Rice is one of the most staple and versatile grains that can be enjoyed in countless ways. It’s great as a main dish, but it’s also perfect for pairing with lots of other foods.
Rice can go with many flavors, from spicy, sweet, tangy, and salty to umami-rich gravy, stir fry, and more. If I listed the best side dishes to serve with Rice, then more than 1000 dishes can pair with this simple grain.
Well, I only added a few of them, which are easy to cook, perfect for any occasion, and match with any kind of rice, including white or brown rice, long grain or short grain, basmati or jasmine, there are countless options for how to enjoy this tasty food.
Let's take a close look at some of the most popular choices! Salads, Vegetables, Grains and Legumes, Meats, Chicken recipes, Cauliflower, Spinach, Sushi, Seafood, Beef Dishes, Savory Stir Fries, Stuffed Pepper, Stuffed Mushrooms, Beans, One-Pot Chicken, One-Pot Enchilada, Teriyaki Chicken, Teriyaki Salmon, SPAM Musubi, Steak, Daing, Pirão, Boston Baked bean, Kimchi, Spicy Curry, Braised okra, Mizeria, Papadum, Acar, Tsukemono, Egg Curry, and more.
31 World Best Side dishes that can be Served with Rice
Sushi with Rice- One of my all-time go-to choices for any memorable day. Eating sushi with rice offers an enhanced taste experience and can be a nutritious meal.
Eating sushi without rice is quite common; however, pairing sushi with rice helps to balance out the flavors because of its mild and slightly sweet taste.
Sushi should always be enjoyed slowly; eating each piece slowly allows you to savor the intricate flavor profile of each type of fish in the sushi carefully.
When served in traditional Japanese style, the pieces are small enough that you can enjoy many items in one sitting.
Submerging your sushi into some added soy sauce before consuming it can elevate the flavor even more, adding a salty contrast to balance out any existing sourness or bitterness.
For an even more enjoyable experience, serve your sushi with freshly grated wasabi which has a strong aroma and a heated sensation when swallowed.
2. Seafood Dishes
Serving seafood with rice can be a delicious and healthy meal option. Seafood like salmon, shrimp, and steamed mussels, scallops are often paired with rice due to the unique texture of the seafood that complements the fluffy grains of rice.
Rice is also a great vehicle for flavorful marinades or sauces, which pairs wonderfully with fish dishes.
Preparing seafood-centric meals at home can be very easy as there are many recipes available (outbound link) on the internet that provide detailed instructions for collecting fresh seafood from local markets and creating restaurant-worthy dishes using fresh ingredients found in your pantry.
To get started, try incorporating a variety of seafood into one-pot dishes such as paella or fried shrimp over steamed jasmine rice.
Experiment with classic dishes like lemongrass and tamarind mussels or a chile-garlic squid stir fry to discover new flavors that you never knew you liked before!
Also Read: What to Serve with Yellow Rice
3. Beef Dishes
Beef and rice are an unbeatable combination when it comes to flavor, nutrition, and convenience.
Rice dishes are a great backdrop for all kinds of beef, be it marinated strips of steak or ground beef cooked in a savory sauce.
This pairing is especially well-suited for Asian cuisine; throw in some veggies mixed with soy sauce, sesame oil, and just a hint of garlic or ginger to round out the meal!
For those who want something quick and satisfying, adding meat to simple boiled or stir-fried rice can make an appetizing dinner in minutes.
Best of all, there are countless recipes available to suit any palate – whether you like your beef spicy, sweet, or herbed up – it’s sure to be delicious and served with rice.
4. Savory Stir Fries
Stir fries are a well-known and beloved dish that can easily be prepared in any kitchen.
A savory stir fry is an easy meal to make with minimal effort, the perfect option for busy cooks who want to serve a delicious meal without taking up all their time.
To make a savory stir fry, you will need some vegetables, oil for cooking, flavorings like garlic or ginger, and some protein of your choice.
Rice is the perfect side for these types of dishes since it goes so well with veggies and can give you a complete meal with one dish.
For those looking to cook exciting meals quickly, adding a savory stir fry with rice to the weekly dinner menu is sure to be a hit!
5. Stuffed Pepper
Stuffed pepper with rice is a simple yet delicious meal that you can make at home and enjoy at any time.
All you need to do is mix cooked, dry white, or brown rice with your favorite vegetables and any type of ground meat such as beef, pork, chicken, turkey, or even lamb.
