20 Delicious Rice Side Dishes to Make Tonight

Dirty Rice
Photo: Photography: Caitlin Bensel, Prop Styling: Audrey Davis, Food Styling: Rishon Hanners

There are few things a Southerner loves more than a pot of rice. No matter if it's Creole jambalaya, Lowcountry red rice, or classic chicken bog, we've simply never met a rice dish we don't like. And when dinnertime is looming and we need a hearty side to save the day, we know rice is there, right under our sleeve, to handle the job.

We've rounded up 21 of the most delicious rice side dish recipes that will cover all of your bases. You can complete any weeknight dinner with our traditional broccoli-and-rice casserole, mushroom-speckled wild rice, or crowd-pleasing dirty rice. Looking to branch out? We gave a Southern twist to an exotic dish with our Lima Bean Fried Rice, and we're giving an old-school favorite a little Tex-Mex flair with our Squash-and-Green-Chile Casserole. It doesn't matter which one of these rice side dishes you pick first—the Southern staple is just happy to be included.

01 of 20

Okra and Rice Casserole

Okra and Rice Casserole
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Okra and Rice Casserole

This vegetable casserole is full of our favorite things: tender sautéed okra, sweet corn, bell pepper, fresh tomatoes, Cajun spices, and buttery garlic breadcrumbs.

02 of 20

Cheesy Broccoli-and-Rice Casserole

Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Cheesy Broccoli-and-Rice Casserole

For a Southerner, it doesn't get much better than broccoli-and-cheese casserole. Add rice? Perfection.

03 of 20

Herbed Wild Rice Dressing

Cornbread Dressing with Kale and Bacon
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Herbed Wild Rice Dressing

We'd call this dressing wild, that's for sure. From special occasions to Sunday night dinner, this recipe is a crowd-pleaser.

04 of 20

Collard Green Creole Dirty Rice

Collard Green Creole Dirty Rice
Alison Miksch; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Mary-Claire Britton

Recipe: Collard Green Creole Dirty Rice

Dirty rice is a dinnertime staple in the South, but this recipe throws in collard greens to really hammer the point home.

05 of 20

Squash and Green Chile Casserole

Squash and Green Chile Casserole
Greg Dupree; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Squash and Green Chile Casserole

We gave classic squash casserole a Tex-Mex makeover—and it's a total game-changer.

06 of 20

Arroz Verde (Mexican Green Rice)

Arroz Verde (Mexican Green Rice)
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Tina Stamos

Recipe: Arroz Verde (Mexican Green Rice)

Let this 15-minute dish add a pop of color to your plate. Cilantro and spinach give its green hue.

07 of 20

Zucchini Rice Gratin

Zucchini Rice Gratin
Linda Pugliese; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Zucchini Rice Gratin

This gratin favors our classic and well-loved cheesy squash casserole, but it skips the heavy mayonnaise.

08 of 20

Stuffed Tomatoes with Pesto Rice

Stuffed Tomatoes with Pesto Rice
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Stuffed Tomatoes with Pesto Rice

Bonus: You can stir ground beef, sausage, or shredded rotisserie chicken into this tasty filling to make it a meal.

09 of 20

Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole

Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole
Becky Luigart-Stayner

Recipe: Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole

Because sometimes the potluck calls for the heartiest of sides. This old-school recipe is oh-so comforting.

10 of 20

Shrimp Fried Rice

Shrimp Fried Rice
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Shrimp Fried Rice

Light and bright, this seafood supper is ready in under 30 minutes.

11 of 20

Emily's Red Beans and Rice

Emily's Red Beans and Rice
Peter Frank Edwards

Recipe: Emily's Red Beans and Rice

Just a few key ingredients will take plain rice to delicious new heights—and this recipe will definitely get you there.

12 of 20

Ham and Lima Bean Fried Rice

Ham and Lima Bean Fried Rice
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Ham and Lima Bean Fried Rice

Give fried rice a Southern twist with lima beans and ham. Even better, it calls for easy pantry and freezer staples to get the job done.

13 of 20

Wild Rice-and-Greens Casserole

Wild Rice-and-Greens Casserole
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Wild Rice-and-Greens Casserole

This casserole is packed to the brim with flavorful ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes, Gruyère cheese, kale, and chopped almonds.

14 of 20

Classic Risotto Milanese

Classic Risotto Milanese
Brian Woodcock; Styling: Cindy Barr

Recipe: Classic Risotto Milanese

Get ready to feel a little fancy. Saffron gives this risotto its signature golden color.

15 of 20

Parslied Brown Rice Pilaf

Parslied Brown Rice Pilaf
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Parslied Brown Rice Pilaf

The beauty of this dish lies in its simplicity. And the brown rice keeps it healthy.

16 of 20

Creamy Rice with Scallops

Creamy Rice with Scallops
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Creamy Rice with Scallops

This recipe is impressive enough for company but easy enough for a weeknight.

17 of 20

Jasmine Smith's Rice and Beans

Jasmine’s Rice and Beans
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Margaret Monroe Dickey; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Jasmine Smith's Rice and Beans

This dish of rice & beans is a Thanksgiving staple in Test Kitchen pro Jasmine Smith's household.

18 of 20

Savannah Red Rice

Savannah Red Rice
Photo: Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Savannah Red Rice

We love Southern regional recipes; this one is known as the defining dish of the Georgia coast.

19 of 20

Wild Rice with Mushrooms

Wild Rice with Mushrooms
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Wild Rice with Mushrooms

We dressed up storebought wild rice mix with mushrooms and Marsala.

20 of 20

Dirty Rice

Dirty Rice
Photography: Caitlin Bensel, Prop Styling: Audrey Davis, Food Styling: Rishon Hanners

Recipe: Dirty Rice

Full of flavor from Old Bay and jalapeño, this is a recipe you'll want to keep around.

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