When you need a delicious and easy side dish, this Garlic Bacon Rice is perfect. With crispy bacon, plenty of mellow garlic, and fluffy white rice, your whole family will love this super simple side dish that works with so many different meals.
If you want to know how to cook rice with flavor, then look no further, this dish is yummy enough that you can eat it on its own!
Serve this flavored white rice with some creamy chicken, grilled chicken, seared steak, or top with a fried egg for a different brunch idea!
Garlic, bacon, and carbs is a tried and tested flavor combination that just works!!! My Garlic Bacon Pasta is one of the most popular recipes on my blog, and I know why…..bacon!!! It just makes things taste better.
So let's talk bacon!
I ALWAYS have bacon in my refrigerator; it keeps for ages and adds so much flavor to a dish! Most of the time, I have the basic grocery store bacon, and it is perfectly good enough. It lets off enough fat, so you have some bacon grease to add flavor. And that bacon grease/fat is the key to this rice.
Please don't use the bacon eye or the bacon rounds here (or worse yet! Turkey bacon!!) Well you can, I am not going to be the food police! If that is what works for you, then go for it 🙂
But the bacon with some fat on it is what is going to give you the best side dish! Like I say in my Seared Scallops and Bacon Pasta, getting the bacon crispy and releasing all the fats is what makes the sauce taste so good! And the same is valid here. The delicious bacon fat helps with the finished dish!
The choice of rice
The grocery store's rice aisle is full of rice varieties, and they all have different flavors and cooking times.
For this recipe, I use standard white rice; it takes on the flavors of the garlic and bacon well and is easy to cook.
Cooking the rice in broth/stock adds extra flavor too! The garlic, bacon, and broth mean I could happily eat this side dish on its own! Just pass me a spoon and press play on Netflix!
The quantities given in the recipe card will cook your rice, so you don't have to drain the rice, we want to try and avoid draining the rice as we will pour away some of that flavor that we have worked so hard to create!
The rice to liquid ratios work for this, just be sure to turn the heat down to a very low gentle simmer. This will give you fluffier rice and also stop the liquid from evaporating too quickly.
For other rice and pasta sides why not try:
- Jeweled Persian Rice Pilaf
- Greek Style Rice (Greek Pilaf)
- Greek Orzo with Lemon and Herbs
- No Cream Italian Herb Pasta
- Brazilian Style White Rice
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Garlic Bacon Rice
- 1 ½ cups uncooked white rice
- 8 slices bacon
- 2 tbsp butter
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 ¼ cups broth, hot - see note 1
- Start by rinsing the rice. To do this, place it in a bowl and cover with water, use your fingers to agitate the rice. Drain the water away and repeat 2-3 more times until the water stops looking cloudy. Drain the rice and set it to one side.
1 ½ cup white rice
- Stack the bacon up and chop it into small dice. (don't remove the fat as we want that in the dish)
8 slices bacon
- Add the bacon to a heavy-based saucepan, cook over medium-high heat until the bacon is crisp.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a plate lined with a sheet of paper towel. Leave the bacon fat in the pan.
- Turn off the heat under the pan and add in the butter.
2 tbsp butter
- While the butter is slowly melting, peel and slice the garlic cloves.
6 garlic cloves
- Turn the heat under the pan back on to low and add the garlic. Stir for 1 minute until it is fragrant but hasn't started to color.
- Use a spoon to scoop out two tablespoons worth of garlic and butter and save for later.
- Add the rinsed rice to the garlic and stir for 60 seconds, so the rice is well coated in the butter mixture.
- Add the hot broth, salt and pepper, then stir and cover.
2 ¼ cup hot broth
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
- Turn heat down to medium-low, so it is simmering very gently. Cook for 13 - 15 minutes until all the broth has been absorbed.
- Turn off the heat, but leave the rice to rest with the lid still on for another 10 minutes.
- Finally, stir through the crispy bacon. Transfer to a serving dish, spoon over the reserved garlic butter and serve.
- The broth wants to be hot when you add it to the rice, so the rice cooks evenly and you can use vegetable or chicken broth/stock for this dish.