Garlic Rice: A Flavorful Brazilian Delight

Welcome to a world of bold, vibrant flavors that will transport your taste buds to the heart of Brazil! As a chef with a passion for Brazilian cuisine, I am excited to share with you my recipe for Brazilian Garlic Rice, a dish that perfectly embodies the rich and diverse flavors of this wonderful country.

Rice is an essential ingredient in Brazilian cuisine, and this recipe is a perfect example of how rice can be transformed into a delicious and flavorful side dish. The combination of sautéed garlic and onions, long-grain white rice, and fresh herbs is cooked to perfection in olive oil, resulting in an aromatic dish that is sure to become a family favorite.

As the saying goes, food is the way to the heart, and this traditional Brazilian rice dish is no exception. With every bite of this fragrant garlic-infused rice, you’ll experience the soulful passion of Brazilian food culture. Not only is it incredibly delicious, but it’s also easy to make and adaptable to different variations – perfect for busy weeknights or festive gatherings.

So whether you’re new to Brazilian cuisine or just looking for a fresh take on your favorite rice dish, I invite you to join me as we delve into the delightful world of Brazilian Garlic Rice. Let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Brazilian Garlic Rice
Brazilian Garlic Rice

My dear cooking enthusiasts, and curious foodies who are looking to spice up their daily routine with exotic Brazilian cuisine, I assure you that this Brazilian Garlic Rice Recipe will be a game-changer for your side dish game.

Imagine the satisfying sound and heavenly aroma of perfectly cooked long-grain white rice, mixed with deliciously fried garlic and finely chopped onion that season your taste buds like a warm embrace. Picture how this flavorful side dish pairs gorgeously with any protein of your choosing, from grilled chicken to pan-seared salmon, and even hearty black beans or spicy sausage.

This Brazilian Garlic Rice Recipe is not only a wonderful traditional Brazilian rice recipe to add to your repertoire but also it is the perfect side dish for almost any meal! In fact, I guarantee that you will find yourself serving it as often as mashed potatoes or steamed vegetables. Trust me when I say that once you try this recipe, there is no going back to plain boring rice dishes.

So why should you love this particular recipe? Here are three reasons:

Firstly, rice is a common staple in many households around the world; however, we all too often find ourselves struggling to make it exciting or flavor-packed. Enter Brazilian Garlic Rice – it adds an extra level of depth and dimension to meals rather than just filling our stomachs.

Secondly, nothing is worse than a bland and sticky batch of white rice that ruins your meal experience. It takes practice and patience to cook a good pot of white rice, but fear not because this recipe has got you covered with the exact proportions of ingredients and timing.

Thirdly, if you’re a garlic fanatic like I am, then this dish will tickle your fancy with its irresistible garlicky aroma and flavor. Plus, garlic offers numerous health benefits such as boosting immunity and being rich in antioxidants.

In summary, whether you’re looking for a new tasty side dish or wanting to explore traditional Brazilian cuisine, this Brazilian Garlic Rice Recipe is the perfect addition to your recipe book.

Ingredient List

 Perfumed with garlic, this Brazilian rice is an explosion of flavor in every bite.
Perfumed with garlic, this Brazilian rice is an explosion of flavor in every bite.

Let’s take a look at what you need to prepare this flavorful Brazilian Garlic Rice Recipe. This recipe calls for simple ingredients that are easy to find in any grocery store. Gather these quality ingredients before we dive into cooking the rice:


  • 1 cup of long-grain white rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt

That’s all you need to make this delicious Brazilian-style white rice! Additionally, you can add fresh herbs or a squeeze of lime juice after cooking to boost the flavor of your dish. Let’s get started with cooking.

The Recipe How-To

 A side dish fit for any occasion, this Brazilian garlic rice is a crowd pleaser.
A side dish fit for any occasion, this Brazilian garlic rice is a crowd pleaser.

Step 1: Wash the Rice Thoroughly

Before cooking the rice, it is essential to wash it. Washing the rice will remove any dirt, debris and excess starch. In a small bowl, add 2 cups of long-grain white rice and rinse it under cold water until the water becomes clear.

Step 2: Soak the Rice for Better Flavor

Soaking rice will improve its texture and flavor, especially when making Brazilian rice. In a medium-size bowl, add enough water to cover the rice entirely and let it sit for 15 minutes.

Step 3: Sauté Onion and Garlic in Olive Oil

In a large pot over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is heated, add finely chopped onion and 3 cloves of minced garlic*. Sauté for 3-4 minutes or until the onions turn translucent.

Step 4: Add Rice to the Pot

Drain the soaked rice from step two in a sieve or colander, discarding the soaking liquid. Add it to the pot with onions and garlic. Mix well to coat the rice with oil.

Step 5: Pour Water and Salt

Pour 3 cups of water into the pot along with 1 tsp of salt. Stir once more and increase heat to high.

Step 6: Bring to Boil then Reduce Heat and Cover

Once the water comes to a boil, reduce heat as low as possible and cover tightly with a lid for approximately 20 minutes. Let it cook until all liquid is absorbed by rice.

