absorbed.

Shop KitchenAid® Cooktops and Ranges

Whether you’re simmering rice in a pot, frying in a pan or seasoning with carrots, ginger and garlic, KitchenAid® cooktops and ranges offer versatility, performance and craftsmanship. Explore select models with features like Sensor Induction and five burners that let you go from a rolling boil to a delicate simmer in seconds.

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