An Easy, Veggie Loaded Rice Bowl Recipe With Big Flavor!

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An Easy, Veggie Loaded Rice Bowl Recipe With Big Flavor!

May 10, 2022
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An Easy, Veggie Loaded Rice Bowl Recipe With Big Flavor!

Are you a rice bowl fan? We love them because they are healthy and delicious. But, they’re also completely customizable and a super-easy meal to serve when you are feeding multiple types of eaters with different dietary preferences at one meal.

When it comes to meals in bowls you are really only limited by your imagination! You can use a variety of grains, veggies, and proteins all with rave results. Follow our tips below and you can trust that you’ll never run out of options or get bored when it comes to mealtime!

California Grown Wild Rice Bowl

Why are rice bowls so popular?

Rice bowls are healthy, affordable, and literally bursting with both flavor and texture! Just imagine all of your favorite veggies and proteins served in a bowl, on top of rice (or grains), along with an irresistible array of craveable garnishes and sauces.

It’s sort of the unicorn of the weeknight meal plan lineup! Endlessly customizable always delicious.

Are rice bowls good for you?

Rice bowls are typically considered to be good for you. They are often packed with nutritious ingredients that won’t leave you feeling hungry afterward and they contain all the components of a hearty meal. Including healthy carbs, protein, and vegetables.

How to cook rice for a rice bowl.

For this particular rice bowl recipe, we opted to use a wild rice blend for our base. Wild rice isn’t technically “rice,” but actually the seed of a species of aquatic grass. Its nutty, earthy flavor, and distinctly chewy texture make it an excellent

How to cook wild rice for a rice bowl recipe on the stovetop:

  1. Wash wild rice in cold water to remove any dirt or dust before cooking.
  2. Place 1 cup of rice in a saucepan and add 4 cups of water or stock, along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. When the water has reached a boil, lower the heat to maintain a slow but steady simmer and cover the pan.
  4. Cook at a simmer for 45 minutes. Check the rice. It should be chewy and some of the grains will have burst open. It may need an additional 10 to 15 minutes — keep checking the rice and stop cooking when the grains are tender.
  5. When the rice is done, pour it into a strainer to drain off any remaining liquid.
  6. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve, or add it to any number of dishes for a delicious, nutty taste and chewy texture.

How to cook wild rice for a rice bowl recipe in the Instant Pot:

  1. Wash wild rice in cold water to remove any dirt or dust before cooking it in your Instant Pot.
  2. Add 1 cup washed wild rice and 1 1/4 cups liquid (broth or water) to the Instant Pot.
  3. Secure the lid and set the steam valve to “sealing”.
  4. Select the manual/pressure cook option and cook on high pressure for 22 minutes. When the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes and then move the steam valve to venting, manually releasing any pressure that is left.

More delicious, easy recipes for how to prepare rice:

The great thing about this type of meal is that you can bring all of the components to the table and everyone can serve themselves. I love to include a little “crisper drawer” cleanout on grain bowl night too!

They get exactly the amount of what they want and you don’t have to hear any complaining about something being there they aren’t a fan of!

House Steamed Rice

House Steamed Rice

This rice recipe from the G Free Foodie is a blend of 50/50 brown & white rice. It’s the perfect blank slate for any rice bowl recipe.

Click here for how to make restaurant-quality rice!
Cilantro Lime Rice

Cilantro Lime Rice

This simple rice recipe from Hola Jalapeno brings the flavor of the most satisfying Mexican rice bowl right to your kitchen table with both stovetop and rice cooker instructions included.

The ingredient list calls for items like fragrant jasmine rice, fresh limes, cilantro, and California olive oil. I mean, talk about flavor!

Click here for this recipe!

What toppings are best for a rice bowl?

Rice bowls are a blank canvas for BIG flavor! While this particular rice bowl is decked out with pantry staples like canned artichoke hearts, green olives, and roasted carrots, you can use literally anything that you have on hand to make your own custom rice bowl creation. You can even clean out your crisper drawer

Keep scrolling for more delicious ways to build a better-tasting bowl!

Soffrito

Never heard of this flavor base for soups, stews, and grains? Well, plan to be amazed!

Soffritto is Italian for “under-fried” or “fried slowly”. That term perfectly describes the process of making soffrito as you gently cook onion, carrot, bell pepper, garlic, and tomato paste in olive oil to soften them and release their flavor.

We like to add a tablespoon to the ingredients when cooking grains but I also pile a scoop on top of our grain bowls when serving to mix in for even more flavor!

Scroll to the recipe box for this soffrito recipe!
A bowl of caponata of eggplant.

Caponata of Eggplant

This sour meets sweet oven-roasted relish is loaded with eggplant, peppers, zucchini, and flavor!

