Enjoy this delicious and easy-to-make Mediterranean Yellow Rice recipe. Using simple pantry staples and natural coloring agents, this flavorful side dish is the perfect accompaniment to falafel gyros and homemade hummus.
Yellow rice is a traditional Mediterranean dish known for its bright golden hue. Made with white rice and natural coloring agents, this flavorful side dish will bring a burst of color to your meal.
I love yellow rice because I can add so much flavor to my rice dish without much extra prep work.
Yellow rice is actually pretty tasty. It has a mild spice to it and a bit of an earthy flavor thanks to the turmeric. The spice mix used can vary depending on where you're eating it, but it usually includes cumin, coriander, and other yummy spices. All of this combines to give the rice a delicious and comforting taste that goes great with all sorts of different dishes.
When I am craving a flavor-packed proper meal on busy weeknights, this is a recipe I often turn to. This is so easy and quick to prepare and cook. I’ve used only simple pantry staples. Preparation takes just a few minutes and during the cooking time, I’m free to do something else, like make my Creamy Chickpea And Lentil Curry Recipe or Middle East Falafels to go with the rice.
The rice itself only contains 124 calories per serving and 2.6g of protein.
If I’m in the mood for a feast, I prepare a range of my favorite falafel recipes to compliment this rice, such as my Falafel over Rice recipe. Placing the falafel over the rice adds additional layers of flavor to both elements. You can find my falafel recipes in my BEST Falafel Side Dishes post.
- Video Demonstration
- Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Ingredient Substitutions
- The Structure Of A Plant Based Plate
- Recommended Equipment
- How To Make This Recipe
- How To Serve
- Serving Sizes
- How To Reduce The Calories
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How To Store Leftovers
- Ways To Use This Recipe
- Vegan Vegetable Side Dishes
- Plant-Based Protein Side Dishes
- Vegan Meat Side Dishes
- Vegan Dips
- More Tasty Vegan Carbohydrate Side Dishes
- 🥬️🥭️ 7 Day Meal Plan
- FREE Gifts
- Easy Mediterranean Yellow Rice
If you’d like to see how easy it is to throw all this together, check out my video where I walk you through the recipe step by step. Click here to subscribe to my Youtube channel.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- This recipe contains 123.9 calories per serving
- This recipe contains 2.6g protein per serving
- One serving of this recipe contains 13% of your recommended daily intake of iron
- This easy recipe takes 5 minutes of active preparation time and 15 minutes of cooking time. You can use the cooking time to get on with other things.
- This recipe is made extra tasty by the addition of cumin and turmeric.
- I have simplified this recipe by limiting the number of ingredients and using everyday, simple ingredients such as garlic and paprika.
- This recipe and all recipes on my website are vegan, plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, lactose-free, free from refined sugar, vegetarian, and are based on whole foods.
- All of my recipes follow my own diet plan called the Plant Plate 400. In addition, my recipes also adhere to the following diets, the Mediterranean diet, the 1200 Calories a Day diet, Clean eating, the Macrobiotic diet, the Alkaline diet, the Ornish diet, the Daniel Fast, and the Starch Solution diet.
- Rice: Rice is essential but it can be substituted with brown rice, not short-grain rice. Also, cauliflower rice can be used for a lower-calorie and higher-nutrient dish.
- Garlic: You can omit the garlic or replace it with 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Sea salt: You can replace it with any salt of your choice or 1 tablespoon of tamari.
- Turmeric: Use mustard powder or saffron.
- Paprika: Use chili powder or omit it.
- Ground cumin: Substitute with ground coriander, caraway seeds, paprika or chili powder.
- Cilantro: Use chopped parsley, dill or omit it.
- Pine nuts: Replace with any nuts of your choice or omit it.
The Structure Of A Plant Based Plate
Each of the recipes I create fits into my Plant Plate System. This system incorporates 5 food groups into every meal.
The 5 food groups are 1) Plant Protein, 2), Leaves, Fruit, And Veg, 3) Aesthetic Additions, 4) Nutrient Packed Carbohydrates, and 5) Taste
This recipe is a nutrient-packed carb side dish, and is not a complete meal.
The diagram below helps you see the 5 different components of a Plant-Based Plate.
Here’s how this recipe is structured according to the Plant Plate System.
Adding each ingredient to the following categories helps you to easily see how to make substitutions. It also lets you know the exact reason why the ingredient is in the recipe.
Leaves, Fruit & Veg
- Pine nuts
Nutrient Packed Carbohydrates
- Sea salt
Here are the main kitchen equipment tools I have used to create this recipe.
I highly suggest you use a non-stick pan for the vegetable and sauce part of this recipe. In a non-stick pan, this recipe cooks like a dream, with minimal stirring needed.
You can get the large pan that I use by clicking here. Please note, I bought the largest size.
You can get the 10-piece cookware set that I have by clicking here. Please note, this set contains a smaller version of the large deep pan that I bought separately.
How To Make This Recipe
Here is a brief summary of the steps needed to make the recipe. See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full detailed instructions.
- Mix all the ingredients together and cook in the stove, rice cooker, oven, instant pot, or microwave.
How To Serve
Serve it on a platter garnished with nuts and herbs.
If you’re on a low-calorie diet, add ½ cup of cooked rice to your meal to serve one person. This recipe serves 4 people, you can easily double or triple the quantities to make a larger batch for more people or to store in the fridge for later.
