Parmesan Garlic Rice is a quick and easy side dish bursting with flavor thanks to the fresh minced garlic and parmesan cheese. Made in one skillet, this easy, cheesy side dish goes great with fish, chicken, and steak!
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Homemade Parmesan Garlic Rice
If you need a simple side dish that goes with literally any main course, this Parmesan Garlic Rice is it. We serve it with baked chicken, juicy steak, flaky salmon, you name it. No matter what your favorite high-protein dinner is, this garlic rice is guaranteed to make it even better!
The rice itself is so tender and it has a touch of creaminess to it as well. (Sort of like a healthier, lighter version of risotto.) The combination of pungent garlic and nutty parmesan cheese makes this fluffy rice absolutely irresistible. Kiddos in particular will beg you to make it for them all the time – we know from experience!
Lucky for them, making this parmesan rice is SO easy. It takes just about 20 minutes, and then it’s ready to go. On busy weeknights, having this rice recipe in your back pocket will help you get everyone fed ASAP!
Why You’ll Love This Cheesy Rice Recipe
When we say you’ll want to eat this cheesy rice right out of the pan, we’re not exaggerating. Here’s why this garlic rice recipe is the absolute best when it comes to easy side dishes:
- Perfect Texture and Flavor: Parmesan rice is so light and fluffy, and adding a splash of milk also makes it a little bit creamy. Add melted parmesan cheese and minced garlic into the mix, and every bite is a dream!
- Quick and Easy: This recipe only requires 2 minutes of prep work, 20 minutes of occasional stirring, and then you’re all set. It couldn’t be simpler!
- Simple Ingredients: Most of the ingredients that you need for this recipe are probably already sitting in your fridge and pantry. We love a budget friendly recipe around here!
- Goes with Everything: This dish really does go with just about everything. This is one of those side dishes that you will eventually memorize from making it so often.
What Type of Rice Works Best For This Recipe?
Long grain rice (instead of short or medium grain rice) works best for this dish because it comes out fluffy rather than sticky. Garlic rice is usually made with white long grain rice, jasmine rice, or basmati rice, but you can also use long grain brown rice if you like. Keep in mind, though, that brown rice requires more water to achieve the desired tender texture, and it also needs longer to cook.
Time for a brief overview of the main ingredients required for parmesan garlic rice. If you’re looking for the exact amounts, you can find those at the bottom of the post in the printable recipe card.
- Butter: Either salted or unsalted butter will work, use whichever you prefer.
- Minced Garlic: Fresh garlic is best for this recipe, but the store-bought variety also works.
- Rice: Use white long grain rice – make sure to rinse and dry it before cooking.
- Chicken Broth: You can also use vegetable broth or water.
- Whole Milk: This adds a touch of creaminess to the rice. You could also use 1% or 2% milk if you like.
- Shredded Parmesan Cheese: Freshly grated parmesan cheese (the kind sold in the refrigerated section, not the kind in the green shaker can) provides the best flavor but you can use store-bought shredded parmesan in a pinch.
- Seasoning: We like to add salt, pepper, onion powder, and granulated garlic.
- Optional Garnish: Parsley, green onions, or chives make a nice garnish if you’re looking to add some color to the dish.
How to Make Parmesan Garlic Rice
Alright, now let’s get into how this rice dish comes together. Here’s what the step-by-step process looks like:
- Cook the Garlic: In a medium size skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and add the garlic. Cook the garlic for about 30 seconds. It should be fragrant and just starting to turn soft brown in color.
- Cook the Rice: Add the rinsed and drained rice to the skillet and stir often so that the rice can toast on all sides, and does not burn. Do this for about 3-4 minutes. Watch closely, as the rice will burn if it sits too long without being stirred!
- Add the Chicken Broth and Seasoning: Pour the chicken broth into the rice, stir, and then add the onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir until blended.
- Cook on Low Heat: Turn the heat to low, loosely cover the skillet, and stir every few minutes to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook the rice for 10 to 15 minutes, or until rice is tender.
- Add the Cheese and Milk: Once the rice is cooked, remove it from the heat and add the parmesan cheese and milk. Stir everything until it is well blended.
- Season With Salt and Pepper, To Taste: Also, top the rice with fresh parsley and more parmesan cheese. Serve immediately!
Tips & Recipe Variations
While the steps above are relatively simple, there are a few extra tips that we’d like to share to ensure that you get the best results with your garlic rice. Here’s what to keep in mind:
- Our Number One Tip: Rinse Your Rice! Place the rice in a strainer or colander and rinse it thoroughly to wash away the starch that is on the outside of the grains. This will make the rice less sticky, and will help it separate and become fluffy.
- Garnish With Parsley: I love adding fresh parsley to this dish. It brings a little color to the rice, but also fresh parsley adds herbaceous flavor that accents the earthy flavor from the minced garlic.
- Mix in Vegetables: You can also throw some fresh veggies into your rice if you like! Sweet peas and mushrooms are our go-to additions.
What Goes With Parmesan Rice?
As mentioned above, you can serve this parmesan garlic rice on the side of just about any protein-packed dinner. Here are some suggestions if you’re looking for ideas:
- Chicken: Baked chicken, grilled chicken, fried chicken, you name it. Garlic rice goes with all of it! More specifically, we love it on the side of this Lemon Pepper Chicken or these Baked Chicken Legs.
- Steak: Rice is a great simple side for a nice, juicy steak! It also complements these Air Fryer Steak Bites quite well.
- Seafood: Parmesan rice pairs really nicely with salmon, or something like this Air Fryer Mahi Mahi… whatever you like!
How to Store and Reheat Garlic Rice
This rice side dish is really easy to store if you end up having leftovers. Follow these instructions for storage and reheating:
- To Store: Keep the ingredients in separate airtight containers (i.e. the cooked rice and any extra parmesan cheese) and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
- To Reheat: Simply use the microwave to reheat your rice. Add a little extra water to the rice before doing so to ensure that it regains its fluffy texture.
More Easy Rice Recipes
Rice is such a versatile side dish – there are so many different ways to make it! Here are a few more of our favorite rice recipes that we think you’ll love:
- Cilantro Lime Rice
- Crockpot Chicken and Rice
- Spanish Chicken and Rice
- Chicken and Rice Soup
- Korean Rice Bowls with Mango Slaw
Parmesan Garlic Rice
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup long grain rice, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
- 4 tablespoons whole milk
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese, more for serving
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Parsley, green onions or chives, optional garnish
- In a medium size skillet over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons of butter and add the garlic. Cook the garlic about 30 seconds until fragrant and just starting to turn soft brown in color.
- Add the rinsed and drained rice to the skillet and stir over medium heat. Stir often, so the rice can toast on all sides, and does not burn for 3-4 minutes. Watch closely as the rice will burn if it sits too long without being stirred.
- Pour the chicken broth into the rice, stir, and then add the onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir until blended.
- Turn the heat to low, loosely cover the skillet, and stir every few minutes to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook rice for 10 to 15 minutes, or until rice is tender.
- Once rice is cooked, remove from heat and add the parmesan cheese and milk. Stir until well blended.
- Salt and pepper, to taste. Top with fresh parsley and more parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.