Savory yellow mediterranean rice is fragrant and flavorful. Long grain rice is cooked in a warm chicken broth with garlic, oregano, and turmeric. Then the yellow rice is topped with a mediterranean salad made with tomatoes, feta, onion, cucumber and more. Serve this as a side for dinner or meal prep it for lunch.Jump to Recipe
If you love yellow rice you're going to love this version. Mediterranean flavors are combined taking regular yellow rice to the next level. Lately we've been trying to eat healthier and reduce the amount of gluten we eat on a regular basis. This recipe for mediterranean rice is gluten free and vegan. It's great for picky eaters and those with dietary restrictions.
When I thought of this recipe, I knew I wanted to do more than just make plain yellow rice. Instead of serving the yellow rice by itself, I decided to make a small mediterranean salad to go on top. The rice is better with fresh veggies with a vinaigrette dressing. It’s so simple to put together. It's just a matter of combining all the ingredients in a bowl and serving with the rice when you're ready.
- Why You’ll Love This Yellow Mediterranean Rice
- What Makes This Yellow Rice Mediterranean?
- What You'll Need to Make The Yellow Mediterranean Rice
- The Best Rice to Use for The Yellow Mediterranean Rice
- How to Make Mediterranean Rice
- What to Serve with Yellow Mediterranean Rice Recipe
- Other Ways to Top Yellow Mediterranean Rice
- Try These Other Rice Recipes!
- Best Yellow Mediterranean Rice
Why You’ll Love This Yellow Mediterranean Rice
- The yellow mediterranean rice is packed with flavor even without the garnish of the mediterranean salad
- It’s so easy to make, you only need 30 minutes total time or less before it’s done. You only need about 15 minutes cook time for the rice.
- The greek yellow rice is vegan, gluten free, and it's a healthy, guilt free side
- Rice is taken to the next level with a mediterranean salad served over top. This turns it into more of a mediterranean rice pilaf which feels more complete and nutritious
What Makes This Yellow Rice Mediterranean?
What exactly is mediterranean food? Greek cuisine is packed with fresh fruit, vegetables, grains, olive oil, and aromatic herbs. The food is known for being more on the healthy side limiting processed foods. Mediterranean cuisine originates from the Mediterranean basin which includes Spain, Italy, Greece, and many more. The types of mediterranean rice you'll find in greek cuisine are whole grain rice anywhere from brown to long grain white rice is used.
Mediterranean cuisine features bright flavors that are healthy and bold. That’s exactly what you'll get from this recipe. Oregano and garlic provide most of the flavor in the cooked rice. These flavors are commonly found in greek cuisine.
The rice is topped with a mediterranean greek salad. It is a fresh and healthy addition that contains bold flavor. Feta, tomato, red onion and cucumber are seasoned with salt and pepper and topped with red wine vinegar and olive oil. It's so simple yet fresh and contains the bright flavors that you typically find in mediterranean cuisine.
What You'll Need to Make The Yellow Mediterranean Rice
For The Rice
Olive oil - choose a good brand with bold flavor, used to keep the rice from clumping together and it helps give the rice a nice fluffiness
Garlic - use fresh for the best flavor, mince well so it flavors every part of the rice as it cooks
Turmeric powder - for subtle flavor and color, did you know turmeric is actually super healthy for you?
Dried oregano - herbs are a must in yellow rice, consider using fresh if you have it on hand, both are delicious in this recipe. Without turmeric you'd end up with mediterranean white rice. It would still be good but probably wouldn't be yellow.
Long grain white rice - this rice is long and slim, there are different varieties but all pretty much cook the same. This is my favorite rice to cook with because it stays fluffy and separates after cooking making it almost fool proof
Lemon juice - used to deglaze the pan and add acidity, should not have a powerful lemon flavor.
Chicken broth - whether you use store bought or make your own this is going to bring the salt and extra flavor. If you don't have chicken broth you can substitute for water.
