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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.

Simple turmeric rice on a plate with two spoons

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).

Healthy turmeric rice in a pot

From Chicken Tikka Masala to Instant Pot Lentil Curry, taking a few additional minutes to add vegetables and spices to your rice is well worth it.

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!).

A healthy side dish served on a plate

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.

The Ingredients

  • 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.

Turmeric Rice Benefits

Turmeric has been used in ancient medicine to treat inflammation, skin conditions, and digestive issues, among other things. The active ingredient is called curcumin.

  • Studies of the health benefits of turmeric are not completely conclusive, but some studies do indicate that turmeric is good for weight loss and can help fight heart disease and cancer (more here).
  • Whether or not these studies sway you, turmeric can be a healthy addition to your diet.
A plate of turmeric rice with vegetables


Turmeric is so popular for immune boosting, it’s often added to drinks like Golden Milk and a Turmeric Smoothie.

  • 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.

Substitution Tip

If you don’t need this to be a vegan turmeric rice, you can use chicken broth instead.

  • Spices. Dried thyme, cumin, and a pinch of salt bring a little earthiness and warmth.

The Directions

  1. Sauté the onions and carrot with the rice, garlic, and spices.
  2. Stir in the broth. Cook the rice according to brown rice package instructions.
  3. Fluff the rice, add the peas and parsley, and recover for about 10 more minutes. DIG IN!
An easy and healthy side dish in a pot

Using a Rice Cooker

You can also make turmeric rice in a rice cooker.

  1. Sauté the carrot and onion in the coconut oil with garlic on the stove. Set aside.
  2. Add the spices to the cooker along with the rice. Cook according to your model’s instructions.
  3. Once the rice is cooked, stir the sautéed vegetables together with the peas and parsley at the end.

Storage Tips

  • 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.

Storage Tips

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.
Easy turmeric rice with vegetables on a plate

What to Serve with Turmeric Rice

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

This vibrant turmeric rice is here to light up your plate.

Treat yourself to this pot of gold soon!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use White Rice Instead of Brown Rice?

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.

How Can I Make this into a Main Dish?

This turmeric rice would be a spectacular main dish! Make it more filling by adding some protein (diced Air Fryer Chicken Breast, Baked Salmon in Foil, or Air Fryer Tofu would be tasty).

Is Turmeric Rice Good for Meal Prep?

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.

Turmeric Rice

4.75 from 20 votes
This vibrant yellow turmeric rice is spiced with turmeric and combined with fresh vegetables. Packed with health benefits, vegan and easy!

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour

Servings: 5 1/4 cups


  • 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.


Serving: 1cup (of 5 1/4 cups)Calories: 222kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 5gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gPotassium: 282mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 4227IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 37mgIron: 2mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. This was delicious! My little ones were hesitant at first but polished off their dinner bowls quickly. I’ve been looking for recipes to use Tumeric in and am planning to make this a weekly meal! It was easy and nutritious and quite tasty! I took your suggestion and added turkey to it to turn it into a main dish.5 stars

  2. Perfect to begin building a bowl meal with! I like to freeze meal size portions & begin there adding whatever I’m in the mood for or is available.
    Fast, healthy & so, so good!
    Thank you!5 stars

  3. Served this to my family on Family Day and everyone loved it. Now passing on the recipe to them.

    Sometimes I find cumin overpowering so I left it out.5 stars

  4. Erin your recipes are always delicious and easy to make.
    I made this just the other night for an easy weeknight side dish and it was so incredible that it is going to be on my interfaith Passover/ Easter menu for next Sunday.
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!5 stars

  5. Let me start by saying that we love Indian food. I made this recipe for the first time and it was a wonderful treat, especially paired with the Turmeric Rice. I made the rice recipe using a rice cooker and combined the other ingredients afterwards and it turned out delicious.
    I would totally recommend this recipe if you’re interested in a quick flavorful Indian healthy dish.5 stars

  6. I’m Indian and I usually use whole cumin seeds as a tempering with this kind of rice. But I was trying out your curry air fried chicken and so used cumin powder in the rice as you suggest and my family (my husband is American) LOVED both the extra zing in the chicken and the different flavour in the rice.5 stars

  7. Excellent recipe. Followed it as written. Rice was very flavorful. Everyone loved it. I always use unfiltered organic coconut oil when I cook for the health benefits and flavor, so when I saw that in the recipe, I decided to try it. Very easy and good, especially with the added vegetables! This will be one of my go to recipes. Thanks5 stars