23 Brown Rice Recipes—Because We Don't Live And Die By Chicken, Rice & Veggies Here

23 Brown Rice Recipes—Because We Don't Live And Die By Chicken, Rice & Veggies Here

When it comes to easy, healthy lunches, nothing beats a grain bowl. Though we do like to experiment with using whole grains like farro or quinoa for their base, we’ll forever return to our favorite carb—rice! While white rice is yummy, when we’re looking for a little extra nutritional boost and flavor, brown rice is where it’s at. Though it can technically be swapped out for white rice in almost every recipe, we’ve collected 23 of our favorite brown rice recipes here as inspiration. Try them, then watch out—you might never be able to go back to plain old white rice again. 😉

First things first—what is brown rice? Brown rice is simply white rice that hasn’t been processed, meaning it still contains the bran (its brown outer skin) and the germ (the seed of the rice plant). Because of this, it contains more fiber and nutrients than white rice, has a chewier texture, and takes about twice as long to cook.

What should you make with it? As we mentioned before, brown rice is wonderful as a base for a grain bowl like our Goddess bowls, our Buddha bowls, our blackened shrimp bowls, our Greek power bowls, and more. Try these out, then mix and match your favorite elements together—the best part about a rice bowl is its versatility, so feel free to have fun with it (and to use up whatever you’ve got in the fridge).

Brown rice is also great for bulking up a soup, like our pesto rice & bean soup or our Mediterranean shrimp & rice soup; for baking in a casserole or one-pan dish, like our one skillet taco chicken & rice or our eggplant casserole; or even for turning into fried rice, like in our air fryer fried brown rice. We love these recipes, but don’t stop here—brown rice is truly incredible in anything you can think of!

One-Skillet Taco Chicken & Rice

Filled with spice-rubbed chicken breasts and brown rice, this hearty casserole is a healthier take on Tex-Mex. Meal planning? Leftovers taste just as good the next day!

Get the One-Skillet Taco Chicken & Rice recipe.

Pesto Rice & Bean Soup

While we use chicken broth here to add a layer of savoriness without actually adding meat, feel free to substitute it with vegetable broth or water. Depending on personal taste, you can also use whatever type of canned beans you’d like (or make your own from scratch!).

Get the Pesto Rice & Bean Soup recipe.

Blackened Shrimp Bowls

Extra-flavorful shrimp, whole grains, fresh veg... these bowls have got you covered. Feel free to swap your favorite salsa in lieu of the corn and tomato mix here (cowboy caviar would be GREAT).

Get the Blackened Shrimp Bowls recipe.

Air Fryer Fried Brown Rice

The best thing about fried rice is that it works better with day-old grains. BUT we found this air fryer recipe works just as well with packaged cooked brown rice. Great news, cheaters!

Get the Air Fryer Fried Brown Rice recipe.

Buddha Bowls

The beauty about this bowl is that it's infinitely adaptable. You can roast just about any veggie, use any number of toppings, and it'll taste amazing in this recipe. The only thing we might insist you must keep on the bowl is the incredible peanut butter dressing.

Get the Buddha Bowls recipe.

Mediterranean Shrimp & Rice Soup

A simple, warm, and hearty soup is all we crave all winter long, and this one really hits the spot. This one is full of shrimp, brown rice, and rich flavor—it's healthy and delicious, a meal you can feel good about!

Get the Mediterranean Shrimp & Rice Soup recipe.

Goddess Bowls

A good sauce changes everything, and this green goddess dressing is one of our favorites yet. The veggies here are interchangeable, but in the spirit of goddess dressing, we think green is the way to go. Roasted asparagus, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are all good choices.

Get the Goddess Bowls recipe.

Spicy Salmon Bowl

Spicy salmon is the perfect topper for a brown rice bowl. The rest of the components here are optional (though we are pretty partial to those quick pickled cukes), so feel free to get creative!

Get the Spicy Salmon Bowl recipe.

Eggplant Casserole

Though eggplant is often paired with heavy sauces and tons of cheese (hello, eggplant Parm), this dish skips the dairy. We layer the casserole with brown rice, then with spiced, soy-glazed chickpeas before adding in the tender, paprika-spiked eggplant for a deliciously vegan twist on dinner.

Get the Eggplant Casserole recipe.

