Yellow Rice Bowls Recipe


Yellow Rice Bowl is a delicious, beloved dish in many cultures. It is filling and flavorful and can be made with a variety of ingredients, allowing you to get creative with it as you wish. If you’re tired of having ramen noodles for a meal and want something that’s more nutritious, here’s a recipe for you!

What Is the Golden Rice Bowl?

A golden rice bowl or a yellow rice bowl is a dish that uses yellow rice as its star component. Saffron or turmeric are mixed with the rice grains, giving them a golden hue. This dish is a staple in many cultures, most notably in Latin America, Central and South Asia, as well as South Africa.

The yellow rice grains serve as a canvas to incorporate other ingredients and spices, resulting in a myriad of recipes that can cater to everyone’s preferences. Some of the most popular ingredient choices to add over yellow rice are chicken and beans. There are those who prefer beef, pork, avocado, plantains, peas, carrots, and so much more.

Why Is Yellow Rice So Good?

The delicious taste of yellow rice is due to the spices mixed in it. The main taste can vary depending on whether one uses saffron or turmeric in the recipe but both are highly flavorful and pair well with many ingredients. If the rice bowl you’re eating has a sweet and flowery taste, then the grains are mixed with saffron. On the other hand, if you’re getting an earthy, nutty taste along with a fragrant aroma, this means that turmeric was used in the recipe.

What Is Another Name for Yellow Rice?

Yellow rice is also referred to as golden rice, saffron rice, or turmeric rice. 

What Goes Well With Yellow Rice?

Yellow rice can be served with many other recipes! You can pair it with a grilled chicken salad, serve it with Greek yogurt chicken, or have it on the side with some chicken kebabs and chicken enchiladas.

Yellow Rice Bowl Ingredients

Yellow rice bowls can be made with a variety of ingredients with the most common ones being chicken and vegetables. You can even mix and match them to your liking. Listed below are the ingredients you’ll need for Chicken and Yellow Rice. If you decide that you prefer to go the healthier route and make it vegan with beans and other vegetables, we listed those too.

Chicken and Golden Rice Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 cups long-grain white rice (basmati rice or jasmine rice)
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Sour cream

Healthy Yellow Rice Bowls Ingredients

Do you prefer your rice bowls to have components such as plantains, spinach, beans, or broccoli? We’ve got you covered! Here are the things you’ll need to make this recipe:

  • 1 to 2 cups long-grain white rice (uncooked)
  • 16 oz fresh spinach
  • 2 cans seasoned black beans
  • 2 ripe plantains, peeled and diagonally sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (or saffron)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped red onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Water

Yellow Rice Bowls Recipe Directions

How to Make Chicken and Golden Rice Bowl

  1. Start with your grains. Rinse rice under cold water using a fine mesh sieve. Do this until the water runs clear. Tap the sieve a few times to get rid of the excess water.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant or for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the rice, chicken broth, turmeric, a cup of water, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce to a low simmer. Set aside once it’s finished cooking.
  4. Slice the chicken breasts in half, horizontally. Then, pat the chicken dry with paper towels and put them in a large bowl.
  5. In a small bowl, put 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 clove of garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Whisk them to combine.
  6. Add the seasoning mix to the chicken and toss to evenly coat the pieces. Set this aside for 20 to 60 minutes to marinate. 
  7. Make the sauce in a separate small bowl. Add sour cream, salt, black pepper, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and chopped parsley. Mix together and set aside.
  8. Next, place a large pan over medium heat. Add chicken in a single layer and cook for 6 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  9. Stir in 2 tablespoons of water and garlic. Simmer for 1 to minutes, then reduce heat.
  10. Fluff the cooked rice with a fork.
  11. To serve, add a cup of rice to one bowl and top with chicken pieces. Pour a large drizzle of the sauce on top and sprinkle with chopped cilantro as garnish.
  12. Enjoy!

How to Make Healthy Yellow Rice Bowl

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place plantain slices in a single layer on the parchment and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive and salt. 
  3. Roast the plantain slices in the oven until lightly browned and tender or for 16 to 18 minutes. Set aside once cooked.
  4. Prepare the rice by heating olive oil in a pan with a lid. Add the rice, salt, pepper, turmeric, and cumin, and saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Add 2 cups broth or water and bring to a boil. 
  6. Reduce to low heat, cover, and let it simmer for 45 minutes.
  7. In a frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. 
  8. Add garlic and onion. Cook and stir often until tender. 
  9. Add the spinach and cook for 3 minutes until it’s wilted. Season the spinach with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. In a separate pan, stir in black beans, water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook until the liquid is slightly reduced.
  11. Divide the cooked rice evenly into bowls. 
  12. Top each bowl with beans, plantains, and spinach. Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top.
  13. Serve.

Yellow Rice Recipe Tips

  • This recipe is gluten-free.
  • This yellow rice recipe uses dry rice however, you can also use pre-packaged golden rice. You can cook it in a rice cooker or over the stove.
  • While we used turmeric in this article, you are free to use saffron as well. 
  • You can turn this recipe into a Chimi Chicken Bowl. Simply spoon some chimichurri over the chicken before serving.
  • Want to add a dash of spice to the flavor of this dish? Simply stir in some hot sauce into the sour cream sauce and drizzle it over your delicious bowls.
  • You can use a food processor to blend the sauce smoothly.
  • The golden rice may leave residue in your pan and bowls. To remove, wash your bowls and pan in hot water and rub them with a rag.
  • For more flavor, you can add a tomatillo salsa to the dish. Get chopped tomatoes, garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir them together and transfer them to a lined baking sheet. Place in an oven for 25 minutes at 375 F degrees. Cool slightly, then place in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Serve.
  • You can use this recipe as a base for similar recipes and add your favorite toppings instead.
  • Add more flavor and color to the dish by incorporating minced green bell pepper or minced jalapeno. 

Final Note

Yellow rice bowls can be your new family favorite for dinner or lunch! These bowls are highly flavorful and the addition of turmeric in the rice grains makes them nutritious. If you’re used to getting these bowls as takeout from restaurants or street carts, try making it for yourself and you’ll see a big difference. 

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