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Orange rice with cranberries and scallions in white bowl on top of red and gray napkins.
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5 from 1 vote

Orange Rice (Citrus Rice with Cranberries)

This best ever Orange Rice recipe is moist, flavorful, and super easy to make in the Instant Pot or on the stove. It's a simple citrus rice with cranberries, green onions, fresh orange juice, and zest. Get ready to fall in love with your new favorite rice pilaf recipe!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 278kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • ½ onion diced
  • 1 ½ cups long-grain white rice (basmati, jasmine, or other variety)
  • 1 orange zested
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth 1 ¾ cups for stovetop method
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ cup dried cranberries diced
  • 3 green onions chopped

Instructions

Instant Pot Instructions

  • Select "saute" option. Once pot is very hot, melt butter and saute onions for 3-5 minutes until onions are translucent.
  • Add rice and toast for 1-2 minutes, stirring well to coat every grain with butter.
  • Add orange juice, chicken broth, salt, bay leaves, and orange zest. Seal the Instant Pot and press "rice."
  • Once Instant Pot beeps to indicate it is finished, allow it to naturally release for 10 minutes (do NOT release the steam yet). After 10 minutes, release the steam and open the lid. Add cranberries. Cover with the lid and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Remove lid. Add green onions and fluff with a fork. Serve warm.

Stovetop Instructions

  • Heat a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. Once hot, melt butter and saute onions for 3-5 minutes until onions are translucent.
  • Add rice and toast for 1-2 minutes, stirring well to coat every grain with butter.
  • While rice is toasting, microwave juice and 1 ¾ cups stock until hot. Add hot liquids, salt, bay leaves, and orange zest to pot. Cover immediately and cook on low heat for 20 minutes (should simmer softly).
  • Once finished cooking add cranberries and allow to sit with lid on for 5 minutes. Remove lid. Add green onions and fluff with fork. Serve warm.

Notes

Tips & Tricks
  • Zest the oranges before juicing them.. because zesting a squeezed orange will make a person crazy (speaking from personal experience).
  • Allow the raw rice to toast in the butter for a few minutes before adding the liquids. This helps keep the granules separated - no sticky, clumpy rice here! 
  • When fluffing the rice, use a fork instead of a spoon. Spoons tend to smash the rice, but a fork will keep it fluffy.   
  • If your cranberries are old they will stay too hard in the rice. Use dried cranberries that are still moist.
 
How to Freeze and Reheat
Make rice according to directions. Fluff onto a baking sheet and allow to cool fully. Freeze in storage container or disposable pan.
For full recipe, reheat covered at 300°F for 30 minutes straight from frozen or 20 minutes if partially thawed. Fluff again and add fresh green onions. For a dinner-sized portion, sprinkle with a teaspoon or so of water, then cover with a paper towel. Microwave on full power until hot, stirring with a fork to keep the grains separate.

Nutrition

Calories: 278kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 560mg | Potassium: 211mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 325IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg