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20+ Best Rice Side Dishes You’ll Find Delicious

You’re tired and lazy today, but you don’t want to sacrifice a delicious and healthy meal. You open your fridge and see that you have some leftover rice from last night’s dinner.

“What can I make with this?” you think to yourself.

When you’re feeling like you can’t be bothered to cook an entire meal from scratch, you’re going to want to have an I’d-rather-be-in-bed-but-I-have-to-eat side dish.

And that’s just fine! I’m you. You are me. We’ve ALL been there before.

But you know who’s going to put in little effort and get a big return? YOU ARE! And you don’t have to crack your beautiful brain open just thinking about what to eat with rice, because I’ve done it for you.

I’ve saved you the trouble by listing out some of the easiest side dishes to serve with rice on busy weeknights or lazy weekends.

Let’s dive in.

Easy Rice Side Dishes

  1. Black Rice
  2. Mexican Rice
  3. Summer Squash Rice
  4. Greek Lemon Rice
  5. Curried Rice
  6. Cranberry Rice Pilaf
  7. Cumin Rice
  8. Rice Pilaf
  9. Garlic Parmesan Rice
  10. Brown Rice Apple Salad
  11. Turmeric Rice
  12. Broccoli and Cheese Rice
  13. Mushroom Risotto
  14. Cilantro Lime Rice
  15. Arancini
  16. Southwestern Rice
  17. Coconut Rice
  18. Broccoli Cheese Wild Rice Casserole
  19. Salsa Rice
  20. Cheesy Spinach Rice20
  21. Mushroom Rice

Black Rice

You’re never going to have to worry about what to serve with black rice. It’s a stunning side dish all on its own! Black rice has a deep, nutty flavor that is perfect for pairing with grilled meats or roasted vegetables.

I love black rice because it is so versatile. You can dress it up or dress it down, depending on your mood and what you’re serving it with.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to dress up your black rice, try adding some sautéed garlic and scallions. For a more substantial side dish, add in some grilled chicken or shrimp.

Black rice is also a great choice for meal prep. It reheats well and can be stored in the fridge for up to four days.

Mexican Rice

Mexican rice is a delicious and easy side dish that is perfect for busy weeknights. It can be made in under 30 minutes and can be served with almost any protein.

And this is why I love it so much! You can never go wrong with Mexican rice.

My favorite way to eat it is with grilled chicken, but it is also delicious with shrimp, steak, or tofu. If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, try serving it with black beans and avocado.

No matter how you eat it, Mexican rice is sure to please.

Summer Squash Rice

Summer squash is a type of squash that is harvested in the summer months. It has a delicate flavor and can be eaten raw or cooked.

This meal is such a light and refreshing side dish that is perfect for summertime. It can be made in under 20 minutes and is a great way to use up summer squash.

You won’t even miss the pasta with this summer squash rice! It’s a light and healthy side dish that is perfect for hot summer days.

Greek Lemon Rice

Now, let’s go to Greece! This Greek lemon rice is a delicious and easy side dish that is perfect for any night of the week.

It’s made with just a few simple ingredients, but it packs a lot of flavor. I love to serve it with grilled chicken or fish.

If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, try serving it with roasted vegetables.

Curried Rice

Sometimes, I can’t believe how easy it is to make a delicious and healthy meal. This curried rice is one of those meals.

It’s made with just a few simple ingredients, but it has so much flavor.

If there are any leftovers, they make a great lunch the next day. Just add in some grilled chicken or shrimp, and you’re good to go!

Cranberry Rice Pilaf

This cranberry rice pilaf is a festive and easy side dish that is perfect for holiday meals.

And who says you can’t have rice for Thanksgiving?  It’s also a great side dish for Christmas dinner.

This cranberry rice pilaf is made with just a few simple ingredients, but it has so much flavor. I love to serve it with roasted turkey or ham.

The best part about this dish is that it can be made ahead of time. Just make it the night before and reheat it when you’re ready to eat.

It’s the perfect side dish for busy holiday hosting!

Cumin Rice

I know you’re probably thinking that this is just another rice dish. But I promise it’s so much more!

This cumin rice is a delicious and easy side dish that is perfect for any occasion. It can be made in under 30 minutes and can be served with almost any protein.

I love it because it is so flavorful and fragrant. The cumin gives it a warm flavor that is perfect for wintertime.

But don’t let the name fool you; this rice is delicious any time of year!

Rice Pilaf

Rice pilaf is a no-brainer, really. Everybody knows it, everybody loves it.

There’s just something about the combination of rice, spices, and herbs that makes it so irresistible.

I love to make rice pilaf when I’m entertaining because it can be made ahead of time and reheated when you’re ready to eat.

It’s also a great side dish to bring to potlucks and parties. No matter what the occasion, rice pilaf is always a hit!

