Latin Yellow Rice

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We are big rice eaters in my house and one of my specialties is Latin yellow rice! This is a delicious side dish for any chicken or meat dish!

Latin Yellow Rice
Latin Yellow Rice

This is my go-to recipe for Latin Yellow Rice! Every time I make it, I always get asked for the recipe! I shared this recipe when I first started blogging in 2008, so it was time for a photo makeover. I’m sharing it with all of you so you can make it too! It’s the perfect side dish to go with beans, grilled steaks, pork chops, cilantro lime shrimp, pollo sabroso and more!

Latin Yellow Rice

I’m slightly obsessed with this rice and have been making it for years! So many people tell me they can’t make rice. This is my foolproof method to make perfect fluffy yellow rice every time!

How To Make Latin Yellow Rice

Water to rice ratio – I use long grain rice and keep the water to rice ratio 2 to 1. If you use short grain rice, you may want to reduce the liquid to 1.5 to 1.

To rinse the rice or not – I never rinse my rice, but many people do. Rinsing it does make it less starchy. Whether you rinse it or not it will still turn out fine.

Don’t touch until it’s done. Let it sit 5 minutes after cooking, then fluff the rice with a fork. Don’t stir it while it’s cooking, it will smash the rice.

Don’t open the lid until it’s finished and has rested 5 minutes. The steam is what will finish cooking the rice, if you lift the lid you will lose the steam.

You will need a heavy pot with a tight fitted lid to make rice. This is a must, if any steam escapes your rice will be under cooked.

If you don’t have a tight fitted lid, you can place a sheet of foil over the pot, then top with the lid to prevent steam from escaping.

Don’t cover the rice until most of the liquid has been absorbed and is just skimming the top or it will come out too wet.

Yellow Rice

More Rice Recipes You Will Love:


Latin Yellow Rice
Print WW Personal Points
4.92 from 24 votes
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Latin Yellow Rice

193 Cals 4 Protein 39 Carbs 2 Fats
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Yield: 8 servings
COURSE: Side Dish


  • 2 cups uncooked long grain rice
  • 4 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 large chicken or veggie bouillon cube, such as knorrs or maggi
  • 5 medium scallions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 packet Badia Sazon seasoning*, or see my homemade sazon recipe
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste


  • In a medium heavy pot with a tight fitting lid, heat oil on medium heat and saute scallions, cilantro and garlic for about 2 minutes, until tender,
  • Add the tomatoes and saute another minute, until they get soft.
    How to make the best yellow rice
  • Add rice and saute 2 minutes longer, stirring frequently.
    saute rice before adding water
  • Add water, bouillon cube, sazón plus 1 teaspoon salt.
  • Taste 4 cups water and taste for salt, it should be flavorful and salty enough, adjust as needed.
  • Let the water boil on a high heat stirring once at this point.
  • As the water boils down and just barely skims the top of the rice, reduce heat to very low and cover 15 minutes.
  • The steam will cook the rice so do not open the lid.
  • After 15 minutes, shut the flame off and let it sit at least 5 more minutes without touching the lid.
    Don't cover the rice until most of the liquid has been absorbed and is just skimming the top.
  • The steam will finish cooking the rice without burning the bottom. Then fluff with a fork and enjoy.


*Badia makes a sazon that contains no msg.
Helpful Tips:
Water to rice ratio – I use long grain rice and keep the water to rice ratio 2 to 1. If you use short grain rice, you may want to reduce the liquid to 1.5 to 1.
To rinse the rice or not – I never rinse my rice, but many people do. Rinsing it does make it less starchy. Whether you rinse it or not it will still turn out fine.
Don’t touch until it’s done. Let it sit 5 minutes after cooking, then fluff the rice with a fork. Don't stir it while it's cooking, it will smash the rice.
Don't open the lid until it's finished and has rested 5 minutes. The steam is what will finish cooking the rice, if you lift the lid you will lose the steam.
You will need a heavy pot with a tight fitted lid to make rice. This is a must, if any steam escapes your rice will be under cooked.
If you don't have a tight fitted lid, you can place a sheet of foil over the pot, then top with the lid to prevent steam from escaping.
Don't cover the rice until most of the liquid has been absorbed and is just skimming the top or it will come out too wet.


