Cuban Yellow Rice ~ Cuban style rice with sautéed onions, herbs, spices including saffron, and fluffed with peas creating a perfect balance to any meal.Protein, vegetables, and fruit are wonderful. I love them. But sometimes, sometimes, a girl needs rice! And sometimes, it needs to be Cuban Yellow Rice.
The other day when Darla and her family came by for dinner, for those scrumptious Grilled Chicken and BBQ Coleslaw Tacos, I needed another dish (or two) to round my meal out. I was inspired to make this Cuban Yellow Rice because of all of our recent chatter about Cuba and trying to work out a trip there next spring. Elizabeth and I took a trip to California in March at the same time Darla and her family took a trip to the Virgin Islands by way of Miami. They stopped for dinner in a Cuban restaurant their first night and shared their food pictures with me. It made me crave the food so much that I tracked down a Cuban restaurant near my grandparents. Since that meal, I’ve been obsessed with learning more about the cuisine.
Do you know what makes this dish really special, it’s the saffron. Those little red threads are full of amazing flavor!
Cuban Yellow Rice is pretty easy to make and fantastic. It really pairs well with almost anything.
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Cuban Yellow Rice
- 8-10 long strands saffron (or double if broken)
- 1/4 cup HOT water
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 3 cups parboiled rice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp oregano
- 4 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 cup frozen peas
Place the saffron in the hot water, allow to steep for 20 minutes, the water will turn a deep yellow color.
After 20 minutes, pour the liquid through a fine mesh sieve (or coffee filter), discard the strands, reserve the liquid.
Heat a large sauté pan (one that has a lid, otherwise use a large saucepan) over medium heat, add the olive oil, roll to cover the pan, then add the onion.
Sauté the onion until it begins to turn translucent, about 5-7 minutes, add the salt and the rice.
Stirring constantly, cook the rice for several minutes until it begins to slightly brown.
Mix in the cumin, paprika, and oregano until they bloom and become fragrant.
Pour in the chicken broth and saffron liquid, mix well, and bring to a boil.
Boil for 2-3 minutes while stirring, reduce heat to low and continue to cook uncovered until the rice begins to absorb some of the water.
Cover, and cook for 20 minutes.
Stir in the peas, cover and continue to cook for 5 additional minutes or until the water has been completely absorbed.
Add the butter and using a fork, fluff the rice while mixing the butter in.
Serve and enjoy.
This recipe is adapted for the cookbook Celebrate Cuban by Three Guys from Miami, page 195
Katerina @ DiethoodMay 23, 2016 at 2:04 pm
Ooooh! This sounds waaaay better than my Uncle Ben’s for tonight! 😉 But really, with saffron? YES, please!
Des @ Life's AmbrosiaMay 23, 2016 at 2:10 pm
I love the idea of using saffron to jazz up rice a bit! This sounds great !
Joanie @ ZagLeftMay 23, 2016 at 3:54 pm
Such beautiful bowls of rice and full of so much flavor too. What a great way to jazz up a side dish.
Becky Hardin | The Cookie RookieMay 23, 2016 at 5:21 pm
DeeMay 24, 2016 at 1:56 am
This rice looks so good, and I love the colors. What a gorgeous side dish!
Jenny | Honey and BirchMay 24, 2016 at 1:23 pm
I’ve been looking for an excuse to break out my saffron – awesome recipe!!
Sandi (@fearless_dining)May 24, 2016 at 5:45 pm
I love using saffron. I had no idea it was used in Cuban cooking. I learned something new 🙂
Michelle De La CerdaMay 25, 2016 at 2:16 pm
That was news to me too!
Letty / Letty's KitchenMay 24, 2016 at 5:49 pm
I’d never heard of par-boiled rice. But a click on the link showed me!
I’m looking forward to trying the recipe, though I might make it with brown rice!
Michelle De La CerdaMay 25, 2016 at 2:14 pm
They make parboiled brown rice!
Dorothy at Shockingly DeliciousMay 25, 2016 at 1:23 pm
I actually have some saffron, so I look forward to trying this!
Michelle | A Dish of Daily LifeJune 8, 2016 at 12:04 pm
I love saffron…your Cuban rice looks like a must try to me! I’m putting it on the menu this summer!
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Marc JasekMarch 22, 2021 at 7:52 pm
Beautiful dish and easy to make but the flavors didn’t come thru as expected. I’ll make it again, probably with more cumin and use smoked paprika.
LynnApril 2, 2022 at 6:35 am
Hi. I am unable to find the link for the parboiled rice. Is it still available?
Michelle De La CerdaApril 2, 2022 at 7:03 am
Parboiled rice is a type of rice. You’ll find it with the other rices or even with the Hispanic foods.
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