Rice Bowls are the answer when you need a quick and easy dinner. Find 17 delicious rice bowl recipes to work with any protein, vegetables, and rice you have on hand.
It's hard to find a better meal than a rice bowl. Protein, whole grains, and tons of fresh veggies are packed into one delicious, picture-worthy meal. Plus since rice bowls are endlessly versatile, you can make them work with any combination of protein, rice, veggies, and sauce you have on hand.
When I have no idea what to make for dinner, bowls are almost always the answer. It's a meal everyone loves to eat. It's a meal everyone can customize adding whatever they like. Most importantly, it's a meal I can almost always put together from items in my pantry and fridge.
Start with a base of white rice, brown rice, or quinoa. Add a protein source like cooked chicken, shrimp, salmon, eggs, or beans. Then add veggies and sauce. That's it! Easy, delicious, and good-for-you.
Why We Love Rice Bowls
There are so many reasons to love a delicious rice bow, but these are at the top of the list.
- Quick and Easy: Rice bowls should be quick and easy. Start with cooked rice (or use frozen/microwave rice), add a pre-cooked or quick-cooking protein, and any combination of vegetables. Use a quick homemade or store-bought sauce and dinner is done.
- Versatile: Rice bowls work with almost any combination or rice, protein, veggies, and sauce. Pick a cuisine or flavor profile and build from that using what you have.
- Start with your pantry and fridge: Shop from your own fridge and pantry when building rice bowls at home. Rice bowls are great to use up leftover ingredients or any produce/protein that needs to be used.
- Healthy and nutritious: Most rice bowls are naturally healthy and packed with nutrients from the wide variety of veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins being used.
Our Favorite Rice Bowl Recipes
To get the creative juices flowing, here are some of our favorite rice bowls! Plus tips for adding different veggies, sauces, and proteins. Remember one of the best things about rice bowls is that they are endlessly versatile and customizable.
Think about these bowl recipes as blueprints to create an easy meal that's perfect for lunch, dinner, or meal prep.
These Shrimp Rice Bowls with seasoned shrimp, steamed rice, and a creamy cilantro sauce are your new favorite healthy bowl recipes! They are quick, easy to make, and great for dinner or meal prep.
These easy Crispy Asian Salmon Rice Bowls are the perfect healthy meal packed with protein, fresh vegetables, and whole grains. Great for meal prep and quick enough for an easy dinner.
Easy Asian Rice Bowls that are quick to make, versatile, and can be made with any rice or grain, fresh or frozen vegetables, ground meat, and the best pantry sweet and spicy Asian sauce.
Build your own Sushi Bowls at home with this quick, easy, and healthy recipe! Seasoned sushi rice is topped with crunchy vegetables, avocado, nori, and your choice of protein. Drizzle homemade spicy mayo over top for an affordable meal that hits the spot whenever you’re craving sushi!
These easy Korean Beef Bowls come together in less than 20 minutes! Packed with the most delicious Korean-inspired ground beef, tons of fresh vegetables, and rice.
These easy Chicken Burrito Bowls are packed with chicken, beans, rice, peppers, onions, and tomatoes cook in just one pot! Ready in just 30 minutes, add your favorite toppings, and dinner is done.
Ground Beef Bulgogi Bowls are chock-full of mouth-watering beef, whole grains, and fresh veggies. This 20-minute meal guarantees to please with the most delicious sweet and spicy sauce.
These Chicken Taco Bowls are the best easy dinner or meal prep lunch! Packed with seasoned chicken, rice, black beans, and all your favorite taco toppings. Ready in 30 minutes!
These Chicken Kofta Bowls are made with ground chicken cooked in Middle Eastern spices and garlic for a flavor-packed bowl that's served with brown rice and vegetables. It's easier to make than traditional kofta and still has all the same great flavor.
These easy Hoisin Tofu Bowls with crispy tofu, brown rice, and tons of vegetables are quick and easy to make, full of flavor, and work great for meal prep.
Teriyaki Vegetable Bowls with homemade sauce over a bed of nutty brown rice with crunchy peanuts is your new favorite meatless meal.
Spicy Tuna Bowls made with canned tuna, avocado, cucumber, brown rice, and the most delicious spicy dressing made with Greek yogurt.
This Thai Basil Ground Beef Bowl makes the perfect twenty-minute weeknight meal and you won't believe the flavor! Served with cauliflower rice, it's a healthy meal you will make again and again.
Shrimp Sushi Bowls are a healthy and easy way to have sushi at home. This delicious dish is made with tons of veggies, brown rice or cauliflower rice, shrimp, and homemade spicy mayo.
Easy Teriyaki Chicken Bowls made with chicken breast, tons of vegetables, and homemade teriyaki sauce. Serve over quinoa or your favorite grain for a quick and healthy meal.
