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This easy yellow rice recipe is a great way to add interest to your dinner plate! Turmeric adds a burst of vibrant color and sweet carrots and peas add flavor to this beautiful Yellow Rice Pilaf.
This totally festive Yellow Rice Pilaf is like a burst of sunshine on your dinner plate! The ingredient list is simple and you can pull this easy stovetop recipe together any night of the week in 30 minutes. It’s mild flavor makes it a great choice for serving with a wide variety of entrees and kids and adults alike will get a kick out of the bright yellow color.
You might have tried one of the packaged yellow rice mixes you can find on grocery store shelves but it’s incredibly easy to make homemade yellow rice. You can jazz it up with your own seasoning and for even more color and interest, I like to add vegetables to make a pilaf style rice.
Yellow rice is white rice that has been cooked with either turmeric or saffron threads which turn the rice bright yellow and impart their own unique flavor. Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world but ground turmeric is a much more affordable option for making yellow rice at home. With slight variations, yellow rice is a traditional dish in a large number of cuisines including South American, Indian, Spanish, Caribbean, and more.
Yellow rice is typically made with a long grain white rice like basmati or jasmine rice.
The flavor of yellow rice will vary depending on whether it was made with turmeric or saffron and any other added ingredients. In this Yellow Rice Pilaf, turmeric adds a mild, earthy flavor that is complemented with onion powder and a small amount of sugar. Sweet bits of carrots and peas are what differentiate this recipe from others and make it a true pilaf. Yellow rice recipes made with saffron have more of a sweet, floral flavor and are commonly served with Spanish paella.
Ingredients for Yellow Rice Pilaf
- Coconut oil
- Diced yellow onion
- Diced carrot
- Long grain white rice – Like Jasmine rice or Basmati rice.
- Minced garlic
- Seasoning – Ground turmeric, sugar, kosher salt, onion powder, and paprika
- Low sodium broth – Either chicken or vegetable broth.
- Frozen peas – There’s no need to thaw the peas in advance. The warmth from the rice is all they need to cook from their frozen state.
- Fresh Italian parsley
How to Make Yellow Rice Pilaf
- Melt the coconut oil in a deep skillet or sauté pan. Add the onions and carrots and cook until the veggies begin to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir in the rice, garlic, turmeric, sugar, salt, onion powder, and paprika. Stir and cook to soften the garlic and toast the spices until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Pour in the broth. Stir to combine and increase heat as needed to bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook for 20 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
- Uncover and stir and fluff the rice. Stir in the peas and parsley and remove from the Yellow Rice Pilaf from the heat.
How to Store Yellow Rice Pilaf
- Refrigerate – Transfer leftover yellow rice to an airtight container or zippered plastic storage bag and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Freeze – For longer storage, use freezer-safe plastic storage bags and freeze yellow rice for up to 2 months.
Tips for Reheating
You can reheat Yellow Rice Pilaf either thawed or directly from the freezer. Just place it in a microwave-safe bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a microwave-safe lid, and cook it on high for 2 to 4 minutes. If the rice seems, dry, add a splash of water, stir it well, and cook for another 15 seconds, or until warmed through.
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Yellow Rice Pilaf
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- ½ cup diced yellow onion
- ½ cup diced carrot ¼-inch dice
- 1 ½ cups long grain white rice like jasmine or basmati rice
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 3 cups low sodium broth vegetable or chicken
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- Melt the coconut oil In a deep skillet or sauté pan over MEDIUM heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook until the veggies begin to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the rice, garlic, turmeric, sugar, salt, onion powder, and paprika. Stir and cook to soften the garlic and toast the spices until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Pour in the broth. Stir to combine and increase heat as needed to bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to LOW, cover, and cook for 20 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
- Uncover and stir and fluff the rice. Stir in the peas and parsley. Remove from the heat and serve.
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