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Best Rice Side Dish Recipes

Updated on April 2, 2016
Victoria Lynn profile image

Watching her mom as a kid, Vicki came by cooking easily with old recipes, tweaking and adding in new ideas. Cooking is therapeutic to her.

Baked Mexican Rice
Baked Mexican Rice | Source

Rice Side Dishes Go Well With Main Meals

Rice is a great food to go with many dishes, including beef, chicken, beans, and more. Rice goes great with vegetables, which can be the basis for some great side dishes. And have you ever had sweet rice? This article will give you a couple of rice side dishes, along with a sweet rice version.

When cooking rice, follow the instructions on the package. Generally, rice turns into twice what you put in. One cup turns into two after being cooked. Basically, boil your cup of rice, then turn the heat down to a low simmer. Put the lid on the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes. All water will be soaked up. Now you're ready to move on to use rice in recipes.

As far as using white or brown rice, I prefer brown because of taste and better health benefits. An exception would be in the sweet rice recipe. I've never tried this one with brown rice, but I would think that white would better suit it.

I love to add cilantro whenever I can!
I love to add cilantro whenever I can!
Mexican rice goes well with refried beans and Mexican style corn.
Mexican rice goes well with refried beans and Mexican style corn.

Mexican Rice Casserole

Try this Mexican Rice Casserole, a very tasty way to cook rice.


1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cups chunky salsa

1/8 tsp. pepper

2 cups cooked rice

4 oz shredded Cheddar cheese (roughly one cup)

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a skillet with cooking spray. Sauté chopped onions until tender. Add salsa and pepper. Mix in the cooked rice and 3/4 cup of the cheese. Add in cilantro, as much as you like. As I love the flavor of cilantro, I use closer to a half cup of chopped cilantro. Next, stir until cheese is melted. Pour into 8 x 8 baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 15 minutes. Take out of oven and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

This is a great side dish for any Mexican menu. Serve with main dishes such as burritos, enchiladas, chili, beans, or other dish of your choice.

Use white or brown rice....


Broccoli and Rice Casserole

Broccoli and rice casserole is a great way to make kids eat their vegetables. My mom made this dish often when I was growing up. The broccoli tastes great with rice and cheese. What doesn't go well with cheese, right?


2 cups cooked rice

1 10 oz. (approximately) package broccoli, chopped and thawed

1 can mushroom soup

1/2 cup grated Velveeta or cheddar, plus enough to cover top of casserole

1/2 cup milk

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: Mix cooked rice, broccoli, soup, 1/2 cup grated cheese (I use Velveeta over other cheeses since it melts better), and milk in casserole dish. Add salt and pepper to taste. Slice or grate enough Velveeta to cover top of casserole. Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 30 minutes.

This dish is great as a side dish served with entrée of your choice. You could also turn the dish into a main dish by adding chopped turkey, chicken, or ham to the casserole before cooking.

Sweet Rice

Did you grow up eating sweet rice as I did as a kid? We ate this for breakfast with biscuits or toast, but sweet rice could also be a side dish for any meal.

After cooking your rice, add milk to make rice juicier and creamier. Add butter and sugar (or sweetener to taste). Serve warm as a tantalizing sweet side dish or dessert with any meal. Your family or guests are sure to love this nice surprise.

Experiment with Rice!

Rice is an expensive and versatile food. Try making side dishes by mixing cooked rice with sauteed mushrooms, green onions, and garlic.

Think Italian and mix cooked rice with sauteed bell peppers and tomatoes, along with a bit of Italian dressing. What else do you have on hand? Mix it with rice. Have fun with it!


I've never used a rice cooker, but it might be convenient.


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    • profile image

      Deb bear 

      9 months ago

      The Mexican rice dish sounds delish.

      I’ll be trying soon☺️

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Glimmer Twin Fan--I do love the Mexican casserole. Hope your daughter likes one of these!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      7 years ago

      Always looking for rice dishes for my daughter who is a very picky eater. This Mexican Casserole looks great!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Well, thanks, Eddy. I appreciate that input!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      7 years ago from Wales

      Tank you so much for this one;myself and my partner love rice whether as a side dish or a pudding.

      Take care and enjoy your day.


    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      You're welcome, SmartAndFun. Rice is a popular dish with a lot of people; you're not crazy!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Susan, I still have some leftover Mexican rice casserole in the fridge! Lunch, here I come!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, teaches, for your comments. Nice to meet someone who also grew up on sweet rice! Sounds good! I may have to make some soon, too! I still have some of the Mexican Rice left in my fridge, too! Yummy....

    • SmartAndFun profile image


      7 years ago from Texas

      I am a rice lover! I would rather have rice than bread. My husband and son think I'm crazy. Thanks for some great ideas!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I'm planning making rice tonight and will try your Mexican rice casserole. I prefer the brown for the taste.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      7 years ago

      I too prefer brown rice for the health benefits. Your Mexican Rice recipe looks so yummy. My mom used to make sweet rice for us every Sunday morning and we enjoyed the treat. I just may have to make some rice tomorrow for lunch.

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Those sound like great rice dishes, Cardisa!

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      I have never had any of these. In Jamaica we have rice & beans and what we call a seasoned rice where we use vegetable and salted cod fish cooked with the rice. Pumpkin rice is another Jamaican fave.

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      urmilashukla--My sweet rice may be similar to rice pudding; I'm not sure. Thanks for the read and the vote! :-)

    • urmilashukla23 profile image


      7 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      I love any dish with rice. We make rice pudding as a dessert. Great hub. Voted up!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, Sunshine! What a month it has been!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      7 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Sweet rice sounds like Rice Pudding which is delicious!! WTG with #29!!


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