Authentic Brazilian Orange Rice Recipe – A Taste of Brazil!

Welcome to my kitchen! I’m excited to share with you one of my favorite Brazilian-style recipes: Brazilian Orange Rice. This dish is a perfect addition to any meal, adding a pop of flavor and a burst of color to your plate.

As a chef who specializes in both Brazilian and American cuisine, I am always on the lookout for unique and delicious dishes that bring new flavors to the table. And let me tell you, this rice recipe is one of the best. It’s the perfect combination of citrusy sweetness from the orange juice and zest, savory notes from the garlic and chili powder, and a hint of caramelization from the brown sugar.

What sets this recipe apart from other rice dishes is its bright orange color. It’s not only visually appealing but also provides some healthy nutrients like Vitamin C which is found in oranges.

Whether you’re hosting a dinner party, preparing for a family gathering, or just want to spruce up your weeknight meal routine, Brazilian Orange Rice will not disappoint.

So, come along with me as we journey through this flavorful recipe together. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Brazilian Orange Rice
Brazilian Orange Rice

Are you ready to taste the unique and delightful flavor of Brazilian cuisine? Look no further than this Brazilian Orange Rice recipe! This savory orange rice is an unmistakable blend of sweet and tangy flavors that will excite your taste buds and leave you wanting more.

With ingredients such as brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, and orange zest, this recipe packs a punch with every bite. Moreover, the inclusion of black olives and pine nuts adds a crunchy texture that complements the rice perfectly.

One of the standout features of this dish is its bright and eye-catching color. The vivid orange hue not only gives it a beautiful presentation but also mirrors the warmth and vibrancy of the Brazilian culture.

With its easy-to-follow instructions, even beginners in the kitchen can create this delectable meal with minimal effort. Plus, it’s versatile enough to serve as a side dish or devour it as a main course itself.

So what are you waiting for? Bring the exotic flavors of Brazil to your dinner table with this Brazilian Orange Rice recipe today!

Ingredient List

 A burst of citrusy flavors in your rice bowl!
A burst of citrusy flavors in your rice bowl!

Let’s gather the ingredients that will make our Brazilian Orange Rice Recipe a success! For this traditional Brazilian rice recipe, we’ll need:


  • 1 cup brown basmati rice (or long-grain white rice)
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice (from about 2 large oranges)
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (from about 1 large orange)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup black olives, sliced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Note that black beans and sausage can be added during cooking to make it a more filling meal.

The Recipe How-To

 Sunshine in a plate with Brazilian Orange Rice.
Sunshine in a plate with Brazilian Orange Rice.

Now that you are excited about this Brazilian Orange Rice Recipe, it’s time to learn how to cook it. This recipe is a perfect choice for those who love the combination of sweet and savory flavors. So, let’s dive into the step-by-step instructions on how to prepare this flavorful dish.


  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, sauté until it turns golden brown, then add the orange zest, chili powder, and garlic powder.
  3. Keep sautéing for another 20 seconds until the mixture smells fragrant.
  4. Add the cup of basmati rice and stir for about 30 seconds.
  5. Pour in the two cups of water, add the salt, and bring the mixture to a boil.
  6. Reduce the heat to low, cover it and let it simmer for 35-40 minutes.
  7. When there isn’t any water left, turn off the stove and let it sit for 5 minutes before removing the lid.
  8. Finally, add the tablespoon of brown sugar and use a fork to fluff up the rice.

This recipe makes a perfect side dish for braised meats like chicken saffron or feijoada – Brazil’s national dish that usually calls for beans, sausage, and pork. Enjoy this Brazilian-style savory orange rice with friends and family!

Substitutions and Variations

 This vibrant rice dish is anything but boring.
This vibrant rice dish is anything but boring.

If you’re looking to switch things up or don’t have certain ingredients on hand, don’t worry. There are plenty of substitutions and variations you can try to make this recipe your own.

First, let’s talk about the rice. While brown basmati rice is traditional for this recipe, you can use other types of rice such as white rice or long-grain rice instead. Just keep in mind that the cooking time may vary slightly depending on the type of rice used.

If you want to add more protein and flavor to your dish, consider adding in some black beans, sausage or chicken in with the rice while it cooks. This will turn your simple orange rice into a more filling meal that’s perfect for dinner or lunch.