How To Reduce The Calories
If you’d like to reduce the calories of this recipe even further, I suggest replacing the rice with cauliflower rice. You won’t need to cook cauliflower as long as rice. You can just warm it up in a pan for 3-5 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Traditionally Mediterranean rice is made with brown rice, vegetable broth, spices, garlic, onion & toasted pine nuts.
The best kind of rice for Mediterranean food is basmati rice or long grain rice.
Yellow rice can be made with either saffron or turmeric to give it the golden hue. So saffron rice is a variant of yellow rice
How To Store Leftovers
This recipe keeps for up to 4 days in the fridge in an airtight container. It also freezes well for up to 3 months. Defrost it before using it. Reheat it by warming it up gently in a pan.
Ways To Use This Recipe
Here are some of my favorite ways to use this recipe:
- 2 Minute Falafel Hot Sauce Recipe
- Creamy Vegan Italian Dressing Recipe (Oil Free)
- Russian Pickled Tomatoes Recipe (EASY)
- No Oil No Tahini Hummus Recipe (48 Calories Per Serving)
- Middle East Falafel Recipe (Vegan, Gluten Free)
- Falafel Gyro Recipe (Vegan, Gluten Free)
- Creamy Chickpea And Lentil Curry Recipe
- Falafel Over Rice Recipe (Vegan Buddha Bowl)
- Falafel Platter Recipe (Vegan Mezze Plate)
- The BEST Falafel Side Dishes
Vegan Vegetable Side Dishes
Here are some vegetable side dishes that go very nicely with this recipe which are all under 100 calories per serving.
- Easy Vegan Cheesy Broccoli
- Vegan Zucchini Fritters
- Easy Baked Mushroom Bacon
- Russian Pickled Tomatoes
For more options, see all of my best gluten-free vegan vegetable side dishes.
Plant-Based Protein Side Dishes
- Smoky Tempeh Bacon
- Spicy Vegan Cauliflower Buffalo Wings
- Easy Baked Mushroom Bacon
- Middle East Falafel
For more options, see all of my best gluten-free vegan protein recipes.
Vegan Meat Side Dishes
Here are some vegan meat side dishes that go very nicely with this recipe, and are great substitutes for regular meat. These are all under 150 calories per serving.
For more options, see all of my best gluten-free vegan meat recipes.
Here are some vegan dips or vegan sauces that go very nicely with this recipe, and are very quick to make. These are all under 50 calories per serving.
- Vegan Ranch Dip Recipe
- Creamy Edamame Guacamole
- Easy Vegan Tzatziki Sauce
- Creamy Hummus Recipe (No Garlic)
- Creamy Vegan Poppy Seed Dressing
- 2 Minute Hot Sauce Recipe
- Creamy Vegan Italian Dressing Recipe
- No Oil No Tahini Hummus
For more options, see all of my best gluten-free vegan dips recipes.
More Tasty Vegan Carbohydrate Side Dishes
If you’re looking for some more easy vegan carb side dishes which are all around 100 calories per serving, check out some of my other recipes:
- Crispy Homemade Baked French Fries
- Spicy Sweet Potato Fries
- Most Crispy Vegan Jacket Potato
- Easy Whole Baked Sweet Potato
- Perfect Long Grain White Rice
- Gluten Free Dough Balls
- Gluten Free Burger Buns
- Gluten Free Flatbreads
- Gluten Free Naan Breads
- Gluten Free Pita Bread
For more options, see all of my best vegan, gluten-free carbs side dishes.
🥬️🥭️ 7 Day Meal Plan
If you want to discover all of the benefits of eating a plant-based, gluten-free diet, grab a copy of my 7-day meal plan by Green Thickies.
My 7-day detox has been doctor and nutritionist approved and featured on a major national TV channel.
Thousands of people have had incredible results with this meal plan.
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Easy Mediterranean Yellow Rice
- 1 cup of dry long-grain white rice
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 garlic cloves)
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1½ cups cold water
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (coriander) leaves
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- Rinse the rice under cold water for a few minutes.
- Add the rice, turmeric, paprika, cumin, sea salt, and water into a pan or rice cooker.
- Follow the instructions below for cooking with your chosen equipment.
Rice Cooker (My Favorite Method)
- Turn on the rice cooker. Your rice cooker should let you know when the rice is cooked and turn itself to a keep warm function.
- Cover the pan with a lid and bring it to a boil.
- Next reduce the heat and let it simmer in low heat for about 45 minutes
- Then keep it covered and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Add all the ingredients to a baking dish, stir and cover tightly with foil.
- Bake for about 20-27 mins.
- Check to see if the water is absorbed about about 20 mins, if so then your rice is done cooking.
- Rest for about 5-10 minutes before removing it from the oven and serving.
- Add all the ingredients to a microwave safe dish and stir them together.
- Keep the dish uncovered and microwave on high for 10 minutes.
- Once you see small steam holes appear, that means most of the water has disappeared, cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap and microwave for another 4 minutes.
- Once done, keep covered and let it stand for about 5 minutes before serving.
- Add all the ingredients into the instant pot.
- Close the lid, and seal the venting knob.
- Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes, then natrual release for 10 minutes.
- Turn the knob into venting position to release the remaining pressure and open the lid.
- Mix the rice with the cilantro (coriander) with the pine nuts.
Now it’s your turn to make magic with food.