This buttered rice with garlic is probably the simplest and most delicious way of cooking rice to serve as a side dish: just 5 simple ingredients and about 20 minutes of cooking time.
How to make a plain rice dish taste amazing? Easy answer: butter! Well, you can probably make anything taste amazing by just adding some butter… Add some garlic as well, and you will never want to cook rice any other way: this garlic buttered rice is really the best!
- Taste: Sooo good!!! Buttery rice cooked in chicken stock and flavored with lots of garlic. Simple and effective.
- It goes with anything: From Italian/Mediterranean dishes to Western or Asian food. The perfect side dish for chicken, seafood, meat, vegetables, really, you can serve it with anything you want.
- Versatile: You can add stuff to it to make it a complete meal. You don’t have to, it tastes great just as it is, but you can. Add veggies, tomato paste or sauce, Parmesan cheese, chicken or fish bits, and so on.
- Medium or long-grain white rice. I often make it with Basmati or Jasmine, but just as often with no-name plain rice.
- Brown rice is delicious as well, but it takes longer to cook; adjust the cooking time as instructed on the package, it usually needs about 30 minutes of cooking time, but check.
- You can use either salted or unsalted butter but adjust the salt needed for the butter rice accordingly.
- I prefer to use unsalted.
- Chicken or vegetable stock. Stock cubes are fine as well.
- It’s preferable to use low-sodium stock or broth, or the butter garlic rice might be too salty.
Garlic and herbs
- You will let about 3/4 of the grated garlic get golden at the beginning of the cooking process and add the rest at the end. That extra at the end really brings out the garlic flavor.
- I love the fresh parsley, but if all you have is dried, it’s okay. If using dried herbs, add them to the pot when adding the stock.
- Garlic: Grate the garlic set it aside. Melt ½ of the butter in a medium-sized pot (1). Stir in about ¾ of the garlic for 1 minute; it should just start to get golden. Don’t let it become too dark (2).
- Add uncooked rice and stir well to coat with the garlic butter (3).
- Add chicken broth, stir well, and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. If using dried herbs, add them now (4).
- Simmer: Once it boils, turn the heat down to low, cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and simmer the buttered rice for about 10-15 minutes, about 5 minutes less than required on the package instructions (5).
- Rest: Turn off the heat but let the pot on the burner. Stir in the remaining butter and garlic, cover the pan again and let stand for about 5 minutes until the flavorful rice is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed (6).
- Stir in the fresh parsley and serve immediately.
Expert Tips and FAQ
Make sure to check the instructions on the package of rice regarding cooking time; they might differ from sort to sort and sometimes even from brand to brand. Cook the rice 5 minutes less than instructed on the package, turn off the heat and let it stand on the burner until it’s tender.
Salt: A critical issue in this garlic butter rice recipe. The amount you needs depends on various factors:
- Butter – salted or unsalted; if salted, you will need less salt.
- Stock – low-sodium or standard. If using standard, you will need less salt.
- Salt itself – I always use fine sea salt or Kosher. If using table salt, you will need less.
Yes, I love this dish with brown rice as well. It is heartier, chewier than the white, but delicious. However, it has a longer cooking time; check the package instructions.
Sure, crumble and dissolve them in the water once it starts to boil.
Yes, use good-quality vegetable broth instead of chicken stock.
Refrigerator: in an airtight container for about 3 days.
Freezer: in an airtight container for about 3 months.
If refrigerated leftovers look weird (moldy, smelly, slimy), discard them.
Microwave: Add a small splash of water, break up the lumps, cover. Cook on high until heated through.
Stovetop: Place in a small saucepan, break up the lumps, add a small splash of water, and stir. Cook on low heat, occasionally stirring until heated through. You can add a little bit more butter now.
Fry it: Heat a large pan, add some butter and let it melt. Add rice, break the lumps and fry it on medium heat until heated through and starting to get golden.
As mentioned above, you can serve this side dish with just about any main course you like. Here are some of our favorite dishes that go perfectly with buttered rice:
Simple Buttered Rice with Garlic
- 5 tablespoons butter divided, 75 g/ 2.6 oz (Note 1)
- 4 garlic cloves divided
- 1 ½ cup rice 300 g Notes 2,3
- 2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock, 600 ml (Note 4)
- fine sea salt and ground black pepper Note 5
- 3 sprigs of fresh parsley
- Saute garlic: Melt ½ of the butter in a medium-sized pot. Grate the garlic and add ¾ of it to the pan. Saute until it starts to get golden, about 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Cook rice: Add rice and stir to coat it with the butter. Add stock and mix. Cover, bring to a boil, turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until almost done. It would be best if you aimed to cook the rice 5 minutes less than instructed on the package, so make sure to check the cooking instructions there.
- Finish: Turn the heat off but leave the pan on the burner. Add the remaining butter and grated garlic, a little salt, and pepper. Stir well, put the lid back on and let the rice stand for 5 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
- Serve: Stir in the chopped parsley and adjust the taste with more salt and pepper if necessary. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.
- Salted or unsalted butter but adjust the salt you need accordingly. I always use unsalted.
- I make this dish with Basmati, Jasmine, or plain medium or long-grain white rice. If using brown rice, the cooking time will be longer.
- Check the package instructions to know exactly how long you need to cook the rice; it differs from sort to sort.
- Try to use low-sodium stock and adjust the amount of salt you need accordingly. Stock cubes are fine as well.
- You should add salt to taste; how much you need will depend on the butter you use (salted or unsalted), the stock, and the salt itself.