Step 7: Fluff Rice with a Fork

After 20 minutes, remove pot from heat but keep lid closed tightly for another 10 minutes. This step is necessary for steam to finish cooking rice fully. Then fluff rice lightly with fork before serving.

Enjoy your mouth-watering Brazilian Garlic Rice!

Substitutions and Variations

 This simple and satisfying side dish packs a delicious garlicky punch.
This simple and satisfying side dish packs a delicious garlicky punch.

Reading this recipe for Brazilian Garlic Rice has surely made your mouth water and left you craving for a big bowlful of steaming, aromatic rice that’s bound to stun your tastebuds! However, if you’re missing an ingredient or want to add a creative twist to the recipe, keep reading.

– Rice: The recipe can be made using long-grain white rice, but you can also substitute with jasmine rice or basmati rice for more pronounced aromatics. Arborio rice adds a touch of creaminess, whereas wild rice can bring nuttiness and texture.

– Garlic: Three cloves of garlic might feel too mild for garlic lovers. Go ahead and add more as per your taste preference. You can swap fresh garlic with garlic powder, but be sure to watch the quantity as garlic powder is potent.

– Onion: Substitute the medium onion with any onion variety in your pantry, though yellow onions are the most common substitute. Red onions retain their crunch and color after cooking, making them an excellent choice for garnishing. Shallots lend sweetness and depth to the dish.

– Vegetarian: This recipe originally doesn’t contain meat or animal products, but diced vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, or peas make a healthy addition.

– Protein add-ins: The traditional Brazilian way of serving this rice is along with rice and beans. For a heartier meal, add cooked chicken, shrimp or sausage to develop depth in flavor.

– Seasonings: Switch up the flavors by adding dried herbs like oregano, rosemary or thyme to build layers of taste. Fresh herbs like chopped parsley, cilantro or green onion impart freshness and lift up the dish’s aroma.

Overall, experimenting with these substitutions guarantees creative fun paired up with exquisite flavors that will surprise your palate every time!

Serving and Pairing

 With just a few ingredients, this garlic rice transforms into a flavorful masterpiece.
With just a few ingredients, this garlic rice transforms into a flavorful masterpiece.

One of the best things about this Brazilian garlic rice recipe is that it’s incredibly versatile and can be served alongside many dishes. The garlicky and savory flavors of the rice pair beautifully with various meats, from steak to chicken to fish. You can even serve this aromatic rice as a side dish with grilled vegetables for a healthier option.

For an authentic Brazilian dining experience, try pairing this rice with some traditional Brazilian dishes such as feijoada, a black bean stew, or beans and sausage. The combination of the garlicky rice, flavorful beans, and meat is simply divine and invokes a true sense of Brazilian cuisine.

If you’re looking for some other great pairing ideas, try serving this rice with some delicious barbecued ribs or roasted pork. The rice will add a rich and comforting element to any dish, making it the perfect complement to hearty meals.

However, this garlic-flavored rice isn’t just limited to accompanying other dishes. In Brazil, it’s also common to enjoy this flavorful side dish on its own as arroz frito or fried rice, which is often served as a main course. Simply fry the cooked rice in some garlic butter until crispy, add some chopped fresh herbs and seasoned onions, and you’ll have a delicious and filling meal!

No matter how you serve it or what you pair it with, this Brazilian garlic rice recipe will certainly make any meal more flavorful and soulful!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Once you try this Brazilian garlic rice, you'll never want plain, boring rice again.
Once you try this Brazilian garlic rice, you’ll never want plain, boring rice again.

Making ahead, storing and reheating Brazilian Garlic Rice recipe requires some careful consideration to maintain its flavor and texture. Here are some tips to ensure that you get the best out of this savory dish.

To Make-Ahead:

When preparing in advance, cook the Brazilian Garlic Rice recipe as you usually would, then let it cool down to room temperature before storing it. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

To Store:

Brazilian Garlic Rice is easy to store. Always refrigerate any leftover rice immediately so that it doesn’t spoil. Leftover rice should always be put into an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to five days.

To Reheat:

As previously mentioned, this dish is easy to reheat as it does not lose its texture or flavors easily. The best way to reheat Brazilian Garlic Rice is by using a microwave or a stove. If you opt for the microwave, place the rice into a microwaveable dish with a tablespoon of water on top and cover it with plastic wrap or a lid that’s designed for microwave use. Microwave on high power for 30 seconds per portion or until thoroughly heated through.

As for stovetop reheating, Add a tablespoon or two of water into the cold pan, then add the leftover rice into it. Reheat for about 5-10 minutes until hot and steamy while stirring occasionally.

Tip: Use leftover Brazilian Garlic Rice recipe to create Fried Rice—a classic Chinese-style take on leftovers combined with scrambled eggs, diced vegetables, diced chicken (or shrimp), and peas makes for an aromatic and delicious meal.

Follow these guidelines to make this popular side dish perfect each time you prepare it in advance or find yourself looking to reheat some leftovers!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The perfect companion to any protein, this Brazilian garlic rice is a must-try.
The perfect companion to any protein, this Brazilian garlic rice is a must-try.

