Brown Rice Bowl Recipes


Rice bowls are a quick and ideal way of ensuring you get a full, healthy home-made meal. Aside from having grains as the main star, these bowls are highly customizable with the use of a variety of veggies, meats, and dressing. They’re easy to prepare for any day or night of the week.

In this article, we’ve listed a number of brown rice bowl meals that are delicious, filled with nutrients, and can fill your tummies. 

Are Brown Rice Bowls Healthy?

Yes, they are! Rice bowls are pretty much a complete, well-rounded healthy meal since most bowl dishes are composed of four factors, namely grain, vegetables, protein, and sauce. You can think of them as a healthier, fresher version of a TV dinner. Not only are they healthy, but they also make for a great advanced meal plan. Almost every food item – veggies, meats, grains – can be stored frozen without them going bad in a few days. 

You can make them in batches during meal prep sessions, store them in the fridge, and warm them up whenever you desire. These bowls are great for a delicious and filling dinner and or lunch. 

As its name suggests, the main ingredient of these bowls is rice. The commonly used grains for these bowls are brown rice and white rice, but you’re welcome to use quinoa, farro, and even couscous. While grains are the star of the dish, their accompanying elements such as vegetables and meat can be mixed and matched to the person’s liking. 

Brown Rice Bowl Recipes

We’ve rounded up several brown rice bowl meals that you can prepare and make easily. These brown rice bowls are mixed with various elements such as veggies, meats, and even dressing for that full, delicious flavor. Brown rice bowls are also a great way of making sure you get your nutrients for the day. 

Most of the ingredients in these recipes are easy to acquire. You can get your veggies and meats from the local grocery store, or maybe you already have them in your fridge or cupboard! Have a look at the recipes and maybe you’ll find one that’s suited for your taste! 

Buddha Bowl

Buddha bowls are also commonly known as grain bowls, power bowls, superfood bowls, and veggie bowls! This dish got its nickname as it’s usually served on a huge, single bowl with several portions of food, presenting a balanced meal. It’s reminiscent of one of Buddhism’s key concepts, which is balance, and of a story about Buddha filling in his food bowl with any bit of vegetables that villagers would offer to him. 

What Makes a Buddha Bowl?

As mentioned, Buddha bowls can be a balanced mix of veggies, grains, protein, and sauce. You can mix and match the ingredients of this recipe to your heart’s content! 

Here are a couple of suggestions on what you can put in it! For veggies, you can put in broccoli, snap peas, carrots, sweet potato, brussels sprouts, cabbage, onion, green peas, baby kale, and such. For grains, brown rice, quinoa, farro, and couscous are favorite options.

As for protein, you’re welcome to put in chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, tofu, edamame, lentils, and the like. Lastly for sauce, the favorites are salsa, hummus, pesto, BBQ sauce, and creamy avocado dressing. Anything goes with a Buddha bowl recipe! 

Spicy Thai Chicken and Brown Rice Bowl

Here’s a rice bowl recipe to spice up your taste buds! For this recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients for the main bowl:

  • 1 cup Short grain brown rice
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut oil
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
  • Black pepper (ground)
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 medium scallions, sliced
  • 2 cups finely shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • Chopped Thai basil leaves
  • Chopped roasted peanuts

For the recipe of the curried peanut sauce, here’s a list of ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Start off by making the peanut sauce. Place all items in a food processor with a blender attachment. Blend all until smooth.

As for the bowl itself, start off by placing your grains, 2 cups of water, and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan, then bring it to boil on medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cover until the grains are soft and cooked. In another pan on medium-high heat, add one tablespoon of oil and cook the bell pepper, season it with salt and pepper. Stir it until soft before setting it aside. 

In the same pan, add the remaining teaspoon of oil and toss in the chicken, garlic, cayenne. Cook it all together until the chicken is browned, and then stir in the scallions and about 2 tablespoons of the peanut sauce and cook for a minute. Serve it by first placing your grains in a bowl, putting the chicken mixture on top of it, and drizzle over the peanut sauce. Sprinkle with the Thai basil leaves and roasted peanuts.

