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Garlic Butter Parmesan Rice

Indulge in the rich and creamy flavors of Garlic Butter Parmesan Rice, bursting with flavor and cooked all in one pot! The garlic and cheese mix is simply delicious. It’s kid-friendly and makes a great side dish for chicken, steak, or seafood.

top view of cooking rice with spinach

This garlic rice is our hands-down-favorite rice recipe. My kids love it because it’s creamy and cheesy, and I love it because it cooks up in one pot, and it’s not another pan of mac & cheese.

Why You’ll Love This Easy Rice Recipe

  • Flavorful: The combination of garlic and Parmesan creates a hard-to-resist richness.
  • One-Pot Wonder: Easy cleanup with everything cooked in a single pot.
  • Versatile Side Dish: Parmesan rice pairs wonderfully with chicken, steak, or seafood.
  • Customizable: Easy to adapt with various broths and optional spinach.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Butter: Adds creaminess and richness.
  • Garlic: Fresh is best, but you can also use garlic powder.
  • Long Grain Rice: I like to use Basmati rice or plain white long-grain rice.
  • Milk: Contributes to the creaminess and it can be replaced with a dairy-free alternative.
  • Water or Broth: Use chicken or vegetable broth for extra flavor.
  • Salt & Pepper: For seasoning the rice.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Adds a nutty, cheesy depth.
  • Baby Spinach (Optional): For a touch of color and nutrition.
  • Fresh Parsley: Used for garnish and freshness.
dutch oven with raw rice frying in butter

How to Make Garlic Butter Parmesan Rice

  1. Melt: Set a Dutch oven or a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter. Stir in the garlic and cook it for a couple of minutes. 
  2. Add: Add rice and stir it around to evenly coat it with the butter. Stir in the milk, water, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. 
  3. Cook: Cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Finish: Remove the lid and stir in the cheese, spinach, and parsley. Remove the pot from the heat. Cover it and let it stand for 3 minutes before serving.

Recipe Tips

If you’re looking for a next-level side dish that everyone will love, you’ve found it. Follow these tips to make sure it’s the best:

  • You can opt to use water or broth. Chicken broth or vegetable broth both work well. I’d recommend using low-sodium versions or adjusting the amount of salt you add if you do use broth instead of water. 
  • Don’t skip the milk! The milk is what gives this dish the creamy, risotto-like texture. 
  • This recipe calls for long-grain rice. Short-grain rice will be too dense and won’t get as tender. I prefer Basmati rice, but Jasmine rice also works really well. 
wooden spoon scooping out rice from a dutch oven

Serving Suggestions

I like to use this garlic butter rice dish in place of any plain rice side to a juicy blue steak, roast chicken, or broiled salmon. If you don’t include the spinach, you may want to serve sauteed green beans or snap peas with the rest of your dishes. A spicy chicken soup beforehand would be fabulous.

How to Store Leftover Garlic Rice

Cool the leftovers to room temperature, place them in an airtight container, and refrigerate for 2 days. To maintain creaminess, reheat on the stove or in the microwave with a splash of milk or broth.

stirring rice and spinach with wooden spoon

Delicious Rice Dishes

stirring rice and spinach with wooden spoon
Print Recipe
4.96 from 21 votes

Garlic Butter Parmesan Rice

Enjoy this easy-to-make Garlic Butter Parmesan Rice, bursting with flavor and cooked all in one pot! It makes a great side dish for chicken, steak, or seafood.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy rice recipe, easy side dish, garlic butter rice, garlic rice, parmesan rice
Servings: 4
Calories: 373kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water, you can also use chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach, optional
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided

Instructions

  • Set a Dutch oven or a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter. Stir in the garlic and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Do not burn the garlic.
  • Add rice and stir around to evenly coat with the melted butter. Stir in the milk, water, salt, and pepper, and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low; cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the lid and stir in the Parmesan cheese, baby spinach, and 1 tablespoon parsley. Remove from heat; cover and let stand for 3 minutes.
  • Garnish with remaining parsley and serve.

Notes

  • Avoid Burning the Garlic: Stir the garlic to keep the flavor fresh and to prevent bitterness.
  • Stir the Rice: Prevents the rice from sticking and ensures even cooking.

Nutrition

Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 638mg | Potassium: 332mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3370IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 260mg | Iron: 1mg

58 Comments

  • Amanda
    Jun 3, 2020 at 11:32 pm

    5 stars
    I have to try this rice ASAP, it looks so flavorful!

