Buttery Seasoned Rice – super economical, super tasty!

Rice cooker side dish recipes

Seasoned rice is a homemade version of flavored boxed rice like Rice-A-Roni and Uncle Ben’s! A quick way to add flavor to white rice to make it super tasty, this is a side of rice that’s inexpensive, easy to make, and goes with literally everything.

Make a large batch and refrigerate for 4 days or freeze for 3 months.

Close-up of butter-seasoned rice, ready to be served (boxed rice imitator)

Buttery seasoned

rice I

tell my friends that this is the rice version of potato salad: you make a large batch, put it in the fridge, and take it out night after night to serve it with everything.

Except unlike potato salad, this rice recipe can also be frozen. Take it out of the freezer, put it in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Anyone for a 2-minute instant side, that didn’t come from a box??!!

Buttered rice flavored on a plate, ready to be served

Rice side dishes for everything!

Don’t get me wrong, simple rice has its place in this world. Drizzled with spicy stir-fries, covered in spicy curry. But you need a sauce.

So how to make simple white rice so tasty, you’ll want to eat a worthwhile meal straight from the pot? Cook it with broth powder/broth, some spices and add a good little butter.

Aromas and spices for

seasoned rice

This is what goes in this seasoned rice. You can do this with any white rice other than special rice dishes like risotto, paella, and sushi rice. Also see the recipe notes to learn how to adjust this for brown rice.

Don’t worry if you don’t have all the spices, there are plenty of alternatives! See below the photo for a list.

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Spices for rice to make it taste better

Spice substitution

You can skip one of the spices and it will still taste similar. Or you can substitute it as follows:

Garlic powder –

  • melt 1 tablespoon (15 g) butter and cook 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped until golden, then add rice, water and all other ingredients and cook by recipe

  • ; Onion powder – add

  • an extra 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder instead

  • ;

  • Paprika – just skip it, add a touch of warm earthy flavor and a little color,

  • non-critical;

  • Thyme – non-critical. The best sub is dried oregano, followed by basil. 1/4 teaspoon of powdered sage is SO GOOD too.

  • Parsley – optional, this is more visual, to get the small green spots on the rice. Sub with basil, or stir through 1 cup thinly sliced green onion, or 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley or chives.

How to make rice taste better!

Here’s how to make this flavored rice that comes out wonderfully fluffy, with the added bonus of not burning the pot base too!

How to make rice taste better

  1. Place the rice, water and all seasonings in a large or small saucepan and stir well;

  2. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat until there are bubbles around the edges and the entire surface ripples, and foam a little (you will see in the video);

  3. Place an airtight lid, then lower to medium low or low for strong stoves. You want the water to keep boiling: if the heat is too low, then the rice just stays there in hot water, swelling, rather than being absorbed. Too high, and it will bubble above and on the sides of the pot. DO NOT LOOK – the lid should remain on to trap the steam inside – this will ensure that your rice cooks evenly;

  4. After 13 minutes, remove from the stove and let it sit for 10 minutes: the rice will finish cooking during this time (if you taste the rice as soon as it comes out of the stove, you will find that the surface of the grain is wet and the inside is not yet cooked);

  5. Add butter and fluff the rice with a rubber spatula: The waste heat will melt the butter. I recommend using at least 3 tablespoons (50 g) for a lovely buttery rice, but you can reduce to 2 tablespoons (30 g) if desired. Either sub with extra virgin olive oil, or just omit the butter, it will still be a very tasty rice!

  6. Pile on a serving plate, sprinkle with parsley or something green to present if desired. Dive in!

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Rice seasoned in a saucepan, ready to be served

What to serve with seasoned


This is a rice side dish that will pretty much go with any food other than Asian food and curry (they have enough flavor in them as is!).

It’s tasty enough to eat on its own without sauce, fast enough for weekday meals but so good you’ll also want it at the table of grander matters! Here are some suggestions for the main courses to serve with this


It would also be fantastic to make a meatless meal with things like these:

And put them in BURRITOS! Now


say goodbye to those boxed rices, and make a large batch of this rice and refrigerate for days, or freeze it! – Nagi x

Watch how to do it

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