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Carolina Gold Rice Recipe

Carolina gold rice has been around since at least 1885 and it’s still popular today.

The secret to this delicious grain is that it’s cooked until tender before being combined with butter, garlic, and herbs.

The resulting rice dish is rich and creamy, but not too heavy.

It also contains no cholesterol or trans fat so you won’t be left feeling guilty after eating it.

If you want to try out some of these recipes, we have all your bases covered when it comes to making Carolina gold rice.

How Do You Make Carolina Gold Rice?

Carolina gold rice is one of the most popular dishes in the state of North Carolina because it’s easy to prepare and tastes great on its own as well as alongside other food items.

There are several ways you can cook up this versatile rice dish, including sautéing it, boiling it, or even baking it for an extra-crunchy finish.

  • Sautéed Carolina gold rice
  • Baked Carolina gold rice
  • Boiled Carolina gold rice
Carolina Gold Rice Recipe2

1. Sautéed Carolina gold rice

There are two versions of this classic rice preparation method depending on how much time you have available to prep and cook the dish.

You can either use your stovetop burner or a large skillet to get this meal started.

For every cup of uncooked Carolina gold rice, add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a pan over medium heat.

Once hot, stir in 2 cloves of minced garlic followed by ½ teaspoon of salt and black pepper.

Sautee the mixture until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Add ¼ cup of unsalted butter (melted) and stir constantly until the liquid evaporates.

Add ½ cup of white wine vinegar and continue stirring until the sauce thickens.

Remove from heat, cover, and let sit 10 minutes.

In the meantime, bring 4 cups of water to a boil and gently pour the rice into a strainer then place it back into the pot.

Cook the rice for 15 minutes or until tender.

Drain any excess water and combine with the sauce.

Stir well and serve immediately.

2. Baked Carolina gold rice

If you don’t have access to a kitchen oven, there’s another way to bake Carolina gold rice without having to worry about fire hazards.

To start off, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Next, line a 9 x 13-inch baking sheet with parchment paper.

After that, take one cup of Carolina gold rice and mix it with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Then spread the rice evenly across the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle each serving with ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and black pepper.

Bake it uncovered for 50 minutes.

To test if the rice is done, carefully remove the tray from the oven.

Use a fork to poke through the center of the rice and check whether the grains feel slightly soft inside.

Take them out of the oven and allow it to cool completely before transferring the contents onto plates.

3. Boiled Carolina gold rice

This is the easiest way to make Carolina gold rice because it takes only 20 minutes of hands-on cooking time compared to 30 minutes for the previous methods.

All you need to begin is four cups of cold water and one cup of Carolina gold rice.

Bring the water to a rolling boil, turn down the heat, and wait for the cooker to return to a full boil.

Reduce the heat further to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.

Drain any excess water and transfer the rice to a bowl.

Allow it to cool thoroughly.

Once cooled, combine the rice with 1/4 cup of melted unsalted butter and ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and black pepper.

Mix everything together.

Serve warm.

What Is In A Carolina Gold Rice Recipe?

One of the most common ways that people eat Carolina gold rice is by simply adding it into their daily meal plan.

This can be done as either a side dish or as part of an entrée depending on what kind of cuisine you enjoy.

  • Side Dish – You can easily prepare a quick side dish for dinner by using one cup of Carolina gold rice per person. For example, if you are serving 4 people then just use 2 cups of rice.
  • Entrée – Another way to serve Carolina gold rice is as part of an entrée. One cup of rice will fill up two medium-sized bowls which makes them perfect for sharing between friends and family members.
  • Baked Rice – Another fun way to serve Carolina gold rice is as baked rice! Simply add 1/3 cup of uncooked rice to each ramekin (or muffin pan) along with some salt, pepper, and a little bit of olive oil. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Serve warm.

How Do You Cook Carolina Gold Rice?

To make Carolina gold rice at home, simply boil water over medium heat for 1 hour.

Once the water boils, add the dry rice and cover with a lid.

Turn down the flame and let the rice simmer for 30 minutes while stirring occasionally.

After 30 minutes, turn off the stove and allow the rice to sit undisturbed for 5 more minutes.

After the five-minute rest period, remove the lid from the pot and fluff up the rice using a fork.

You should see tiny air bubbles forming on top of the rice.