Once the filling is ready, take bell peppers and cut off the top, then hollow them out. Stuff the bell peppers with your filling mixture before gently nestling each into a baking dish.
Bake until the tureen peppers become tender and golden in color for a truly mouthwatering feast.
Enjoy this hearty meal on its own, or serve it with some crusty garlic bread for an extra layer of decadence.
6. Stuffed Mushrooms
For the perfect side dish to any meal, why not try Stuffed Mushrooms? This delicious treat adds flavor and texture to your meal.
The mushrooms are sautéed with ingredients like garlic, onions, celery, and perhaps some herbs or spices; once they are softened, your choice of filling is added in.
Once the filled mushrooms are cooked through, and the cheese is melted and bubbly, you’ve got a dish that will make anyone’s mouth water.
Whether served with rice or all by themselves, Stuffed Mushrooms make any meal complete.
7. Rice and Beans- Amazing Duo
Rice with beans is one of the best options- they taste great and pair perfectly with rice, but they are also extremely healthy and packed with nutrients.
Whether you decide to use black beans, pinto beans, or another type of bean entirely, they will add a wonderful texture and flavor to your rice dish.
Plus, because beans are so versatile, you can easily customize them to suit whatever flavors and seasonings you enjoy.
From spicy chili garlic sauce in your Mexican-inspired burrito bowls to coconut cream in curried dishes — the possibilities are endless!
8. One-Pot Chicken And Rice Dinner
One-Pot Chicken And Rice Dinner is a dish that always proves to be a winner at the dinner table. This one-pot meal is perfect for busy weeknights or when you want an effortless and delicious meal.
Chicken, peppers, and onion are all cooked together with rice for flavor, texture, and nutrition, all in one bowl!
The shortcut ingredient, short-grain white rice, makes the dishes super speedy and simple to create.
Best of all, this dish is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser as it’s warm, comforting, and sure to leave bellies full and happy.
9. One-Pot Enchilada Rice
An easy and mouthwatering side to serve with your rice, One-Pot Enchilada is one of the best options available.
The full meal can be cooked in one pot and requires minimal preparation – all you need are some tortillas, chicken, cheese, black beans, and enchilada sauce!
Simply layer your ingredients in the pot before cooking until everything is softened and the flavors have blended together.
One-Pot Enchilada is a delicious addition to your dinner plate alongside a helping of rice or grains.
If you want it to be a little healthier, try using whole wheat tortillas and make sure to include plenty of colorful vegetables such as peppers, onions, or mushrooms.
10. Teriyaki Chicken
If you’re looking for a unique side dish to pair with your favorite rice dish, teriyaki chicken is an excellent choice!
Its sweet and salty flavor is loved by all age groups, making it an ideal accompaniment to balance out a meal.
It’s also quite simple to make – just marinate your chicken bites in sake, mirin, soy sauce, and sugar, cook them on the stove, or grill for about 10 minutes until you get that perfect golden-brown color, and voila!
You can add fresh scallions or sesame seeds at the end if desired for a bit of crunch.
Serve up over jasmine or basmati rice for a delicious Asian-inspired meal that everyone will surely love.
11. Teriyaki Salmon
One of the coziest and most flavorsome meals to whip up for dinner is a plate of rice with Teriyaki Salmon.
This classic Japanese dish is simple to make, requiring just a few fresh ingredients and a few minutes of your time.
Cooks who are short on time should adore how quickly it can be prepared on the stovetop.
All you’ll need is some crisp-tender salmon, soy sauce, and a mix of seasonings, including white sugar, garlic powder, and ground ginger.
With just a satisfyingly crunchy texture and bold umami flavor, this teriyaki dish definitely won’t disappoint!
Serve with sushi or your favorite style of rice for a dinner that’s sure to be both palate-pleasing and nutritious.
Know More: what to serve with teriyaki salmon
12. SPAM Musubi
For those looking to switch up the sides they serve with their favorite dishes, SPAM Musubi is an excellent option.
This delightful dish consists of grilled SPAM slices on top of a block of rice and is then enveloped in a layer of seaweed.
It’s a Hawaiian classic that has recently attained quite the cult following for its savory flavor and easy preparation.
With just three ingredients needed, it’s the perfect accompaniment for your next meal featuring rice. No matter the occasion, this delicious taste of the islands is sure to be a hit!
A delicious and juicy steak is one of the best accompaniments to a serving of rice.
Whether it’s a tender filet mignon, seared ribeye, or flavorful flank steak, cooking steak correctly such that it’s succulent and full of flavor can be a great way to elevate a simple meal of rice.