Serving: 3/4 cup, Calories: 193kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 2g, Fiber: 1g
WW Points Plus: 5
Keywords: Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, side dish, Vegetarian Meals, yellow rice

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  1. We made this tonight and it was perfect! 

  2. This is one of my favorite rice recipes to make. I make it at least 2x a month. The whole family loves it.

  3. Hi I like sound of this but minus the Corriander, I m part of society that really dislikes and thinks it tastes like soap. Is there another herb you could recommend in place of it, not knowing what yellow rice tastes like iveheard people talk about it, Your recipe is the first one I have come across. Substitutes I thought, chives, parsley, sage, thyme, sorrell. I’m always looking for tasty rice dishes my favourite three are wearing abit thin… lol
    Love to hear your thoughts. Thankyou

  4. Best. Rice. EVER!!!! Had it with steak last night. And just had leftovers with an egg on top for breakfast. Can’t wait to have some for lunch! 

  5. What is the best way to reheat it? Thanks.

  6. Just made this tonight and it is delicious! Thank you so much!

  7. I couldn’t find the Badia in packets. How much do you add as teaspoons, tablespoons??Please answer I have all the ingredients and want to make it tomorrow. Thank you.

  8. If we’re using your sazon mix, how much do we use? How much is in a packet of Badia?

  9. Gina please help! Is this regular badia Sazon, or badia sazon tropical? I’m not sure what to use. Please let me know !!

  10. What’s the amount of Badia spice in a packet? Mine comes in a bottle.

  11. My rice came out slightly crunchy but I live at 6000 elevation so I should have cooked it longer. But more puzzlingly, it didn’t come out yellow at all. I rechecked the recipe, followed it to a T. Store bought Badia sazon 1 1/2 tbsp.

  12. This was good. Everyone cleaned their plate!  I cut up two large boneless chicken breasts, sprinkled them liberally with Sazon and sautéed them. When rice was completely done per this recipe, I stirred in the chicken. 

  13. This is the best, most flavorful rice I’ve ever made! Followed exactly, except I used the Goya brand of sazon since I had it already. The cooking instructions were spot on and made a huge difference in getting the consistency correct – thanks for another great dish!

  14. If I use home made sazon seasoning mix, how much do I use in the Latin Rice recipe? The recipe calls for a packet of Saxon mix, please let me know how much of the home made to use. 1 teaspoon? 1 tablespoon? 
    Thank you!

  15. Would I be able to use basmati rice with this recipe? Can’t wait to try it! 👏🏻

  16. This was amazing!! I used jasmine rice and didn’t have a bouillon cube so I left it out and it still tasted great. Will be making this regularly!

  17. How much sazon do you add? I don’t have a packet, I made the mixture myself.

  18. Can you make this in an instant pot? What adjustments would you make to the recipe?

  19. Can you substitute brown rice? How would that change the ratios/timing? It’s probably too much for a reply to a comment. But could you eventually make a brown rice version? Thank you Gina!!

    • Yes, I made it yesterday with long grain brown rice. Just let it steam a bit longer . Mine was a bit hard so I added a little bit of water and let it go another 5 minutes and then let it steam for about 20 minutes.

  20. Yes I did I made it for our Ministry we feed the less fortunate every third Saturday  Mt Carmel Baptist Church Taylorsville North Carolina it was really good. Great Recipe thank you for sharing it

  21. Delicious! Reminded me of rice I ate in Costa Rica 🙂 I used your sazon mix, too. Thank you!

  22. Awesome

  23. My husband loves yellow rice and he said this is the best he’s had. I actually had Goya sazon packets and the cilantro (which is fast becoming a staple for me.) Making it for the second time tonight.

  24. This is amazing! Added some adobo in the seasoning step. Slightly obsessed with this rice! Make sure you wash the rice until it runs clear. Don’t touch until it’s done. Allow to sit after cooking then fluff with a fork. Dont go in stirring with a spoon, it will smash the rice. 

