Want to get creative with your weeknight dinners? These easy rice bowl recipes are just the thing for you! They're flexible, fun, and delicious.
I come up with my favorite rice bowl recipes on nights when I don’t know what to cook for dinner. Because rice bowls rely on components—white rice or brown rice, a protein, a veggie, a sauce—you can almost always improvise them without a trip to the store. Start with a base of cooked rice, and then, get creative! Simple ingredients can mix and match into a healthy, delicious rice bowl in an infinite number of ways, so don’t hesitate to have fun.
To get you started, I’m sharing 21 simple rice bowl recipes below. You’ll also find ideas for substitutions to help you use what you have on hand, as well as tips and tricks to make the bowls easy to prep and fun to eat. Whether you follow them to the letter or change them up entirely, I hope you enjoy these rice bowl recipes!
Prep Tips for Rice Bowl Recipes
- Get ahead. Rice bowl recipes are great for meal prep! Make a week’s worth of bowls ahead of time, or save leftovers from dinner to eat for lunch the next day. Store the sauce separately until you’re ready to serve.
- Or make extra of individual components. Cook a double batch of rice to turn into a stir fry or fried rice the next night, or make extra sauce to have on hand throughout the week. You’ll drizzle it over everything—salads, roasted veggies, and more!
- Use what you have and get creative! If you don’t have the exact ingredients to a recipe on hand, swap in a different grain, protein, vegetable, or sauce. Cook a batch of quinoa or farro instead of rice, or use roasted chickpeas or a hard boiled egg instead of tofu. If you don’t have all the ingredients to a specific sauce, make a different one! Here are a few of my favorites:
Now, to the recipes!
Egg and Rice Bowl Recipes
This Japanese rice bowl is traditionally eaten for breakfast, but I’d just as happily devour it for a healthy dinner or lunch!
This grain-free breakfast bowl features cumin-spiced carrot “rice” instead of regular rice.
- Variations: Replace the carrots and beets with broccoli rice or cauliflower rice. Swap in bell peppers, green onions, or cucumber for any of the other veggies.
Topped with a tangy sesame ginger dressing and a jammy soft-boiled egg, this dish is simple and satisfying. You could use white rice or brown rice here, but chewy, nutty black rice is especially delicious.
- Variations: Add roasted broccoli or roasted Brussels sprouts. For a vegan version, substitute baked tofu for the egg.
Tofu or Tempeh Rice Bowl Recipes
- Variations: Top it with salsa roja or corn salsa instead of pico. Add pickled onions or pickled jalapeños for kick. Use a base of cilantro lime rice, or replace the black beans with pinto beans.
Don’t sleep on this carrot ginger dressing—it’s creamy, bright, and sooo refreshing. Made with just 6 ingredients, it’s an easy way to turn this humble rice bowl (or any bowl, for that matter) into a crave-worthy meal.
These cauliflower rice bowls may be healthy, but that doesn’t mean they skimp on flavor! A creamy coconut miso sauce coats savory mushrooms, spicy kimchi, tender sautéed kale, and more.
- Variations: Use sautéed spinach or bok choy instead of the kale. Replace the shiitakes with other mushrooms. If you don’t have cauliflower, make this bowl with white rice or broccoli rice instead.
Have you ever cooked forbidden rice? It adds delicious nutty flavor to these sweet and spicy bowls, and it gives them a striking look. If you can find it, you should try it, but if you can’t, don’t worry. White rice or brown rice works equally well here.
- Variations: Use any variety of cabbage! Swap asparagus, bell peppers, or snow peas for the radishes and cucumber. If you don’t have mango, skip it, or replace it with pineapple.
- Variations: Use carrot ribbons instead of cucumbers. Replace the red cabbage with Napa cabbage or kale.
Shiitake Bok Choy Buddha Bowls, page 147 of Love and Lemons Every Day
These bowls are my favorite kind of comfort food. They’re warm, cozy, and satisfying, but nourishing, too. Make a double batch of the savory walnut-miso sauce—you’re going to want to drizzle it over everything!
- Variations: Use any type of mushrooms, or replace the bok choy with sautéed spinach or sautéed kale.