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina Petrovska
      Jun 4, 2020 at 8:55 pm

      I hope you enjoy it! THANK YOU! 🙂

      Reply
  • Toni
    Jun 4, 2020 at 1:23 am

    5 stars
    Such a delicious side dish! My crew is nuts for this recipe.

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina Petrovska
      Jun 4, 2020 at 8:54 pm

      I hope you enjoy it! Thank YOU! 🙂

      Reply
  • Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert
    Jun 4, 2020 at 3:37 am

    5 stars
    This creamy Garlic Butter Parmesan Rice looks incredibly delicious!

    Reply
  • Catalina
    Jun 4, 2020 at 8:39 am

    5 stars
    I love simple and easy dishes. This rice will be perfect for dinner tonight!

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina Petrovska
      Jun 4, 2020 at 8:50 pm

      I hope you enjoy it! THANK YOU! 🙂

      Reply
  • Suzy
    Jun 4, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    5 stars
    Love the flavor of this rice! So simple but tasty!

    Reply
  • Sara Welch
    Jun 4, 2020 at 9:50 pm

    5 stars
    Served this with dinner last night and the whole family loved it! Perfectly flavored and creamy; delicious!

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina Petrovska
      Jun 5, 2020 at 3:29 pm

      I’m very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

      Reply
  • Cathy
    Jun 5, 2020 at 5:06 pm

    This has such amazing flavor! Definitely will be making it again!

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina Petrovska
      Jun 6, 2020 at 3:48 pm

      Thank you, Cathy! I am very glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

      Reply
  • Amanda
    Nov 22, 2020 at 1:33 am

    5 stars
    Made it just as written without the parsley. I doubled the recipe for a family gathering. I used long grain brown rice and it turned out great! Thanks!

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina Petrovska
      Dec 1, 2020 at 6:11 pm

      That’s great! I am very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

      Reply
    • Layne
      Jul 4, 2021 at 4:34 pm

      So you didn’t make it JUST as written lol

      Reply
      • Maddie Leo
        Jan 27, 2023 at 6:23 am

        Lol. She mentioned without the parsley.RUDE

        Reply
  • Candace
    Dec 29, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    What if I don’t have parm cheese? Is this crucial to making this recipe?

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina
      Dec 30, 2020 at 1:42 am

      It won’t taste as intended, but you could definitely make it without the parm if you don’t mind missing out on the cheesy, salty flavor of parmesan cheese. 😊

      Reply
  • Faith
    Jan 14, 2021 at 9:25 pm

    Can you make with jar minced garlic? Or does it have to be fresh garlic?

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina
      Jan 15, 2021 at 3:04 pm

      Yes, you certainly can, but I find that fresh garlic tastes better. However, if that’s no issue, then yeah, go ahead with the jarred garlic.

      Reply
  • Ashley Geneice Gannon
    Jan 26, 2021 at 11:04 pm

    OMG, this is soooo good…. Where has this side dish been all my life?! My hubby asks for it weekly!!

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina Petrovska
      Feb 2, 2021 at 4:31 pm

      That’s great! I’m very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

      Reply
  • Susan
    Apr 23, 2021 at 10:33 pm

    4 stars
    Delicious! Thanks for sharing

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina Petrovska
      Apr 24, 2021 at 10:50 am

      Thank YOU! I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

      Reply
  • Kari Soltys
    Jun 7, 2021 at 1:53 pm

    Have you ever made with half of the butter? Or oil instead? I have to watch cholesterol.

    Reply
  • Laura A Roy
    Aug 22, 2021 at 2:59 pm

    5 stars
    My kids are always requesting this! So easy to make, the only thing I do differently is you use an entire can of chicken stock instead of just a cup. Makes it a little creamier. Thanks for making this a regular part of my meals!

    Reply
  • Laura A Roy
    Aug 22, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    5 stars
    My kids are always requesting this! So easy to make, the only thing I do differently is use an entire can of chicken stock instead of just a cup. Makes it a little creamier. Thanks for making this a regular part of my meals!

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina Petrovska
      Aug 25, 2021 at 9:59 am

      I’m very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

      Reply
  • Heidi
    Oct 24, 2021 at 11:43 pm

    Why did mine come out to runny? Appreciate any thoughts.

    Reply
  • Marg
    Nov 24, 2021 at 1:24 am

    5 stars
    I made this tonight and added a few prawns and scallops at the final step. Left it to sit in its own heat to cook seafood through. Yum yum !!!

    Reply
  • Aimee
    Dec 12, 2021 at 10:06 am

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious and flavorful. Will be added to the recipe box for future!

    Reply
  • kaimen
    Jan 5, 2022 at 12:54 pm

    can I use buttermilk instead of regular milk??

