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Spice up your Christmas rice with traditional Brazilian flavors

Olivia Ribas

The holidays are right around the corner, which means spending time with family sharing and eating delicious traditional foods like roasted turkey, gravy and cranberry sauce. And what about mashed potato, green beans and stuffing? So yummy! These are very traditional side dishes in North America and I totally love them.


t But one of my favorite side dishes is definitely rice because, although I live in Canada, I am originally from Brazil where rice is a big hit. The most popular side dish for this time of the year is rice with nuts and raisins. It is also known as Christmas rice because we only make it for the holidays.


t We love this recipe because it is very quick to make, full of flavor and a perfect match for turkey. Besides, the ingredients are easy to find and if you don’t have one of these nuts you can replace them with another. You can also replace the dark raisins for gold raisins if you wish or you can even add any other dried fruit.

t This is a traditional Brazilian holiday recipe, but I encourage you to customize the ingredients to make it perfect for your own family! If you add cranberries instead of raisins and sage instead of parsley I believe this side dish can be a creative gluten-free stuffing for you. I guarantee you won’t miss the bread, because all the traditional flavors from the old stuffing recipe we love like vegetable broth, sage and cranberries will be in the recipe.


t It is a delicious dish to serve on the big day because it is also vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. Why should we complicate our lives in the kitchen, cooking so many different side dishes to fit everyone’s diet? Preparing side dishes shouldn’t be stressful. Make something that nobody will complain about. This dish will definitely help you get an early start on your holiday cooking. I hope you enjoy it!


  • 1 cup water
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  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
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  • 1 + 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
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  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
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  • 1 cup rice
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  • A pinch of salt
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  • 1/2 cup onions, diced
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  • 1/4 cup red pepper, diced
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  • 1/4 cashews, cut in half
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  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
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  • 1/4 cup almond, chopped
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  • 1/2 cup raisins
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  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped


  1. In a pan, bring water and vegetable broth to a boil.
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  3. In another pan, combine olive oil, garlic and rice. Stir for 30 seconds.
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  5. Pour the boiled liquid into the rice mixture.
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  7. Reduce heat to medium/low, cover and simmer until tender and all the liquids are absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.
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  9. After cooking simply leave the rice to rest for a total of 5 minutes.
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  11. Remove the cover, fluff and separate the grains with a fork. Set it aside.
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  13. In a saucepan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, onions and red peppers. Cook until the onions are translucent.
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  15. Add cashews, walnuts, almonds, raisins and rice. Mix everything together well.
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  17. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with finely chopped parsley.

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