Make Dinner Special With These Rice Recipes From All Around The World

Here's what to do with all that rice!

Do you love rice? Us, too. Turns out, the rest of the world does too. Here’s a list of recipes with a little bit of food history to inspire you to experiment with your rice dishes perfect as breakfast or dinner recipes!

Photo by Toto Labrador

1 Mushroom Rice Pilaf Recipe

Pilaf is a dish that you can find in several places around the world. It’s all over the Middle East, the Caribbean, Latin America and more. In the different iterations of this dish, long-grained rice is cooked in stock. Unlike the risotto, the rice is not supposed to get creamy, and in spite of the a longer-than-typical cooking process, the individual grains should not be sticking together.

In our recipe, simple rice grains are cooked in mushroom broth that amp up its flavor.

Photo by Patrick Martires

2 Risotto with Butternut Squash Recipe

Risotto is probably one of the most famous rice dishes in the world. In essence, it is Italian rice slowly cooked with broth until it becomes delectably creamy.


In our recipe, squash and spinach give it more flavor and texture, while pancetta gives it that distinct, flavorful saltiness.

3 Congee Recipe

You might think that congee is originally Chinese dish but you’d be wrong. Instead, it actually comes from India! It comes from the tamil word kanji.

This thick rice porridge’s simple flavor profile make it a comfort food staple. It’s warm, it’s cozy, it’s nourishing, and most of it all, it’s bland enough to be the perfect dish for sickly people. Another great reason to make congee? You can use leftover cooked rice to make it. Learn to make this simple congee recipe and the rest of the garnishing can be up to you.

fish congee in a white bowl Fish Congee Posted in: Recipe
Congee Posted in: Recipe
Photo by Riell Santos

4 Sushi Recipe

Sushi is a combination of rice and a topping. The topping can be roe, octopus, shrimp, tuna, salmon, egg, or whatever fresh ingredient there is. The rice used for sushi is also seasoned with sugar and vinegar. This slightly sour and sweet flavor profile of the rice is what really takes the flavors up a notch.


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Photo by Miguel Nacianceno

5 Burrito Recipe

This popular Mexican and Tex-Mex dish puts together rich, flavorful ingredients in a flour tortilla roll that makes every bite spectacular. Usually, it contains rice, beans, salsa, guacamole, cheese, and vegetables. It comes from the phrase “little donkey,” but why it’s called that is not set in stone. What is known is that these handheld dishes are 100% delicious.

Photo by Patrick Martires

6 Bibimbap Recipe

Bibimbap translated means “mixed rice.” It’s made of white rice topped with sliced beef, sautéed vegetables, Korean sauces, and an egg. Upon serving, the dish is mixed until every grain of rice is coated with flavor, and every scoop of your spoon gets a little bit of everything.


Bibimbap is a somewhat new dish clocking in at just a century-old, but is based on an older dish called Goldongban which emerged sometime around the 14 to 16th century. At the eve of the lunar new year, there would be a potluck to clean out people’s pantries where they put together all their leftovers into a rice bowl. Nowadays, there’s no need to wait to make yourself a delicious bowl.

7 Jambalaya Recipes

Jambalaya is a popular Southern American dish that’s originally from Louisiana. There are different variations of Jambalaya depending on the ingredients available but it would essentially have rice, meat, and vegetables brought together with Cajun spices. 

Another frequently used ingredient by Jambalaya are delicious, big, and juicy shrimp! We also have a recipe that uses sausages that amp up the dish’s meatiness.

Photo by Miguel Nacianceno

8 Paella Recipes

In the Philippines, we have several versions of the paella, but the original recipe hails from Valencia, Spain, hence paella Valenciana. It’s usually colored with expensive strands of saffron.

There’s an ancient story about how the first paella came to be. Moorish Kings’ servants took home all the leftovers from the royal banquet and mixed it up. So, in spite of the rigid definitions of the modern Spanish paella, it’s still at the heart of Paella to use up your leftovers! Don’t be afraid to go beyond the recipe!

Because we’ve been heavily influenced by Spain, there are also tons of localized versions of paella to choose from.

Photo by Miguel Nacianceno

9 Chicken Satay with Nasi Goreng Recipe

Nasi Goreng translated from Malaysian is simply “fried rice.” It traditionally uses already cooked rice that is then stir fried with quintessential Malaysian spices, egg, chicken, prawn, tamarind, and soy sauce. All the different flavor profiles then come together with every spoonful of rice: you get umami, sweetness, saltiness, and tanginess.


This recipe is also a great dish to make with your leftover rice. Just make sure that you refrigerated leftover rice immediately after the meal so that it’s still safe for use for this recipe. Don’t feel constrained with our recipes as well and feel free to use other leftover ingredients like leftover dips such as ketchup, toyomansi, and slivers of meat.

Common to all these rice recipes around the world, is that they’re everyday dishes the locals cook. Rice is also often infused with endemic flavors. In some recipes, even using leftovers is part of the deal. Rice may taste different depending where it comes from, but its purpose in the home is quite similar: to use rice as a canvas for interesting, vibrant flavors to feed a family a hearty, warm, filling dish.

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