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina
      Jan 5, 2022 at 4:50 pm

      I have not tested this recipe with buttermilk.

      Reply
  • Leslie
    Feb 20, 2022 at 5:27 pm

    Can I use cauliflower rice and then just a dash or two of milk ????

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina
      Feb 22, 2022 at 7:44 am

      I have not tested this recipe with cauliflower rice, but if you do, and have a minute, please let me know how it went! Keep in mind that cauli-rice does not need to cook for 20+ minutes like rice. You’ll only need to cook it for just a few minutes. You can try and follow my recipe here and just tweak it around with parm cheese and milk 👉 https://diethood.com/garlic-butter-cauliflower-rice-spinach/

      Reply
  • Sonya
    Mar 1, 2022 at 6:19 pm

    5 stars
    I made this for my family last night and everyone loved it! It worked great with chicken. 🙂 Can the leftovers be saved in the fridge and how long would you recommend it would stay good?

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina
      Mar 2, 2022 at 10:12 am

      Happy you enjoyed it! Thank you 🙂
      You can store the leftovers in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for about 2 to 3 days.

      Reply
  • Kyle
    Mar 27, 2022 at 7:18 pm

    5 stars
    This looks amazing! Could you use a combination of chicken broth and water? Like half a cup of each?

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina
      Mar 28, 2022 at 10:03 am

      Hi!
      Yes, that will also work.

      Reply
    • Kyle
      Apr 6, 2022 at 12:11 pm

      5 stars
      We this and it was amazing! We will have to double it next time it was so good. If we do double it, will it effect the cooking time of the rice?

      Reply
      • Katerina
        Katerina
        Apr 6, 2022 at 7:35 pm

        Hi!
        SO happy you enjoyed it! It’s my favorite rice dish. ☺️
        The time will increase simply because you are using a larger mass of food to be heated. However, it should not take a huge increase in time, average is probably around 25% longer.

        Reply
  • Steve
    Mar 27, 2022 at 8:38 pm

    This looks supper good, will brown rice work?

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina
      Mar 28, 2022 at 10:03 am

      I haven’t tested this recipe with brown rice, but I can tell you that brown rice needs to cook longer than white rice.

      Reply
  • Doctor Grandma Jeannie
    May 23, 2022 at 8:42 pm

    5 stars
    Very good. I used brown rice, but it was still a bit crunchy after 55 minutes and an extra 1 1/2 cups of fluids, incl. a splash of cream. I used Better Than Bouillon Chicken, and omitted salt. Omitted parsley and spinach (out). I sauteed the garlic for only 3 min. on med low heat and it was brown and crispy. Next time will cook on lowest setting, possibly for less time. Overall, it was very good and a nice change. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
  • Erika
    Aug 15, 2022 at 8:14 pm

    5 stars
    Made this for the first time tonight, but because I’m a pot head (Instant Pot, that is 🤣), I had to make some tweaks. I didn’t add all the milk before pressure cooking and cooked it for 3/12. Added in the remaining milk, the parmesan and freeze dried parsley. So good!

    Reply
  • Chris
    Jan 20, 2023 at 5:24 pm

    5 stars
    Served w Pistachio crusted Mahi Mahi was excellent, didn’t change a thing! Family loved it, caught husband scrapping pot for leftovers!

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina Petrovska
      Jan 22, 2023 at 11:53 am

      That’s great! I’m very glad you and your family enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

      Reply
  • Steve
    Feb 15, 2023 at 3:04 pm

    5 stars
    This was amazing, one the best rice dishes I have ever had! Can it be made in a rice cooker in the future?

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina
      Feb 21, 2023 at 7:26 am

      Hi!
      So glad you liked it! I have not tested this recipe in a rice cooker, so I can’t say.

      Reply
  • Mary
    Oct 1, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    5 stars
    This rice is so good. I made it exactly as directed using chicken broth. I did the spinach sautéed on the side & served with salmon. My toddler loved it too.

    Reply
  • Taylor Ralli
    Apr 2, 2024 at 1:15 pm

    Can you use almond milk instead of regular milk?

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina
      Apr 5, 2024 at 9:54 am

      Yes, you can. I would just make sure it’s unsweetened.

      Reply
  • Laurie
    May 14, 2024 at 8:59 pm

    5 stars
    We really enjoyed this rice as a side with our salmon. Even our picky granddaughter ate it.

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina
      May 15, 2024 at 2:52 pm

      That’s fantastic! I’m so glad the rice was a hit, even with your picky granddaughter. Thank YOU! 🙂

      Reply

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