20 Delicious Ways to Eat Brown Rice
Once the darling of the health food world, brown rice has much more going for it than its fiber, vitamin, and mineral content. Yes, this grain is much higher in nutrients than white rice, but there are so many more tasty reasons to cook with it.
To start, it's perfect in classic dishes like rice and beans, but if you want to take it up a notch, try putting together a Rice-and-Bean-Salad Bowl with Tahini Sauce. Brown rice also is a natural choice for stir fries, and it makes a wonderful partner for tofu and a wide range of vegetables, including meaty-textured shiitakes and tender baby spinach. And its affinity for Asian flavors is well-known, so try it in a deconstructed tuna roll that includes avocado and toasted nori.
Beyond the familiar, though, brown rice's nutty flavor brings depth and character to an amazing array of surprising dishes, far beyond those you'd expect. Take soup, for instance. In straciatella it melds beautifully with the hot broth and melted cheese, punctuating the soup's creamy consistency with a pleasant chewiness.
It also adds a toothsome bite to salads, whether greens-based ones, like one with spinach and tomatoes, or otherwise. You can also cook it along with chicken, vegetables, and other fresh ingredients for an easy and delicious one-pot meal. Bonus: The rice absorbs so much flavor from the dish's many components.
Still searching for something unusual? Use brown rice to make little cakes that are Mexican in flavor (thanks to black beans, cilantro, and cumin), or whip up big cakes, served with sautéed celery and avocado slices. Other creative ideas include using it as a bed for mushrooms steamed in parchment packets or turn it into a cozy breakfast or a warm and homey dessert.
Stracciatella with Brown Rice
The hot broth and melted cheese give the rice in this soup a creamy consistency.
Brown Rice with Tuna, Avocado, and Toasted Nori
This yummy dish is like your favorite tuna roll, just deconstructed.
Crisped Brown Rice with Beef, Vegetables, and Eggs
Use leftover cooked brown rice for this one-pot dinner or cook rice from scratch to use in this family-friendly recipe. It's a great way to stretch a little bit of leftover beef for a meal.
Brown-Rice Salad with Spinach and Tomatoes
Toss rice with fresh spinach and tomatoes for a filling salad straight from the garden.
Chicken and Brown Rice
Loaded with veggies including peppers and peas, this one-pot meal is a breeze to make.
Black-Bean and Brown-Rice Cakes
Channel the flavors of Mexico with vegetarian burgers full of cilantro and cumin.
Shiitake Mushrooms and Brown Rice en Papillote
Spoon cooked rice onto parchment paper, top with mushrooms and thyme, drizzle with olive oil, and seal the packet. Bake and you've got an elegant vegetarian meal.
Roasted Broccoli with Pumpkin Seeds and Grated Pecorino
Humble ingredients—broccoli and brown rice—go fancy and filling in this easy vegetarian entrée. Grated pecorino cheese and pumpkin seeds, which can be roasted alongside the broccoli, take it up a notch.
For a comforting family dinner try these bright green parcels. They're stuffed with a delectable filling of ground lamb, brown rice, pine nuts, currants, and fresh herbs. The sweet and tangy tomato sauce provides a tasty, colorful complement.
One-Pot Chicken and Brown Rice
Cooking all the ingredients together lets the rice absorb the delicious flavors in this dish.
Crispy Rice Cake with Celery Salad and Avocado
Here's a delicious way to use leftover brown rice (cook extra next time you're making brown rice for dinner!). This crispy rice cake is amped up with grated zucchini, Parmesan, lemon zest, and fresh mint so there's plenty of flavor and texture in every bite.
Brown-Rice Bowl with Kabocha Squash and Shiitakes
A soothing vegan brown rice bowl with winter squash and mushrooms and a nourishing broth made that's made with smoky lapsang souchong tea. Top with poached or soft boiled eggs or slices of avocado to make this comforting brown rice dish even heartier.
Brown Rice with Peas and Cilantro
This is an easy, crowd-pleasing side dish just right for a weeknight.
Cinnamon, maple syrup, vanilla, and soy milk turn brown rice into a luxurious and delicious dessert.
Rice-and-Bean Salad Bowl with Tahini Sauce
Colorful, healthy, and filling, use this salad bowl recipe as a starting point for lunch or dinner. If you don't have all the ingredients, use what you find in the refrigerator and pantry. Whatever you do, though, don't skip the tahini sauce—it's sublime!
Brown Rice Stir-Fry with Flavored Tofu and Vegetables
This twist on the classic fried dish gets its nutty flavor from the brown rice.
Brown Rice with Tofu, Dried Mushrooms, and Baby Spinach
Get out your rice cooker! It's the one pot your need for this entrée. Add all the ingredients and let the cooker do the work.
Hot Rice Cereal with Nuts and Raisins
Go beyond oatmeal but don't give up on wholesome ingredients for your breakfast. This brown rice cereal is warm and cozy. It's also gluten free.
Brown Rice, Chicken, and Cilantro Salad
An easy, tasty spin on that classic combination of chicken and rice.