Buttered rice is one of those dishes that you can never go wrong with. It’s easy, fast, and tasty, and it only requires three ingredients: rice, water, and butter. In this post, I’ll show you how to make butter rice perfectly every time, with some tips and tricks along the way.
If you loved my vegetable pulao recipe, you’ll fall in love with this buttered rice recipe too! The only difference is that this one uses butter (of course!) instead of ghee.
The butter elevates the plain rice and makes it so smooth and rich that you’ll want to eat it all by yourself😆.
You can also spice this rice up with your favorite spices, herbs, cheese, or nuts (more on that later). It’s a flexible and filling dish that you can snack on or pair with any curry, soup, or vegetable dish. Check out the section below for some ideas.
I prefer to make this on the stove top. I have never tried it in a pressure cooker or a rice cooker.
Is it normal to put butter on rice? is a question that I have heard some people ask. While putting butter on rice is a matter of personal choice, it does add lots of flavor and creaminess to rice. Some dishes, such as risotto, butter rice, and rice pilaf use butter and rice.
This post contains helpful notes and tips to help you make the perfect dish. However, if you are in a rush, please use the "Jump to Recipe" link above or the "Jump to" links below to get to the section you want.
Ease: Butter rice is a simple and delicious dish that can be made with just three ingredients: rice, water, and butter. It’s one of those dishes that you can whip up in no time with minimal effort and maximum flavor.
Flavor and texture: The butter adds a rich and creamy flavor to the rice, making it a versatile and satisfying dish. It also gives the rice a lovely golden color and a smooth texture. Basmati rice makes this dish supremely fragrant! The rice is cooked perfectly where each grain is tender, yet holds its shape.
Flexibility: This fragrant buttery rice is like a blank canvas - a delicious one at that! You can add more flavor to it as per your liking - see the notes section below.
Just 3 simple ingredients that are available in every pantry!
See recipe card for quantities.
- Butter: I go for salted butter because it makes things easier! But you can use unsalted butter, if you prefer. Don’t skimp on the butter, it’s what enhances the flavor of the rice and makes this dish awesome. That’s why some people call it “stick of butter rice”.
- Rice: Basmati is my favorite rice for this recipe. You can use any long grain rice, jasmine rice, or brown rice.
- Water: Use hot water so it doesn’t cool down the cooking. See notes section below for more flavor options.
Have a question regarding the ingredients? Feel free to ask in the comments section below and I will try my best to answer it for you.
Buttered rice is one of the simplest and most versatile dishes you can make. It’s easy, quick, and delicious. Let's start cooking!
Also see the video at the end of the recipe card below.
Step 1: Prepare the rice.
Wash 1 cup of rice 2-3 times. Drain the water, add more water and soak it for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, drain the rice and keep it aside.
Step 2: Make the buttery rice.
Melt butter in a rice pot, and add the drained rice.
Mix gently to coat each grain with the butter and sauté on medium-high heat for a couple of minutes.
Add hot water, and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Cover and cook, on low heat, till all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.
Tip: Add a little bit of lemon juice while the rice is cooking. It adds a lovely tanginess to the dish.
Remove from heat, keep covered and set aside for 5 minutes or so. Uncover and gently fluff the rice.
That's it! Butter Basmati rice is ready to be served.
Serve it warm, with some more butter on top of rice. Enjoy it with a simple side dish or as part of a whole meal.
Notes and variations
Rice: I think Basmati is the best rice for this recipe - it smells amazing and tastes even better with the butter! But you can use any kind of rice you like, such as long grain, jasmine, or brown rice. Just make sure to follow the cooking time and water ratio on the package.
What kind of rice are you going to use for this recipe? Let me know in the comments below. I’m curious to hear from you. - Padma.
Is it better to use butter or oil in rice? That’s a common question I get. My answer is: whatever you prefer. Butter makes the rice creamy and rich. If you’re worried about the calories, you can use olive oil or any other oil.
Water or stock? You can use either. I usually serve this dish with a curry or dal (this green moong dal!) that has a lot of flavor, so I use water. You can use fresh stock, vegetable broth or stock powder for more flavor.