  25. This is amazing! Added some adobo in the seasoning step. Slightly obsessed with it. 

  26. Was craving yellow rice. Really hit the spot.

  27. Very solid recipe.

    • This yellow rice dish is delicious! My whole family loved it. I will definitely add this to my go to recipes. I will be cooking this very often as it goes with everything.

  28. Holy crap. This rice is delicious! I tried it and stuck to the recipe. It came out sooooo good. 

  29. I followed this but tweaked it a bit. I added crushed tomatoes, tomatoe paste, and vegetable stock, and jasmine rice. Boy oh boy was this Ahmazinng. My daughter only likes white rice and she tasted and fell immediately in love!!!

  30. Super easy and delicious! Great flavors. Didn’t have scallions so used shallots, used Sazon with achiote and cilantro plus added 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro. Sautéed veggies a bit then threw it all in the rice cooker!

  31. I made this last night and it was SO delicious!  My entire family raves about it. I served it with the rotisserie chicken skillet enchilada casserole as suggested and both were a huge hit. 

  32. My entire family loves this rice. I have made it multiple times and it always delivers.

  33. I have made my own Sazon.
    What is the MEASUREMENT of 1 packet Badia Sazon*????

  34. Is your “yellow rice” recipe like saffron rice?  I’ve been trying to find a recipe for it.  Growing up, my mom made an easy saffron rice. that I really enjoyed.  However, I never watched her make it.  I’ve asked older cousins on Spanish family side if my aunts made it and if they know how to make it, but have not received ant clear instructions.

    • No, you would have to buy saffron and add a few threads here.

    • For easy saffron rice…
      2 cups chicken stock separated
      1 cup rice
      1/2 medium onion diced
      a little olive oil
      About 12-15 threads quality saffron

      Heat 1 cup chicken stock in microwave and add saffron. Set aside.
      Saute onion in the oil until translucent then add rice.
      Saute a few more minutes then add both cups of stock.
      finish cooking as above.

  35. Can I instant pot this?

  36. Can you make this in a rice cooker?

  37. Can i makr this in a rice cooker after sauteeing everything in a pan? Im planning to make a big batch for a large group and I will be using a huge rice cooker…. 

  38. Any thoughts on how I could make this using cauliflower?

  39. Do you have a version  of this recipe for The instant pot?

  40. Have you figured out how many freestyle points this would be?

  41. I was wondering the same thing, hope Gina see this.

  42. Any tips for making this in the instant pot???

  43. What’s up it’s me Fiona, I am also visiting this web page Latin Yellow Rice | Skinnytaste regularly, this web site is actually nice and the users are really sharing nice thoughts.
    Rj Reynolds Tobacco

  44. What can I use instead of a bullion cube?

  45. Sabroso!!! Muy sabroso. I love your Latin recipes. They are so tasty. I prepared tequila lime chicken breast with the yellow rice and my dinner was fabulous.

  46. Has anyone tried this with cauliflower?

  47. This recipe is foolproof! It is the first time I have made perfect rice! You couldn't screw this up if you tried, thanks Gina!

  48. This is dangerously delicious. I may be incapable of eating a normal-sized serving of this. Yellow rice (really, rice of any kind, but especially this) is my weakness!

  49. I only have badia Sazon goya tomatoe and cilantro flavour, will that be OK or should I use saffron?

  50. Making this tonight with your cheese zucchini enchiladas. YUM!!

  51. I wanted to let you know I love this recipe!! I make it all the time for potlucks at church. So easy and tasty!

  52. This was excellent! And for me to sign on to a website and talk about it says a lot…trust me. I made this and fell in LOVE!!!

    Here is my tip: I had a of trouble finding Sazon. I live in San Diego and Ralphs did not have it. I asked 3 people and all 3 looked at me like I was stupid. However, Vons had 2 kinds. Either looked to work fine. Will make this again!

    To get SUPER FLUFFY rice. Heavily wash your rice before you cook with it. I mean wash it until the water runs clear off of it. Works everytime!

