16 Dinner Recipes With Rice, Including Risotto, Stuffed Peppers, and Other Favorites

Rice is versatile and budget friendly. Here are several delicious and creative ways to make this ingredient the star of your meals.

cajun jambalaya

Martyna Szczesna

Rice is usually a convenient grain that you whip up to accompany or put under proteins and vegetables. But rice is more versatile than you think—and can be used in its more al dente state or as a tender ingredient in risottos or soups. It makes a wonderful stuffing option, whether in cabbage rolls, burrito wraps, or peppers, and its absorbent nature means it takes on flavor readily.

These dinner recipes with rice will help you turn the grain into the star of the show, adding wholesome, comforting flourishes to your meals. From Cajun jambalaya and Indian-inspired kitchari to Instant Pot risotto and quick-skillet paella, here, we present our best recipes that incorporate rice in all its hearty glory.

01 of 16

Chili-Stuffed Peppers

chili stuffed peppers
Justin Walker

Stuffed peppers are an easier dinner option than you think, especially if you have cooked rice on hand in the freezer or in ready-to-heat packets. This easy recipe makes use of spicy harissa to flavor peppers that are mild enough to balance all that sauce. Using colorful vegetables makes this dish look even more festive.

02 of 16

Freezer Burritos

freezer burritos on tan plate
Bryan Gardner

These tasty burritos were made to be frozen, with ingredients that keep and reheat well—so you always have dinner waiting in the freezer. For optimal freezing, don't overcook the rice, and keep the vegetables simple (think chopped green chiles and greens).

03 of 16

Quick Skillet Paella With Shrimp and Tomatoes

skillet rice chorizo shrimp with wooden spoon
Andrew Purcell

If you think you can't make a paella, try your hand at this half-hour recipe. Nine ingredients, most of which you'll already have on hand, turn into a skillet dinner as bright and beautiful as it is flavorful.

04 of 16

Japanese Fried Rice

Mike Krautter

Dig day or two-old rice out of your fridge to make this surprisingly rich meal. It's a chicken-and-egg fried rice with soy sauce, sake, butter, and garlic. Onion, carrot, and scallion add simple vegetal zest.

05 of 16

Pressure-Cooker Corn Risotto

corn risotto with basil and tomato
Marcus Nilsson

A hands-off risotto? Yes, please! This pressure-cooker (or Instant Pot) recipe takes the heat (and the constant stirring) off you and lets the machine properly cook that arborio rice. The broth gets a flavor boost thanks to corncobs and corn kernels are stirred in at the end, along with basil and cherry tomatoes. 

06 of 16

Black Bean-Brown Rice Patties

Bryan Gardner

Here's another clever way to use leftover rice (or rice you smartly cooked ahead). Shape your black bean and rice patties and bake—it’s as simple as that. Your food processor does the majority of the work for this veggie burger-like entrée. The patties are topped with fresh cilantro and sliced avocado for serving.

07 of 16

Lemon-and-Parsley Risotto

lemon parsley risotto
Sidney Bensimon

The key to creamy, al dente risotto is patience and process. Toast the rice in oil and season liberally with butter, cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. 

08 of 16

Customizable Vegetable Soup

homemade vegetable soup with toasted bread on cutting board
Marcus Nilsson

A flexible recipe is a goldmine for a home cook, and this adjustable soup makes it easy for you to add rice or pasta to make the dish more fulfilling. Using the leftover broth, vegetables, and grains you have on hand makes this not only a quick and delicious dinner, but a more environmental one, too.

09 of 16

Baked Salmon Sushi

salmon sushi
Joanna Garcia

If you think sushi is too complicated, we'll tell you a secret: you don't need every single thing in this recipe. Make it a kitchen-sink dish with what you have on hand, whether it's cooked salmon, tofu, imitation crab, or even portobello mushroom. The key is rolling it up tight so you can slice it.

10 of 16

Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Yunhee Kim

We love a good casserole for a one-course dinner—especially one with rice (you can use white or brown in this recipe). This creamy dish employs sour cream and rich chicken broth for a breadcrumb-topped dinner delight. 

11 of 16

Rice-and-Bean Salad Bowl With Tahini Sauce

rice and bean salad bowl
Johnny Miller

Bring on the fresh vegetables and tahini sauce in this umami-packed grain bowl that will have you calling for seconds. With short-grain brown rice, cabbage, avocados, roasted pepper, cucumber, and cress, it's a nourishing and antioxidant-packed dinner.

12 of 16

Chickpea-Brown Rice Veggie Burger

Bryan Gardner

Brown rice makes a hearty base for a chickpea burger, with ample flavor from shallot, garlic, and parsley. Fry them up golden-brown for a scrumptious snack, or stack two with cheese and add fries or salad for a veggie burger platter.

13 of 16

Lamb-and-Rice-Stuffed Cabbage

Lamb-and-Rice-Stuffed Cabbage
Louise Hagger

If you haven't had savoy cabbage, you heard it from us first: This is an entirely different breed of cabbage. Its leaves make wonderful rolls, so stuff away with ground lamb, brown rice, pine nuts, dried currants, and fresh herbs—then bake in tomato sauce. 

14 of 16

Cajun Jambalaya

Martyna Szczesna

Your kitchen will smell amazing from the start with this thyme, paprika, and oregano-scented jambalaya stew made with andouille sausage and chicken thighs. The rice of choice is long-grain white, which you add after the meat, simmering just until the rice is tender.

15 of 16


Emily Kate Roemer

You might not already have yellow mung dal, or split mung beans, in your pantry, but you should pick some up to make this thick, savory rice porridge. It's a healthy dinner that's packed with vegetables; the easy cilantro-coconut chutney takes it to next-level deliciousness. 

16 of 16

Easy Pork Fried Rice


Use a wok or a cast-iron skillet to make this easy fried rice, with scallion whites for zesty flavor and pork as the protein. The recipe calls for white rice, but brown rice will do in a pinch. Peas can come straight from your freezer, and you only need two eggs.

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