For The Mediterranean Salad
Feta - a soft cheese made from sheep’s milk, it's so good and has so much flavor
Roma tomato - a great addition to any salad you can substitute for cherry tomatoes if needed
Red onion - for color and bright flavor, don't worry the sharp onion flavor will tone down with the red wine vinegar
Cucumber - I used an english cucumber for this recipe but you can also use pickling cucumbers leave the skin on and slice
Olive oil and red wine vinegar - to make the dressing
Salt and pepper - of course, what’s a salad without a little salt and pepper?
The Best Rice to Use for The Yellow Mediterranean Rice
This mediterranean rice dish calls for a long grain white rice. However, there are multiple types of long grain white rices that could be used in this recipe. Each variety will work just fine and should cook very similarly. If you choose a different type like brown rice or short grain rice, keep in mind that the cook times and or the liquid to rice ratio could change.
Basmati - my personal favorite. Known for its delicious aroma and flavor. This grain increases 3-4x it’s original size when cooked. It also doesn’t get gummy or slimy when cooked. This makes is a perfect option for those who have a hard time making fluffy rice because it's fool proof. Making mediterranean basmati rice just makes sense because of how aromatic and easy it is!
Jasmine - extremely popular along with basmati rice. Comes from Thailand, Cambodia, and other Southeast Asian counties. Also known for its aroma. Different from basmati because it’s more sticky so it’s great for fried rice, pilaf, and of course this yellow mediterranean rice
Carolina Gold - homegrown variety popular among the US markets. Different from basmati and jasmine because there’s no aroma but the flavor is SO good. The texture can become sticky if cooked for too long.
American Long Grain White Rice - extremely well known variety that you can find almost anywhere. Versatile and used in many recipes. When cooked the grain retains moisture and doesn’t turn too sticky.
How to Make Mediterranean Rice
Step 1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Once heated add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the rice, turmeric, and dried oregano. Cook stirring frequently until the rice is toasted. About a minute or so.
Step 2. Once done, deglaze the pan with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes.
Step 3. While the rice is cooking make the mediterranean garnish. In a medium sized bowl add the feta, roma tomato, red onion, cucumber, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and finish with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.
Step 4. When the rice is done remove from heat and fluff with a spoon before serving. Then serve warm as a side or as the main meal with the mediterranean salad.
What to Serve with Yellow Mediterranean Rice Recipe
This mediterranean yellow rice is very versatile. Below are some ways we love to serve the rice. Most of the time we serve it as a side dish but it can be served as the main dish. This is a great option if you’re vegetarian or simply add protein to make it feel more complete.
Try serving the the yellow rice recipe alongside grilled seasoned chicken, pan fried chicken, gyros, burritos, or roasted seasonal vegetables. Turn the yellow mediterranean rice into a rice bowl by adding a protein of your choice. Consider doubling the salad ingredients and adding falafel to add more veggies to complete the mediterranean rice bowl.
Other Ways to Top Yellow Mediterranean Rice
The way you top the vegan yellow rice is going to determine how appealing it looks. Remember you eat with your eyes before your stomach and garnishing is the best way to do that. If you have the following in your fridge or pantry, consider adding them over the top of this delicious middle eastern yellow rice!
- 1/4 cup pine Nuts
- Fresh Cilantro
- Fresh lemon juice
- Fried onion
- Pickled red onion
Try These Other Rice Recipes!
Best Yellow Mediterranean Rice
For The Rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 cups chicken broth
For The Mediterranean Garnish
- 1 tablespoon feta
- 1 roma tomato chopped
- 1/2 red onion chopped finely
- 1/2 cucumber sliced and quartered
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons red Wine Vinegar
- Pinch of salt and black pepper
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Once heated add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the rice, turmeric, and dried oregano. Cook stirring frequently until the rice is toasted. About a minute or so.
- Deglaze the pan with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes.
- While the rice is cooking make the mediterranean garnish. In a medium sized bowl add the feta, roma tomato, red onion, cucumber, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and finish with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.
- Once the rice is done remove from the heat and fluff up with a spoon. Serve warm as a side or as the main meal with the mediterranean salad.