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BBQ Rice (Spicy Rice)

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Spicy BBQ rice with vegetables, a healthy rice side dish for your next barbecue or a BBQ flavored rice main meal.


spicy bbq rice ready to be served

Barbecue flavors in a simple rice dish. If you like rice and if you are looking for a simple, budget rice recipe, quickly made and sure to please everyone, you found the right one.

A rice dish is always a good idea when you don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. Rice dishes are mostly healthy, almost always cheap and everybody seems to love rice. Especially, when it is mixed with other nice ingredients like colorful vegetables and a spicy sauce.

Try some Nigerian Jollof rice, for instance, hot and delicious or some not that spicy but equally delicious Costa Rican gallo pinto or Romanian chicken pilaf.

And rice is the kind of dish you can serve your children and be happy about the fact that they are eating lots of veggies without complaining. You might need to adjust the level of heat when serving this barbecue rice to kids, but leave it a little spicy still, my children love that!

plate with barbecue rice


The ingredient list is super simple and super cheap. You will need:

Long grain rice:

  • Regular white rice, you will not need basmati or anything more expensive to make this rice dish.
  • Brown rice would be fine as well, a nuttier, heartier version of the BBQ rice.


  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • A piece of leek or 2-3 green onions, depending on size
  • 1 whole bell pepper (or half and half different colors)
  • Tomatoes

Barbecue sauce:

  • Tomato paste
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Worcestershire sauce – use the vegan version, if desired
  • Honey
  • Mustard
  • Turmeric
  • Hot smoked paprika
  • Ground coriander
  • Ground cumin
  • 1 dash liquid smoke flavoring, optional. For a more intense BBQ flavor. Use it if you happen to have it (and like it).


If you want to make the barbecue rice the main meal, you can any of the following ingredients (protein) to make it more filling:

  • 250 g/ 8.8 oz mushrooms (white, brown, Portobello), sliced. Add them to the pan together with the leeks. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, add the sauce and continue with the recipe.
  • 250 g/ 8.8 oz chicken breast, cut into small pieces. Add together with the sauce, and continue with the recipe.
  • 1 drained can of black beans or kidney beans or ½ can drained corn. Add to the dish together with the BBQ sauce.
ingredients for bbq rice


  • Cook the rice separately according to the packet’s instructions.
  • I’ve made this BBQ rice recipe in one-pot as well, however, I find this version (where you cook the rice separately) to be much better.
  • In the meantime, prepare the vegetables and barbecue sauce.
  • Cook the finely chopped onion until translucent, about 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the finely chopped garlic and leek/ green onions. Stir for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the chopped bell pepper and the tomatoes and stir for another 2 minutes.
  • In the meantime, mix together the ingredients for the barbecue sauce.
  • Add the sauce to the pan, add about ¼ cup water, stir well, cover the pot and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Check after about 5 minutes and add another ¼ cup of water if the sauce seems to dry.
  • Add the drained cooked rice, stir well.
  • Adjust the taste with salt and pepper. You may add a pinch of sugar and some vinegar as well to give it a more intense flavor.
how to make bbq rice


It is the great side dish to serve at barbecues as it goes well with any kind of meat, with sausages, with grilled cheese or grilled vegetables.

If you are not barbecuing, you can serve the barbecue rice as a side dish for any kind of meat or sausages cooked on the stovetop or oven as well.

I love it with oven-baked chicken quarters or chicken thighs, with cast iron chicken breast or with pork chops.

You can keep the BBQ rice recipe vegetarian by replacing the Worcestershire sauce with its vegan version and by serving the rice with oven-baked vegetables or a green salad.

spicy bbq rice ready to be served


BBQ rice with vegetables
spicy barbecue rice with tomatoes

BBQ Rice Recipe (Spicy Rice)

Spicy BBQ rice with vegetables, a healthy rice side dish for your next barbecue or a BBQ flavored rice main meal.
4.50 from 20 votes
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Course: Pasta and Rice
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 187kcal
Author: Adina


  • Rice and vegetables:
  • 250 g regular long-grain white rice brown rice is fine as well
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bell pepper or half and half different colors
  • 1 piece of leek See note
  • 2-3 to matoes about 250 g/ 8.8 oz
  • fine sea salt and black pepper
  • BBQ sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste not tomato puree or sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce or vegan alternative
  • 2 tablespoons runny honey
  • 1 teaspoon medium mustard
  • ½ teaspoon hot smoked paprika more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon red chili flakes more or less to taste
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • fine sea salt and black pepper
  • ¼ – ½ cup water as needed
  • Garnish all optional:
  • 1 small chopped tomato
  • 2 teaspoons greens from the leek or green onion
  • chives or parsley


  • Cook the rice according to the packet’s instructions. Drain well.
  • In the meantime, prepare the rest of the dish. Chop the onions. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Cook the onion until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Finely chop the garlic and the leeks, add to the pot and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
  • Chop the peppers and the tomatoes. Add them to the pan and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • In a small bowl mix together all the ingredients for the BBQ sauce except the water. Add to the pan, stir in ¼ cup water, cover the pan and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring a few times in between.
  • Check the pan. If the sauce seems dry, add the remaining ¼ cup water and stir well. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the sauce has thickened nicely without becoming dry.
  • Add the drained rice, stir well. Adjust the taste with salt, pepper, and, if necessary, with a pinch of sugar and/or more vinegar.
  • Garnish with chopped tomatoes, green onions, parsley, or chives, if desired.


The piece of leek should be rather thick and about as long as your palm. You can use 2-3 green onions, depending on size, instead.
Keep about 2 teaspoons of the finely chopped greens for the garnish, if desired.


Serving: 1/4 of the dish | Calories: 187kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 642mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 16g
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @adinabeck or tag #WhereIsMySpoon!

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Recipe Rating


Wednesday 15th of September 2021

Made this for tea this evening...delicious and my kids loved it too!


Thursday 16th of September 2021

So happy to hear it, Ann-Marie. Thank you for the feedback.


Sunday 23rd of February 2020

I've been craving a rice dish recently and this one is right up my alley. I just happen to have some homemade BBQ sauce in the fridge, so throwing this dish together will be quite easy. Glad you mentioned that brown rice would work as that is the rice I prefer. A delicious looking dish and will try soon. Thanks!


Tuesday 18th of February 2020

That looks good. Love the natural yellow colour from my favourite spice turmeric.