Bean and Rice Bowls
- Variations: Almost any vegetable will work here! For example, you might replace the sweet potatoes with roasted butternut squash, or use roasted broccoli or roasted cauliflower instead of the kale.
Fresh basil, mango, and pickled ginger add bright, refreshing flavor to this flexible rice bowl.
- Variations: Swap out the peas for asparagus, or use radishes instead of the carrots or cucumbers. I love basil here, but mint or cilantro would be equally good.
I could eat this rice bowl every day in the summertime! It has a fragrant base of coconut rice with grilled halloumi cheese and black beans for protein. A scoop of peach salsa adds refreshing balance.
- Variations: Use mango salsa or pineapple salsa instead of peach. Add fresh corn kernels or grilled zucchini for an extra veggie punch.
You’ll find roasted vegetables in many of the rice bowl recipes in this post, but I use steamed vegetables here instead. I love their clean flavors with the nutty brown rice and earthy mung beans.
- Variations: Try sautéed spinach or Swiss chard instead of kale. Use roasted butternut squash or roasted sweet potatoes instead of carrots, or try roasted cauliflower instead of broccoli.
- Variations: Skip the portobellos, or use another type of grilled mushrooms instead. Use poblanos instead of bell peppers, or swap out the arugula for lettuce.
Mojo Black Bean Bowls, page 199 of Love and Lemons Every Day
A punchy sauce, crispy roasted potatoes, and spicy pepitas make this simple bowl an explosion of texture and flavor.
- Variations: Use roasted sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes, or leave them out. If you don’t have chard, use spinach.
No adzuki beans? No worries. Black beans are delicious here too.
- Variations: Use any kind of cabbage! Substitute bell peppers, radishes, or cucumbers for the snap peas.
Not your average burrito bowl! It stars cauliflower rice, mango, and a creamy green chile sauce. Sautéed leeks and poblano peppers add savory, spicy flavor.
- Variations: Use pineapple instead of mango, or skip it. If you don’t have leeks and poblanos, replace them with these easy fajita veggies. Try a base of broccoli rice, Spanish rice, or cilantro lime rice.
More Favorite Rice Bowls
These two rice bowl recipes don’t include a protein, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t add one. Edamame or baked tofu would be welcome additions to both.
This plant-based riff on a Hawaiian poké bowl features watermelon instead of raw fish. I often enjoy it without a base of rice, but feel free to add one for a heartier meal.
- Variations: Swap out the cucumber for blanched asparagus.
Coconut Rice with Brussels Sprouts, page 63 of The Love and Lemons Cookbook
My mom makes this coconut rice bowl on repeat. It’s not hard to see why: it’s easy to make, it uses simple ingredients, and it’s delicious!
- Variations: Try roasted asparagus, roasted broccoli, or sautéed mushrooms instead of Brussels sprouts.
More Healthy Vegetarian Recipes
If you love these rice bowls, try some of these healthy vegetarian recipes next:
- 60 Healthy Meal Prep Ideas
- 41 Healthy Lunch Ideas
- 51 Best Salad Recipes
- 35 Best Soup Recipes
- 85 Best Vegan Recipes
Rice Bowl Recipes: Mango Avocado Rice Bowl
- 2 handfuls snap peas, strings removed
- 1 to 2 cups cooked short grain white rice
- 2 cups shredded green cabbage
- 1 small carrot, sliced into very thin coins
- ½ English cucumber, thinly sliced into coins
- 1 small ripe ataulfo mango, diced
- ½ cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons pickled ginger
- ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
- ¼ cup toasted peanuts, optional
- Sprinkle of sesame seeds, optional
- ¼ to ½ avocado, optional
- 2 tablespoons tamari, more for serving
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons cane sugar
- ½ teaspoon sriracha, more for serving
- Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari, vinegar, lime juice, garlic, cane sugar, and sriracha.
- Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil and place a bowl of ice water nearby. Blanch the snap peas by placing them in the boiling water for 1½ minutes, then scoop them into the ice water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled, drain, pat dry, and chop.
- Assemble the bowls with the rice, shredded cabbage, carrot, cucumber, mango, black beans, pickled ginger, and basil. Top with the toasted peanuts, sesame seeds, and avocado, if using. Drizzle bowls with half the dressing and serve the rest on the side along with tamari and sriracha, if desired.