Enjoy the Mediterranean flavors with this delicious, healthy, and easy-to-make rice dish. Whether you are serving it as a side dish or a main course, this Mediterranean rice is sure to impress your family and friends.
Yellow Mediterranean rice recipe
This Medeterenian-inspired dish is a perfect combination of aromatic basmati rice, herbs, spices, flavorful olive oil, and colorful vegetables.
Which types of rice are common in Mediterranean cuisine
Long-grain rice is the most common type used in Mediterranean recipes. Arborio, short-grain rice is mostly used to make risotto dishes.
There are several types of long-grain rice popular in this cuisine which are easy to find at any grocery store:
Basmati: the most flavorful and aromatic rice. It is probably the most popular type of rice in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines.
Jasmine: with its delicate aroma and fluffy texture, jasmine rice works great for any dish.
White rice: it is one of the most common types of rice in Mediterranean cuisine. Long-grain white rice is used to make pilafs and paellas.
Below is a list of ingredients and substitutions to make this recipe. You can find the ingredients quantities in the recipe card at the end of this post.
Basmati Rice: Although any white long-grain rice works, I prefer basmati for this particular recipe. When cooked, basmati rice holds its shape, absorbs flavors, and has a light texture.
Extra Virgin Olive oil: EVOL is a staple oil in Mediterranean cuisine. It gives a dish a rich, fruity flavor. You can also use avocado oil instead.
Vegetables: I used onions, garlic, carrots, bell pepper, and zucchini. You can use any vegetables you have in your fridge.
Fresh herbs(optional): fresh herbs are optional, but they add exceptional flavors to the dish. Fresh oregano and fresh thyme are the most commonly used herbs in Mediterranean cuisine. You can also use dried herbs instead.
Spices: I used turmeric, coriander, and cumin. Besides flavor, turmeric will also make the rice yellow.
Salt: I do not add much salt to the dish as I like to serve it with crumbled feta cheese. I add a little bit to the rice before cooking and a few pinches to the vegetables to make them more flavorful.
Step 1. Rinse the rice in a cold water couple of times until the water runs clear. If you have time, I recommend soaking the rice in cold water for at least 30 minutes. This will allow the rice to release the starch to make it lighter and fluffier.
Step 2. In a medium pot or saucepan, add rinsed rice, salt, turmeric, cumin, and coriander. Use the ratio of 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water. Bring it to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.
Step 3. While the rice is cooking, prepare the vegetables. Peel carrot, onion, and garlic. Remove the seeds from the bell pepper. Dice the carrot, onion, zucchini, bell pepper, and carrot into cubes. Grate or chop garlic clove finely.
Step 4. Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Add diced vegetables with a pinch of salt, except for garlic. Cook vegetables for about 5-7 minutes over medium heat, stirring them frequently. Now, add chopped garlic, fresh oregano, and thyme (if using). Cook for another 2-3 minutes over medium heat.
Step 5. Once the vegetables are tender, add cooked rice to the frying pan. Mix everything gently with a spatula. Serve and enjoy!
- you can prep the vegetables ahead of time and store them in the fridge.
- soak the rice for at least 30 minutes for a fluffier texture.
- cool down the rice as fast as possible and store it in the fridge.
- you can use different vegetables to make this recipe.
How to store and reheat
Let the rice cool down and store it in the air-tight container for up to 3 days. Reheat it using a microwave or a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil.
You can also freeze cooked rice for up to 3 months.
Food safety tip
If you are using leftover cooked rice to make this dish, make sure to discard any leftovers. It is not safe to reheat the rice twice.
Frequently asked questions
Adding a little bit of Turmeric powder will make the rice yellow when cooked.
Yes, you can use brown rice to make this recipe. Make sure to adjust cooking times, as brown rice takes longer to cook.
It is recommended to soak the rice before cooking for a lighter and fluffier texture.
Other grains you make like
- 1 medium saucepan with a lid
- 1 Frying Pan
- measuring spoons
- 1 cup long grain rice
- 2 cups water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ medium yellow onion
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 small zucchini
- 1 small bell pepper
- 1 garlic clove
- fresh oregano or ½ teaspoon of dried
- fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon of dried
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon coriander
- Rinse the rice under cold water two or three times. You can also soak it for 30 minutes to be fluffier.
- In a medium saucepan, add 1 cup of rinsed rice, 2 cups of water, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon turmeric, ¼ cumin and ¼ coriander. Bring it to boil, cover and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.
- While the rice is cooking, chop the vegetables into small cubes. Grate or dice finely the garlic clove.
- Heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan. Once hot, add chopped onion, carrot, zucchini, bell pepper and a pinch of salt. Saute for about 5-7 minutes over medium heat, stirring often. Once the vegetables are tender, add thyme, oregano and fresh garlic. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add cooked rice to the pan and stir gently to combine. Serve and enjoy!
- rinse the rice until the water runs clear.
- you can use whatever vegetables you have in the fridge.
- serve it as a main dish or a side dish.
- it reheats better in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil.