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Annatto Rice With Sausage and Tomato

Made with annato, called "poor man's saffron" because of its similar color, this rice dish is zesty and filling.

  • Servings: 4

Photography: Maria Robledo

Source: Body+Soul, October 2005


  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons annatto seeds
  • 1 small red chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound vegetarian or organic chicken sausage, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 4 small bay leaves, broken in half
  • 2 cups cooked long-grain white rice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. In a medium saute pan, heat the oil and annatto seeds over medium heat until sizzling. Lower the temperature and cook until the oil turns yellow, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove annatto seeds and discard.

  2. Reheat the annatto oil over medium-high heat. Saute chile and garlic, stir, and cook for 30 seconds. Add sausage, tomato, and bay leaves; cook and stir until heated through.

  3. Stir in cooked rice. Remove and discard bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Cook's Notes

Annatto, or achiote, can be found in Latin groceries.

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