It’s perfect on crostini, cheeseboards, or as an Italian-inspired rice bowl topper!

Click here for the recipe for this rice bowl topper!
Close up of sweet onion jam.

Sweet Onion Jam

Equal parts sweet and savory, this onion-based condiment is the perfect topping for just about any dish. This condiment can go from extravagant cheeseboard to an epic grilled cheese filling, and to being piled high atop a decked-out rice bowl with ease.

Click here for this CA Grown recipe!
Crispy mushrooms.

Crispy Baby Bella Mushrooms

While we love these crispy mushrooms inside a grilled cheese sandwich, they are also deliciously decadent as a topping optio for rice or grain bowls.

Click here for our Crispy Baby Bella Mushroom recipe!
Asparagus fresh off the grill with woody stems removed.

Grilled Asparagus

This fail-proof grilling method will show you how to grill asparagus to perfection without losing a spear or charring a tender tip to oblivion ever again!

As far as fresh veg for a rice bowl goes, you really can’t beat smoky grilled asparagus!

Click here for our grilled asparagus recipe.

Rice bowl recipes for every type of eater.

We are sharing a few recipes below from our trusty California Grown Creators because everybody’s take on grain bowls is slightly different, yet uniquely delicious!

Brown Rice Chirashi Bowl

Brown Rice Chirashi Bowl

This fresh recipe from Salt & Wind is an ode to their travels to Japan. Sushi rice, fresh raw fish, and dainty vegetable garnishes make this recipe a must for any sushi lover.

Click here for this rice bowl recipe!
Brown Rice Bowl Recipe with Collards & Roasted Sweet Potatoes recipe

Brown Rice Bowl Recipe with Collards & Roasted Sweet Potatoes

This plant-based recipe from This Mess is Ours is piled high with briny collards, smoky roasted sweet potatoes, and a chipotle cashew cream that is downright habit forming!

Click here for this delicious recipe!
Brown Rice Whole Grain Bowl With Cashew Lemon Dressing Recipe

Brown Rice Whole Grain Bowl With Cashew Lemon Dressing

This rice bowl from Salt & Wind is topped with chickpeas, carrots, beets, squash, kale sprouts and a spoonful of lemon cashew dressing. Yum!

Click here for this rice bowl recipe!
Fall Brown Rice Veggie Bowls with Crispy Tofu, Roasted Squash, and Miso Butter »

Fall Brown Rice Veggie Bowls with Crispy Tofu, Roasted Squash, and Miso Butter 

These ultra-nourishing brown rice veggie bowls from Bojon Gourmet get loads of fall flavor from roasted delicata squash, zippy kale salad, crispy marinated tofu, and a pour of creamy miso butter.

Click here for this rice bowl recipe!

Smoky Chile Relleno Rice Bowl with Chicken

Hola Jalapeno made sure that all the flavors of a cheesy Chile Relleno were tucked into this powerhouse of a rice bowl with smoked chicken, charred chiles, queso fresco, and a quinoa-rice mix.

Click here for this delicious rice recipe!

Salmon and Brown Rice Bowl with California Avocado Hollandaise

Spicy ginger kale and sautéed salmon marry perfectly with shiitake mushroom relish and creamy avocado hollandaise in this rice bowl recipe from California Avocados.

Click here for this rice bowl recipe.

Share your rice bowl creations with us by snapping a pic and tagging us on social using #CAGROWN. 

Craving more CA Grown goodness? Follow us on Pinterest for fresh and fabulous recipe inspo!

An Easy, Plant-Based Rice Bowl Recipe With Big Flavor!

Veggie Loaded Wild Rice Bowl

Meg van der Kruik
This rice bowl recipe has multiple components but results in a cook once eat multiple times type of situation that we know you are going to love. The soffritto flavor base is great for adding to soups, grains, veggies, or meat dishes where you are looking for lots of depth of flavor, FAST!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Course dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

Soffritto flavor base

  • 3 medium yellow onions coarsely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery coarsely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper seeds removed, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic finely grated
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • coarse kosher salt, and black pepper to taste

Oven Roasted Carrots

  • 6 large carrots peeled, halved, then quartered
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • coarse kosher salt, and black pepper to taste.

To assemble the California Grown Wild Rice Bowl

  • 3 cups cooked wild rice or wild rice blend, prepared with soffritto if using. see notes for cooking instructions.
  • 1 batch oven-roasted carrots
  • 1 cup canned artichoke hearts in water drained and chopped
  • 1/2 cup green olives halved
  • 1 (14-ounce) can beans, any variety rinsed, drained, and heated through. We use a canned Italian bean blend that includes Red Kidney Beans, Butter Beans, Borlotti Beans, Chickpeas, and Cannelini Beans for the pictured rice bowl.
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced roasted red peppers
  • 1-2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons prepared soffritto served on top of bowls to be mixed in for maximum flavor.

