Fluffy Yellow Rice Recipe (Arroz Amarillo)
Yellow Rice (Arroz Amarillo) is a popular side dish served in countries all over the world. It’s enjoyed throughout Spain, Central and South America, the Caribbean, India, Africa, and Southwest Asia… In fact, you’ll find a signature version of yellow rice on nearly every continent!
While there are subtle differences in recipes from various regions, the concept is similar and pretty simple: Long-grain rice is steamed with vibrant aromatics, including onion and either turmeric, annatto, or saffron for that signature yellow color.
Easy Yellow Rice Recipe
This is our simple Latin-inspired Arroz Amarillo recipe that makes the most flavorful and fluffy yellow rice every time. It’s perfect to serve with your favorite Mexican, South American, and Caribbean dishes – or simply eat by the bowlful on its own. It’s just that satisfying!
Mexican yellow rice is made in just 4 basic steps, and is ready to enjoy in 30 minutes.
It’s quick and easy to prepare as a nearly effortless side, and can even be made ahead to include as part of your weekly meal prep!
Ingredients You Need
As mentioned above, there are a few different ways you can add the amarillo to the arroz. We use turmeric for a lovely hue and subtle earthy flavor. However, feel free to use a pinch of annatto or saffron to create your version of yellow rice!
For this Mexican yellow rice recipe you need:
- Dried long-grain rice – white rice is classic but you can use brown
- Butter – or oil
- Onion – diced
- Garlic – minced
- Chicken base – or chicken bouillon (If you use chicken broth, do not add the water).
- Turmeric – for that perfect yellow color
- Adobo seasoning – store-bought or homemade for a rich, smoky flavor
- Cilantro – garnish chopped and sprinkled to taste
How to Make Yellow Rice (Spanish Arroz Amarillo)
First, set a 4-quart sauce pot over medium heat on the stove. Add the butter, onions, and garlic, and sauté for 3-5 minutes to soften.
Then stir in the dry rice.
Note: Make sure the grains of rice are well coated in butter.
Add the chicken base, spices, and water. Stir well.
Cover the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Once boiling, lower the heat a little and stir. Cover the pot again and cook/simmer for 15-18 minutes.
You’ll know that it is done when the rice looks fluffy on top and there are vent holes in the top of the rice.
Remove from heat and toss the rice (or fluff with a fork). Then cover one more time and let the rice steam for another 5 minutes.
Lastly, stir in the fresh chopped cilantro.
Get the Complete (Printable) Spanish Yellow Rice Recipe Below. Enjoy!
Serve Mexican yellow rice warm with your favorite main dishes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What other ingredients can I include in this yellow rice recipe?
Try making your arroz amarillo with steamed sweet peas, shredded coconut, saffron, or golden raisins. Stir in the add-ins along with the chopped cilantro (if using) after the rice has cooked and before the final 5-minute steam.
How do I make vegetarian and vegan Arroz Amarillo?
Instead of butter, use your favorite high-heat neutral-tasting oil. Then swap the chicken base with vegetable bouillon.
What main dishes go well with Latin-inspired yellow rice?
Mexican, South American, and Caribbean dishes pair perfectly with this recipe. Serve as a side with classic Tacos Al Pastor, Black Bean Sweet Potato Skillet Enchiladas, and Carne Guisada. It’s great to enjoy with Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken and Grilled Lamb Chops. Or simply serve in a bowl and dig in!
How long does homemade rice keep?
This is an excellent recipe to make ahead. Store cooled leftovers in a sealed airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Reheat in the microwave or stovetop; you might want to add a splash of water if the rice seems a bit dry. You can also store it in the freezer.
Looking for More Delicious Side Dishes?
- Easy Spanish Rice Recipe
- Sauteed Yellow Squash with Blistered Tomatoes
- The Best Refried Beans Recipe
- Aromatic Indian Rice Recipe
- Caribbean Confetti Rice
- Chicken Congee with Jasmine Rice
- How to Cook Basmati Rice
Fluffy Yellow Rice Recipe (Arroz Amarillo)
- Set a 4-quart saucepot over medium heat. Add the butter, onions, and garlic. Sauté for 3-5 minutes to soften. Then stir in the rice. Make sure the rice is well coated in butter.
- Add the chicken base, turmeric, adobo seasoning, and water. Stir well.
- Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat a little and stir. Then cover and cook for 15-18 minutes, until the rice looks fluffy and there are vent holes in the top of the rice.
- Remove from heat and toss the rice. Then cover and let the rice steam another 5 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and serve warm.
Making this recipe? Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!