When making meals you want to always make sure that the food you are making is good and nutritional so the people you are feeding are getting a good healthy diet.
This means not just focusing on the main part of the meal, but also having a good amount of sides which balance out the nutritional value of the meal.
Knowing a good variety of side dish recipes means that you will be eating a good variety of food, and you are showing off the diversity of recipes which you can pull off.
A lot of side dishes for meals made all around the world are based on carbohydrates, compared to the main which is usually based on protein.
One of the most commonly accessible ingredients to base the side dishes off of is rice.
Rice is available widely in many different countries and because of this there are many different ways of cooking and preparing it.
Many people just know the simple way of boiling white rice in water until it is ready to eat, however this is only one way of preparing rice.
The more ways you know to prepare rice, the more you will discover how versatile this grain based food is.
If you know someone who claims they do not like rice, or are raising picky eaters who have tried rice prepared in one way and do not like it, you can prove these people wrong with the sheer variety of different ways rice can be prepared.
There are so many different ways of preparing rice that it is likely that you do not even know all of them.
Because of this we have collected 23 different ways to prepare rice as side dishes, this is to make it, so you can spice up your meals with different ways of serving rice to keep you interested in what you are eating!
If you love eating rice with your meals, but you are unsure how to keep it interesting and want to try something new or different, this is the perfect list for you!
This rice used to only be available to the upper class in the parts of Asia where it was grown, but it has now become more readily available and is a super nutritious way to eat rice served in a simple dressing of onion, butter, and almonds.
This Greek inspired rice is lovely and fresh and with its simple flavor combos it goes well with any kind of meal.
It is primarily flavored with some fresh herbs and garlic, lemon, and onions.
This Spanish inspired rice recipe is absolutely full of flavor and goes well with anything!
The combination of tomato and garlic is a classic for a reason and is easy to make with ingredients you already probably have in.
This combination of garlic and parmesan is delicious in this side dish, and it is super easy to make as well.
This flavor combo is popular for a reason and this side dish will fit any meal you make perfectly.
If you are making a Mexican meal (see also our favorite Mexican side dishes), and you do not know what to serve with it, this Mexican rice is the perfect side.
It includes a wide variety of classic Mexican flavors and is sure to be a crowd pleaser!
The name might surprise you, but this hot dog fried rice is actually delicious, and it is a great way to include more protein content in your rice dishes!
This dish also has plenty of veggies, so it is a great meal in itself if you can bulk it up enough.
If you have never had a sweet rice salad, you are missing out. This recipe uses brown rice for extra nutritional value.
The sweet and savory flavors in this dish make it perfect for summer events!
These arancini are a type of Italian rice ball which are then filled with different fillings and will then be fried off until they are crispy.
The first few times making these will take a little effort, but they are worth the effort!
If you have never made risotto yourself but want to try making this decadent creamy dish yourself, this recipe will make the process simple, and it is super easy to add any toppings you want to give it even more flavor!
This is one of the easiest aromatic rice recipes to make yourself and has a distinct subtle flavor from the garlic and onion it is cooked in.
This rice perfectly captures the distinct flavors of salsa and because of this it goes great with meals that have a similar flavor profile to this.
If you love salsa but want this flavor to be more filling, this is the way to pull this off.
This is a super filling cheesy side dish which is made with cauliflower rice making it great for those doing a keto diet (see also ‘33 Of The Most Delicious Keto Side Dishes To Enjoy Today‘).
The strong tex mex and keto flavors make this dish delicious and will soon be a favorite for you and your family.
This is one of the most popular flavors of risotto for a reason and if you love mushroom you have to try this flavor yourself.
Cumin is a super versatile spice and this rice captures its flavor perfectly making a great side dish.
This fried rice is great for those who love incorporating veggies into every meal!
This rice side dish is perfect for summer events and if you have never combined squash and rice this is the best way to do so!
This coconut rice matches loads of meals and is easy to make!
If you have never had rice for breakfast this is the place to start.
Broccoli and cheese go together great, and this recipe is the best way to do so.
Cilantro and lime is a perfect flavor combo and this rice dish proves so!
This rice captures the flavors of Hawaii and is super easy to make as well.
