Instant Pot Turmeric Rice with Kale

Difficulty Easy

Exciting and vibrant Instant Pot Turmeric Rice! Made quickly and easily in the Instant Pot, this beautiful yellow rice recipe pairs beautifully with grilled meat and vegetables!

I am self-confessed rice girl. And this yellow Turmeric Rice is especially beautiful and special! Made conveniently in the Instant Pot, it’s become one of my favorite easy sides.

Originally, this recipe comes from New York Times Cooking. With a few tweaks, I made an Instant Pot version, to make it even easier to make at home.

Easy and fast for weeknight meals. But fancy enough for when friends come over for dinner. Plus, it’s vegan to accommodate all the people in your life!

Why Instant Pot Turmeric Rice?

The Instant Pot is a superior kitchen tool for cooking flavored, long-grain rice.

  • Saute Function. The saute function on the Instant Pot allows you to cook aromatics and herbs. Then the rice and liquid are added later. Lock the lid in place. A perfect one pot meal!
  • Quick Cook Time. As a pressure cooker, the instant pot cooks long-grain rice FAST! Only 4 minutes! No more waiting 30-40 minutes for the rice to finish.

I will never cook flavored rice in a regular pot again!


  • Long or medium grain rice. Basmati, Jasmine or parboiled long grain white rice all work well.
  • Turmeric. Gives that vibrant yellow color!
  • Saffron. Optional but adds extra depth and complexity.
  • Coconut Milk. Full-fat canned coconut milk works best.
  • Onion + Garlic. The aromatic base of any flavored rice!
  • Coconut Oil. Subtly aromatic. You can sub with butter or olive oil if you don’t have it.
  • Kale. Roughly chopped kale adds texture, nutrition, and color. For a hearty yellow rice!
  • Coconut Gremolata. A sprinkle on the top, right before serving, makes this dish truly special!
close up of small bowl of turmeric coconut rice


  1. Make Gremolata. Use the saute function to toast the coconut flakes + sesame seeds. Adds crunch, flavor, and color to the final dish!
  2. Rinse rice. Wash away the extra starch in a sieve for fluffy, perfectly separate rice grains.
  3. Saute aromatics. Again, use the saute function and cook down onions and garlic until soft and translucent.
  4. Add rice + liquid. Only 4 minutes of cook time.
  5. Add kale and cover to steam. Cover with a clean dish towel and let the residual heat “steam” the kale until wilted but still vibrantly green.
  6. Fluff with a fork. Make sure to serve the Coconut Gremolata on the side or sprinkled on top.

What can I serve with Turmeric Rice?

As a side dish, Turmeric Rice tastes great with grilled meat or fish, kebabs, or grilled vegetables.

Or serve with a variety of salads: Greek Salad, Arugula Quinoa Salad, or Fattoush. All would complement the flavors beautifully.

FYI Turmeric yellow rice makes a ton and tastes great at room temperature. A great dish to bring for potlucks, barbecues, and any party or extended family gathering!


What is Turmeric?

Turmeric is rhizome or root vegetable covered with a thin, papery skin similar to ginger. When you cut inside, it’s brilliantly orange and stains food so they appear yellow or orange.

Turmeric is often used in curries. That dusky, earthy flavor is a main component to Indian, Middle Eastern, and Asian cooking. Although fresh Turmeric is hard to find, dried Turmeric is often a staple in the modern pantry.

For this Turmeric Rice recipe, dried Turmeric stains the rice a gorgeous yellow hue! And imparts a deliciously complex and earthy flavor.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yes, Turmeric Rice with Kale tastes great warm or room temperature. Right before serving, fluff with a fork. If needed, briefly reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

How do I store Turmeric Rice? How long will it keep?

Store leftovers in an air tight container in the fridge. It should last 5-7 days. Reheat in the microwave until steaming hot, making sure to fluff before serving.


bowl of turmeric ric

Other Instant Pot recipes you may enjoy:

bowl of turmeric rice with lime wedges and coconut gremolata

Instant Pot Turmeric Rice with Kale

The Subversive Table | Lis Lam
Exciting and vibrant Turmeric Rice! Made quickly and easily in the Instant Pot, this beautiful yellow rice recipe pairs beautifully with grilled meat and vegetables!
4.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Steaming Rice 10 minutes
Course Casual Party, Rice, Side, Side Dish
Cuisine Asian, Fusion Food
Servings 8 (as side)


  • Instant Pot
  • Large fine mesh sieve


Coconut Gremolata:

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds (black or white both work)
  • lime zest (from 1 lime)

Turmeric Rice:

  • 2 cups basmati rice (jasmine rice or any other long grain rice also work)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil (can be subbed with butter or olive oil)
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 400 ml/13.5 oz can full fat coconut milk (do not use boxed or fresh coconut milk)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp saffron (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (freshly cracked tastes best)
  • 4 cups chopped kale (about 1/2 large bunch)


Coconut Gremolata:

  • Set the Instant Pot to saute function. Toast coconut flakes and sesame seeds until fragrant and golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and add lime zest. Mix to combine and set aside.
    instant pot filled with lime coconut sesame gremolata

Turmeric Rice:

  • Rinse the rice in a sieve until the water runs clear. Set aside.
    sieve filled with basmati rice
  • Wipe down the Instant Pot (there will be residual bits from the Coconut Gremolata) and set to saute function. Add coconut oil. When it melts, add onion, garlic, and turmeric. Add a pinch of salt to help the cooking process along. Cook until onion is soft and translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
    instant pot filled with sauteed onion and turmeric
  • Add drained rice, coconut milk, water, saffron, salt, and pepper. Mix around with a spoon. It's okay if the coconut solids are chunky.
    instant pot filled coconut milk and turmeric
  • Lock in the lid. Set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook, high heat, for 4 minutes.
  • When the timer beeps, manually release the steam immediately. Remove the lid and loosely add kale directly on top of the undisturbed rice. Drape a clean kitchen towel over the pot and place the lid (loosely) on top. Set a timer for 10 minutes and let the rice and kale steam for 10 minutes.
    instant pot filled with kale
  • Remove the lid and kitchen towel. Fluff rice and kale with a fork. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if necessary.
    instant pot filled with turmeric coconut rice
  • Transfer to a large shallow bowl and serve with lime coconut sesame gremolata and lime wedges. Enjoy!
    large shallow white bowl filled with turmeric rice


*The coconut milk from 1 400ml/13.5 oz can of coconut milk contains 1 3/4 cup of liquid. You need 2 cups of liquid for 2 cups of rice. Instead of opening another can of coconut milk only to use 1/4 cup, I simply add water to make 2 full cups. Use this method when doubling or tripling the recipe.
**The Coconut Gremolata can be stored in the fridge, tightly covered, for up to 1 week.
Keyword Coconut, Instant Pot, Rice, Turmeric
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
30 minutes, All Recipes, Dinner with Friends, Holiday, Instant Pot, Potluck, Rice, Side, Weeknight Meals


  1. 4 stars
    I loved the idea of this recipe but unfortunately it stuck pretty bad. It burned so I thought about it. Normally you need at least a cup of water in the instapot so I removed the contents soaked, scraped and cleaned the pot. Added a spray of oil, added a tsp of avocado an 1 CUP OF WATER then locked and loaded again but changing the time to 3 minutes then….IT WORKED! I then finished as normal. Oh yeah massaging the kale with a bit of oil and salt before adding to the pot takes it to the next level.

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