Skip to Content

Garlic rice recipes: Easy side dish recipe idea

Sharing is caring!

There's always that one dish in every family that takes a simple ingredient and turns it into a masterpiece. For my family, it's our favorite garlic rice recipes. If you're tired of the usual plain rice or looking to bring much flavor to a staple side dish, then you're in for a treat!

The Best Garlic Rice Recipe Ever


  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup vermicelli
  • 4-6 large, or 6-8 small cloves of garlic
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Oil, for cooking (I prefer vegetable oil)
  • Parsley or cilantro, optional for serving

Zoomed-out view of the garlic rice preparation process and final dish

Taking It Step By Step: Cooking Garlic Rice

Preparation steps for aromatic garlic-flavored rice
Close-up of minced garlic ready to enhance white rice
Sizzling garlic mixture for rice infusion
Sizzling garlic and vermicelli mixture for rice infusion
Stirring in rice gently ensuring even garlic distribution"
Pouring water into the pot, ready for rice cooking
adding final ingredients
Golden brown garlic elevating the aroma of the cooking rice
Fluffy and flavorful garlic rice straight from the pot
  1. Prepping Your Rice: Start by washing your basmati rice. Do this at least 5 times, or until the water clears out. This ensures any excess starch is removed, giving you the best rice texture.
  2. Garlic Time: Use your trusty garlic press or simply mince your garlic.
  3. Let’s Cook: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, drizzle in some vegetable oil. When it's nice and hot, in go the minced garlic cloves. Give it about 30 seconds until its fragrant aroma fills the air.
  4. Vermicelli's Turn: Toss in the vermicelli and continue to cook till both garlic and vermicelli reach that beautiful golden brown shade.
  5. Rice's Entry: Now, introduce your washed rice to the pot, followed by water and salt. Give it a good stir ensuring everything is well combined.
  6. Boil and Simmer: Turn up the heat and bring your concoction to a lively boil without a lid. Once it starts bubbling, drop the heat to low, cover, and let it cook for 16-18 minutes.
  7. The Finishing Touch: Take it off the stove, stir and serve while still warm. You can toss in some fresh parsley or cilantro to garnish. But hey, that's optional.
Perfect side dish in a bowl

Tips to Make the Perfect Garlic Rice recipes

  • Choose the Right Rice: Whether you’re picking basmati rice or long grain jasmine rice, ensure it's of high quality. You can find some of the best rice options in local grocery stores.
  • Garlic Galore: Remember, the best part of this recipe is its robust flavors. So, don’t shy away; use lots of garlic. A garlic press can be handy for this.
  • Control the Heat: Using medium heat ensures your garlic doesn’t burn. Golden brown is what we aim for.
  • Not Just White Rice: You can experiment with brown rice or leftover rice for variations.
  • Vermicelli: It's not just for soup! Its addition gives a delightful texture to the rice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I use a rice cooker for this recipe?
Absolutely! If you're more comfortable with a rice cooker, go for it. Follow the steps until the rice is ready to cook, then transfer to your rice cooker with the right amount of water.

Can I use olive oil instead of vegetable oil?
Yes, olive oil can be a great option. It adds a unique flavor to the mix. However, be cautious about its smoking point.

What main dish goes well with garlic rice?
Garlic rice is a versatile side. It pairs beautifully with almost anything - from a fried egg for breakfast to a hearty main dish for dinner.

How do I store leftover garlic rice?
Store it in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. When reheating, sprinkle a bit of water to keep the rice grains moist.

Can I add other ingredients to the mix?
Absolutely! Saute onion or green onions before the garlic for an added twist. Some even like to sprinkle parmesan cheese or lemon zest on the finished fried rice for an extra layer of flavor.

close up of food in bowl

Key Takeaways: garlic rice recipes

Best Rice Selection

The foundation of any rice dish is, unsurprisingly, the rice itself! Always ensure that you choose high-quality rice. The type of rice really does matter:

  • Basmati rice: This is my top pick for this garlic rice recipe. Renowned for its long, slender grains and aromatic fragrance, basmati rice has a unique texture and flavor that's unparalleled. It cooks up fluffy, ensuring each grain is distinct, making it a favorite for many rice dishes.
  • Long-grain rice: Another option to consider, it's less sticky compared to its short-grain counterpart and tends to be more fluffy.
  • Jasmine rice: Known for its floral aroma, it can add an extra layer of fragrance to your garlic rice if you decide to switch things up.
  • Remember, the best rice will absorb the flavors while maintaining its structure, ensuring your garlic rice turns out perfect every single time.


While I often lean towards vegetable oil for its neutral flavor, it's not the only option on the table.

  • Olive oil: Adds a rich and slightly fruity flavor, best when you want to give your rice a Mediterranean twist.
  • Unsalted butter: This can be a game-changer, offering a rich, buttery garlic flavor. If you're aiming for a creamy texture and a rich taste, melted butter works wonders.


The beauty of this garlic rice recipe is its versatility. Even though it's packed with flavors and delicious on its own, sometimes, a sprinkle of freshness can enhance the dish even further.

  • Fresh herbs: Consider adding cilantro or parsley. They not only elevate the dish visually but add a burst of freshness with every bite.
  • Lemon zest: For a tangy kick, some finely grated lemon zest can be a delightful addition.


What I adore about this recipe is the endless customization options. Depending on what's available in your kitchen or what your taste buds are craving, there are multiple ways to tweak the recipe:

  • Rice Varieties: Experiment with brown rice for a nuttier flavor or even leftover rice for a quicker preparation.
  • add-ins: Before adding garlic, sautéing some chopped green onions or even a mix of colorful bell peppers can add both flavor and vibrant colors to the dish.


Forget the boring rice; it's time to transform that plain side dish into a family favorite. With simple ingredients and easy steps, garlic rice recipes brings out a flavorful side dish that’s a perfect companion to almost any main dish. So, the next time you’re at the grocery store, grab those golden garlic cloves, and let’s turn the ordinary rice into an extraordinary treat. Here's to making meals memorable, one garlic grain at a time! Cheers!

Yield: 6 cups of rice

Garlic Rice Recipe

Freshly cooked basmati rice infused with golden garlic

Transform plain basmati into a fragrant masterpiece with this garlic rice recipe. Infused with golden garlic and delicate vermicelli, it's the perfect aromatic side to elevate any meal.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup vermicelli
  • 4-6 large, or 6-8 small cloves of garlic
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Oil, for cooking (I used vegetable oil)
  • Parsley or cilantro, optional for serving


  1. Wash your rice at least 5 times, or until the water isn’t cloudy anymore.
  2. Mince your garlic.
  3. In a medium size pot, over medium size heat, heat up some oil. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
  4. Add the vermicelli and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until the garlic and vermicelli are golden brown.
  5. Add your washed rice to the pot, then the water and salt. Stir until well combined.
  6. Bring the pot with rice to high heat without a lid, until the water starts bubbling.
  7. Then bring the heat all the way down to low, cover with a lid and let it cook for 16-18 minutes.
  8. Remove from the stove and stir the rice.
  9. Enjoy while warm. You can garnish it with some cilantro or parsley, but that is optional.

Sharing is caring!

Skip to Recipe