Brown Rice Congrí

Looking for a side with loads of flavor? This Cuban-inspired brown rice congrí—made with black beans, green pepper, and plenty of earthy seasonings—is a smart pick.

Get the Brown Rice Congrí recipe.

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Crockpot Chicken & Broccoli

Beef & broccoli is one of our favorite stir fries, so when we're trying to cut down on our red meat, we swap out the beef for boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Using the slow cooker makes the chicken extra tender and allows the flavors to develop over a couple of hours. The sauce—made simply with soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger—is one you will turn to again and again.

Get the Crockpot Chicken & Broccoli recipe.

Chili Shrimp Skillet With Cara Cara Oranges

We gave this perfectly tangy, spicy-sweet sauce some serious flair with juice from pink-hued Cara Cara oranges. The shrimp is tossed with ginger, garlic, chili, and yup, more oranges. It’s a full-on citrus party up in this skillet.

Get the Chili Shrimp Skillet With Cara Cara Oranges recipe.

Broccoli Walnut Balsamic Bowls

These grain bowls might seem simple, but thanks to a smashed walnut vinaigrette, they're anything but. Once you learn to make salad dressing like this, you might never go back!

Get the Broccoli Walnut Balsamic Bowls recipe.

Cajun Shrimp Bowls

If Creole recipes like gumbo or jambalaya seem intimidating, these rice bowls are for you. They've got shrimp, sausage, and all the flavor you love, without the roux!

Get the Cajun Shrimp Bowls recipe.

(Courtesy of Walmart)
Cilantro Lime Salmon Bowls

These cilantro-lime salmon bowls will definitely make your stomach happy. They're jam-packed with healthy stuff—like brown rice and avocado—that will make you feel good, inside and out.

Get the Cilantro Lime Salmon Bowls recipe.

Harvest Bowls

These brown rice bowls have all your fall favorites—Brussels sprouts, kale, cranberries, and sweet potatoes. You're going to want to put the Dijon honey sauce on everything.

Get the Harvest Bowls recipe.

(Hearst Owned)
BBQ Power Bowls

How do you get all the delicious flavors of summer BBQs without the regret of stuffing yourself silly? BBQ power bowls! Flavor-wise, they have everything you want, but they're also packed with good stuff that will make you feel more like playing lawn games than falling asleep.

Get the BBQ Power Bowls recipe.

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Greek Power Bowls

If you've always loved Greek salad, but wished you could eat it for a full meal, these bowls are for you! Simply add brown rice, chicken, and whatever else your heart desires to bulk them up, then enjoy!

Get the Greek Power Bowls recipe.

Balsamic Bliss Bowls

This Italian version of a buddha bowl is our newest obsession. The fixins MAKE it: juicy balsamic-roasted tomatoes, baked chicken breast (cooked with the tomatoes), baby spinach, marinated mozzarella and, of course, balsamic glaze. Make a big batch and feel blissful all week.

Get the Balsamic Bliss Bowls recipe.

Southwestern Burrito Bowl

This recipe provides a mix of vegetables (sweet potatoes and corn), brown rice (as a complex carb), black beans (for the protein), and avocado (for the healthy fat). Top all that with a citrus vinaigrette, and trust us, you won't miss the tortilla.

Get the Southwestern Burrito Bowl recipe.

Beef & Broccoli Buddha Bowls

This beef-&-broccoli-inspired bowl checks ALL the right boxes. Throw steak and brocc over a big bowl of brown rice, drizzle with leftover skillet sauce, then top with green onion for freshness and sesame seeds for texture. Boom!

Get the Beef & Broccoli Buddha Bowls recipe.

Steak Burrito Bowls

This copycat Chipotle recipe is fresh, hearty, and will keep you full (and happy) alllll day long. Make it on your outdoor grill during the summertime, or on a grill pan the rest of the year.

Get the Steak Burrito Bowls recipe.

Steak Fajita Power Bowl

This bowl starts with a mound of brown rice, topped with sautéed onions, peppers, steak (a lá OG fajitas), and our favorite Mexican toppings. We chose corn, black beans, and avocado, but feel free to mix it up.

Get the Steak Fajita Power Bowl recipe.


Though we do like to experiment with using whole grains like farro or quinoa for their base, we’ll forever return to our favorite carb—rice!