When it comes to cooking rice, it can be tricky to get it just right. But don’t worry, with a bit of knowledge and some practice, you can make the perfect Brazilian garlic rice every time. Here are some tips to help you achieve great results:

1. Use long-grain white rice

For this recipe, long-grain white rice is the best choice. It has the right amount of starch to keep each grain separate and fluffy.

2. Rinse the rice

Rinsing the rice removes any excess starch and debris that could make your rice gluey or gritty. Use a fine-mesh sieve and run water over the rice until it runs clear.

3. Use fresh garlic

The flavor of fresh garlic is essential to this dish, so try to use fresh cloves instead of pre-minced ones. They have a better flavor and aroma.

4. Don’t skimp on the garlic

This dish is all about the garlic, so don’t be shy when adding it to the pan. The garlic should be used generously—3 cloves for one cup of rice is just right.

5. Toast the rice before boiling

Toasting the rice in olive oil before boiling gives it an extra nutty flavor and makes it more aromatic.

6. Season well

A good pinch of salt can enhance the taste of any dish, and Brazilian garlic rice is no exception. Be sure to season your rice well with salt, starting at about 1 teaspoon per cup.

7. Cover tightly while cooking

While your rice is simmering, make sure to cover tightly with a lid or foil. This traps steam inside the pot and helps cook the grain evenly.

8. Let it sit for 10 minutes

After cooking, remove from heat and let sit for about 10 minutes – covered – so that every grain can absorb moisture perfectly and become fluffier.

By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to creating the best Brazilian garlic rice. Enjoy it as a side dish to beef, pork, chicken, or black beans for a complete and satisfying meal.


As with any recipe, it’s normal to have a few questions or concerns before attempting to make it. Here are some frequently asked questions that may help you perfect this Brazilian Garlic Rice recipe.

What do Brazilians eat with rice?

In Brazil, rice plays a significant role in their cuisine as it is consumed on a daily basis. The staple meal for Brazilians consists of rice, beans, either beef or chicken, salad and occasionally, french fries.

What is the rice in Brazil called?

Arroz branco, also known as white rice, holds a significant place in Brazilian gastronomy, with Brazil being one of the world’s leading consumers of this staple. It is commonly utilized as a primary ingredient or side dish in many Brazilian classic dishes.

How to infuse rice with flavor?

One easy way to add some flavor and depth to your recipe is by swapping out plain water for a different liquid. You can try using vegetable or chicken broth, coconut water or even fruit juice, like pineapple or orange. To give your liquid an extra kick, add a squirt of lemon or lime juice or throw in some fresh herbs, like cilantro or basil, while cooking. Another option is to use dried herbs, which can be added directly to the liquid. This small adjustment can make a big difference in the final taste of your dish.

Why is rice so popular in Brazil?

Rice and beans serves as a staple dish in Brazil due to its affordability and nutritional value, which make it a popular choice among the masses.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Brazilian Garlic Rice recipe is a must-try for anyone looking to spice up their rice game with a delicious and flavorful twist. The combination of the aromatic garlic and onions cooked in olive oil gives this side dish a beautiful and authentic Brazilian taste.

With its simple ingredient list and easy-to-follow instructions, this recipe is perfect for both novice and expert chefs worldwide. And with the option for substitutions and variations, you can make this dish your own by adding your favorite fresh herbs or protein like beans and sausage.

Truly, this Brazilian Garlic Rice recipe is not only a side dish but also a statement piece that adds flavor and color to any meal. So whether you are cooking up a big feast or a quick weeknight dinner, why not try making this rice brazilian way? Trust my word; it will become your all-time favorite rice recipe just like it did mine!

Brazilian Garlic Rice

Brazilian Garlic Rice Recipe

This is delicious when you want a nutty, garlicky rice side dish. It complements chicken, pork, and fish very nicely and is traditionally served with a sprinkling of hot sauce. If you can find authentic molho apimentado (hot sauce madde with bird chiles), all the better!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Brazilian
Calories 623.8 kcal


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced very thinly
  • 3 tablespoons shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas, find them in the latino section of many stores)
  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 1/2 onion, minced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 4 cups water
  • salt
  • hot sauce


  • In a small saucepan saute the sliced garlic in the olive oil on low heat until garlic is crispy and light golden brown.
  • Drain garlic on paper towels and reserve 1-1/2 tablespoons of the garlicky olive oil.
  • In a small skillet, toast pumpkin seeds lightly (they'll begin popping all over the place), then finely mince them.
  • Set aside.
  • Transfer the 1-1/2 tablespoons of reserved olive oil to a large saucepan and saute the onion and rice together for about 3 minutes.
  • Add water and salt, bring to a boil then lower heat, cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes or until done and liquid is absorbed.
  • Serve with minced toasted pumpkin seeds and garlic chips sprinkled on top; provide hot sauce for sprinkling also.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 253gCalories: 623.8kcalCarbohydrates: 78gProtein: 8.6gFat: 30.6gSaturated Fat: 4.5gSodium: 12.2mgFiber: 1.7gSugar: 0.8g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Brazilian, Long-Grain Rice, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, Rice, South American, Stove Top, Vegan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes Just For You

None found



Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.