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.
9 times out of 10, 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 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 15 of my best 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 make them to the letter or change them up entirely, I hope you enjoy these rice bowl recipes!
Rice Bowl Recipe Prep Tips
- 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 eat.
- 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 tempeh. If you don’t have all the ingredients to a specific sauce, make a different one! Here are a few of my favorites:
- Cilantro lime dressing
- Creamy chipotle sauce
- Tahini sauce (4 ways!)
- Creamy peanut sauce
Egg and Rice Bowl Recipes
My vegetarian version of this Korean rice bowl features an array of seasoned veggies, spicy gochujang sauce, and a sunny side up egg.
- Swappable veggies: Use just 2 or 3 veggies, replace the spinach with chard, bok choy, or baby kale, or try pickled daikon instead of carrots or cucumber.
Tamago Kake Gohan
This Japanese comfort food is traditionally eaten for breakfast, but I’d happily devour it at any time of day!
- Swappable veggies: Skip the broccolini, or replace it with asparagus, sautéed mushrooms, or steamed snap peas.
Farmers Market Breakfast Bowl
Instead of regular rice, this grain-free breakfast bowl features cumin-spiced carrot “rice.”
- Swappable veggies: Replace the carrots and beets with broccoli or cauliflower rice, use just 2 or 3 veggies, or add cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, green onions, cucumber, or snap peas.
Tofu or Tempeh Rice Bowl Recipes
Cauliflower Rice Kimchi Bowls
These super-veggie cauliflower rice bowls may be healthy, but that doesn’t mean they skimp on flavor. Kimchi adds heat, sautéed mushrooms give them rich, savory flavor, and a creamy coconut miso sauce ties it all together.
- Swappable veggies: Use spinach, chard, bok choy, or cabbage instead of the kale, or replace the shiitakes with another mushroom variety. If you don’t have cauliflower, make this bowl with regular rice, cilantro lime rice, or broccoli rice.
Spicy Mango and Avocado Rice Bowl
Have you ever cooked black forbidden rice? It adds 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 or brown basmati rice would work equally well here.
- Swappable veggies: Use any variety of cabbage, or swap asparagus, bell pepper, snap peas, or snow peas for the radishes and cucumber. If you don’t have mango, skip it, or replace it with pineapple.
Kimchi Brown Rice Bliss Bowls
I call these “bliss bowls” for a reason! Filled with crunchy veggies, creamy avocado, savory tempeh, and a creamy peanut sauce, they’re super fun to eat, and they make you feel amazing.
- Swappable veggies: Try using carrot ribbons instead of cucumbers, or use massaged kale or Napa cabbage instead of red cabbage.
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 not at all heavy. Make a double batch of the savory walnut-miso sauce – you’re going to want to drizzle it over everything!
- Swappable veggies: Use any variety of mushrooms, or replace the bok choy with spinach or kale.
Beans and Rice Bowls
Mango Ginger Rice Bowl
This refreshing bean and rice bowl gets light, bright flavor from fresh basil, mango, and pickled ginger.
- Swappable veggies: Swap the snap peas for asparagus, use radishes instead of the carrots or cucumbers, or add roasted broccoli. I love basil here, but mint or cilantro would be equally good.
Best Buddha Bowl
I like to make this vibrant rice bowl with mung beans, but French green lentils would work here too.
- Swappable veggies: Replace the radishes with cucumber, or try spinach or chard instead of kale. Use roasted butternut squash or sweet potatoes instead of carrots, or try roasted cauliflower instead of broccoli.
Portobello Burrito Bowl
Chipotles in adobo sauce are the secret ingredient in this sweet and smoky bowl. Tame the heat with pineapple (or mango) salsa and plenty of guac.
- Swappable veggies: Skip the portobellos, or grill skewered cremini mushrooms instead. Use poblanos instead of bell peppers, or swap 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.
- Swappable veggies: Use roasted sweet potatoes instead of potatoes, or leave them out. If you don’t have chard, spinach would work just as well here.
Adzuki Bean and Brown Rice Bowl
No adzuki beans? No worries. Black beans are delicious here too.
- Swappable veggies: Use any kind of cabbage, or swap the snap peas for bell peppers, radishes, or cucumbers.
Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowl
I love a Chipotle burrito bowl as much as the next person, but for my money, this cauliflower rice bowl is just as good.
- Swappable veggies: Use pineapple instead of mango, or skip it. If you don’t have leeks and poblanos, use my easy fajita veggies. No cauliflower? Make this recipe with broccoli rice, brown 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.
Vegan Poke Bowl
This plant-based riff on a deconstructed sushi bowl uses watermelon instead of raw fish. I often enjoy this refreshing bowl without a base of rice, but feel free to add one for a heartier meal.
- Swappable veggies: Swap the cucumber for blanched asparagus or daikon matchsticks.
Coconut Rice with Brussels Sprouts, page 63 of The Love and Lemons Cookbook
My mom makes this coconut rice recipe again and again. The reason is clear: it’s easy to make, it uses simple ingredients, and it’s downright delicious.
- Swappable veggies: Try roasted asparagus, broccoli, butternut squash, or sautéed mushrooms instead of Brussels sprouts.
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.
I made these and they came out great! I adjusted things a little; I used only avocado, cucumber, mango and scallions for the veggies and topped the bowls with sesame seeds and toasted cashews. The sauce seemed a little thin when I mixed it up so I added about 1 tsp more soy sauce (I use coconut aminos, I omitted the sriracha) and simmered the sauce on low heat, added a little cornstarch to thicken it up and sprinkled in some ginger powder – it came out so good that it might be my new go to sauce for rice bowls! Thanks! 🙂
I LOVE this edition of Love & Lemons. I love the simple replacement suggestions. As a Foodie, bowls do not look appealing to me. These suggestions look good for some reason.
I read each email!
I LOVE rice bowls and usually follow a recipe to build them. But this weekend I made the quinoa sage veggie balls in your cookbook, and then had to decide “hmm how am I going to serve these?” I threw together carrot ginger dressing and top the balls with it in a bowl with rice, avocado and edamame. Delicious! I’m growing Swiss chard right now and have those black bean mojo balls on my list to try when it’s harvest time!