This indicates that the rice is ready to eat.

Add hot sauce, if desired, and combine well.

If you don’t own any Carolina gold rice, you can buy dried rice online or find it in select grocery stores near you.

However, you may need to check with your local store manager to confirm whether they carry it.

In addition, many stores will sell Carolina gold rice by weight rather than by volume (which means you could end up paying slightly more).

Carolina Gold Rice Recipe3

What Is The Best Carolina Gold Rice Recipe?

Here are a few options if you’re looking for one of the best Carolina gold rice recipes available online.

  • Stuffed Peppers with Carolina Gold Rice (This recipe includes instructions on how to make stuffed peppers from scratch)
  • Carolina Gold Rice Casserole Recipe (A family favorite featuring this classic casserole)
  • Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Carolina Gold Rice (Addictive comfort food!)
  • Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes with Carolina Gold Rice (Serve them as an appetizer or side dish)
  • Chicken and Bacon-Filled Pork Chops with Carolina Gold Rice (A great way to use up leftover chicken)
  • Tuna Melt Sandwich with Carolina Gold Rice (A healthy alternative to traditional tuna melts)
  • Rice Pilaf with Feta Cheese and Herbs (Try this version instead of plain old white rice)
  • Shrimp Jambalaya with Carolina Gold Rice (Another take on jambalaya)
  • Carolina Gold Rice Salad Recipe (Great for summertime)
  • Carolina Gold Rice Soup Recipe (Keep warm in winter)
  • Carolina Gold Rice Stuffing Recipe (For Thanksgiving)
  • Easy Chicken Cacciatore with Carolina Gold Rice (Another easy weeknight meal)
  • Pork Loin Stuffed with Carolina Gold Rice (A tasty dinner option)
  • Beef Enchilada Casserole with Carolina Gold Rice (An authentic Mexican twist on enchiladas)
  • Spicy Sausage and Red Pepper Hash Browns with Carolina Gold Rice (A hearty breakfast or brunch treat)
  • Cheeseburger Quiche Cups with Carolina Gold Rice (Super filling quiches)
  • Green Chile Cheesy Potato Bake with Carolina Gold Rice (Get ready for fall with cheesy potatoes)
  • Jamaican Jerk Shrimp Tacos with Carolina Gold Rice (Healthy tacos)
  • Roasted Garlic Ranch Potato Chips with Carolina Gold Rice (Potato chips anyone?)
  • Smoky Pulled Pork Chili with Carolina Gold Rice (A savory chili perfect for cold nights)
  • Sweet Pork Tenderloins with Carolina Gold Rice (A sweet alternative to regular pork tenderloins)
  • Slow Cooker Country Ham Sliders with Carolina Gold Rice (Slider sandwiches)
  • Buffalo Chicken Biscuit Bowls with Carolina Gold Rice (A fun new spin on biscuits)
  • Lentils with Caramelized Onions and Carolina Gold Rices (A comforting vegetarian main dish)
  • Mediterranean Turkey Meatballs with Carolina Gold Rice (Make these meatballs ahead of time for ease during busy times)
  • Bacon Wrapped Pot Roast with Carolina Gold Rice (A comforting roast dinner)
  • Pulled BBQ Ribs with Carolina Gold Rice (A barbecue staple)
  • Turkey Club Sub with Carolina Gold Rice (A healthier, lower carb alternative to turkey club sandwich)
  • Mushroom Gravy with Carolina Gold Rice (Gravy doesn’t get any better than homemade)
  • Chili Lime Grilled Corn on the Cob with Carolina Gold Rice (Fresh grilled corn)
  • Homemade Pesto Pasta Alfredo with Carolina Gold Rice (Pasta sauce without guilt)
  • Italian Wedding Soup with Carolina Gold Rice (Simple soup perfection)
  • Chicken Parmesan Roll Ups with Carolina Gold Rice (Hearty lunch ideas)
  • Carolina Gold Rice and Black Bean Burritos (Use canned beans for quickness)
  • Salmon Croquettes with Carolina Gold Rice (A light snack idea)
  • Grilled Salmon with Lemon Dill Sauce with Carolina Gold Rice (Enjoy fresh salmon with lemon dill sauce)

How Do You Serve Carolina Gold Rice?