Spicy Mango and Avocado Brown Rice Bowl

Want the spicy flavor but prefer to have it the vegetarian way? Don’t fret, here’s a rice bowl recipe to satisfy your cravings! For this recipe, here’s a list of components that you need:

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice (Basmati rice works best)
  • 1 1/4 oz firm tofu
  • Olive oil
  • Tamari
  • 1 mango, cubed
  • 1 scallion
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • Thinly sliced radishes
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1 avocado, pitted and diced
  • Lime slices
  • Chopped cilantro

For the coconut peanut sauce recipe, you’ll need the items in the following list:

  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha

To make this dish, start off by cooking the brown rice. While it’s cooking, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dry down your firm tofu and slice it into cubes. Afterward, drizzle olive oil and tamari. Place the tofu on the baking sheet and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Once down, drizzle sriracha on the tofu and set aside. 

For the coconut peanut dressing in this recipe, mix together all the ingredients until you’re satisfied with the taste. To serve, assemble your grains in bowls, add in the mango, scallions, cabbage, radishes, cucumber, avocado, tofu, and cilantro. Drizzle over the coconut dressing, and one lime slice to top it off.

Roasted Veggies and Brown Rice Bowl

If you find yourself with a handful of leafy greens, here’s a great brown rice bowl idea for you. Gather up the following components for this recipe: 

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the creamy sweet tahini dressing, you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup or more of water
  • Salt and pepper

To make this rice bowl, first preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, cook your brown rice either by using a cooker or over the stove. You can also use quick-cook brown rice and follow the directions on the packaging on how to make it. 

While your grains are cooking, place your cauliflower and broccoli on a baking sheet. On another baking tray, spread the chickpeas and carrots. Drizzle oil over each baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Roast veggies for about 20 to 30 minutes. Remember to turn the pans and give it a shake every 10 minutes. It’s important that you start with roasting the cauliflower and broccoli tray first as cauliflower and broccoli both take about 40 minutes to cook. The carrot and chickpea tray takes about 20 minutes. 

For the dressing, combine all components in a separate bowl and whisk until it’s smooth. You can add more water as needed. Set aside. Once the veggies are done, you’re ready to make your rice bowls. Grains at the bottom of the bowl, lay the broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, chickpeas on top, and drizzle with the dressing and sesame seeds as a finishing touch.

Greek Chicken Grain Bowl

If you’re someone who makes lunch and dinner in advance, here’s a great rice bowl idea for your next meal prep session! You’ll need to following food items: 

  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 2 6oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2 small Persian cucumbers, diced
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Feta cheese (optional) 

Making this dish is simple and easy! Begin with heating your grill to medium-high level. Cook your brown rice in a cooker or over a stove. As your brown rice cooks, brush the chicken with 1/2 tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken until cooked all the way through, for about 5 to 6 minutes each side. Squeeze juice from half of a lemon over the chicken breasts before transferring to a cutting board. Let the chicken rest and warm for 5 minutes before slicing. 

In a separate bowl, toss in your tomatoes and cucumbers with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add a dash of the juice of lemon and a pinch of salt and pepper. Once your brown rice is cooked, divide and lay it into containers. Top it with the tomato mixture and chicken. When serving this brown rice bowl dish, be sure to add a dollop of yogurt and maybe even feta cheese if you so desire. 

There you have it! We hope that with these bowl recipes, we were able to give you a host of meal options that you can whip up for your weekly meal plan or even just a well-rounded meal for the day. 

Do remember that with any recipe mentioned here, you can always customize the veggies and meats to your liking! There’s no one way to enjoy a great brown rice bowl! Don’t feel like putting in carrots? Swap it out for butternut squash or sweet potato! Don’t feel like using meat as your protein? You’re more than welcome to fill your bowl with any and all vegetables. Not up to eating beef? Use chicken or any seafood that you like. The possibilities with a brown rice bowl is endless!

Interested in making more recipes using grains? Check out our various rice recipes for your next sumptuous weeknight dinner or lunch.