This rice dish can be made in one pot and is super simple because of this!
This is a sweeter pilaf rice and is great to make if you want to try something new!
Hopefully this list has proven to you all the different ways you can prepare rice as a side dish.
Some of these recipes may require you buy extra ingredients, but a lot of them will work with very little extra, or maybe just using things you already have in.
By just adding a few of these unique recipes to your repertoire you will immensely improve the variety of meal combinations you can prepare as well as flavor combinations which are at your disposal.
Rice is one of the most versatile sides for a reason, so make sure the dishes you can prepare reflect this!
Frequently Asked Questions
Nutritional Facts About Rice?
Rice has been grown and eaten for at least 1000 years and a big part of this is how nutritional it is.
Rice is mostly known for its role as a carbohydrate, and many cultures rely on rice solely to fill up this role in their diet.
Rice also sometimes has a little protein content, but it has no fat content and no sugar unless this has been added to it.
To get into the specifics of rices more particular nutritional values, we will need to look at what differentiates white rice from brown rice as well as any other types of rice.
Best Type Of Rice?
When cooking rice, many recipes will ask for a specific type of rice, and people often have a preference on what type of rice they prefer eating, while we could get into the specific differences between every single type of rice, when it comes to nutritional and practical value, the most worthwhile comparison to make is between white rice and brown rice.
White rice is rice which has been polished and refined to strip it of its germ and bran.
This means it is easier and better to cook with as well as having an improved shelf life and many people also prefer its taste because of this as well, however, this comes at the cost of most of its nutritional value, to counter this some manufacturers may enrich their white rice by adding vitamins once it has been processed.
Brown rice on the other hand can be classified as a whole grain, and it contains the germ and the bran and these are the most nutritious elements of the grain.
This is because they contain vitamins, fiber, minerals as well as antioxidants.
This also means that brown rice is a significantly better choice for those living with diabetes since white rice has a higher likelihood of raising blood sugar while on the other hand brown rice tends to have a significantly lower glycemic index which means it will be better for blood sugar control.
So while white rice is easier to cook with and serves its function as a carbohydrate, it is nowhere near as nutritious as brown rice since it does not have any of its health benefits, however, this is at the cost of being significantly more difficult to cook with.
Benefits Of Eating Rice?
Rice has been cooked with for so many years for a reason, and a big part of this is all the benefits that come with eating rice regularly.
A big part of this is most rice being gluten-free as well as having strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Rice is a great source of energy and will give you a gradual release of energy for you to be able to work off of throughout the day.
There are also studies which show that rice can also help your nervous system because of its vitamin content.
Rice is also very easy on the digestive system, so if you have issues with this, rice will usually be a great remedy.
There are many benefits to eating rice, so do not let any diet industries try and convince you it is not as good for you as it is!
Is Rice Better Than Pasta?
The best way to tell which is better between rice and pasta depends on personal taste since they are both incredibly versatile carbohydrates which can go with a variety of different meals.
However, if you are looking to see the nutritional value of each of the carbohydrates, you can find a more objective answer.
You can make both of these foods work with any diet or lifestyle so neither of them are bad.
If you want something with a lower calorie content and carbohydrate content, rice is better, however if you want more protein or fiber you should go for pasta.
These differences are quite minor and which you should choose should depend on personal taste as well as what you can fit more into meals which you prefer preparing.
What Goes Well With Rice?
If you love rice, or these rice side dishes we have shown in this list, and now want to know what you can eat it with, let’s see what can be eaten with rice.
Some of the most common meals which are served with rice are; burritos, lettuce wraps, salad, soup, and meat dishes are great with rice.
How To Make White Rice More Interesting?
One of the best ways to make white rice more interesting is to add seasoning or sauces to give it more flavor.
This is quite a low effort way to do so. Another way to simply make white rice more interesting is to mix in other ingredients to put their flavor into the rice.
Best Toppings For Rice?
If you just want a simple way to add something to your rice to make it more interesting there are some toppings you can add.
If you want something quick and easy you can add some kimchi and soy sauce. Or for something more filling you could add lentils and yogurt.
Beans, salsa and avocado make a great Mexican inspired rice topping. Eggs also go great with rice and some vegetables.