You can also experiment with different spices to add extra depth and kick. For example, try adding cumin, smoked paprika, or even turmeric to switch things up. You could also sprinkle some chopped fresh herbs over the top right before serving – cilantro or parsley work particularly well with this dish.

Finally, consider adding in some additional ingredients for texture and contrast. Pine nuts and black olives work extremely well with orange rice, but almonds or cashews would be great too. You could also sautée some onion or garlic along with the rice for added savory flavors.

Overall, don’t be afraid to play around with this recipe and tailor it to your own preferences. Half the fun of cooking is experimenting and discovering new ways to enjoy classic dishes.

Serving and Pairing

 A trip to Brazil through the flavors of Orange Rice.
A trip to Brazil through the flavors of Orange Rice.

When it comes to serving and pairing Brazilian Orange Rice, there are endless possibilities. This savory orange rice pairs beautifully with so many dishes, making it one of the most versatile recipes you’ll find.

One of my favorite pairings for this Brazilian Orange Rice is with feijoada. A traditional Brazilian black bean stew known as the national dish. This combination creates a perfect balance with the flavors of the rice and stew complementing each other beautifully.

Another classic way to serve this rice is alongside Brazilian baked chicken. The tangy citrus notes from the orange juice and zest in the rice perfectly compliment the tender juicy chicken creating a delicious meal that will leave you coming back for more.

If you are looking for something more exotic, consider pairing Brazilian Orange Rice with Galinhada. Galinhada is a chicken and rice dish seasoned with saffron developed in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil.

If you’re bold in using different kinds of rice, consider trying this orange rice recipe with brown basmati rice or long-grain white rice. Both are excellent options that will add an extra level of nutrition to your meal while also adding more texture and depth of flavor.

Finally, I would recommend serving it topped with fresh herbs such as coriander or chives, black olives, pine nuts, tomato wedges or mixed vegetables. The possibilities are endless, so let your imagination run wild when it comes to serving and pairing this delicious Brazilian Orange Rice recipe!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Perfectly balanced sweet and tangy flavors in every bite.
Perfectly balanced sweet and tangy flavors in every bite.

The Brazilian Orange Rice is perfect for meal prep and make-ahead meals. This rice recipe stores well, so it’s great for meal prepping on a Sunday night and having it ready to heat up on a busy weekday. You can make a big batch of the rice, and it will last up to five days in the refrigerator if stored properly in an airtight container.

When reheating the rice, add a splash of water or orange juice to help restore some of the moisture lost during storage. It will not only taste just as good but also maintain its original flavor and texture. To reheat, simply transfer the desired portion into a microwave-safe dish and pop it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes on high power. Make sure to cover the dish with a damp towel or microwave-safe lid to prevent any splatters.

If you prefer to use stovetop reheating methods, you can reheat your Brazilian orange rice by adding it into a pot over low heat with some olive oil, water/stock or orange juice. Stir frequently until the rice reaches the desired temperature. If you have leftover rice that you don’t plan to eat in the next five days following storage, consider freezing it for later consumption-It can last up to six months in the freezer.

One of my favorite techniques is baking this rice recipe – I know it may sound weird, but it’s an excellent way to get crispy edges while keeping that fluffy inside texture. First, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Then pour your Brazilian Orange Rice into an oven-safe dish like a casserole dish, season with some black olives, pine nuts, chili powder, brown sugar and brush o.j overtop of all ingredients . Bake uncovered for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top. When ready do place your Galindha in serving dishes at your table!

Letting your Brazilian Orange Rice rest for about 5-10 minutes before serving it will help the flavors to develop even further. Whether you are preparing this recipe fresh, meal prepping, reheating, or freezing it for later, be sure to follow proper food safety guidelines for storage and reheating temperatures to enjoy its savory orange flavor properly.

Tips for Perfect Results

 A rice dish with a zesty twist.
A rice dish with a zesty twist.

A great Brazilian Orange Rice recipe must have the perfect combination of flavors and textures. As an experienced chef, I have a few tips to share that will ensure your dish turns out just as flavorful and delicious as you imagined.

1. Use brown basmati rice: This type of rice has a nutty flavor and texture that perfectly complements the sweet and citrusy flavors of this recipe. It is also a healthier alternative to white rice, as it is high in fiber and other important nutrients.

2. Opt for freshly squeezed orange juice and zest: Using fresh ingredients will make all the difference in the taste of your dish. The zest provides a bright citrusy flavor, while the juice adds a hint of sweetness.

