Sunshine, thy name is Turmeric Rice! Rice spiced with turmeric, fortified with vegetables, and sprinkled with an herby shower of parsley, it’s an instant upgrade alongside your favorite curries, stir fries, and even baked or grilled entrees.
Also referred to as “yellow rice” or “golden rice,” turmeric rice gets its signature hue from a spice called turmeric.
- Turmeric tastes warm, earthy, and aromatic.
- It’s often found in curries or used to dye foods naturally.
The way that Homemade Fried Rice ups the ante of stir fry recipes and Lemon Rice adds flair to Mediterranean meals, turmeric rice is an accessible way to turn your Indian-inspired recipes into a restaurant-quality experience (along with this easy Homemade Naan).
You’ll love the rice leftovers too!
Turmeric can (temporarily) stain your fingers. Be careful not to touch it, wear gloves, or just embrace it and the memory of a delicious recipe every time you see the bits of yellow around your fingernails (that’s what I do!).
How to Make Turmeric Rice
In addition to the spices, I opted to make this turmeric rice with vegetables.
The veggies add a nutritional boost, a more dynamic flavor and texture, and make the sunny yellow rice look even more pleasing on your plate.
- Turmeric. Used widely throughout Asia and an essential spice in Indian cooking, turmeric is made from the ground root of the turmeric plant (which is related to ginger). Turmeric tastes warm and earthy but is not spicy.
- Brown Rice. To make this a healthy turmeric rice, I chose to use brown rice. Not only does brown rice have an inviting nuttiness, but it’s also higher in fiber and magnesium than white rice.
- Veggies. Making this a turmeric rice with vegetables means it’s packed with extra nutrition and vibrant colors. Onions, carrots, and peas bring vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber to the dish.
- Broth. The cooking liquid for our rice. Cooking rice in broth gives it a much more complex, savory flavor than cooking it in water. I used vegetable broth to make this a vegan turmeric rice recipe.
- Spices. Dried thyme, cumin, and a pinch of salt bring a little earthiness and warmth.
- Sauté the onions and carrot with the rice, garlic, and spices.
- Stir in the broth. Cook the rice according to brown rice package instructions.
- Fluff the rice, add the peas and parsley, and recover for about 10 more minutes. DIG IN!
Using a Rice Cooker
You can also make turmeric rice in a rice cooker.
- Sauté the carrot and onion in the coconut oil with garlic on the stove. Set aside.
- Add the spices to the cooker along with the rice. Cook according to your model’s instructions.
- Once the rice is cooked, stir the sautéed vegetables together with the peas and parsley at the end.
- To Store. Refrigerate cooled rice in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers with a splash of broth in a pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze cooled rice in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Reheat as directed from frozen.
Rice is ultra freezer-friendly, making this dish ideal for meal prep. Here are a few tips for freezing your rice:
- Let the rice cool before transferring it to storage containers. To speed things up, spread the rice into a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Divide the rice into portions before freezing. This allows you to thaw a little at a time as needed.
- If you can avoid it, do not thaw your rice in the refrigerator. Letting your rice thaw in the refrigerator can cause it to become mushy. Use it directly from frozen.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Saucepan. Perfect for making this healthy turmeric rice.
- Extra Large Cutting Board. Never run out of cutting board space again.
- Measuring Spoons. When making recipes with lots of spices, measuring spoons are a must-have tool.
This vibrant turmeric rice is here to light up your plate.
Treat yourself to this pot of gold soon!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can make this turmeric rice with white rice instead of brown rice. White rice does cook much faster than brown rice, so you’ll need to adjust the cooking time accordingly. Refer to your package instructions.
Yes, turmeric rice is perfect for meal prep. Like my Chicken Fried Rice, this recipe holds its flavor nicely and reheats like a dream. Plus, it will pair beautifully with many dishes throughout the week.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/2 small yellow onion finely diced
- 2 medium carrots peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 cup brown rice* not instant
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 (14-ounce) can low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup peas fresh or frozen
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- In a medium saucepan with a lid, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook until the onions begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Stir in the rice, garlic, turmeric, salt, thyme, and cumin. Stir and cook until the garlic and spices are fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Pour in the broth. Stir to combine. Cover the pot, turn the heat to medium high and bring the rice to a boil (it can boil over quickly, so keep an eye on the pot and watch for excess steam or any jiggling sounds; uncover if this starts to happen).
- Once the rice is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer over medium. Let simmer gently (check on it every now and then to make sure you are maintaining that simmer), covered, for 35 minutes.
- Check for doneness. Most of the liquid should be absorbed and the grains should be al dente (almost tender). If they are still crunchy, cover and continue cooking for 5 to 10 additional minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Stir in the peas and parsley. Recover and let sit off the heat for 10 minutes. At this point, the rice will steam and become tender. Serve warm with a sprinkle of additional parsley.
- *You can also make this recipe with white rice; white rice cooks much more quickly, in around 15 to 20 minutes, so be sure to adjust as needed. Consult your rice package for more information.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate cooled rice in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers with a splash of broth in a pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze cooled rice in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Reheat as directed from frozen.
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