Salmon Sushi Bowls are a quick, easy, and healthy recipe perfect for any night of the week! Bake the salmon in a teriyaki-style marinade, then serve it with fluffy sushi rice, crunchy vegetables, buttery avocado, savory nori, and a creamy Sriracha mayo.
How to Build the Perfect Rice Bowl
Hopefully, the recipes above got your creative juices flowing! Use this simple formula below to build your own rice bowls using any ingredient or cuisine as inspiration.
1. Choose your base
To speed up meal prep, use frozen rice or microwavable rice. If you are looking for a lighter dish, replace some of the rice with greens or veggie noodles.
2. Add protein
To make these bowls hearty and filling, it's important to include protein. There are so many options, including lots of vegetarian options.
- Chicken, meat, and seafood: Any protein can be used in these rice bowls. Some favorites include salmon, shrimp, chicken, ground meat, tuna, and steak.
- Plant-based and vegetarian protein: Make these bowls with tofu, tempeh, seitan, eggs, edamame, chickpeas, beans, lentils, hemp seeds, and nuts.
- Asian favorites: Build your bowl around this honey garlic salmon, Thai chicken skewers, hoisin chicken, or teriyaki shrimp.
- Mexican burrito and taco bowl inspiration: Make a Mexican-inspired rice bowl with chicken tinga, carne asada, tofu sofritas, or salsa verde chicken.
- Mediterranean proteins: Start with rice and then add this slow cooker Mediterranean chicken, chicken shawarma, or baked falafel.
3. Add vegetables
Any delicious rice bowl recipe is usually packed with vegetables. Use fresh raw vegetables, cooked vegetables, pickled veggies, and even frozen vegetables to speed things up.
Normally I like to include at least one green like kale, spinach, lettuce, or arugula. Then add something fresh and crunchy like cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, green onions, or cucumbers.
From there, think about any cooked vegetables you may want to add including broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, asparagus, sugar snap peas, or bok choy.
4. Choose a sauce
The sauce is one of the best parts of making a rice bowl! It's truly what brings all the elements of the rice bowl together.
Storebought sauces are great when you are short on time. Ideas include teriyaki sauce, salad dressing, salsa, pesto, hummus, or buffalo sauce.
If you have time to make a homemade sauce, try one of these:
- Peanut sauce
- Creamy chipotle sauce
- Honey mustard
- Ranch (or jalapeno ranch)
- Teriyaki sauce
5. Tasty Toppings
The last step in building a delicious bowl is adding some fun toppings. Consider adding:
- Fresh herbs: Basil, cilantro, parsley, mint, chives, oregano, or dill
- Nuts: Sliced almonds, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, or pine nuts
- Seeds: Try adding toasted pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, or sunflower seeds
- Salsa: Add some pico de gallo, corn salsa, green salsa, or spicy ranchero sauce
- Hummus: Classic hummus, black bean hummus, or avocado hummus
- Pickled veggies: We love adding sauerkraut, pickled ginger, or pickled red onions
- Cheese: Try some queso fresco, feta cheese, goat cheese, or shredded cheese
- Healthy fats: Like avocado, guacamole, or yogurt
- Citrus: Squeeze some fresh lime juice or lemon juice over the top
Tips for Meal Prep
Rice bowls are great for meal prep since they keep well in the fridge. Keep these tips in mind when making rice bowls for meal prep.
- Meal prep: For the best results, prepare the rice, protein, sauce, and vegetables separately and let everything cool to room temperature. Then assemble the bows, starting with the cooked rice. Add the protein layer. Then add the vegetables starting with the cooked vegetables and then the raw vegetables. Pack the sauce and any delicate toppings (like avocado) on the side.
- Storage: Keep these rice bowls in the fridge for 4-5 days, adjusting depending on the protein. The sauce will last for 5-7 days in the fridge.
- Freezing: If you assemble these rice bowls with cooked rice, cooked proteins, and cooked vegetables, they are freezer friendly. Store in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Then add the fresh vegetables and sauce after they are defrosted and reheated.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about making these rice bowls.
Most rice bowls are healthy since they are made with whole grains, protein, and vegetables. This means they are full fo nutrients, lean protein, and fiber.
With that said, sometimes rice bowls are not as healthy when they contain very large servings of rice, sauces packed with sugar or saturated fat, or lots of high-fat or fried crispy toppings.
Any type of rice can be used in a rice bowl. The most popular options include cooked jasmine rice, basmati rice, brown rice, and sushi rice. Additionally some bowls use quinoa, lentils, farro, barley, or cauliflower rice.
Quick and Easy Rice Bowls
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- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 2 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped (or vegetarian protein)
- 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup corn
- 2 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1/2 cup pico de gallo
- 1/2 avocado, chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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