50+ Recipes That Start With a Bag of Rice
Rice is among the world's most popular foods, and for good reason. It isn't just substantial: It's simple to prepare and incredibly versatile, and a little bit goes a long way. Whether you're making a side, a main dish or even a dessert, none of these recipes require more than a few cups of the pantry champion.
Red Beans and Rice with Fried Eggs
Red beans and rice is a tried and true standby for good reason—at it’s simplest, the dish is hearty, tasty, comes together fast, and can be whipped up with ease, even during those hectic weeks you can’t seem to make it the grocery store. We amped up this largely pantry staple-based recipe with a runny yolked fried egg and a package of frozen “seasoning blend,” which includes chopped bell pepper, onion, and celery. If you have fresh onions, peppers, etc. on hand and a few extra minutes for chopping, feel free to go that route instead! Microwaveable rice keeps the dinner super speedy to prep, but you can use traditionally cooked rice here just as well.
Zucchini Fried Rice
This single skillet dinner is a weeknight-friendly meal the whole family can get behind, not to mention—it’s a genius way to put a bulk of summer zucchini to good use. The grated zucchini helps to lighten and brighten this take-out favorite, and stealthily bulks up the nutritional value of pickier eaters’ plates. Plus, this budget-friendly dish is actually best made using day-old rice, so it’s a great meal to plan on for utilizing leftovers later in the week. You can definitely use whatever you have on hand, but smaller-sized zucchini tend to work best in this recipe, as you want to minimize the number of seeds. Feel free to eliminate the pork or replace it with tofu to make this meal vegetarian.
It may sound odd, but this Tex-Mex style dish actually hails from Japan. It’s origins are from Okinawa, specifically, where it was made popular due to the high US military population who were stationed there in the 1960’s. Today, you’ll find it at casual family restaurants and fast food spots all over Tokyo, and it couldn’t be an easier dish to create yourself at home. If rice isn’t your thing, try swapping it out for another wholesome grain like couscous or kasha. And if you don't have togarashi seasoning on hand, you can substitute crushed red pepper flakes.
Quick Parmesan Risotto
The pressure cooker creates creamy risotto in a hands-free way. Don't worry if the rice is a tad runny after cooking--it thickens as it stands before serving.
Instant Pot Saffron Rice
Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Go ahead and flag this recipe--it's sure to become a family favorite. For convenience, we call for precooked wild rice; if you can't find it, you can substitute 2 cups of your own cooked wild rice or a package of precooked brown rice.
Fiesta Bowls with Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette
Bookmark this one for your weekend meal prepping session, folks. Loaded with a variety of vibrant veggies and finished with a zippy chipotle-lime vinaigrette, these vegetarian-friendly rice bowls are the perfect make-ahead meal for packed lunches. We opted to go with brown rice for the base of our bowls, but feel free to use white rice or whatever grain you have on hand.
Spiced Tilapia with Coconut Rice
Two pantry staples—black pepper and turmeric—team up to fight inflammation and add bold flavor to this fast-fix tilapia. Dressing up microwave rice with coconut milk is a smart kitchen hack you’ll turn to again and again.
Creamy Classic Rice Pudding
If you’ve never tried rice pudding, the concept may seem a little strange, but trust us—this toasty, creamy, carb-based custard is just about the most comforting dessert you’ll ever encounter. Give this easy to follow recipe for classic rice pudding a try and taste for yourself.
Coriander Chicken and Rice
This dish is inspired by the savory street cart chicken and rice whose fragrance will lure you over from a block away. Though you can enjoy this lunch at room temperature, it tastes best reheated. Rest assured, the food holds up beautifully. Because everything is so nicely seasoned, it’s all just as flavorful after 3 days. When making the recipe, be sure to get the rice going first; as it cooks, the rest of the meal will come together.
Acorn Squash with Sage-Cranberry Rice Stuffing
Instant Pot Risotto with Seared Scallops
Elegant date night worthy dinner out of your Instant Pot? Oh yes you can. This Instant Pot risotto is ready in half the time as the classic stovetop method. Just be sure the grains are well coated in oil before adding your liquid in order to prevent clumping. Using this easy technique, the richly creamy rice dish makes a perfect blank canvas for experimenting with all of your favorite add-ins, such as green peas or butternut squash. If you’re not feeling scallops, shrimp would be equally delicious in this elegant yet effortless seafood dinner.
Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry
This crunchy and filling skillet meal delivers big flavor with a nutritional punch: Flank steak contains blood-enriching iron, and cabbage has a whopping dose of vitamin C. Microwavable brown rice makes a great time-saver.
Easy Oven Rice
For anyone who’s ever struggled with cooking rice on the stovetop (and no, it’s not just you…), this easy oven rice recipe is for you. Say hello to your new foolproof method for perfect, fluffy rice—every time. The only real “tricks” to nailing this baked rice recipe are avoiding over-stirring and fighting the urge to “peek” while the rice is cooking.