You can cook Carolina gold rice in a variety of ways including using water as opposed to stock for added flavor.

You could even go vegetarian by replacing the chicken broth with vegetable stock.

Another way to make Carolina gold rice more interesting is adding different ingredients such as vegetables, shrimp, lobster, or mussels.

If you are preparing this rice dish on a regular basis, however, cooking in stock is probably better because it will help reduce waste and save money.

Also, if you love seafood then you should definitely add chunks of fish into your Carolina gold rice recipe.

Not only does it improve the taste of the dish, but it also makes cleaning up easier!

1. Stir-fry

  • Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a wok over medium heat. Add 2 chopped shallots and sauté for 3 minutes.
  • Stir in 4 cups Carolina gold rice followed by 1 cup chicken stock.
  • Cover the pan, turn down the heat slightly, and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Uncover the pan, stir in ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Boil

  • Bring 5 quarts of water to boil in a large pot.
  • Once boiling, drop in 1 tablespoon kosher salt.
  • Reduce the heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and pour in 2 cups Carolina gold rice.
  • Let stand for 3 minutes.
  • Drain thoroughly through a fine mesh strainer.
  • Place back on stovetop over low heat and cover with lid for 20 minutes.
  • Fluff gently with fork, sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese, and serve warm.

3. Sautee

  • In a skillet over high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter.
  • Add 2 minced cloves garlic, ¼ teaspoon dried thyme, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
  • Cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Arrange 1 cup Carolina gold rice per person on top of each plate.
  • Top each portion with 1 tablespoon melted butter.
  • Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
  • Serve hot.

4. Make a pilaf

  • Combine 2 cups Carolina gold rice with 1¾ cups chicken stock or water in a saucepan.
  • Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • Turn down the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • When ready, fluff with fork.
  • Drizzle with additional butter and toss again to coat evenly.
  • Divide between serving bowls.
  • Top each bowl with ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Serve immediately.

5. Casserole

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Melt 2 sticks unsalted butter in an 8×8 inch baking dish.
  • Mix together 1½ cups chicken stock or water, 1 cup Carolina gold rice, 2 beaten eggs, ½ cup bread crumbs, ½ cup grated cheddar cheese, and 1/2 cup milk.
  • Pour mixture into prepared dish and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, melt remaining stick of butter in a small saucepan. Mix together with parsley, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Spoon herb butter onto baked dish and serve immediately.

What Goes With Carolina Gold Rice?

Carolina gold rice is a perfect pairing for any meal.

You can add it to salads like chicken noodle soup or toss it in pasta dishes like lasagna.

This versatile grain works well as an accompaniment to fish, poultry, meatloaf, and even breakfast foods!


  • Chicken noodle soup – Add Carolina gold rice to the stock pot and let it cook down while you make your sauce.
  • Beef barley soup – Use 1/4 cup of Carolina gold rice per serving (or use more if you prefer) and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes.
  • Vegetable beef broth – Add 1 cup of Carolina gold rice to 2 cups of vegetable broth and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes over medium heat.


  • Grilled shrimp salad – Combine 3 pounds of peeled and deveined shrimp with one pound of chopped yellow onion, two cloves minced garlic, one tablespoon of lemon juice, one teaspoon cayenne pepper, salt & pepper to taste, and then stir in 4 tablespoons of olive oil. After that, combine with 3 cups of sliced cabbage and half cup of diced carrots, mix together thoroughly, and top off by adding 3 cups of shredded lettuce and 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
  • Tuna egg white salad – Mix together 6 ounces of drained tuna, three eggs beaten into soft peaks, and 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard. Fold in ½ cup of finely chopped celery, ¼ cup of mayonnaise, 1/8 cup of sour cream, and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Top off with 1 cup of thinly sliced green onions.
  • Lettuce wrap – Wrap up each serving by first mixing 3 cups of shredded romaine lettuce with 1 cup of crumbled blue cheese and 1/8 cup of plain yogurt. Then fold in 5 slices of roasted turkey breast, a few thin strips of red bell peppers, and a small handful of chopped parsley leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


  • Turkey sandwich – Spread both sides of bread with 1 teaspoon of mustard and place them face side down onto a cookie sheet. On the bottom slice put 3 slices of smoked turkey, 1 tomato cut into wedges, a couple pieces of avocado, 2 slices of bacon, 1 leaf of lettuce, and sprinkle on some fresh ground black pepper. Place another piece of bread on top, spread with 1 teaspoon of mayo, and press firmly to seal.
  • Ham sandwich – Slice a loaf of whole wheat bread diagonally, spread both sides with 1 teaspoon of honey mustard, and layer on 3 slices of ham, 2 tomatoes, 1 cucumber, and 1 wedge of Swiss cheese. Close sandwiches tightly using tooth picks.


