Easy, Buttery Seasoned Rice Recipe

Why bother buying boxed seasoned rice at the store when you can make your own extra fluffy grains of rice seasoned with spicy paprika, savory garlic and onions, with earthy herbs like thyme and parsley. This easy stovetop rice pilaf recipe can also be customized based on the seasonings you have on hand too!

seasoned rice with sides

What is seasoned rice or rice pilaf?

Rice pilaf is a form of seasoned rice that is made with a stock (like chicken) and mixed with spices like garlic, onions, paprika, and more. There are a few origin theories about rice pilaf. From South Asia to Iran and the Middle East, there are multiple stories of where the first seasoned rice dish was created, but it’s spread throughout the rest of the world due to colonization and trade. 

fluffed seasoned rice in pot

And now we have variations of rice pilaf like Spanish paella and Indian pulao. This can be more commonly known as rice pilaf in the US, but also just seasoned rice. Brands like Rice A Roni and Uncle Bens have been a staple in tv commercials for decades and are widely available in grocery stores. They have different flavored rice styles like basic chicken, garlic, butter, and Spanish style. 

How to make plain white rice taste better

Being Asian, I eat plain white rice with almost every savory meal. But after making seasoning rice with my everyday spices at home, it’s become a game-changer in my meals. To make plain white rice taste better, you can start by adding fat (either butter or oil) and swapping the water for chicken stock or broth. If you’ve got dietary restrictions, you can also use olive oil and mushroom powder (or vegetable stock) in replacement for chicken or beef stock. 

Spices & seasonings to add to rice

bowls of seasoning for rice

I love this recipe because you can use everyday spices that are already in your pantry or adjust it based on your preferences. This recipe uses garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, thyme, parsley, chicken bouillon powder, salt, and pepper. Here are other spices and ingredients you can add to change up the flavor: 

  • For more spiciness: red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper
  • For an Italian twist: oregano and basil
  • For an Asian inspired version: five-spice, turmeric, or lemongrass

Types of rice to use

short grain rice and long grain rice

Rice pilaf variations can have different types of rice depending on the region they’re made from; biryani uses basmati long-grain rice, and in Bangladesh, they make polao that uses short-grain rice. Our recipe specifically uses white jasmine rice, so the measurements and timing will reflect this long-grain rice variety. 

Best methods to cook seasoned rice

seasoned rice on the stovetop

You can cook seasoned rice in many different ways, like using a rice cooker or Instant Pot because you just add in all the ingredients and cook it like plain rice. My favorite way of cooking seasoned rice is using a regular pot on the stovetop. It doesn’t require any additional appliances; you don’t need to melt the butter beforehand, and it takes under 20 minutes to cook. 

Note: this recipe only accounts for long grain rice time and method for cooking on the stovetop. If you are using short grain rice or brown rice, your timing may differ.

What to serve with seasoned rice

seasoned rice with side dishes

The best part of seasoned rice is you can serve it with just about anything like vegetables! You can serve seasoned rice with various dishes like spicy sriracha shrimp, miso-glazed salmon, and steamed cauliflower. If you have leftovers, leave it on the counter to cool for about fifteen minutes and transfer it to an airtight container. You can keep it in the fridge for up to three to four days. I like to reheat the rice using a microwave in 30-second increments.

seasoned rice with side dishes

Easy, Buttery Seasoned Rice

5 from 1 vote
Learn how to make your own seasoned rice for your next dinner and ditch the boxed version with this easy stovetop recipe from scratch.
BY: Huy Vu
Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 23 mins


  • 1 c long-grain white rice
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • c chicken stock
  • 1 tsp chicken powder or bouillon
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp dried parsley
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Equipment Used

  • Strainer
  • 4-quart saucepot & lid
  • spatula
  • liquid measuring cup
  • dry measure cups & spoons


  • Rinse the white rice until the water runs clear.
    rinsing basmati rice in the sink
  • In a saucepot over medium heat, add the butter to melt.
    melting butter in pot
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until they are all incorporated.
    adding all ingredients into the pot
  • Bring the pot to a boil and continue to cook until you begin to see grains of rice bubble from the top of the liquid as depicted in this photo.
    seasoned rice on the stovetop
  • Lower the heat to medium-low to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for ten minutes without opening the lid.
    cooking rice with lid covered
  • After ten minutes, turn off the stove, move the pot to a cool surface, and let sit for another five minutes. Then remove the lid and fluff with a spatula.
    fluffed seasoned rice in pot

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories: 513.1kcal | Carbohydrates: 82.2g | Protein: 11.74g | Fat: 14.38g | Saturated Fat: 7.99g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.07g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4.25g | Trans Fat: 0.46g | Cholesterol: 35.63mg | Sodium: 1085.19mg | Potassium: 336.57mg | Fiber: 1.74g | Sugar: 3.25g | Vitamin A: 614.27IU | Vitamin C: 0.66mg | Calcium: 47.77mg | Iron: 1.67mg
Nutrition Facts
Easy, Buttery Seasoned Rice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 513.1 Calories from Fat 129
% Daily Value*
Fat 14.38g22%
Saturated Fat 7.99g50%
Trans Fat 0.46g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.07g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.25g
Cholesterol 35.63mg12%
Sodium 1085.19mg47%
Potassium 336.57mg10%
Carbohydrates 82.2g27%
Fiber 1.74g7%
Sugar 3.25g4%
Protein 11.74g23%
Vitamin A 614.27IU12%
Vitamin C 0.66mg1%
Calcium 47.77mg5%
Iron 1.67mg9%
* Percent Daily Values based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish, Sides
Cuisine: American, Asian
Keyword: easy dinner, fast sides
Did you cook this recipe?Tag @HungryHuy or #hungryhuy–I’d love to see it!

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