20 Best Basmati Rice Substitute Options

Basmati rice is a versatile type of long-grain rice known for its nutty flavor and soft texture, but maybe you want a basmati rice substitute. We all want to shake things up now and again, and what better way to do that than with our rice?

You can use basmati rice in a variety of dishes, but there are plenty of other great options as well. We’ve compiled a list of the best substitutes for basmati rice, ranging from jasmine rice to brown rice, to help you with finding the right basmati rice substitute.

All of these grain rices can act as a great standalone cooked rice dish or complimenting ingredient in your soups and stews.

White rice in a bowl on a bamboo mat.

Best Basmati Rice Substitutes From Jasmine Rice to Texmati Rice

1. Jasmine Rice

If you are looking for a rice that’s softer, then jasmine rice is a nice alternative. It is similar to basmati, as both are types of long-grain white rice, but their textures differ.

The pleasant, flower-like aroma makes jasmine rice a popular choice. Jasmine rice is considered the best option for making fried rice.

For the most suitable substitute, use long-grain jasmine rice, to keep the same length. Brown jasmine rice is also a good whole-grain choice.

2. Parboiled Rice

Want to cut down on cooking times? Then parboiled rice is a good option for you. Before this variety heads to shelves, it is boiled with its husks ahead of time.

This means parboiled is quicker for you to cook, while also providing you with more vitamins.

3. Red Rice

Red rice can range from being a long-grain rice to a short-grain rice, but its striking color remains the same along the way.

This rice may also be a great substitute for basmati rice if you are looking to control your insulin levels thanks to its high amounts of antioxidants.

4. Cauliflower Rice

If you are watching your daily caloric intake, then substituting cauliflower rice for your basmati is a good choice.

As its name suggests, this type is like rice, but is made of finely chopped cauliflower and has a lower calorie and carbohydrate count than other types of rice, making it a great choice to replace basmati rice.

5. Arborio Rice

White rice in a bowl on a wooden table.

When you think of rice in Italian dishes, then it’s likely you think of arborio rice. This type of rice has a slightly starchier texture and will fit well in a heartier meal.

It may not make the best side dish, but arborio rice can complement soups and other dishes great with its creamy texture. Arborio is also a great basmati rice alternative for rice pudding.

6. Wild Rice

Wild rice can give a slightly chewy texture to any of your dishes compared to other options like basmati or jasmine rice, or you can serve it as a suitable side dish of its own.

This long grain rice is a great option if you are looking for a protein boost, as wild rice has one of the highest protein contents among grains.

7.  Bomba Rice

Also known as paella rice, this short-grain rice is a popular option in many Spanish dishes. 

This rice resembles basmati rice as both are versatile choices for mixing with other ingredients without absorbing too many liquids and getting sticky, maintaining a fluffy texture.

8. Popcorn Rice

It’s not hard to guess what aroma this crop of rice has. This basmati rice substitute gives off a pleasant popcorn-esque smell that still has the same consistency and slightly nutty flavor, similar to basmati rice.

This wonderful aroma makes this fragrant rice commonly used by chefs.

9. Long-Grain Brown Rice

On top of being an all around solid choice thanks to it having the familiar aroma of basmati rice, long-grain brown rice is a type of whole grain. This aromatic rice shares the fragrance of basmati rice.

On top of that, this rice is another excellent provider of important nutrients like fiber, meaning it can help to control cholesterol levels.

10. Black Rice

White rice in a wooden bowl on a mat.

Black rice is a variety of rice that is high in anthocyanins, which is the same antioxidant found in many types of berries and grapes.

Despite this differing chemical makeup, black rice has a mild yet similar flavor and texture to basmati, while coming in a wider variety of lengths. 

11. Carolina Gold Rice

This crop of rice has seen a resurgence in the past few years. The Carolina Gold Rice Foundation has popularized this chewy, earthy breed of rice.

Chefs use this type in all sorts of soups and jambalayas, making it a favorite grain around the southeast. It’s a great option to use in place of basmati rice thanks to its strong flavor.

12. Yellow Rice

Yellow rice actually starts out as long grain white rice. This rice takes its name from the yellow hue it gets from being flavored with spices such as saffron and turmeric.

This makes yellow rice a more vibrant and flavorful substitute for basmati rice.

