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Kid-Approved Easy Instant Pot Golden (Turmeric) Rice Recipe

Golden Rice

When you are a gluten free family, you eat a lot of rice (except when you have a child allergic to rice…so glad he healed from that!). It’s easy (especially in your Instant Pot). And it goes with just about everything.

I’m the boring mom that usually just cooks plain white rice (it’s much easier on our tummies than brown rice). Then my family gets to add whatever seasonings they like. My kids usually opt for cinnamon and a little sprinkle of organic cane sugar. I personally like just butter and salt.

Flavor Inspiration

My poor husband was getting pretty sick of plain rice. He grew up eating Rice-A-Roni and was missing flavor in his meal.

Golden rice

I went to my cupboard to see what I could add to the rice for some flavor. There was a bag of turmeric that I had purchased quite a while back…but never opened because I had no idea what to do with it! I had never even tasted turmeric myself. But I heard how good it is for you.

Why You Should Eat Turmeric

According to, turmeric contains compounds called curcuminoids (most notably curcumin) with medicinal properties. It has been shown to be anti-inflammatory, an antioxidant and even a natural painkiller! Turmeric is good for digestion, arthritis, the nervous system and may even help fight cancer. These are just a few of the many uses of turmeric. It’s like a powerhouse herb. [source]

I decided to just take a leap and add some to our rice with a mix of other seasonings. Wonder of wonders…my kids LOVE it! And so does my husband.

They were all hesitant to try it at first. “Why is my rice yellow?!” But after the first bite, they were hooked. And they aptly named it “yellow rice.”

There is definitely no lack of flavor in this rice. And it’s loaded with good stuff from turmeric to broth to liver! It’s so good my mother-in-law served it for the whole relation when we visited for the holidays.

Golden rice

Kid-Friendly Side Dish

What’s even better is how quick and easy it is to make. You can cook golden rice (as I like to call it – sounds better than yellow) on your stove top or in your Instant Pot. Better yet, let your kids cook it!

Simply add the water, seasoning, and rice to the pan or pot and let it simmer.

You can use whatever kind of rice your family prefers. You’ll need to adjust the cooking times accordingly.

Serve it with my Air Fryer Kid Recipe for Chicken Nuggets or Instant Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls!

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Kid-Friendly Instant Pot Golden Rice Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.7 from 3 reviews
  • Prep Time: 2 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 22 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: side dish


Units Scale


Instant Pot

  • 1 1/4 cups water or broth
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 Tbsp. butter or EVOO
  • 1/21 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. unrefined salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. organic cane sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • optional: 1/2 tsp. desiccated liver
  • add black pepper to taste – improves how your body uses the turmeric!

ship kroger



  1. Combine the water/broth and seasonings in a 2 quart saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil and add rice.
  3. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until rice is fully cooked, about 15 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat and keep rice covered for 5 minutes.
  5. Add butter or oil to rice before serving.

Instant Pot

  1. Rinse the rice under running water for one minute to remove extra starch.
  2. Add the wet rice, water/broth, butter/oil and seasonings to the Instant Pot. Stir.
  3. Turn on the Instant Pot using the ‘Rice’ setting.
  4. Allow it to natural release for 10 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure.
  5. Fluff and serve.

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Golden riceKeep Experimenting

Maybe someday I’ll be even more adventurous and branch out to wild rice or jasmine rice. But let’s not get carried away. Using turmeric was already a big step for this keep-it-simple mom.

If you are looking for a very kid-friendly way to add turmeric to your diet, this is it! Golden rice makes the perfect side with just about any meal. You can also serve it as a base for dishes like this GAPS-friendly sweet and sour stir fry or these simple Instant Pot sweet and sour meatballs.

Katie also adds turmeric to this gluten free Instant Pot mac ‘n’ cheese to boost the color and nutrition, and look at all these uses for turmeric too! This roasted turmeric cauliflower looks especially yummy.

Golden rice

My little one will even eat leftover golden rice cold as a snack. I will too! And it makes a great addition to a lettuce salad.

Adventurous Eaters

I have very adventurous eaters after years of feeding struggles. I’m so glad that they are now willing to at least try just about anything! Including a very colorful rice. If you have a picky eater check out my book Why Won’t My Child Eat?!.

Maybe someday we’ll actually come up with a good name for it besides yellow or golden rice. But so far my kids call it like they see it. As long as they’ll eat it I’m ok with that.

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Have you ever tried turmeric? Would you consider adding it to your rice?
Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

18 thoughts on “Kid-Approved Easy Instant Pot Golden (Turmeric) Rice Recipe”

  1. So I got a new Instant Pot and this one doesn’t have a rice setting. Do you know how to do this just using the manual pressure settings?

    1. Carolyn @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Hey Amy, for white rice you want to do 12 minutes on low pressure, and for brown rice do 22 minutes on low pressure.

    1. I’d guess maybe it would work if you had already cooked chicken to add? I’m not enough of an IP expert to figure out how to do it w/raw chicken – I don’t feel like there’d be enough time for the chicken to cook before the rice is done, but could be wrong.

  2. This is a delicious recipe. My five year-old gobbled it up like candy! Next time I will try using broth instead of water for added flavor, but it was good even with water. I did not use the liver or the sugar and t was still good! Thanks so much for a great quick easy side for the repeat list.

  3. Sounds good! One tip I’ve learned living in Asia… you don’t need to wash your rice so long, and the rice experts here would not recommend it. Simply cover the dry rice with water and give it a few swishes around the pot with your hand, then drain it. Repeat this process once more then add the water for cooking. I was scolded for washing my rice too vigorously because it washes away nutrients and ruins the texture, especially of a short grain rice like we have in Taiwan.

  4. I had planned to roast cauliflower tonight so I just chopped 2 heads into florets, tossed them with EVOO and then added this spice blend. It’s really tasty raw so roasted should be a hit! Thank you!!

  5. I am new to the instant pot, but I got the huge one cause I have seven kids. If I want to use this recipe, can I just increase everything in proportion? I usually make four cups rice to 4.5 cups water in my rice cooker. Would I need to quadruple all the spices, etc? I know in some recipes you don’t increase everything when making more (like baking soda in my experience).
    And how much do you think the recipe would suffer without the sugar? We are trying to cut at much as possible out (after broken brain!) Thanks!

    1. Yes, you can just scale everything up! The sugar isn’t necessary. I add it because my oldest has oral sensory processing disorder. So that tiny hint of sweet allows her to be ok with the spice (anything besides salt is spicy to her).

      1. Thank you – I had the same questions :). One more – I have the big (8 qt?) IP too – any idea whether just making the original recipe w/o scaling up will be an issue? I’d rather make a small batch first to be sure it works and test my family’s response (though I’m sure I’ll enjoy it, so not a huge risk, but I’m low on freezer space if I end up with a lot of leftovers).

        1. I’m not really an IP pro. I haven’t used mine whole lot. So I can’t give great advice. I assume it’s ok. I think as long as you have at least 1 cup of liquid in an IP it works fine. Else you can try the stovetop method first 🙂 It’s just as quick and easy. That’s how I usually make it.

  6. Sounds delicious! I’m so trying this this week – I already have all the ingredients :). Our favorite chili recipe uses turmeric and cumin ;).

      1. Made this tonight, so I had to report back. I doubled the recipe in my 8 quart IP and:
        1) it came out perfectly! First time I’ve made a starch dish in my IP and it worked!
        2) I served this to my husband, 12-year-old daughter, 10-year-old daughter, and myself. Double batch, mind you. It’s gone. All of it. My younger daughter thought she didn’t like it at first, then we added a little salt on top and she ate 2 solid servings by herself.
        3) The flavor and aroma were amazing! Seriously, this is delicious and will definitely be in our meal rotation moving forward. My husband said it tasted like rice-a-roni and he was delighted (cause like you I’ve not done rice-a-roni much).
        Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I’m seriously considering trying to make a quadruple recipe next time :D.

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