Basil & Tomato Rice takes plain ol’ white rice from ordinary to extraordinary in no time at all!

This quick and simple recipe goes perfectly with all kinds of proteins and is jam-packed with flavor!

Tomato Basil Rice in a bowl

What is Tomato Rice?

Tomato rice is one of those recipe staples that stands on its own for a meatless meal or as a vegetarian entrée but we most often enjoy it as a side dish.

A simple combination of onions and white rice is cooked in chicken broth with fresh tomatoes of course! Once tender fresh basil and a sprinkle of parm are added before serving.

Tomato Basil Rice ingredients in a pot with broth on the side


RICE White rice is used in this recipe, but brown rice, jasmine or basmati will work too. The cooking times might have to be slightly adjusted depending on what type you use!

BROTH Chicken broth is used to cook the rice. Use beef broth or vegetable broth if that’s what you have on hand!

TOMATO Fresh diced tomato is cooked in with the rice so flavors can mix. Any type of tomato will work great!

Optional: For some extra zip and zest, add 1 tablespoon tomato paste along with the broth.

Tomato Basil Rice in a pot being cooked

How to Make Tomato Rice

Super easy, this dish comes together in no time!

  1. Saute onion in oil and add rice, cook until golden brown.
  2. Add broth, tomatoes, garlic, and seasonings. Cover and bring to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat and let set about 5 minutes. Add cheese & basil and more fresh tomatoes.

Garnish and serve with grilled steak fajitas or fish tacos. Don’t forget the easy strawberry margaritas!

Different Cooking Methods

Rice is one of the easiest things to cook in an Instant Pot, Slow Cooker, or on the stovetop. This recipe can be prepared in any of these ways! Just refer to your manual for instructions for individual appliances.

Tips for Perfect Tomato Rice

  • Instant rice seems like the easiest way to make tomato rice, but because it is dehydrated, the kernels will not be as firm. Using uncooked rice might take a bit more time, but it’s less expensive and will stay firmer, plus it tastes way better.
  • Rinse uncooked rice, mostly to remove any dirt or debris that might be in the bag, just like with beans. Some cooks think rinsing rice removes starch that keeps it from getting too starchy, but for tomato basil rice and these kinds of recipes, the starch is a good thing for keeping it creamy!
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days. To reheat, pop in the microwave until heated through!

Delicious Rice Dishes

Did you make this Tomato Basil Rice? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Tomato Basil Rice in a bowl
5 from 20 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Tomato Basil Rice

This quick & easy side dish is zesty & full of flavor!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
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  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup onion diced
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 ripe tomato diced with juices, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese grated, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped


  • In a medium saucepan, cook onion in olive oil until it begins to soften, about 4 minutes. Add rice and cook 2-3 minutes or until the rice starts to brown a little bit.
  • Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes (with any juices), and garlic. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  • Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 20 minutes without lifting the lid.
  • Remove from heat and rest 5 minutes before removing the lid. Add 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese and basil. Mix well.
  • Place in a bowl, garnish with remaining parmesan cheese, additional basil and fresh tomatoes if desired.


Any variety of tomato will work, you'll want about 1 cup (a little more or less is ok) chopped tomatoes.
If using dried basil, add 1 teaspoon along with the broth.
Brown rice, jasmine or basmati will work in this recipe but the cooking times will need to be slightly adjusted.
Optional: For some extra zip and zest, add 1 tablespoon tomato paste along with the broth.
5 from 20 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 113 | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 492mg | Potassium: 137mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 82IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Tomato Basil Rice with writing
Tomato Basil Rice in the pan with writing
Tomato Basil Rice with a title
Tomato Basil Rice before and after being put in a bowl with a title



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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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  1. I’m out of rice but I do have cooked rice that I cooked in chicken stock in my refrigerator so, can I use this then add the other ingredients to it I have garlic & basil dice canned tomatoes.

    1. I would stick to uncooked rice for this recipe, if you add cooked rice it won’t soak up the liquid properly.

  2. Since it’s winter, and finding a store bought tomato with good flavor right now is all but impossible, what’s your opinion of using canned tomatoes in this recipe?

    1. Hi Carrie, canned tomatoes will still taste great with this recipe. I recommend using about 1 cup of canned diced tomatoes with juices. Let us know how it goes!