How To Cook Jollof Rice

Nigerian Jollof rice is probably the first dish anyone who gets acquainted with the Nigerian cuisine learns about. Several countries can’t agree on who was the first one to invent Jollof rice, but the Nigerian Jollof recipe is certainly the most popular one.

Despite its rich and vibrant taste, Jollof rice is actually pretty easy to make at home, even if you’re not an experienced cook. Check out how to make Jollof rice in four easy ways.


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1. Ingredients for Jollof rice

Jollof rice is such an affordable dish that there is a good chance you already have the ingredients needed for cooking in your pantry – and if not, they’re definitely available at the nearest store or market.

There are many ways to cook this Nigerian staple, but Jollof rice and chicken seem to be the most popular option. Here are the  easy Jollof rice recipe ingredients – simply perfect for beginners.

  • Long grain rice
  • Fresh tomatoes or tomato puree
  • Bell peppers
  • Onions
  • Chicken (thighs, breasts, drumsticks, or chopped whole chicken)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Seasoning cube
  • Chicken or beef stock
  • Fresh ginger
  • Curry powder
  • Thyme
  • Salt and pepper

Quick tip on the tomatoes: while classic Jollof recipe calls for fresh tomatoes, you can achieve a much more dense and tangy taste with tomato paste, even though some of the authenticity will be lost.

How To Cook Jollof Rice

2. How to cook Jollof rice

To prepare traditional Jollof rice, do the following.

  1. Pre-boil the rice: drop it into boiling water and boil until the rice is white, but not cooked through – taste a few grains to make sure. Then wash the rice in ice cold water to stop the cooking process.
  2. Combine the tomato puree or blended tomatoes, peppers, and onions. Heat up some oil in the pan and cook the tomato mixture until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  3. Add grated ginger and spices to the reduced tomato and pepper mixture. Add stock and boil the mixture for a couple more minutes until it’s thickened.
  4. Drop in the cooled rice, add more stock to cover the rice, and cook until the rice is tender enough to your taste. Continue adding the stock if the liquid has evaporated but the rice is not done yet.
  5. Once the rice is nearly cooked, turn off the heat, cover the pan firmly with a lid and wait for the rice to finish cooking in its own steam.
  6. Serve with chicken. You can deep fry the chicken, grill it, or cook it with the same tomato and pepper puree you used for rice for an even richer taste.

Jollof rice

3. How to prepare Jollof rice with carrot and green beans

If you’re a big fan of vegetables or simply want to try a new way of preparing your favorite Jollof rice, try adding carrots and green beans.

To make this dish, follow the same directions for traditional Jollof rice, but when the rice is approximately 10-15 minutes away from being ready, add diced carrots and green beans – don’t cook them for too long, otherwise they can turn too soft and brown.

Jollof rice with carrot and green beans

4. How to prepare Jollof rice with vegetables

Jollof rice is such a diverse recipe that you can add nearly every vegetable you think of – just keep the cooking times of the ingredients in mind, so that you wouldn’t get 100% cooked rice with undercooked vegetables.

In addition to carrots and green beans, you can also add peas, bell peppers, or chopped tomatoes for new and unusual flavor pairings.

Jollof rice with vegetables

5. How to cook Jollof rice and beans

Jollof rice and beans is a great and very filling dish. Beans are so rich in protein that you can save the chicken for some other delicious recipe and let beans shine in your Jollof rice. You’ll need the same ingredients as in the classic Jollof rice, but leave out the chicken and add one cup of your favorite beans.

First soak the beans for the night. Then put them into a pot of boiling water, bring the water to boil, turn off the heat and wash the beans. Now they are ready to be added to the rice and cooked together until everything is tender and flavorsome.

Jollof rice and beans


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My name is Inna. I am a content writer with an English and literature background. As a mother of a 2-year old son, I love learning about children’s health and development, as well as finding new interesting toys and activities for my little one. I am also in love with all things tech and always keep my finger on the pulse of new smartphone and gadget releases. Another big passion of mine is beauty and makeup – every day I read about new trends in skin care and makeup and always look forward to trying them. Plus, I love pop culture, travelling, crafts, and anything that can make our daily life more thrilling!