5 Layer Rice Recipe

5 Layer Rice

5 Layer Rice

5 Layer Rice is a delicious recipe of flavoured rice prepared with loads of flavours and textures. A layer of garlic spinach rice is topped with Indian spiced baked beans with a layer of sauteed vegetables in bechamel sauce and finally a layer of cheese and peppers and onions.

My friend Kajal always prepares this dish for us whenever we visit her as my children absolutely love it. She has very kindly shared the recipe for other people to enjoy it as much as we do.
Although the layers are all cooked separately, then combined for final baking, this dish is a complete meal and can be a centre piece of any party or get together.

Other recipes you might like to try are Dum Biryani, Parda Biryani, Vegetable Pulao, Beetroot rice, Peas Pulao, Tawa Pulao, Hyderabadi Pulao and Kashmiri Peas Pulao.


For Garlic Spinach Rice
1 cup basmati rice
2 teaspoons oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup finely chopped spinach leaves
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon black pepper

For Spiced Baked Beans
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped onions
1 tablespoon finely chopped green pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped red pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped yellow pepper
400 grams baked beans
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon black pepper

For Sauteed Vegetables
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup broccoli florets (bite size pieces)
2 tablespoons sliced baby corns (1 inch pieces)
2 tablespoons sliced carrots (1 inch pieces)
2 tablespoons French beans (1 inch pieces)
2 tablespoons diced onions
2 tablespoons diced green pepper
Salt to taste

For Bechamel Sauce
2 teaspoons butter
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 cups warm milk
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
½ cup grated cheddar cheese

Other Ingredients
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
4-5 round sliced green pepper
6-7 round sliced onions



Wash the rice under running water and then soak the rice in water for 20-30 minutes.
After the rice has soaked, drain the water using a colander.
Boil 9-10 cups of water add the rice and 1 tablespoon oil and gently stir. Let it cook uncovered until it is 80% cooked. This takes around 7 to 8 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and drain the rice in a colander. Set aside to cool it down.


For garlic spinach rice, heat butter and oil in a pan and add the minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes on medium heat until the garlic is slightly golden. Add the spinach, salt, black pepper and rice and toss everything until well combined.

Turn off the heat and keep the garlic spinach aside.


For the spiced baked beans, heat oil in a pan and add the onions and peppers. Sauté on medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until the onions turn translucent. Next add the baked beans, salt, black pepper and mix.

Turn off the heat and keep the spiced baked beans aside.


For the sauteed vegetables, heat oil in a pan and add the broccoli, baby corns, carrots and French beans. Sauté on medium heat for 5-6 minutes and then add the onions, peppers, and salt. Cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked.

Turn off the heat and keep the sauteed vegetables aside.


For the bechamel sauce, Melt the butter in a pan and then add the plain flour. Stir continuously until a paste forms and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Add the warm milk to the roux along with salt, black pepper, oregano, chilli flakes and cheese. Keep stirring, until you get a smooth sauce. Add the sauteed vegetables and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously, until the sauce has thickened.

Turn off the heat and keep it aside.


Preheat oven to 180C/160CFan/Gas 4.
In a baking dish, spread a layer of garlic spinach rice. Layer it with the spiced baked beans and then sauteed vegetables in bechamel sauce.
Sprinkle the grated cheese, and top with the sliced green pepper and onions.
Bake for 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven or until the cheese turns golden.
Serve hot!

Tips & Variations

  1. It is particularly important to prepare the rice well which means rinsing the rice at least three times till the water is clear. This helps to clear the excess starch and will make the rice non sticky.
  2. I always recommend soaking the rice for an hour or if you are short of time then at least for 20 to 25 minutes because well soaked rice will expand and cook well, and each strand of rice will be long and fluffy.
  3. Let the rice cool down after boiling before you layer it with the vegetables as that way rice will not break. I drain the rice and then spread it in a tray or plate to cool the rice.
  4. The key to a good bechamel sauce is to whisk, whisk, whisk! This will ensure a smooth and creamy sauce.
  5. If the bechamel sauce is turning lumpy, add a little bit of ice-cold water instead of the next splash of milk and whisk like crazy! It will magically sort out any lumps!
  6. Bechamel sauce is very forgiving. Sauce too thick? Whisk in more milk until you get your desired consistency; if it is too thin, continue to simmer it down, allowing evaporation to thicken the sauce up.
  7. Use good quality cheese in your dish. I would avoid bagged, pre-grated cheeses because they contain cellulose (an anti-caking agent) that can in some cases cause your cheese not to melt as it should. Choose melting cheeses for the best texture.
  8. You can experiment with the cheeses. My favorite is cheddar!