Orange Zested Rice 

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Last Updated on September 27, 2023

Sweet orange zested rice is a flavorful side dish to serve at your next holiday gathering. It’s made with jasmine rice, sauteed onions and carrots and a few simple spices. This recipe was made in partnership with the USA Rice Federation, but all opinions are my own.

Orange Zested Rice 

Orange Zested Rice with Almonds

This persian-inspired rice dish is a delicious way to elevate your side dishes this holiday season. It’s made with long grain rice and has sweet hints of cinnamon and orange zest in every bite.

The rice is cooked then tossed in a few simple spices, fresh herbs, sauteed onions, carrots, sliced almonds and zested orange. Everything gets tossed together to create a beautifully colored dish that is such a crowd pleaser. 

I love serving it during the week or holiday meals with slow-roasted salmon and a loaded fall salad, or a side of greek yogurt or labneh for a boost of protein. 

September is National Rice Month, a celebration of the U.S. rice industry, including its farmers, producers and manufacturers. Rice is such a huge staple in more than half of the world’s diets, and can be used in endless amounts of ways. 

For this recipe, I used U.S-grown Jasmine rice, an aromatic long grain rice variety that’s a staple in my pantry. Purchasing rice grown in the USA helps support local growers, while also reducing your food miles!

orange zested rice

We eat rice often throughout the week, and I’m always looking to change up how I serve it. With all the different rice varieties out there, it’s hard to ever get bored of the versatile grain. 

Rice is an extremely nutrient rich food that packs in more than 15 essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, potassium, magnesium, folic acid and B vitamins. It’s also naturally free of sodium, cholesterol and gluten. 

How to make Orange Zested Rice

Here’s what you’ll need to make this flavorful recipe:

  • Long-grain rice- you can make this recipe with Jasmine or Basmati rice 
  • Carrots, peeled and grated
  • Yellow onion, finely diced
  • Fresh orange zest
  • Parsley
  • Garlic 
  • Spices: cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, salt & pepper 
  • Sliced almonds 
  • Olive oil or butter

I prepared this dish using my Zojirushi rice cooker, a company that has been perfecting rice cooking technology for the past 5 decades. Their new induction heating rice cooker uses the best technology for cooking rice, for best rice texture every time. 

  1. Start by preparing your rice as instructed on the package. You can cook your rice in a pot or rice cooker, however you prefer
  2. While that cooks, heat a skillet with butter on medium heat
  3. Add in the onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes, until the onions begin to soften
  4. Add in the carrots and almonds and give everything a stir
  5. Mix in the spices and parsley, and cook over a medium/low flame for another 5 minutes.
  6. Once the rice is ready, combine everything together in the rice pot or a serving bowl

Orange zested rice is simple to make and so full of flavor. This dish is a fun way to change up your dinner game, and made with tons of feel-good ingredients. I know you guys are going to love it!

Thank you to the USA Rice Federation for sponsoring this post. I love working with brands I truly love and believe in.

What to serve with your sweet zesty rice:

Slow-roasted Lemon Dill Salmon

Walnut & Pistachio Crusted Flounder

Salmon in Parchment (Salmon en Papillote)

Orange Zested Rice 

0 from 0 votes
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Total time

40

minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1 ½ cups U.S.-grown long grain rice,
    like jasmine or basmati

  • 1 small 1 yellow onion

  • 3 3 carrots, peeled and grated

  • ⅓ cup sliced almonds

  • 3 tbsp 3 orange zest

  • 4 4 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 2 tbsp 2 butter, dairy or vegan- or sub olive oil

  • Handful of parsley

  • ½ tsp salt, plus more to taste

  • ½ tsp cinnamon

  • ¼ tsp cumin

  • ¼ tsp black pepper

  • ¼ tsp turmeric

Directions

  • Prepare your rice as instructed on the package. You can cook your rice in a pot or rice cooker, however you prefer. If cooking in a pot, I like to toast the rice in 1 tsp of olive oil on medium heat for 2-3 minutes before adding in the water
  • While that cooks, heat a skillet with butter on medium heat. Add in the onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes, until the onions begin to soften
  • Add in the carrots and almonds and give everything a stir
  • Mix in the spices and parsley, and cook over a medium/low flame for another 5 minutes
  • Once the rice is ready, combine everything together in the rice pot or a serving bowl and garnish with more parsley and almonds

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @somethingnutritious on Instagram- I’d love to see your creations!

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