  53. I need to remember to make this more frequently! It was so easy and delicious. I had purchased the Badia Sazon for something else from your site and was wondering how else i could use it up, so this was great! 🙂

  54. I am so glad I found your site! I have made several of your rice dishes including: Fiesta Lime Rice, Scallion Cilantro Rice with Habaneros and Lime, and Chipotle's Cilantro Lime Rice. Your simple instructions for making perfect rice has revived in me a love of the white grain! So happy with the results, and this dish just added a little smile to my face. I served this Pollo Sambroso and some sliced tomatoes. Yum!

  55. This rice was soooooo delicious. I used the Goya Sazon con azafron. I had it with the Skinny Slow Cooked Pernil… best dinner I've had in a long time!

  56. Wow! My 12 year old son ate 5!!! Servings of this. Impressive.

  57. love – love – love – love your recipes….. Thank you!!!!

  58. Gina, thank you for your recipes. I've been trying to eat healthier and it's been a month full of boring rabbit food until I found your website. This rice is LEGIT. I made the pernil with it also, so I'm having that with the rice and half a cup of no sodium black beans. Truly the best dinner I've had in a month!! My boyfriend loves your recipes, too! I can't wait to make more!!!

  59. Any chance I could use brown rice? Please advise. Thanks.

  60. I've had this rice on my recipe radar for awhile, and the stars alligned for it to work with dinner tonight.
    It is simply amazing!!
    I used olive oil, Knorr chicken bouillon,goya azafran sazon,and 1/4 tsp kosher salt.
    I will have to assure that the stars allign much more frequently to have this in my meal rotation!

  61. I apparently fail at cooking rice… I cooked the rice exactly how the recipe is written and it turned out crunchy. I added a little more water and cooked it and then repeated that once more and it was still crunchy. I gave up and we ate crunchy rice. Sadface

  62. Hi Gina, yellow rice is my boyfriend's favorite, but I've never made it not from a package. Will this turn out ok without the bullion cube, or do you have a vegetarian substitute to help add the flavor back in? Thank you so much!

  63. Hi Gina. I'm a fairly new reader. I found you on Pinterest about a month ago and haven't looked back. I do Weight Watchers on and off every single year. I usually go up 10 lbs or so after the holidays and then have to work it back down. I had just kicked my tail in gear right before I found your site and have been cooking your recipes like crazy. My husband and I (and kiddos too) have been so excited to enjoy so many of your recipes. I have a blog and a recipe blog where I share what I'm cooking. I've been mentioning you a lot. 🙂 Our favorites have been the Asian Chicken lettuce wraps, Barbacoa beef and now tonight -the chicken enchiladas. You are my new food hero. Plus – I'm down 13 lbs. currently. Woo! Hoo! Your site is amazing to me. Love.

  64. I am making this tonight. I purchased the Badia Sazon Tropical but it is not in a packet. Could you tell me the amount I should use?

  65. If anyone is looking for a substitute for Sazon (either because they can't find it or they don't want to use it because of the MSG and salt), equal parts of turmeric and paprika will give you a nice colour.

    • Thank you! I was just wondering if I could use turmeric for the color instead since I can't find the Sazon and I want to cook this tonight!

  66. Felicia, you can use annatto which I doubt you will find, or a pinch of saffron!

    Thanks Beth! I can make rice with my eyes closed, this method never fails!

  67. loved this! it was the best rice i have ever made! not only does this recipe have great flavor, but this is the perfect cooking method for rice also! no more sticky or crunchy rice for us! one place i did cheat is by using most of a can (about 2/3) of drained rotel diced tomatoes with cilantro, as i don't love the flavor of cilantro. it was delicious! thanks! now i have a new method for cooking rice period and a delicious new side dish to have in my recipe book!

  68. Hi Gina! Love your recipes. Quick question. I live in a little bitty town that has next to nothing when it comes to culture type food. If I can't find the Sazon what is a good substitute?

