This simple Asian rice bowl is just what you need to for a healthy, but also hearty grain bowl. It's easy to assemble and there's lots of flexibility to make it with ingredients you enjoy!
I love rice and grain bowls! There so satisfying and also one of my favorite ways to eat vegetarian!
I also did something similar in this gluten-free grain bowl made using oat groats. You can experiment using different flavor combinations and proteins when it comes to making bowls! Plus they're amazing for meal prep.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Great tasting homemade dressing! Enjoy a thick spicy peanut butter dressing to top your Asian rice bowl. It's easy to make using a few simple ingredients you may already have on hand.
- Great texture and flavor! Tender rice and veggies with crisp cabbage, crunchy peanuts and a deliciously creamy dressing with a hint of spice.
- Perfect for meal prep! Everything holds up great to use for meals during the week.
- Eat it hot, cold or room temperature!
Ingredients You Need
Let's look at the main ingredients you need to grab at the grocery store to make your own healthy rice bowl! Remember, there's lots of flexibility so you can choose the ingredients you enjoy most to make your bowl.
- Rice blend: I used Organics Wild Rice Mix. It is a great blend of wild rice and basmati brown rice. But really you can use any storebought or homemade mixture of rice. If you prefer, cook it in broth rather than water for more flavor.
- Roasted veggies: Use any veggies you prefer! I really enjoy roasting root vegetables when roasting and decided on turnips, butternut squash, onions, and brussels sprouts for my rice bowl. Broccoli, cauliflower, other winter squash, onions, bell pepper, beets, carrots, and green beans are just a few others that will work.
- Cabbage: To bulk up this vegetarian rice bowl with thinly shredded green cabbage.
- Peanuts: I prefer using salted peanuts but you can use unsalted as well. Just make sure they're roasted as they will have more crunch and better flavor in the rice bowl.
- Cilantro: For a splash of bright flavor to your vegetarian rice bowl.
- Peanut butter: Used in the dressing for peanut flavor.
- Soy sauce and rice wine vinegar: Gives the perfect flavor for the dressing for your Asian rice bowl.
- Coconut milk: Use canned coconut milk for best flavor to thin out the dressing and add sweetness to balance out the vinegar and chili sauce.
- Chili sauce: A touch to add some heat to the dressing for your vegetarian rice bowl.
- Sugar or honey: Just a bit to add some sweetness to the dressing.
- Fresh ginger: It doesn't take much but this really adds vibrancy and fresh flavors to the peanut dressing.
For the full list of ingredients and quantities, check the recipe card.
Substitutions and Variations
- Peanuts: Chopped almonds work great too!
- Rice blend: You can also make your own rice blend or simply use your favorite single variety rice such as brown, wild rice, or basmati rice.
- Soy sauce: If you prefer a completely gluten-free rice bowl, swap the soy sauce for tamari or coconut aminos.
- Chili sauce: You can also use Sriracha, sambal oelek, or a dash of cayenne pepper. If using Sriracha or sambal oelek I suggest starting with about one tablespoon and then tasting it to adjust.
How to Make A Healthy Rice Bowl Vegetarian
- Cook the rice blend or other grain you plan to use according the instructions on the package. Avoid overcooking.
- Prep the veggies you want to use. Drizzle with a touch of olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. For roasting, I generally like the vegetables to speak for themselves, so I used minimal seasonings. Place them on a pan and cook in the oven until tender. The time will vary depending on the veggies you use.
- Combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger, sugar or honey, rice vinegar, coconut milk, and chili sauce in a bowl. Mix until combined and creamy.
- Place the rice, vegetables, and cabbage in a bowl. Drizzle with the dressing.
- Top with the chopped cilantro and peanuts.
How to Store
Refrigerator: Store your leftovers in the fridge for up to five days! If you've already added the dressing, it's best to eat it in the first 24 hours.
Freezer: I don't recommend freezing your healthy rice bowl. The combination of fresh and cooked ingredients won't freeze well.
Make ahead: If you are using this for meal prep, make all ingredients and store them in the fridge separately for up to five days. When you are ready, combine and drizzle with the dressing.
Expert Tips and FAQs
Be sure to store ingredients separately if you plan to have leftovers or making for meal prep. They will hold for longer.
Don't overcook the rice. When making salads grains are best if they are a bit al dente.
Add a protein to the top if you want! This honey citrus salmon, marinated tofu or some chickpeas.
It works both ways! If you prefer it cold, simply cool down the rice and veggies after cooking until you're ready to eat. If you have leftovers and prefer it warm heat up the rice and veggies just a bit before assembling your healthy rice bowl.
It's going to depend a bit on the vegetables you choose. Root vegetables such as carrots, beets, and turnips usually take the longest around 30-40 minutes while cauliflower, broccoli, and mushrooms may only take 15-20 minutes. You can cut longer cooking vegetables into smaller pieces to help speed up the cooking time a bit. When cooking different vegetables on the same pan that may require different times to cook, leave them separate on the pan so you can remove them as they are ready and continue cooking the others.
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Healthy Asian Rice Bowl
Roasted Vegetables and Rice
- 4 cups vegetables for roasting
- ¼ cup olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 4 cups rice blend I used a wild rice mix, but you can use whatever you prefer.
Bowl Toppings and Additions
- 4 cups chopped cabbage
- 1 cup salted peanuts
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons chili sauce
- ½ teaspoon fresh ginger grated
- 2 tablespoons sugar or honey
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ¼ - ½ cup coconut milk adjust amount to desired consistency
- Spread the vegetables out on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook in the oven at 400° F for 20-40 minutes or until fork tender. The cooking time will vary depending on the veggies you use.
- Cook the package of rice according to the package directions.
- Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a jar and shake well to combine.
- When the rice and veggies are ready, combine all ingredients for the salad. You can mix them together or arrange them separately on a plate. Whatever you prefer.
- Drizzle the vegetable rice bowl with the dressing.
- Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!