Three members of the pepper family—spicy dried red chili peppers, dried mild chili peppers (paprika), and fresh red bell peppers—add vitamin C and plenty of flavor to this colorful side dish.


2 teaspoons vegetable oil, such as olive or canola oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 large red bell peppers, finely diced

1 cup rice

2 cups water

3/4 teaspoon grated orange zest

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons orange juice


1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion has softened, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, and red pepper flakes, and stir to coat.

2. Stir in the bell peppers and cook, stirring frequently, until the peppers have softened, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the water, orange zest, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and creamy, about 17 minutes.

4. Stir in the cilantro until well combined. Remove from heat and stir in the orange juice, fluffing the grains with a fork. Makes 4 servings

Chilied Brown Rice Substitute brown rice for the white (the cooking time will go up to about 45 minutes), and increase the water to 2 1/2 cups. Replace the paprika and red pepper flakes with 1 teaspoon chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon cumin.

Nutrition Facts

per serving
calories 236
total fat 2.9g
saturated fat 0.4g
cholesterol 0mg
dietary fiber 3g
carbohydrate 48g
protein 5g
sodium 298mg

Good source of: beta carotene, folate, niacin, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin C

If you are carefully watching your sodium, be sure to read this before preparing this recipe: Sodium Intake and Salt in Recipes

From The Johns Hopkins Cookbook Library: Recipes for a Healthy Heart, edited by Simeon Margolis, M.D., Ph.D. and Lora Brown Wilder, Sc.D., M.S., R.D.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 20 Oct 2011

Last Modified: 24 Mar 2015