Additionally, there are countless ways to season a steak to make it even more tantalizing – from quick marinades for weeknight dinners to slow-cooked sauces for special occasions.
With sumptuous steaks like these to pair with your rice, you can create an unforgettable meal for any occasion.
Daing is an amazingly flavorful side dish to serve with rice, long enjoyed in the Philippines.
It’s made with fish, garlic, vinegar, and peppercorns for extra zest, then sun-dried for several hours or days when served.
Depending on your preference, Daing can be sweet or spicy. This delightful combination of tangy and salty flavors will liven up any meal.
For those looking to try this tasty dish at home, Daing is simple to make—just marinate the fish fillets overnight, wrap them in banana leaves, then fry them in hot oil.
Serve alongside steamed white rice for a classic Filipino combination that’s guaranteed to satisfy!
Pirão is a flavorful Brazilian side dish that complements any rice dish. It is made by combining ingredients like manioc flour, fish broth, or meat, depending on the recipe.
Pirão has a rich texture and flavor, specifically when made with fish broth and smoked meats.
The cooking method for this side is relatively simple. It requires combining flour with the chosen stock or broth until the paste forms. This paste is then cooked slowly on the stovetop and can be seasoned according to taste.
Serving Pirão as a side next to dishes like feijoada (bean stew) or other sauces really brings out the subtle smoky flavors and works great as a warm dip.
16. Boston Baked bean
Boston Baked Beans have been a part of North American cuisine for hundreds of years. They are an ideal accompaniment to a variety of dishes.
Baked beans can take on varied flavors based on the ingredients used to prepare them – you have the option to make them sweet, tangy, or savory, depending on what your particular tastes are.
What makes them one of the best side dishes to serve with rice is their hearty texture, which meshes nicely with softer grains like white, jasmine, or basmati rice.
Plus, they’re incredibly easy to whip up, and most versions require only a few ingredients and about 30 minutes in the oven.
Whether enjoyed solo or partnered with another favorite veggie dish, Boston Baked Beans compliment any meal beautifully!
Kimchi is a crucial part of Korean cuisine, and it has been gaining recognition worldwide for its distinct flavor.
It pairs perfectly with a bowl of steamed rice, having a slightly sour and spicy taste that truly complements the plainer flavor of the dish.
Kimchi is also exceptionally healthy, being filled with vitamins A, B, and C, as well as probiotics which can aid digestion.
Alongside creamy proteins like tofu or beef, adding kimchi to your meal can be a great way to add freshness and some extra crunchy texture.
If you’re looking for an interesting yet simple side to accompany your rice dishes, try out kimchi; it’s sure to make your meal more flavorful!
18. Spicy Curry
Spicy curry is a wonderfully delicious side dish to serve with rice. It’s the perfect accompaniment because of its robust flavor and comforting textures, plus it easily adapts to a variety of tastes – from mild flavors to extra spicy dishes.
Curry is also ideal for soaking up all the delicious sauces and ingredients used with it, making every bite as flavorful as possible.
Plus, it can be prepared in a range of ways with different proteins, veggies, and spices that make each curry unique.
Whether you prefer it vegan or full of meat, mild or blazing hot, Spicy Curry fits perfectly alongside rice to create an amazing dish your friends and family will love.
19. Braised okra
Serving rice with Braised okra is not only a tasty combination, but it’s also an easy side dish to prepare.
Okra is a vegetable that stands out because of its slimy texture when cooked, but if prepared well can be extremely delicious.
First, you’ll want to start by using fresh okra and slicing them into one-inch pieces. After you have your okra diced up, toss in olive oil and salt and pepper for flavoring, then simmer over low heat with garlic until the okra reaches your desired consistency.
This should cook for about 20 minutes, and ensure you often check to prevent burning– nothing makes a meal worse than burnt ingredients!
The result of cooking this savory dish is a great accompaniment to your rice or any starches of your choosing.
20. Mizeria- Polish salads
Mizeria, a classic Polish salad, is one of the best sides to serve with rice. Made with cucumber, sour cream, and a hint of dill, this light yet flavorful side dish is sure to add a delightful zest to any meal.
It is incredibly easy to make, also healthy and goes perfectly with any type of rice recipe. Also, if you’re looking for a vegan option, it’s easy to substitute sour cream for plant-based cream or coconut cream for an equally delicious taste.
It’s time to liven up your regular dishes and set aside some time for this simple yet satisfying essential; after all, when it comes to Mizeria and rice, there’s no doubt that the two are an unbeatable team!