3. Don’t skimp on the olive oil: A generous amount of olive oil is essential in this recipe to help give the rice a golden-brown color and add richness to its flavor.

4. Adjust seasoning to your taste preference: Depending on your personal preference, you may want to adjust the garlic powder, chili powder, and brown sugar to achieve the perfect balance of savory and sweet flavors.

5. Cook the rice in chicken stock for extra flavor: If you’re looking to add more depth of flavor to your Brazilian Orange Rice, try cooking it in chicken stock instead of water. The stock adds richness to the dish without overpowering its other flavors.

6. Toast pine nuts and black olives for added texture: Toasted pine nuts add a crunchy texture, while black olives provide a salty contrast that balances out the sweet citrus notes of the dish.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to making the best Brazilian Orange Rice recipe you’ve ever tasted. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations and substitutions based on what you have available in your pantry or what flavors you enjoy most. As they say in Brazil, “Bom apetite!” (Enjoy your meal!)


Now that you know how to make this delicious Brazilian Orange Rice Recipe, you may have some questions about the ingredients, process or variations. In this section, I have compiled some frequently asked questions so that you can become an expert in making this dish.

What is orange rice made of?

Transform your plain white rice into a vibrant and flavorful delight with just a few simple ingredients. By incorporating butter, freshly chopped vegetables, and a splash of orange juice, you can elevate your rice dish to a whole new level. With the citrusy essence taking center stage, this dish is a perfect accompaniment to various cuisines, without being overpoweringly sweet. So, if you are in the mood to experiment with your rice, try this delicious and refreshing citrus combination.

Can you cook rice in juice?

Rice can be transformed into a delectable and vibrant side dish when it is cooked with orange juice. The addition of tangy sweetness to the rice makes it an excellent accompaniment to spicy dishes. However, replacing all the water with orange juice might be too overwhelming for some, so a milder option is to use a mixture of half water or broth and half orange juice.

What is in red rice?

One of the well-known side dishes in Lowcountry is the red rice. This dish is created by oven-cooking long grain white rice, together with bacon, onion, garlic and tomato paste. As a result, the rice becomes soft and fluffy, infused with the flavors of tomato, sweetness, and a smoky hint from the bacon.

What can I add to plain basmati rice?

To begin, I like to add some cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, and cloves to a pot, then stir in some cumin seed for added depth of flavor. Once everything is fragrant and toasty, which usually takes about a minute, I then saute some onions until they have a rich golden brown color. This usually takes around 10 minutes, but it’s worth it for that added depth of flavor. After that, I drain the water from the rice and stir it into the pot.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Brazilian Orange Rice Recipe is a fantastic dish that you have to try! With its unique combination of flavors like orange zest, brown sugar, and chili powder, it will transport your taste buds to the sunny beaches of Brazil.

You’ll love how versatile this recipe is – it can be served as a side dish, a main dish with added beans and sausage or even chicken or as part of a Brazilian feijoada or galinhada.

Not only is it delicious, but it’s also a healthy option as brown basmati rice is used instead of white rice. You can even make some substitutions and variations based on your preference to make it your own.

With a few simple tips and tricks, you can easily prepare this recipe in just 30 minutes. It’s perfect for family meals, dinner parties or even as meal prep for the week.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to add this savory orange rice dish to your recipe collection. I promise you won’t be disappointed with its unique flavors and authentic Brazilian style.

Brazilian Orange Rice

Brazilian Orange Rice Recipe

This is a favorite with fish or chicken, an easy, mild rice with a unique flavor. You can use chopped Brazil nuts to be authentic, but since I really don't like them, I use pine nuts.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Brazilian
Calories 483.3 kcal


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (tangerine is good, also)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts (or chopped Brazil nuts if you like)
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives


  • Combine water, basmati rice, salt, olive oil, chili powder, garlic powder, brown sugar and orange zest.
  • Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over low heat about 40 to 45 minutes, or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  • Stir in pine nuts and black olives and serve.
  • (It's nice to garnish with orange slices).

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 200gCalories: 483.3kcalCarbohydrates: 53.8gProtein: 8.3gFat: 27.6gSaturated Fat: 2.9gSodium: 507.2mgFiber: 3.9gSugar: 3g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Brazilian, Brown Rice, Free Of..., Lactose-free, Low Cholesterol, Rice, South American, Stove Top, Vegan
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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.