13. Calrose Rice

Compared to basmati, these rice grains excel at retaining the flavor of whatever dishes they are partnered with.

Their sticky consistency after being cooked has caused them to be a favored candidate for use in sushi, but they also make the perfect substitute for basmati rice in all sorts of side dishes or as an ingredient.

14. American Long-Grain White Rice

When compared to basmati, long-grain white rice has a weaker flavor to basmati rice as it lacks the key, nutty flavor basmati is known for.

However, it also has less calories than basmati, with only 205 calories in 1 cup of rice, compared to 210 with basmati. This is a great option to fill your plate, without filling your daily caloric intake. 

15. Rice Pilaf

White rice in a bowl with a wooden spoon.

Rice pilaf could almost be considered a dish of its own, considering how much preparation goes into making it.

However, rice pilaf can also be bought off of store shelves, with the only step you have to complete being boiling it. This option has a nice, rich flavor thanks to the spices it is prepared with.

16. Brown Basmati Rice

Technically, this is a type of basmati rice, meaning it could be considered too close to make for a suitable substitute.

However, this type of long grain brown rice differs from white basmati rice thanks to it being less processed and retaining its bran and germ. Even with these changes, it is just as fragrant as basmati rice. 

17. Wild Pecan Rice

Despite its name, wild pecan rice, or Louisiana pecan rice as it may also be known as, is not sold with pecans. This aromatic rice variety gets its name from its nutty flavor. 

Pecans still can make for an excellent ingredient alongside this rice. You can cook them together to bring in a wider array of textures and flavors.

18. Mogra Rice

Mogra rice has shorter grains than basmati rice. Outside of that it has a familiar basmati and jasmine rice taste. The biggest advantage to use this variety is its cost as mogra rice is cheaper due to it being a broken rice grain.

If you want an option that keeps the flavor of basmati rice without spending too much, this is a good option.

19. Kalijeera Rice

Kalijeera rice, which is also sometimes known as “baby basmati rice”, is easily identified by its short grain rice that looks quite fittingly like little baby basmati grains.

However, it is just as light and fluffy and is a good option if you want to use something different, yet similar to basmati.

20. Texmati Rice

One of the closest substitutes to basmati is Texmati rice. Whereas basmati rice comes primarily from South Asia, Texmati is a similar breed of rice grown in the US.

This crop is a hybrid of basmati and American long-grain rice. As a result, Texmati rice keeps a familiar taste and texture, making it a great alternative to basmati rice.

How You Can Prepare Your Rice

All of the rice varieties we have listed above are excellent substitutes for basmati rice. On top of this, they can all be prepared using a rice cooker, meaning they can all be quickly and easily prepared without having to learn any new steps from your past experience with basmati rice.

When cooking, we recommend you fluff the rice to ensure it keeps a light texture and isn’t too hard when ready. After being cooked, leftover rice can last around three to four days in the fridge.

How To Find A Substitute For Basmati Rice

White rice in a bowl on a wooden table.

This list features all sorts of different types of rice from around the world. As such, they come from a whole different manner of cuisines.

For example, the arborio is a great choice for Italian dishes such as risotto.

As such, it may be hard to simply mix and match rice. Yellow rice has a strong flavor that may not work too well in a risotto.

The great thing about basmati rice is its versatility. Any meat, vegetable, or spice can pair with it without taking away from the main ingredients.

As such, you can mix and match your rice with dishes to see which rice pairs well with other ingredients. For example, yellow rice may not work with a dish arborio is known for, but it would go great with lemon chicken and peppers, just like basmati. 

Thinking of it like compatible blood types. Basmati rice is like AB positive, otherwise known as the universal recipient.

No matter what dish basmati belongs to, you can add in another type of rice and let them work with the ingredients.

The Best Alternative To Basmati Rice For You

There are several fantastic alternative rice options for basmati rice. The beauty about these different choices is the similarities they have to basmati.

Whether you are just looking for a change in texture, length, taste, or even just how it smells while cooking, there are plenty of great variations.

The perfect side dish or ingredient of rice exists for each and every meal out there, and experimenting beyond the normal basmati is part of the fun. Not just with rice, but with developing a new palette of tastes.

20 best basmati rice substitutes, including jasmine rice options.

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