  69. My pleasure!!!!! 🙂 I lovvvvvve rice!!

  70. I just wanted to say that for many years of burning rice and trying to figure the process of cooking it thoroughly you have solved the mystery! I made this perfectly following your directions…and OMG it was delicious! I resorted to buying "Spanish/Mexican" rice dinners to compensate for our Hispanic dinners…now I will never buy one again. This is hands down the easiest and tastiest spanish rice dish…a big thank you to you, Gina <3

  71. AWESOME!!! Great taste and very satisfying 🙂
    It's a keeper!

  72. I cooked mine in the rice cooker (3 cups of water for 2 cups of rice) threw in a can of drained beans and **poof** fabu rice. Thanks for the inspiration Gina!

  73. I don't use a rice cooker, so not sure if you would use less liquid. Otherwise I think it would.

  74. Hi Gina, this might be a stupid question but can you just throw all of this and a can of beans into a rice cooker? Would that work?

  75. This was AWESOME!

  76. Yes, 2 cloves of garlic. Sorry!

  77. It says 2 garlic, minced.. Do you mean cloves are two whole garlic minced?

  78. I think it's 2 tsp

  79. how many ounces is one packet of sazon? I found sazon in a bottle, but not in the packets

  80. Sadly, it went up to 7 points. I love my rice, so if I reduce the portion to 3/4 cups for 8 servings, then it would be 5 points.

  81. Hi Gina!! Can you put the new WW points on this?? I make it all the time and it would be really helpful!

  82. I just updated the nutritional info!

  83. Hi Gina, love your recipes… is it possible if you post the calories of the dishes? I'm doing WW but also counting calories. Thank you!

  84. This would be great with the enchiladas!! This is how I make yellow rice and everyone always asks me for the recipe. It delish!

  85. by "Latin" do you mean mexican style rice? i want to make some with the enchiladas with some Fat Free refried beans.

  86. @Pbenson- everyone loves my rice! This recipe was posted for my sister in law who wanted to know how I make my rice. Now she makes it just like me!

  87. This came out AMAZINGLY!I have never had my rice cook so well! Thankyou!

  88. Thanks CP! As far as the emails, I have little control with that using Feed Burner. I might have to look into another system. But in my email I have a keyword search feature, type in say fish and it would find all emails with that word. Maybe yours does too?

  89. Hello Gina,

    Love your site! I've tried numerous things and all have been awesome! Looking forward to making some apps for Super Bowl.

    One suggestion – I subscribe to the emails, and it would be totally awesome if you could include the recipe name in the subject line. I keep the ones I want to eventually try, but then have to sort through 100's (because I save so many) of emails when I finally decide to try something new!!!

    Thanks again for all your ideas!

    CP in OC

  90. @Rebecca, I love latin food! And I love enchiladas!! I will post a recipe soon. Thanks for the comment.

  91. This rice was so delish, my husband even loved it! i Was so excited to see that u had a latin section! I would love to see chicken mole or enchiladas! Thanks so much Gina love ur recipes!

  92. @ Marilu, I just made Arroz con Gandules last night. Didn't have time to post the recipe but I'll try to find the time tonight. Yum!

  93. Great, thanks so much Gina. I might try one of these recipes tonight – if so, I'll let you know how it goes!

  94. @Marilu – I actually have more latin dishes, they probably just dont have the word "latin" in the recipe. You gave me an idea to make a label for latin food. Look under recipes and it will be there.

  95. Gina, thank you. I'm just starting my weight loss journey, and you're giving me hope that I can still cook some of my favorite dishes (whoever thought of baking tostones?!) while eating healthily. Anyway, my only request is that you include more Latino recipes on your blog. When I search "Latin" there are only 4. But again, gracias! =)

  96. I usually use Badia Sazon Tropical. But any of them are ok to use. When I buy Goya, I get the one with azafran.

  97. I am having a hard time with the sazon. I wanted to make a few of Gina’s receipes that call for it, but when I went to buy it, there is more than one choice. Which one do I use?

  98. I am a HUGE fan of this rice. Everytime Gina makes it I’m sure to be there and taste it!!!!