Cube Steak Bulgogi
If you thought cube steak was made for chicken frying, end of story… well, welcome to a new, flavor packed chapter. This approachable twist on traditional bulgogi swaps the budget-friendly cut in for skirt steak, resulting in an incredibly tender and flavorful beef dish—perfect for piling over white rice or into lettuce cups with kimchi. Because of its being pounded into a thin steak, cube steak absorbs the marinade incredibly quickly; while this makes for great flavor, you don’t want to leave the meat in your marinade for too long as the beef will begin to break down. We found 2 hours to be plenty of marinating time, but if this doesn’t work in your schedule, do your best to avoid letting the beef marinate for more than 6 hours. We also found that reserving part of the marinade for a finishing sauce ties the dish together beautifully. Pro tip: Do not fear a screaming-hot skillet; your pan needs to be hot in order to achieve a nice char on the beef, which will help give the dish that “barbecued” flavor that bulgogi is known for.
Easy Chicken Adobo
Inspired by the Philippine national dish, this Easy Chicken Adobo uses a simple blend of garlic, vinegar, and soy sauce to give chicken a zingy boost. Traditional adobo sauces are commonly enriched with coconut milk, and the dish is frequently made with pork. But for everyday cooking, we like this lighter, simpler chicken recipe. Serve with rice. This is the perfect dinner for spicing up your usual routine.
Broccoli Fried Rice with Kimchi Cream
Coveted for its subtly sweet flowering heads, broccoli delivers crunch and a hefty dose of potassium, which supports blood pressure. Save the stalks for stir-fries or slaws; they’re rich in the gut-friendly fiber cellulose. For fullest flavor, make sure you use the darker toasted sesame oil. The lighter variety won't have the same rich taste.
Lamb and Rice Stuffed Eggplant
If you’ve ever experienced the disappointment that is a bland eggplant boat hidden under copious amounts of sauce and cheese… rest assured, this isn’t that. A variety of dried spices provide a wealth of warm, aromatic flavors, while ground lamb delivers a distinct richness, and fresh mint provides a pop of herbaceous energy—ultimately, making for an incredibly satisfying meal. Even if you’re not always on Team Eggplant, we’re confident that this flavor-packed dish may very well be a preparation you of the veggie you really enjoy. When shopping, look for eggplants with firm skin and no bruises. If you have trouble finding ground lamb, you can definitely substitute a different ground meat, like beef or turkey, in it’s place—just be sure to use a ground meat with at least 10% fat.
This traditional Indian dish consists of paneer, browned and crisped, served in a flavor-packed spinach sauce, created by pureeing wilted spinach with a variety of lightly toasted aromatics. Never heard of paneer? It’s a mild flavored, fresh cheese (which means it requires no culturing or aging—it’s a cheese you could make at home, similar to ricotta) popular in Indian cuisine. Paneer offers a fantastic semi-firm texture and is a great ingredient for vegetarian cooking, as it takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with and provides protein. Toasting the spices in oil adds toasty layers of flavor depth to this rich and saucy dish, and it’s a smart trick to apply anytime you’re using dried spices. Serve the Palak Paneer over basmati rice with plenty of warm naan bread for scooping up every last drop of bit.
Beef Crumble Fried Rice
This family favorite only takes half an hour to make. High heat and cornstarch make the beef extra crispy, and the soy sauce and red pepper add flavor to the dish. If you wanted to bulk the meal up a little bit, consider adding a vegetable like spinach.
Instant Pot Coconut Rice
This easy recipe for coconut rice couldn’t be more simple or delicious. Ready in just 20 minutes, it makes the perfect delicately sweet and nutty base for any of your favorite curry recipes. Once you have the basic formula for making Instant Pot rice down, you can branch out with other flavor profiles as well, such as saffron rice and green rice.
Instant Pot Green Rice
This easy Instant Pot Green Rice is quick to throw together and packed with bright, fresh flavor; it’s a perfect weeknight side dish. Cooking the rice with fresh herbs is a simple trick to give plain white rice a major flavor upgrade, so definitely consider playing around with this classic recipe concept using whatever fresh, soft herbs you have on hand. To experiment with additional flavor profiles, be sure to check out our other Instant Pot rice variations.
Instant Pot Rice
Miso Chicken with Brown Rice
"I do a lot of Asian cooking, and I was looking for another use for miso. In this recipe, the sweetness in the miso blends well with the saltiness of the soy sauce." --CL Reader
Andouille, a smoky, garlicky pork sausage, adds depth, but you can use any flavorful chicken or pork sausage.
Red Beans and Rice
Chicken, Broccoli, and Brown Rice Casserole
This healthy whole-grain spin on a comfort food classic is indulgent, creamy, and a guaranteed family-pleaser. Cost for 4: $10.31
Cilantro Yellow Rice
We've found that cooking brown rice like pasta produces the fluffiest grains.
Shortcut Risotto with Brussels Sprouts
Our simple technique yields classic risotto texture in a fraction of the time. Precooked brown rice simmers with a flour-thickened mixture of milk and chicken stock, boosted with a touch of cream cheese for extra richness.
Single Serving Shrimp Fried Rice
Cooking for one doesn’t have to be boring or a hassle. This easy and delicious dinner comes together in one pan and in less time than it takes to go through a drive-thru.
Herbed Wild Rice Dressing
Wild rice, apples, and walnuts combine to make a dressing full of flavor and crunch.
Brown Rice Bowl with Miso, Poached Egg, and Kale-Radish Slaw
Nutrient-rich kale has a mild flavor and becomes tender very quickly, making it a snap to add to speedy meals like this one.
Toasted Jasmine Rice
Long-grain jasmine rice is wonderfully fragrant, almost sweet, making it a great complement to seafood.