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Seasoned Rice Stuffing

Nathan Congleton / TODAY
Cook Time:
20 mins
Prep Time:
10 mins

Chef notes

Rice stuffing for Thanksgiving? You better believe this will become a fast favorite. Rather than deal with soggy breadcrumb-based stuffing, whip up this flavorful and tender rice stuffing for your Thanksgiving turkey, chicken or to eat on its own. I am originally from Panamá, and we ate rice at almost every single meal — and Thanksgiving was no exception when we moved to the U.S. Rice stuffing is great for those with gluten sensitivities or intolerances — or if you happen to be out of breadcrumbs or cubes and need to put something on your Thanksgiving table fast.

Technique tip: If stuffing a turkey or rice, I suggest slightly undercooking the rice as the heat from cooking your bird will finish the cooking process. If eating on its own, cook rice until fluffy and tender. This stuffing serves 6 people or can stuff about a 5-pound chicken. Double or increase this recipe proportionately for a larger bird.

Swap option: Swap out butter for canola or vegetable oil. Swap out various spices or seasonings for the substitutions as listed. This recipe is forgiving and flexible, so don't fret about cooking the perfect stuffing because the seasonings are perfectly adjustable to your taste. Don't care for dill? Swap it out for dried sage or rosemary instead. I created this recipe using sazón or adobo, which are two classic Latin American spice blends. If using sazón, note that it will add a reddish to yellow color to your rice. Customize to your taste or creativity: Add dried cranberries, toasted almonds, bacon, mushrooms, stewed apples and more after cooking the rice.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 2 teaspoons sazón, adobo or poultry seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley, sage or freshly chopped cilantro
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon, or to taste
  • cups long grain white rice



Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally until onion has softened and is translucent, about 5 minutes.


Add water, dill, sazón, adobo or poultry seasoning, parsley, sage or cilantro, ground black pepper, chicken bouillon and rice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until water is absorbed and rice is just slightly undercooked, 12 to 14 minutes.


Stir, taste and adjust seasonings if desired. Cool completely before using to stuff turkey or chicken.