Quick version: Have some leftover rice? Just throw it in the butter, sprinkle some water, cover and let it heat up and soak up the butter for a few minutes.
Variations: You can jazz up this simple recipe with different flavors. These are some suggestions from my family members. I hope you like them as much as we do.
- Garlic rice - Chop or mince some fresh garlic and add it to the butter. If you want some heat, add some black pepper or red pepper flakes as well. The rest is the same as above and you would have just made some garlic butter rice 🙂
- Asian flavor: If you, like my teen, love Asian food, just add a dash of soy sauce and toasted sesame seeds to the above variation.
- Herbed rice - Add some chopped fresh parsley or cilantro (or both) and some lemon zest at the end for a fresh and zesty taste.
- Cheese rice - Saute onion - yellow onion looks nice with the butter. Do the rest as above. Add some cheese of your choice at the end. Parmesan cheese gives it a nice savory flavor.
Top tips for success
I have made this rice and all its variations many times. I have perfected it over time and I’m sharing my learning here so that you too can make the perfect buttered rice, every time. I have mentioned these tips before, but I’m summarizing them here for you.
- Wash the rice: This helps remove some of the starch, which keeps the grains separate. Make sure to wash it 2-3 times.
- Soak the rice: This step helps you get the perfectly fluffy rice. It also reduces the cooking time. I recommend that you don’t skip it.
- Sauté the rice in the butter for 2-3 minutes. This coats the grains of rice with butter and prevents them from becoming clumpy.
- If you like some lemony tanginess, add a little bit of lemon juice while the rice is cooking.
- Stir the rice gently once or twice to prevent the grains from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- If you’re making this dish with unsalted butter, remember to add some salt. Adjust the amount of salt based on the other ingredients that may be adding.
- For best results do not use instant rice.
Any doubts or questions? Feel free to ask via the comments below. I will try my best to answer them for you. - Padma
Serving, Storage, and Reheating
Serving suggestions: As I mentioned before, this dish is versatile. I love serving it as a main course with a tasty side dish such as this dhaba style palak paneer. Just last night I had it with this sweet potato turmeric soup. The creaminess of the rice complemented the spiciness of the soup so well!
Storage: Cool it completely and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator once it reaches room temperature. It will stay good for 3-4 days.
Reheating: This dish tastes best when served warm. Warming it will melt the butter and give the rice the best texture.
You can add some delicious twists to plain white rice:
- Toss the rice in some melted butter and make buttered rice.
- If you love the garlic flavor, saute garlic, add a dash of soy sauce, and some freshly ground black pepper for an Asian flavor.
- Add vegetables of your choice and stir fry the rice to make a healthy fried rice.
- Taking inspiration from Italian recipes: drizzle some olive oil, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt.
Yes, butter makes rice less sticky. The butter coats the grains of rice, making then non sticky.
To make buttered rice, you will need a generous amount of butter - anywhere between 2 ounces to a whole stick of butter.
If you have made this buttered rice, please take a moment to leave a comment and a rating below. This will make me super happy and motivate me to create more good content for you! You can also engage with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram xx Padma
Perfect Buttered Rice Recipe (Just 3 Ingredients)
- 1 rice pot or Dutch oven with lid
- 1 big spoon for mixing
- 1 large bowl for soaking the rice
- 1 cup Basmati rice, see notes
- 1 and ½ oz. (~43g) salted butter, see notes
- 1 and ½ cups hot water, see notes
- Rinse the rice in a bowl 2-3 times or until the water runs clear. Drain the water and add more water to cover the rice. Let it soak for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, drain the water and set the rice aside.
- Heat a rice pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the butter and while it is melting, add the rice. Stir gently to coat the rice with the melted butter. Pour in the hot water and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from the heat, keep covered and let it rest for 5 minutes.1 cup Basmati rice,, 1 and ½ oz. (~43g) salted butter,, 1 and ½ cups hot water,
- You did it! You just made the most amazing and heavenly smelling buttery rice ever!Serve it with a side dish of your choice. See the section above for suggestions and recipe ideas,
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only.
The nutrition information is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.