  • Lasagna – Cook 3 cups of Carolina gold rice in boiling water according to package directions. While rice cooks, prepare a 13×9 inch baking pan with non stick spray, and pour in 8 cups of marinara sauce followed by 1 pound of extra firm tofu blended smooth with 1/3 cup of milk.
  • Macaroni and cheese – Prepare macaroni according to instructions on box and drain. In a large skillet cook 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter over medium high heat. Once melted and bubbly, add 1/3 cup of flour and whisk constantly for about five minutes. Whisking continuously, slowly add 1½ cups of milk and keep whisking until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in 2 cups of sharp Cheddar cheese and 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese along with ½ teaspoon of dry mustard, ½ teaspoon paprika, and 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg. Stir in 1/3 cup of panko breadcrumbs and cover with foil. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Rigatoni Bolognese – Boil 8 cups of rigatoni following package directions. Drain and return to cooking pot. To the same pot, add 3 cups of prepared bolognese sauce mixed with 1 cup of Carolina gold rice. Heat through and serve topped with 1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

How Do You Flavor Carolina Gold Rice?

If you are looking for ways to spruce up plain old Carolina gold rice, there are many different options available.

Some of the most common additions include:

  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Herbs
  • Onion powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Lemon zest
  • Chili flakes

Depending on what kind of flavors you like best, you can use any combination of these ingredients in order to create something new.

There are even times where you will find people adding bacon pieces to their Carolina gold rice!

You might also want to consider using a few other cooking techniques in order to make sure that the final product tastes as good as possible.

You could add an extra step by par-cooking the rice first.

This way, it will cook faster than if you simply let it sit in boiling water.

Another option would be to mix the ingredients together ahead of time, which will ensure everything cooks evenly.

What Is A Good Substitute For Carolina Gold Rice?

If you can’t find Carolina gold rice in the grocery store, don’t worry.

You can easily make it yourself using other types of rice.

Here are three great substitutes for the traditional Carolina gold rice:

  • Jasmine Rice – This long-grain white rice is milder than Carolina gold rice, which makes it perfect as a side dish. Jasmine rice is often used by chefs who like their dishes to taste light on the palate.
  • Basmati Rice – Basmati rice is another excellent alternative because it offers more variety. Try cooking basmati rice with coconut milk, curry, or even mint and cilantro to create an exotic dish.
  • Brown Rice – Brown rice is a bit chewy, but it works well as a base for soups and stews. Cooking brown rice takes longer than regular white rice, but it helps boost its nutritional value.

Tips for preparing Carolina gold rice

Preparing Carolina gold rice is easy if you follow these few tips.

First off, you should use a pot large enough to hold about 2 cups of water over medium heat.

Next, add 1 cup of Carolina gold rice (or any type of rice) into the pan along with 3/4 cup of salted boiling water.

Stir frequently while the rice cooks.

After 15 minutes, cover the pot and let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes.

Afterward, uncover the pot and stir it again.

Continue stirring regularly until the rice grains become soft and translucent.

Once this happens, remove the lid from the pot and cook the rice one last time for 5 minutes.

Drain the excess moisture from the rice and serve immediately.

carolina gold rice recipe

Is Carolina Gold Rice Healthy?

Yes! While the original Carolina gold rice was created by a chef in North Carolina, nowadays many people use other varieties such as brown rice and even wild rice.

These are just fine substitutes if you don’t want to eat traditional Carolina gold rice.

If you do decide on trying out one of the recipes below, make sure to check that they contain low-fat ingredients like olive oil, which will help keep the calories down.

However, there are plenty of ways to make a low-calorie version of Carolina gold rice without compromising on taste.

Here are our top picks for the best Carolina gold rice recipes available online.

