Simple Peruvian Rice

This ultra simple Peruvian Rice recipe is perfect to serve with your Peruvian-inspired mains like ají de gallina and lamb stew. Long grain or basmati rice is toasted with a generous amount of garlic and some ground cumin before adding the water or broth. Garnished with a bit of fresh cilantro, you’ll love its simplicity!

An oval cast iron skillet with Peruvian rice garnished with cilantro.

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – About Peruvian Rice

What makes this rice “Peruvian?” Peruvians love rice, and I’ve had it in Peru prepared in several ways:

  1. Plain white rice – Peruvians eat a LOT OF RICE! And, if you have potatoes with a meal, you’ll probably have white rice as well. I’m kind of a “low carb girl,” so I have struggled with this a bit.
  2. Garlic rice – This Peruvian-style rice is garlic rice, and it really is just rice and a generous amount of garlic. I add the ground cumin because I like it. You can certainly omit it. Toasting the rice and fresh garlic is key to getting perfect results. The grains are fluffy and flavorful.
  3. Green or cilantro rice – My “Mexican” cilantro rice is essentially the same as Peruvian green rice. The ingredients and method are the same. You’ll find my Peruvian arroz con pollo is based on cilantro rice.

When you’re serving a complex, flavor-filled main dish, you often want just a simple rice dish. This Peruvian white rice dish recipe definitely meets that description. It’s so simple, requires ingredients you probably have, and it’s ready in 25 minutes!

📋 Ingredients You’ll Need

Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.

The ingredients for Peruvian white rice: White rice, olive oil, 4 cloves of fresh garlic, ground cumin, and salt.
  • rice – My choice for Peruvian rice is basmati, but basmati is my preferred rice for most recipes. Regular long grain rice is fine. My cooking time is 20 minutes. You may want to check your package instructions.
  • garlic – I highly recommend using fresh garlic cloves for this rice recipe. The toasted garlic is the key flavor ingredient. I keep minced garlic in my refrigerator, but I always pull out a bulb of garlic when making Peruvian rice.
  • olive oil
  • ground cumin
  • liquid – You can use water, but I sometimes use chicken or vegetable broth.
  • garnish – I always garnish my Peruvian rice with chopped fresh cilantro. Of course it’s optional!

🔪 Instructions

A brown sauce pan with white rice, fresh garlic, salt, and ground cumin before cooking.
  • Sauté the rice, fresh garlic, ground cumin, and salt in the olive oil over medium-high heat until the garlic and rice begin show some golden brown, and the mixture is very fragrant. DO NOT BURN IT!
This Peruvian rice recipe features white rice sauteed with garlic and ground cumin.
  • When the rice and garlic are nicely toasted, add the broth or water, bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low; simmer gently for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, but keep it covered. Allow the rice to rest 5 – 10 minutes for any remaining liquid to absorb.
  • Finish the rice – Fluff the rice with a fork. Cover until ready to serve. Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired. Store any leftover rice in the refrigerator.
A brown sauce pan with the finished Peruvian rice and a grey cloth napkin.

💭 Tips

Make a double batch of Peruvian rice, and use the leftover rice as the foundation for arroz chaufa (Peruvian fried rice) or in tacu tacu.

Rinsing the rice can cause mushy, sticky rice. It needs to go into the pan dry.

I use a ratio of 1 cup rice to 1 3/4 cups liquid. I allow the rice to steam with the lid on an additional 5-10 minutes after cooking to absorb any remaining liquid. My rice is always fluffy!

Please use fresh garlic. There are many great ways to use a jar of minced garlic, but the simplicity of this rice requires fresh garlic (and a generous amount of it!).

Substitute broth for the water for even more flavor!

DO NOT PEEK AT THE RICE! Escaped steam and heat can wreak havoc with your end results!


What is the best kind of rice to use for Peruvian-style white rice?

In Peru, I’m guessing they’re using long-grain rice. My preferred white rice is basmati (I love its fragrance and fluffy grains). Jasmine and regular long-grain rice would be fine as well. Just be sure to check your package instructions for both liquid to rice ratio and cooking time.

A close up view of the Peruvian style rice with a lime wedge, chopped cilantro, and grey cloth napkin.

🍷 Pairing Suggestions

Obviously, we’re not just having rice for dinner! On photo day, we had Peruvian baked cod with huancaína sauce, and the rice is a perfect way to sop up all the sauce! Simply sautéed broccolini with olive oil and garlic completed the meal. I had planned to serve salsa criolla as well, but time got away from me, and it didn’t get made. In Peru, we often had rice and salsa criolla with a main dish.

Peruvian rice, baked cod with huancaína sauce, and broccolini… A great serving suggestion!

More Pairing Ideas

I almost decided against posting such an ultra simple recipe, but this easy rice dish does round out a Peruvian-inspired meal without adding a complicated side dish. Browning the rice and garlic in oil does boost the flavor! I hope you’ll give it a try…

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.

The Peruvian style rice feature image in an oval cast iron skillet with grey napkin.

Peruvian Rice Recipe

A simple but flavorful Peruvian side dish… Rice and garlic are toasted in oil before cooking, and the flavor is lovely!
5 from 4 votes

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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Side Dishes
Cuisine Peruvian
Servings 8 servings
Calories 192 kcal


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil - vegetable oil is fine as well
  • 2 cups basmati or long grain white rice**
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic - mashed or minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 ½ cups water - or broth
  • cilantro, chopped - optional garnish


  • Toast the rice, cumin, and garlic in the oil until golden brown.
  • Add water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low.
  • Simmer 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Allow it to set at least 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving. Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired.


** Adjust cooking time and water according to package instructions. My instructions are for basmati rice.


Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions:

🍚 Other Peruvian Rice Dishes

Yes, the first one is labeled “Mexican cilantro rice,” but it is identical to Peruvian green rice. Trust me on this. I make it all the time, and I’ve had it in Peru. Tacu tacu is a perfect way to use leftover Peruvian rice and beans!

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  1. I served this with a Weight Watchers recipe for Air Fryer Peruvian-Style Chicken Drumsticks with Green Crema and peas. It was perfect all around. In the photo I see cilantro, but it’s not mentioned in the recipe. I did add the cilantro to it since there is cilantro also in the Green Crema I was serving. My husband and stepson loved it!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the rice Carla! I don’t typically include garnishes in the recipe card, but I want to make the instructions very clear so I added it. Thanks for your feedback on this; hopefully it will help another reader!

  2. This recipe sounds delish
    I have never cooked basmati rice without rincing it many times and soaking it in water
    Your recipe does not give instructions for this
    Are you simply cooking the rice without rincing and soaking? And it is not sticky?

    1. Hi Beth! I have never rinsed basmati rice, and I’ve never had a problem with it being sticky. If you have good luck rinsing it, you can certainly do that with this rice. It might require slightly less liquid? If you do rinse it, I’d love to hear how it goes. Thanks for your question! P.S. I do always rinse quinoa before cooking.

  3. Loved the flavor of this rice! I was a little scared the cumin would be overpowering, but it was perfect. We will definitely be making this again. 🙂

    1. Yay! I’m glad to hear the amount of cumin was appropriate. It’s a favorite spice, and while it’s important to taste it, I didn’t want to be heavy-handed. Thanks for taking time to comment Meggan!