Garlic Parmesan Rice

Tell me this doesn’t sound delicious.

Seriously, this garlic parmesan rice is one of my all-time favorite side dishes. It’s so simple to make, but it has so much flavor.

I know that many people like to eat this rice with grilled meats, but if you’re a vegetarian, this rice is also delicious with grilled tofu.

Brown Rice Apple Salad

Never have I been so excited about a salad.

This brown rice apple salad is a delicious and healthy side dish that is perfect for any occasion. It can be made in just a short time and can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a crowd. Talk about a stress-free dish!

The best part about this salad is that it can be made ahead of time. Just make it the night before and pop it in the fridge. It will be just as delicious the next day.

I love to bring this salad to potlucks and parties because it is always a hit.

Turmeric Rice

Don’t get it twisted, this is not your average rice dish.

This turmeric rice is a delicious and easy side dish that is perfect for any night of the week. It’s made with just a few simple ingredients, but it has so much flavor.

There are simply no words!

Broccoli and Cheese Rice

There are some side dishes that are just classic comfort food. This broccoli and cheese rice is one of those dishes.

It’s the perfect combination of creamy, cheesy, and crunchy. Plus, it’s packed with vitamins and minerals. What more could you ask for?

This dish is so easy to make and can be on the table in under 30 minutes. I like to make it when I’m short on time but still want to make a delicious and healthy meal.

Mushroom Risotto

If you’re looking for a show-stopping side dish, look no further. This mushroom risotto is sure to impress your guests.

It’s a little bit more effort than some of the other dishes on this list, but it is so worth it. The creamy and flavorful Mushroom Risotto is the perfect accompaniment to any main course.

I like to make this dish when I’m hosting dinner parties because it always gets rave reviews. Trust me, your guests will be begging for the recipe!

Cilantro Lime Rice

Whenever I make this cilantro lime rice, I can’t help but think of warmer days.

It’s the perfect side dish for any summertime meal. It’s light, refreshing, and has a beautiful citrus flavor.

I like to make this dish when I’m grilling out or when I’m in the mood for something a little bit different.

Arancini

I tend to crave comfort food, but sometimes I like to mix things up with something a little bit different. These arancini are the perfect example.

They are crispy, fried balls of rice that are typically filled with cheese or meat. They can be served as an appetizer or a side dish, and they are always a hit.

Southwestern Rice

Look no further if you’re in the mood for a Southwestern-inspired dish. This rice is packed with flavor and has a bit of a kick to it.

I like to make this dish when I’m in the mood for something different. It’s perfect for any night of the week and can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a crowd.

Coconut Rice

I love this dish like no other.

There’s just something about the combination of sweet and savory that I can’t get enough of. This coconut rice is the perfect side dish for any occasion.

It’s so simple to make, but it has such a complex flavor. I could eat this rice every day and never get sick of it!

Broccoli Cheese Wild Rice Casserole

I know what you’re thinking. Another broccoli and cheese dish? But this one is different, I promise.

This casserole is packed with flavor and has a bit of a crunch to it. It’s the perfect side dish for any night of the week or any special occasion.

Salsa Rice

Think of this dish as a party in your mouth. It’s the perfect combination of flavorful and fresh.

This salsa rice is so easy to make and can be on the table in under 30 minutes. I like to make it when I’m short on time but still want to make a delicious and healthy meal.

Cheesy Spinach Rice

Don’t let the name fool you, this dish is so much more than just spinach and cheese.

It’s packed with flavor and has a bit of a crunch to it. It’s the perfect side dish for any night of the week or any special occasion.

You simply cannot go wrong with this dish.

Mushroom Rice

Finally, we have a dish for all the mushroom lovers out there. This dish is so simple but so full of flavor.

This dish is a favorite of mine when I’m in the mood for something new. It’s ideal for any night of the week, and it may easily be multiplied to serve a larger number of people.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I add to rice to make it more interesting?

There are so many things you can add to rice to make it more interesting. You could try adding some spices, herbs, or even fruits and vegetables. If you’re looking for something a little bit more decadent, you could try adding some cheese or cream. The possibilities are endless!

What is the best rice to use for these dishes?

I personally prefer basmati or jasmine rice, but any type of rice will work. Just be sure to follow the package directions for cooking times and measurements.

Can I make these ahead of time?

A: Yes! These dishes are actually better when made ahead of time so that the flavors have a chance to meld together. I would recommend making them at least an hour or two before you plan on serving them.

Conclusion

Rice is amazing. It’s one of those versatile ingredients that can be used in so many different ways.

I hope this post has helped you see that on those busy or lazy days, you don’t have to resort to take-out or delivery.

With a little bit of creativity, you can turn rice into a delicious and healthy meal.

So go ahead and get creative in the kitchen! Try out some of these dishes and let me know how they turn out. I’m sure you’ll love them as much as I do.