Cooking with Barefeet: Italian Herb Rice

Fluffy Italian rice cooked in chicken broth is tossed with warm butter and generous herbs to make a terrific side dish for any meal. With simple, common ingredients, it’s easy to make extra, and this flavorful and hearty side dish nicely rounds out any weeknight dinner.

For a quick and easy side dish, try this Italian rice recipe that can be made in only twenty minutes. It pairs well with Lemon Garlic Tilapia or Spicy Chicken and Bacon Stir Fry, and the best part is that this recipe scales easily, making it a great dish to prep in bulk for future meals.

This herbed rice can be used in burrito bowls, stir-fry dinners, or tossed with a bit of leftover grilled chicken or taco meat. Minimally effort and simple spices are used, yet this flavorful Italian rice adds something special to any meal. Chicken stock (or broth), herbs, and spices are what gives the rice a hearty and rich boost that will take your weeknight dinner to the next level.

One quick note about the herbs used in this recipe: you can use fresh or dried herbs, or both. When using dried herbs, add them to the saucepan as soon as you start cooking the rice. When using fresh herbs, wait until after the rice has been removed from the heat before stirring them in. Waiting until the end to add the herbs makes a big difference with fresh herbs.

To make the Italian rice, start by combining the rice, chicken stock, and any dried herbs in a large saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Simmer covered over low heat for 16 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Once the rice is done, remove it from the heat and stir in the herbs, if using fresh herbs. Then, stir in a tablespoon or two of butter and fluff with a fork. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed, and finally, sprinkle with parsley before serving.

This recipe pairs well with Lemony Garlic and Herb Halibut and 15-Minute Honey Garlic Chicken. Looking for more delicious and easy rice recipes? Try Chipotle Lime Rice, Mexican Fried Rice, Simple Asian Rice, or Easy Spanish Rice.

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