Fluffy Yellow Rice Recipe (Arroz Amarillo)
How to Make Yellow Rice – A classic Arroz Amarillo recipe for fluffy and flavorful Spanish rice every time. Pair this vibrant side with your favorite Mexican, South American, and Caribbean dishes!
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 is classic but you can use brown
- Butter – or oil
- Onion – diced
- Garlic – minced
- Chicken base – or bouillon
- Turmeric – for that perfect yellow color
- Adobo seasoning – store bought or homemade for a rich, smoky flavor
- Cilantro – chopped
How to Make Arroz Amarillo (Spanish Yellow Rice)
First, set a 4-quart saucepot over medium heat. 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, turmeric, adobo seasoning, 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 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. 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
Try making your yellow rice 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.
Instead of butter use your favorite high-heat neutral-tasting oil. Then swap the chicken base with veggie bouillon.
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!
This is an excellent recipe to make ahead. Store cooled leftovers in a sealed container and keep them in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or stovetop; you might want to add a splash of water if the rice seems a bit dry.
Looking for More Delicious Side Dishes?
Fluffy Yellow Rice Recipe (Arroz Amarillo)
- 2 cups dried long grain rice
- 2 tablespoons butter or oil
- ½ cup finely diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons chicken base or bouillon or vegetable base
- 2 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons adobo seasoning
- 4 cups water
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 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!
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This is the absolute best recipe for yellow rice! I had all the ingredients on hand, it was flavorful, fluffy, and the recipe was easy to follow. I am so grateful I’ll never have to buy packaged yellow rice again. Thank you!
Made this at least 12 times, the most delicious and easy yellow rice have ever made
I have never made yellow rice before, love it but never tried to make it myself. This recipe was super easy and the rice turned out perfect and totally yummy! I will definitely be keeping this one in the “recipe box” for future use! Thanks for sharing!!!
Followed this recipe and it turned out awesome! Paired it with Grilled Lamb Chops and our dinner turned out to be really amazing. We enjoyed this recipe for sure.
I love a good yellow rice recipe and this hits the spot. It is indeed fluffy and super flavorful. It goes so well with black beans and grilled chicken. Yum!
This is perfect to go with our enchiladas tonight and I just know our family will love this! So excited to give this a try. Easy and delicious rice!
I love a good arroz Amarillo! This is perfect for most dinners in my household! So great!