  • Creamy Caramelized Onion Rice Casserole
  • Cheesy Stuffed Shells with Carolina Gold Rice
  • Carolina Gold Brown Rice Pilaf
  • Fried Chicken & Dirty Rice Casserole
  • Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Carolina Gold Rice
  • Easy Homemade Creamed Corn (No Butter)
  • Italian Sausage Stuffing with Wild Rice and Carrots
  • Golden Cauliflower Soup
  • Spicy Fried Okra

More rice recipes

  • Make fluffy jasmine rice
  • How to cook basmati rice
  • Basmati rice pilaf with raisins and almonds
  • Rice pudding with pistachios and cranberries
  • Chicken fried rice
  • Shrimp stir fry

Healthier rice dishes

  • Kale quinoa bowl
  • Sweet potato black bean burgers
  • Veggie burger patties
  • Sloppy joes
  • Pork chops with apple cider sauce
  • Honey balsamic salmon
  • Salmon tacos

Vegetarian rice recipes

  • Mushroom risotto
  • Lentil soup with rice
  • Indian spiced cauliflower rice
  • Tofu pad thai
  • Brown rice paella

Dessert desserts

  • Chocolate peanut butter mousse cake
  • Strawberry shortcake
  • Peanut butter pie
  • Banana cream pie
  • Key lime pie

Other rice recipes

  • Wild mushroom risotto
  • Herb roasted chicken thighs with rosemary rice
  • Jamaican jerk spice pork ribs with collard greens and rice
  • Spinach artichoke dip
  • Tuna salad sandwich
  • Eggplant parmigiana
  • Orecchiette pasta with broccoli rabe and sausage
  • Roasted squash mac ‘n’ cheese
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Cheese grits

Where Can I Find A Carolina Gold Rice Recipe?

There are plenty of resources online where you can learn how to make Carolina gold rice.

Many of the sites include step-by-step instructions on how to prepare the dish.

Some even go as far as showing you how to cook the rice in the microwave.

But if you just need a quick guide for cooking Carolina gold rice, here’s what you should do.

  • Check the ingredients list. You will see that many of the recipes call for “rice.” This means they use regular white rice instead of Carolina gold rice. So if you don’t have access to either kind of rice, you may be able to substitute them both. Just remember to adjust your cooking time accordingly.
  • Read through the directions carefully. There are a few key steps to follow when cooking Carolina gold rice. These include preheating the oven and adding the butter, garlic, and herbs.
  • Cooking the rice. Here’s where things get tricky. Some recipes suggest putting the entire amount of rice into a pot and covering it with water. Others say to add the liquid first then cover the pot with foil and put it into the oven. Still others advise against using water at all and simply stir the rice while it cooks.

As long as you follow the same basic rules, there shouldn’t be any issues.

Also, note that different brands of rice may require slightly different amounts of liquid depending on their moisture content.

So, check the package insert or manufacturer website for more information about this.

carolina gold rice recipe

Carolina Gold Rice Recipe

Carolina gold rice has been around since at least 1885 and it’s still popular today.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Carolina Gold Rice Recipe
Servings: 4
Calories: 51kcal


  • 1 Pot
  • 1 Pan


  • 6 cups water
  • ½ Tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup Carolina Gold Rice
  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons herbs


  • 6 cups of water and salt should be brought to a boil in a big stock pot.
  • Set a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper in place and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F while the water is coming to a boil.
  • Stir in one cup of Carolina Gold rice to the water. Reboil the water one again, then lower the heat so that it is simmering.
  • Until the rice is tender, simmer for 12 to 15 minutes. It will take roughly 15 minutes if you actually use Carolina Gold Rice. You’ll simply need to boil the rice for about 12 minutes if you’ve chosen to disregard the recommendation to use this very particular, very special rice.
  • Rice should be rinsed thoroughly with cold water after being drained in a colander or fine mesh screen.
  • Onto the lined baking sheet, spread the rice. Rice is baked for five minutes.
  • After taking the pan out of the oven, top the rice with two tablespoons of salted butter and some black pepper. Five more minutes of baking.
  • Rice, pepper, and melted butter should all be mixed together before serving.



Calories: 51kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.2g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 935mg | Potassium: 8mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.01g | Vitamin A: 229IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 0.1mg
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