When it comes to pairing with rice, Papadum is a delicious option that should not be overlooked. This South Asian flatbread has the perfect consistency and taste for offering another layer of flavor and texture to a classic meal.
Papadum provides added crunch; its unique blend of spices and ingredients helps to enhance any dish. It can also be used as a convenient utensil: wrap it around some rice, veggies, or meat, pick up the parcel, and enjoy!
With so much goodness packed into one serving of Papadum, it’s no wonder why it’s one of the most popular side dishes served with rice.
22. Acar -Traditional mixed vegetable pickle from Indonesia
Acar is a flavorful side dish that can add zest to any meal. It is usually served as part of Malay and Indonesian cuisines, but it can be enjoyed by people from all different backgrounds.
Acar consists of a variety of vegetables – such as cucumbers, carrots, green chili peppers, and cauliflower – pickled in a sweet and sour sauce made with vinegar, sugar, garlic, and spices.
Different regions will have slight variations in the ingredients used in this traditional condiment. If you’re looking for an exciting way to dress up your cooked rice dish at home, Acar makes a great accompaniment!
Not only does it lend its natural sweetness and aromatic flavor to the rice itself, but it also provides texture that makes eating more enjoyable.
The versatility of Acar allows it to be added to main courses, salads, or sandwiches, too – the possibilities are endless!
Tsukemono is a type of Japanese pickle made by salting and fermenting vegetables such as cucumber, daikon radish, and eggplant.
It adds a burst of flavor and vibrant color to any meal. Tsukemono also has many health benefits. It’s lower in calories but higher in fiber, which makes it an ideal healthy snack or accompaniment to any meal.
24. Egg Curry
Egg curry is one of the most delicious side dishes you can go with rice. The eggs create a slightly chewy texture as they absorb the spices and flavors of the curry.
The curry itself is a combination of robust Indian spices such as cumin, coriander, and turmeric, often combined with tomatoes, chili peppers, and other vegetables. These ingredients create an aromatic dish that has just the right balance of heat and flavor.
Whether you’re looking for a simple one-pot meal (outbound link) or a flavorful side to accompany your favorite kind of rice, egg curry is an ideal choice.
Salads are another great option when it comes to what to serve with rice. Salad and rice are an unexpected yet surprisingly delicious combination.
One of the best things about serving salad is that it allows you to get creative with your ingredients. Salads add freshness and crunchiness to any meal while also providing plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Since salads provide plenty of vitamins and minerals and rice is low-fat and full of carbohydrates, it’s a balanced meal that is ideal for a variety of diets.
Try mixing leafy greens like lettuce and spinach with plenty of vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots, and radishes.
To add extra flavor and texture, toss in some nuts, seeds, or dried fruit. Top it off with a flavorful dressing made from olive oil and vinegar or your favorite store-bought dressing.
Or, Add crunch or a quinoa salad loaded with all kinds of healthy ingredients like chickpeas and kale.
You could also try making an Asian-inspired slaw by mixing together shredded cabbage and carrots tossed in sesame oil and soy sauce for an extra kick!
The result is a colorful, healthy salad bursting with flavor that will complement any type of rice dish perfectly.
Vegetables are another great option when it comes to serving sides with rice dishes.
Steam up some broccoli, carrots, and peas or pan-seared green beans for a simple yet classic side dish that pairs nicely with plain white or brown rice dishes.
You can also sauté mushrooms in butter, garlic, and herbs for an earthy accompaniment to your favorite meal.
Or mix up some roasted sweet potatoes seasoned with rosemary and thyme for a savory vegetable side dish that pairs well with all kinds of cooked grains, including wild or jasmine rice.
You can also add herbs or spices, such as ginger or chili powder, for extra flavor! All provide the perfect balance of freshness and flavor while also adding crunch, color, and nutrition.
27.Grains and Legumes
Grains like quinoa and legumes like lentils make excellent accompaniments to any kind of cooked rice dish.
For example, try cooking quinoa in vegetable broth and then tossing it together with roasted vegetables for an easy yet flavorful side dish that will pair perfectly with your favorite type of cooked rice.
Or mix cooked lentils into your favorite stir-fry recipe for an added boost of protein that goes deliciously well with fluffy white basmati or jasmine varieties of cooked grain.
Meats can provide more protein and help make your meal feel more filling. Popular meat side dishes include grilled chicken thighs, teriyaki salmon fillets, pan-seared pork chops, or even barbecued ribs.
