Savory Mediterranean Rice is an easy side dish that transforms everyday rice into Meditteranean style rice with a few on-hand pantry ingredients.
Mediterranean Rice Recipe
We love fluffy and tender Mediterranean rice.
It’s super easy and quick to make, and if there are any leftovers, I appreciate how easy they are to reheat and enjoy later.
Best part? You can have this savory side dish on the table in 30 minutes or less any night of the week!
Cooked Mediterranean rice is nice to have on hand in the fridge to stir into other dishes to make them go further.
My favorites are scrambled eggs, soups, or just a quick fried rice dish with chopped chicken or pork.
Mediterranean yellow rice ingredients
Jasmine rice: You can substitute basmati rice in this recipe if desired. I find jasmine rice to be just as delicious as basmati but less expensive.
Slivered almonds: You can also substitute sliced almonds in place of slivered almonds, or substitute pine nuts.
Olive oil: Free to use coconut oil or vegetable oil instead.
Yellow onion: Or substitute 1 Tbs. dehydrated onions along with 1/2 tsp. onion powder instead of the fresh onion.
Garlic: Fresh is best but you can substitute jarred garlic – I always add a little more jarred garlic since it’s never as strong as freshly minced garlic cloves.
Seasonings: cilantro, Italian parsley, ground turmeric, ground cumin, ground paprika or smoked paprika, kosher salt.
- Rice dishes are always best when freshly made, but Mediterranean rice does reheat well in the microwave as leftovers. You may need to add a little chicken broth if it seems dry as leftovers.
- Stir in the fresh herbs (cilantro and Italian parsley) right at the end of the recipe, just after the rice has finished cooking so they can retain their bright citrus flavors.
How to make Mediterranean rice
In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the slivered almonds.
Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring often, just until the almonds are fragrant and slightly toasted.
Toasting the slivered almonds will add extra crunch and flavor to this rice dish, just as using fresh garlic with the diced onions does.
This extra step is worth it when it comes to FLAVOR.
Transfer the almonds to a plate and let cool.
In the same pot, still over medium heat, add the olive oil; when the oil is nicely hot, add the onions.
Sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes or until translucent.
Add the garlic, spices, and salt, cooking for 1-2 more minutes.
When you add the spices and garlic to the onions, you will notice how fragrant the spices become within 15-20 seconds or so.
This is called “blooming” and increases the spices’ strength and flavor.
Add the water to the saucepan, deglazing the bottom to release any browned bits that are attached.
Add the rice to the liquid in the pan.
I love how fluffy and soft jasmine rice is and also how easy it is to cook.
Jasmine rice never gets sticky and clumpy like regular long-grain rice when cooked.
Cover the saucepan with a lid and reduce the heat to low.
Simmer the rice for 20 minutes, covered, or until the rice is tender and fluffy.
Remove the saucepan from the heat.
Stir in the cilantro and parsley.
Sprinkle the toasted almonds over the top and serve at once.
What is Mediterranean rice made of?
Most Mediterranean rice dishes begin with the basic staples of olive oil, diced onion and minced garlic.
Once these elements are nicely softened in your saucepan, it’s time to add the spices and rice.
Lastly, add the liquid, allowing it to simmer with the rice until tender and fully absorbed.
This recipe also includes slivered almonds to add some crunch and texture to the rice.
How to make Mediterranean rice in the Instant Pot
Using the sauté setting on the Instant Pot, and the slivered almonds.
Cook for 5-6 minutes or just until fragrant and toasted, stirring often to keep the nuts from burning. Remove the toasted almonds to a plate and reserve.
Still using the sauté setting on the Instant Pot, heat the olive oil.
Add the diced onion and spices, cooking for two minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic, and cook for another 30 seconds.
Then add the water and rice to the ingredients in the Instant Pot.
Cover with the lid, locking it into place and turning the knob to the sealing position.
Set the Instant Pot to manual high pressure for 6 minutes, bringing the Instant Pot to full pressure.
When the timer sounds, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
If any pressure remains at this point, release the remaining pressure.
Carefully remove the Instant Pot lid; give the rice a gentle stir.
Stir in the chopped cilantro and Italian parsley; sprinkle with the reserved slivered almonds and serve at once.
Mediterranean rice storage
To store Mediterranean rice, keep the cooked and cooled rice in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
Mediterranean rice also freezes well if stored in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 3 months.
Just thaw in the fridge, then reheat in the microwave or in a skillet with a bit of broth.
More favorite rice recipes
Simple and delicious, spam eggs and rice is the perfect skillet meal when you need something cheap, fast, and satisfying that everyone in your family will enjoy.
Cubes of Spam cook until golden brown, then simmer in a soy sauce mixture that caramelizes every inch of the canned meat, taking the flavors to a new level.
Dirty rice with sausage makes a fast and easy one pot meal that can be on the table in less than 30 minutes.M
ade with Zatarain’s Dirty Rice, Andouille sausage, chopped veggies, and spices, this Cajun dirty rice dish is loaded with flavor.
You are just 4 steps and mere minutes away from a big delicious pan of chicken taco rice casserole!
Stir the ingredients together, spread in a 9×13 baking dish, bake, and serve – it’s THAT easy.
And if you are looking for fresh and easy, try this Winter Citrus Caprese Salad!
Savory Mediterranean Rice
- ¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted may substitute pine nuts, if desired
- 1-2 Tbs. olive oil
- ½ yellow onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
- ¾ tsp. turmeric
- ¼ tsp. cumin
- ¼ tsp. paprika or smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups jasmine rice, may substitute basmati rice, if desired
- 3 cups water
- 1 Tbs. finely chopped cilantro
- 1 Tbs. finely chopped Italian parsley
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the slivered almonds; cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring often, just until the almonds are fragrant and slightly toasted. Transfer the almonds to a plate and let cool.
- In the same pot, still over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is nicely hot, add the onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until translucent; add the garlic and spices, then cook for 1-2more minutes.
- Add the water to the saucepan, deglazing the bottom to release any browned bits that are attached; stir in the rice, bringing the water to a boil.
- Cover the saucepan with a lid and reduce the heat to low; simmer the rice for 20 minutes, covered, or until the rice is tender and fluffy.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat; stir in the cilantro and parsley. Sprinkle the toasted almonds over the top and serve at once.