13 Delicious Options To Add Spices To Your Rice Cooker 

Last update:
Rice cooker and spices with a text " Spices to add to rice cooker"

Maybe you’re looking to recreate a dish from your favorite restaurant or perhaps you’d like to get creative with your evening meal. If you would like to “spice” up supper, seasoning your rice is an easy way to add flavor to any rice dish.

What spices should you add to your rice cooker? Pick your favorite seasoning combinations, and go for it! Add spices and rice to your rice cooker and stir to distribute them evenly. Then, set your cooker as usual and let it perfectly cook your rice. 

Can You Add Seasonings To A Rice Cooker?

Seasonings make great additions to your rice cooker. If you think plain rice is bland, add spices to enhance its flavor. Or, choose a combination that compliments the flavors of your meal. Always choose seasonings you enjoy. Rice has a subtle flavor and pairs well with many different seasoning combinations.

Can You Add Spices To A Rice Cooker While It’s Cooking?

Add herbs and spices to your uncooked rice and water before it cooks. Make sure to stir the spices into the rice and water so all the rice gets flavored equally. Adding the spices before cooking ensures their flavors develop fully. 

Remember that dried herbs are crunchy, while fresh herbs are softer. If you use dried herbs, they’ll soften as the rice cooks. I don’t like crunchy rice, so I always add dried herbs before I cook my rice. I add fresh herbs after cooking my rice to enhance the flavor without disrupting my rice’s soft, chewy texture.

The Best Spices To Add To Your Rice Cooker

Rice tastes delicious with a variety of spices. Here are common spices used in rice dishes:

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Chili Powder
  • Cumin
  • Curry Powder
  • Paprika 
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves

The best spices to add, though, are the ones you like. If you aren’t sure what you like, don’t be afraid to experiment until you find what combination you like best.

The Best Herbs To Add To Your Rice Cooker

Herbs come from the plant’s leaves rather than the roots or stems where we get spices. Here are some herbs that pair well with rice. 

  • Thyme
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Lemon Grass
  • Bay Leaves (remove before eating)
Blend of new and dried fragrant plants

Can You Put Aromatics In A Rice Cooker?

Yes, you can put aromatics in a rice cooker. Aromatics are herbs, spices, and vegetables that add flavor to your dish. Garlic, onion, carrots, and bay leaves are aromatics commonly used in most kitchens. These veggies give a wonderful flavor to your rice.

Mix celery, onion, carrot for tasty Mirepoix flavor blend!

Garlic and onion are my two favorite aromatics. I add raw garlic and onion to my rice cooker and cook them with my rice. Their flavors mellow during cooking and add a slightly sweet taste to cooked rice. If you prefer a milder flavor, you can sautee them briefly before adding them to your rice.  

4 Tips For Adding Spices To Your Rice

Here are four of my best tips for adding spices to rice:

  1. Rinse your rice before cooking to remove extra starch.
  2. Choose a long-grain rice, like jasmine or basmati. Short-grain rice is more likely to stick together and produce mushy seasoned rice. 
  3. Mix your spices in a small bowl rather than adding them one at a time so they distribute evenly throughout your pot.
  4. Fluff your cooked rice after letting it rest for 5-10 minutes. Resting enables the rice to absorb any extra moisture. Fluffing ensures the grains of rice won’t stick together.

My Favorite Flavor Combinations

I enjoy experimenting with different flavors in my kitchen. Here are a few of my favorite rice seasoning combinations:

Rice in the rice cooker with a logo of Fooducopia on the upper left side of the image.

Meditteranean Flavor

  • Lemon juice
  • Fresh garlic
  • Onion
  • Chicken broth

Italian Flavor

  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Chicken broth

Mexican Flavor

  • Chili powder
  • Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Garlic powder

Rich and Creamy Rice

  • Spicy peppers
  • Coconut milk

Sweet Rice

  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • Sugar
  • Coconut milk

The Best Mexican Rice

The recipe below is one of my absolute favorite rice dishes and pairs well with chicken or salmon.


  • 1 cup brown rice, uncooked
  • 1 ¼ cups water or chicken broth
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes or ¾ cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Rinse and drain your rice. Add it to the inner pot of your rice cooker. 
  2. Add the water or chicken broth, onion, and tomatoes. Stir to combine. 
  3. Mix the chili powder and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture over the rice and stir to combine. 
  4. Set your rice cooker on the brown rice setting. 
  5. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes after cooking. 
  6. Fluff and serve!

Final Thoughts

Adding spices to your rice cooker is a quick way to boost the flavor of your rice and your meal as a whole. Add spices before cooking your rice to ensure that their flavors fully develop. Use spices you enjoy and have fun experimenting with different flavor combinations.

Sarah Pearce Avatar


Leave a Comment