Simple White Rice (Arroz Blanco)

White Rice
Steven Depolo/Flickr
  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 ½-cups (4 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
174 Calories
0g Fat
38g Carbs
3g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 ½-cups (4 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 174
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 78mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 3g
Calcium 19mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Chinese settlers first brought rice to the Caribbean islands in the early 1900s. It went well with just about every indigenous food; now white rice (known as arroz blanco) is a popular side dish with Latin Caribbean meals. Jamaican cuisine alone boasts more than 400 rice recipes. It's often an important component of other regional recipes as well. If you're looking for a rice dish that won't overshadow your main course, simple plain white rice hits the spot and it's easy to make. This recipe uses long grain rice


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • Pinch of salt, or to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Rinse the rice well in a colander. 

  2. Bring the water to boil in a saucepan. Add the rice and the salt.

  3. Allow the rice to boil for about 1 minute. Stir at least once to prevent sticking, but don't overdo it.

  4. Cover the saucepan with an appropriate tight-fitting lid that does not have an exhaust hole.

  5. Reduce the heat to low and allow the rice to simmer for about 30 minutes.

  6. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve. 


  • Don't lift the lid off the saucepan before the 30-minute cooking time has passed. The trapped steam cooks the rice. If you let it escape, your rice won't finish properly.
  • Long grain rice fluffs up when you cook it, especially with a little help from a fork at the end of the cooking. Unlike short grain rice, it doesn't tend to clump together. It's the easiest kind of rice to make since it's forgiving of errors such as in timing or letting some steam escape. 
  • Your rice may burn slightly on the bottom of the saucepan, but Latin American cuisine has a place for this byproduct, too. This burned rice is called "concon" in the Dominican Republic. It's crunchy and tasty, having absorbed any seasonings you included with the rice. 

Recipe Variations

  • Some traditional Caribbean white rice recipes include 1 to 1¼ tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice per each cup of rice. You can also sprinkle the rice with a little lime juice before rinsing it if it's picked up a plastic smell from the packaging. Add lime zest prior to serving for a hint of citrus and colorful kick.
  • You can add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and stir slightly before serving for a little extra flavor if you're serving the rice as a side dish. 
  • For richer rice, substitute chicken broth for all or some of the water. 
  • Jamaican cuisine adds red kidney beans to a rice side dish. Use one 15.5-ounce can per two cups of rice. Sauté onions, garlic, and a little hot pepper (if you like things spicy) in some olive oil, then add the mixture to the saucepan with the rice and beans and cook as you normally would.