Instructions
 

To make the Oven Roasted Carrots

  • Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Drizzle the oil over a sheet pan and add the carrots. Toss to coat. Season with salt. Spread in an even layer then place tin foil over the pan, and bake for 30 minutes.
  • At the end of the bake time, uncover the carrots. If they are still not tender reduce the heat to 375°F and return the pan to the oven, uncovered, for 10-15 more minutes until tender. Season with salt and pepepr. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

To make the Soffritto flavor base

  • While the carrots are baking make the soffritto.
    Add the coarsely chopped onions, celery, and bell pepper to a food processor fitted with the "S" blade. Pulse until finely chopped, but not pureed.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Carefully, add the onion mixture, as it may splatter in the hot oil, then season liberally with salt and pepper.
  • Saute, stirring often, until the vegetables are completely softened, about 25-30 minutes.
  • Add the finely grated garlic and tomato paste, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 2-3 minutes until the mixture deepens in color.
  • Transfer to a storage container and allow to cool completely before storing.

To assemble the California Grown Wild Rice Bowl

  • Fill serving bowls with prepared wild rice.
  • Layer on all other additional ingredients and toppings. Serve immediatley.

Notes

A note about cook time: 

Final cook time does not include the time needed to cook wild rice since there are varied prep/cook methods below that could change overall time. 

A note about soffritto: 

You will have far more soffritto than you need for this recipe. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and can be used in all sorts of dishes that could use a flavor boost like rice and sauces. Soffritto is also delicious tossed with sauteed or roasted veggies.

How to cook wild rice for a rice bowl recipe on the stovetop:

  1. Wash wild rice in cold water to remove any dirt or dust before cooking.
  2. Place 1 cup wild rice in a saucepan, 1 tablespoon soffritto, if using, and add 4 cups of water or stock, along with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. When the water has reached a boil, lower the heat to maintain a slow but steady simmer and cover the pan.
  4. Cook at a simmer for 45 minutes. Check the rice. It should be chewy and some of the grains will have burst open. It may need an additional 10 to 15 minutes — keep checking the rice and stop cooking when the grains are tender.
  5. When the rice is done, pour it into a strainer to drain off any remaining liquid.
  6. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve, or add it to any number of dishes for a delicious, nutty taste and chewy texture.

How to cook wild rice for a rice bowl recipe in the Instant Pot:

  1. Wash wild rice in cold water to remove any dirt or dust before cooking it in your Instant Pot.
  2. Add 1 cup washed wild rice, 1 tablespoon soffritto, if using, and 1 1/4 cups liquid (broth or water) to the Instant Pot.
  3. Secure the lid and set the steam valve to “sealing”.
  4. Select the manual/pressure cook option and cook on high pressure for 22 minutes. When the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes and then move the steam valve to venting, manually releasing any pressure that is left.
Keyword artichoke, Carrot, Celery, green olives, wid rice
Tried this recipe?Mention @cagrownofficial or tag #CAGROWN!

Frequently asked questions about wild rice

How many calories are in a serving of wild rice?

One-half cup of raw wild rice is only 358 calories!

Is wild rice glutenfree?

Wild rice is naturally gluten-free and grain-free, as wild rice is not technically rice, but a semi-aquatic grass native to North America. 

What makes California great for growing wild rice?

Northern California has a Mediterranean climate, which brings long, dry, and hot days and nights from April to October. The lack of rain allows for wild rice kernels to stay on the plant until harvest time. 

What does wild rice taste like?

Wild rice that is completely cooked will have a cream-colored interior with a nutty flavor and chewy texture.

More California-Grown recipes featuring wild rice.

if you are a super fan of wild rice, you should keep scrolling for even more delicious recipes that showcase this aquatic rice.

Close up of a bowl of Pistachio Wild Rice Pudding topped with fresh raspberries and toasted almonds. This easy recipe for rice pudding is simple to make and good for you too.

Rice Pudding with Wild Rice and Pistachio

This easy recipe for rice pudding is made with creamy homemade pistachio milk and wild rice. Free of refined sugars, this rice pudding has a flavor profile that is pleasantly nutty and rich without being cloyingly sweet! Because this recipe is perfect for breakfast or dessert, this protein-packed, plant-based rice pudding is the perfect addition to your next meal prep menu.

Click here for this wild rice recipe!

Easy Stuffed Bell Peppers

You can use whatever ingredients you have on hand to make these stuffed bell peppers, but this is one of our favorites.

While hearty, this recipe is also brimming with big, bold flavors thanks to the hot Italian sausage, wild rice, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and red wine!

Click here for this recipe with wild rice!

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