29. Chicken recipes
Chicken and rice is a classic combination that has been around for centuries. It’s filling and flavourful, making it a great option for busy weeknight meals, weekend dinners, and more!
To give this pairing an extra zing, consider adding herbs and spices like thyme and oregano or substituting white rice with brown rice for added health benefits.
You can also go all out with a one-pan meal such as paella or jambalaya. With so many delicious possibilities, you can enjoy this comforting classic all week long and never grow bored of it!
Cauliflower makes an excellent addition when served with rice. It is low in calories and a great source of essential vitamins and minerals. Still, the mild flavor of cauliflower compliments the nutty flavor of many types of rice dishes.
Whether you choose to make a traditional Indian-style dish with basmati or brown rice, or opt for a fluffy white jasmine variety, adding in some delicious roasted cauliflower can elevate the meal to new heights.
Additionally, by using stocks, herbs, and spices during cooking and aromatics such as nuts and fresh herbs as garnishes afterward, you can create delicious meals that all your guests are sure to love.
Serving spinach with rice is a delicious way to combine two powerhouse ingredients.
Spinach is rich in nutrients like iron and calcium, while rice is packed with healthy carbohydrates for energy. When prepared together, you can create a hearty meal that will fill you up without feeling overly heavy.
To make this combination even tastier, try adding garlic and sautéed onion to the mix.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese or other herbs of your liking to enhance the flavor of the cooked spinach and rice. With just a few ingredients, you can whip up a delightful dish that is sure to be a hit at your dinner table!
Do you really need side dishes to pair up with Rice?
Rice is an incredibly versatile carb that is inexpensive and can form the basis of many meals. But it may become a bit dull after a while if you don’t switch things up.
That’s why having some side dishes to pair your rice with can be such a helpful addition to any meal.
With the right side dish in tow, not only will you have added some complex flavors and textures to your plate, but you’ll also get more nutrition as well since mixing ingredients helps to give us all essential nutrients.
So, if you’re wondering whether or not to include side dishes with your bowl of rice each day, the answer is yes – they can add just enough variety and complementary taste that everyone gets something they love.
What are the best flavors to go with Rice?
The best flavors for rice depend on personal preference and the type of dish you are making. For simple dishes like boiled or steamed rice, subtle flavors work well to bring out the natural sweetness and nuttiness of the grain.
Aromatic herbs such as cilantro, parsley, and thyme can be added to enhance flavor.
For dishes that call for a bit more flavor, such as fried rice or risotto, spices like turmeric, cumin, and cardamom can be used to add depth of flavor.
Sweet and savory sauces can also be incorporated into the dish to bring out additional flavors. To make Asian-style fried rice, try adding soy sauce, fish sauce, or oyster sauce for a salty and umami flavor.
For an Italian-style risotto, adding white wine, Parmesan cheese, and mushrooms can create an earthy, delicious dish. sauce, sesame oil, and a pinch of sugar.
Any Fresh vegetables are great to add texture and color to your rice dish. Experiment with different flavor combinations to find the perfect mix for your dish.
What can I add to rice to make it tasty?
One of the easiest and tastiest ways to add flavor to your rice is to cook it in stock or broth. This will infuse the rice with delicious flavor and make it more interesting than simply boiling it in water.
You can also stir in herbs, spices, garlic, onion, ginger, chilies, or other ingredients into the cooking liquid for even more flavor.
Another great way to add flavor and texture to your rice is to top it with cooked vegetables, such as peas, corn, carrots, or bell peppers.
You can also stir in nuts like almonds or cashews for crunch. If you want to make the dish a bit heartier, mix in cooked proteins like chicken, beef, pork, or tofu.
Adding a dollop of butter or a drizzle of olive oil can also give your rice a rich, flavorful boost. For an even more indulgent flavor, try adding some cream cheese or mascarpone to the cooked grains.
Try adding fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, or basil for a delightful herbal aroma. You can also mix in some grated cheese for an extra cheesy kick.
The possibilities are endless when adding flavor to your rice.
What protein goes well with rice?
There are many protein-rich dishes that pair well with rice. Some popular choices include grilled chicken, beef stir fry, pork chops, shrimp curry, salmon fillet, and tofu.
If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, lentils or beans, make a great accompaniment to any type of rice dish.
You can also add nuts, seeds, and vegetables to your rice dish for an added nutritional boost. You can also opt for a mixture of proteins, such as grilled chicken with black beans or salmon with tofu.