Garlic parmesan rice is a simple side dish that turns out perfectly creamy and cheesy. This family-friendly side pairs well with many main courses, like chicken, steak, and pork chops.
Add a side of garlic parmesan rice to your next meal. It's easy to make from scratch in a single pot on the stovetop and kids and adults alike will love it!
Long grain white rice is cooked with garlic butter, milk, chicken broth, and seasoning, then tossed with freshly grated parmesan cheese just before serving. It turns out creamy, cheesy, and filled with garlic flavor.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Butter - Unsalted butter can be substituted with salted butter. You'll want to cut the listed salt in half. I recommend using butter for best flavor, but it can be substituted with olive oil if needed.
- Garlic - Freshly minced garlic adds the best garlic flavor to your rice. I do not recommend substituting with pre-minced garlic in a jar, which often has a harsh flavor in comparison.
- Rice - Any long grain white rice works well in this recipe. I do not recommend using instant rice. If using brown rice as a substitute, know that it will take longer to cook than the times listed in the recipe card.
- Broth - Chicken broth or vegetable broth adds flavor and seasoning to your rice. If using low sodium broth, you may want to add extra salt or fresh herbs to your rice to make up for the lost flavor.
- Milk - Whole milk makes your rice creamy and rich. Lower fat milks will work, but note that your rice will turn out less creamy.
- Seasoning - Salt, pepper, and fresh chopped parsley add flavor to your rice.
- Parmesan cheese - Adds salty, cheesy flavor to the rice. I highly recommend using cheese freshly grated from a block rather than pre-grated parmesan cheese from a green canister. These types of cheeses are often coated in anti-clumping powder that adds a grainy texture when melted.
- Parsley - Adds peppery flavor and color to the finished dish. Can be omitted if desired.
Can I use brown rice?
In short - yes, but with changes to the recipe.
What is the difference between white rice and brown rice? White rice is rice that has been processed to remove the hull, bran, and germ. Brown rice is rice that has been processed to only remove the hull.
What does all of that mean when it comes to cooking? Brown rice takes longer to cook because the outer bran is intact. Since the outer bran is removed on white rice, it easily soaks up water and cooks faster.
Brown rice takes about 45 minutes to cook through, and you may need to add a splash of additional water partway through cooking. I've included instructions for brown rice in the recipe card below.
Tips and tricks
- For best flavor, use freshly minced garlic or garlic powder, not pre-minced garlic in a jar, which has a harsh flavor.
- Keep an eye on your rice as it simmers. If the heat is too high, milk can easily froth up and boil over - or curdle. A gentle simmer is best.
- Rice looking dry before it's done cooking? Add a splash of water, stir gently, and cover.
- Rice sticking to the bottom of the pan? Add a splash of water, stir gently, and reduce the heat slightly.
- Don't stir rice too much. This can cause it to stick together and get mushy.
- Don't lift the lid too often - this lets out steam and heat, drying out the rice and elongating the cooking process.
Rinsing your rice
Before beginning, rinse your rice to remove surface starches. This helps the rice cook up fluffy with individual grains. Otherwise, rice can turn out sticky or gummy.
To rinse rice, place your measured rice into a fine mesh sieve and hold under running water, agitating with your hands until the water runs clear. Or, pour rice into a mixing bowl, cover with water, and agitate with your hands. Rinse cloudy water out and repeat until water runs clear. This process should only take a few minutes.
Mains to serve with rice
Wondering what to serve with garlic parmesan rice? Here are a few of my favorite main dish ideas:
- Parmesan crusted pork chops
- Pan-seared ribeye
- Baked chicken drumsticks
- Sautéed garlic butter shrimp
- Panko crusted salmon
Garlic Parmesan Rice
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup long grain white rice, not instant or brown (see note below)*
- 8 ounces chicken broth
- 8 ounces whole milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add garlic and cook until it begins to lightly brown and smells fragrant, about a minute. Add rice, chicken broth, milk, salt, and pepper to pan, stirring to combine. Bring to a simmer, cover, and reduce heat to low.
- Cook for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Remove from heat. Add parmesan cheese and parsley. Gently stir and fluff rice with a fork. Serve warm.
- 9" Fine Mesh Strainer
- *If you'd like to substitute with brown rice, it will take significantly longer to cook, up to 45 minutes instead of the listed 18-20 minutes. Consult your rice's package directions for best results. You may also need to add an additional splash of water partway through cooking if it begins to look dry.
- Leftovers will keep for 3-4 days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.