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Rice is the pantry staple that keeps on giving. It’s one of those groceries you can store for years, and it can help to stretch a meal to fill your belly for cheap. And while it generally plays sidekick for most meals, in some parts of the world like Asia and the Middle East, it’s the star of the show in the most delectable dishes. So why can’t rice always have that treatment? From Instant Pot rice pudding and cheesy casseroles to authentic Indian biryani and creole jambalaya, these dishes will transform that cup of rice into something truly spectacular.
This chicken wild rice soup can be made in an Instant Pot for a speedy weeknight meal. The chickpeas and wild rice give the creamy soup a boost of nutrients and if you want, you could even leave out the chicken for a vegetarian version. You can make this ahead and freeze for later too — just don’t add in the dairy until you reheat it on the stove.
Red beans and rice is the best side dish to accompany many Cajun and Creole classics. Though it sounds simple, the flavors are anything but. Canned beans are simmered for 30 minutes in butter, onions, peppers, garlic, green onions, chicken stock, turkey legs, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves and all sorts of seasonings like chili powder and cayenne.
Canned tuna is a great pantry item with an incredibly long shelf life. Transform it into this Southwestern salad with freshly squeezed lime juice, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and fresh cilantro.
Bibimbap is a classic Korean dish served as a bowl of warm white rice, sliced mushrooms, daikon, zucchini and other vegetables. It’s topped with fried eggs and kimchi, gochujang or soy sauce. And if you don’t know the difference between white eggs and brown eggs, you’re not alone. That’s one of the most common grocery questions.
If you’re looking for one of the best ways to use leftovers, consider calas. This breakfast fritter is mixed with cooked rice, flour, sugar and spices and then deep-fried. It’s an old New Orleans breakfast tradition.
Creole jambalaya is classic Southern comfort food with andouille and ham cooked in a wide pan with rice and a whole collection of spices. Jambalaya has taken on a multitude of identities in south Louisiana, and this Creole Jambalaya is among the “red” jambalayas, thanks to the addition of bright and juicy tomatoes.
If seafood and poultry are more your style, try this version of meaty jambalaya that has shrimp, chicken, vegetables, a zesty cajun seasoning blend and steamy rice. Whip this up and you’ll be cooking like a true New Orleans chef.
Chicken recipes are some of the most popular recipes online right now, and this hearty chicken rice paprikas is an easy one-pot rice dish. The broth is flavored simply with onions, paprika, salt and vegetable flakes, which infuse the chicken as it simmers away. Once the uncooked rice is added and cooked in the same dish, the result is moist and tender pieces of chicken and fluffy rice.
Biryani is the ultimate rice dish and a quintessential part of South Asian cuisine. It’s made using a slow-cooking method known as “dum,” in which layers of basmati rice, marinated meat and caramelized onions are cooked for hours over a low flame. Many regions have their own variation, but the classic Hyderabadi biryani from India is one of the most popular.
Recreate fast food favorites at home with this copycat Chipotle recipe. Start with this cilantro lime rice recipe that tastes just like the fast-food favorite. This citrusy rice pairs extremely well with burritos or layered with a heaping pile of beans, cheese, guacamole and salsa.
This mushroom and red rice casserole gets its satisfying texture from a medley of red, brown and wild rice and both fresh cremini and dried porcini mushrooms. You can top it with asiago cheese and fried eggs to make it so rich you won’t even realize it’s a great vegetarian recipe.
This super quick Cajun chicken and sausage dish comes together in well under an hour in an Instant Pot. The tomato paste and Cajun seasoning in the broth really heighten the flavors.
Chicken Mandi is a delicious Yemeni dish that is popular throughout the Middle East. Big pieces of chicken are cooked in dry roasted whole spices and served over a layer of fragrant basmati rice. It may seem intimidating, but at the end of the day, it’s essentially a spruced-up plate of chicken and rice.
Wild rice and kale are some of those unexpected ingredients that go great with eggs. This dish can be made in under 30 minutes and is perfect for a breakfast-for-dinner situation. Add some sauteed mushrooms for a meaty bite.
Fried rice is a fantastic option for a simple weeknight dinner, and it’s even easier if you have leftover rice sitting in the fridge. You can never go wrong with a combination of toasted buttery white rice sauteed with carrots, onions, green onions, freshly minced garlic and a drizzle of soy sauce. You can also add eggs or any kind of meat you prefer.
Rice pudding is an old-fashioned dessert that is as comforting as it is decadent. This Instant Pot version is a shortcut variation of kheer, which is a wildly popular sweet treat in India and uses cardamom for a floral kick.
With some curry powder, chicken stock and rice, you can make yourself a warm bowl of curried rice. Serve it with chicken and some sauteed onions and bell peppers for crunch.
For a creamy and comforting spin on rice, try this loaded casserole of chicken, rice and beans coated in ancho chile powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cumin and dried Mexican oregano — all topped with a layer of cheddar cheese before baking. Serve this dish with crispy tortilla strips and a dollop of sour cream. For more like this, check out these easy casserole recipes for breakfast, dinner and everything in between.
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