Rice is a staple comfort food that’s simple to make at home. But there’s more to it than just plain white rice – discover our tips for making the perfect rice dish!
These recipes take the classic dish to new heights, from cheese-laden rice balls to a warming soup perfect for cold days. Plus, you can customize these dishes by using different veggies!
Spinach Rice with Feta
Spinach rice is a delectable Mediterranean-inspired side dish that transforms plain white rice into something special. Packed with zesty feta cheese and earthy dill, it’s an ideal way to incorporate more veggies into your diet.
This recipe is inspired by a traditional Greek side dish called spanakorizo (which can be seen above as an adaptation of spanakopita). It’s an easy-to-make dish that combines rice with spinach and aromatic flavors like garlic and lemon for an ideal healthy meal or side dish.
To make this dish, start by sauteeing onions in some olive oil until they’re translucent and starting to brown. Then, add spinach and stir to wilt it down – this takes a few minutes so be sure to keep an eye on it!
Once the spinach has wilted, stir in vegetable broth, rice and some seasonings. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes – it should look like creamy tender rice by then. If not yet done cooking, add another splash of water and continue cooking for several more minutes.
Once the rice has finished cooking, remove the pot from heat and cover for around five minutes to allow it to cool and set. Fluff it up with a fork then top with crumbled feta.
This quick and delicious side dish pairs perfectly with any meat, fish or chicken dinner! It also makes a great vegetarian meal or light lunch!
This Mediterranean-inspired side dish is enhanced with butter, fresh dill and lemon juice. Not only are these ingredients delicious, but they also add more nutrients to the dish – like iron, fiber and vitamins K, C, B6, E and more!
This dish is ideal for serving at your next gathering or just to enjoy as a quick and tasty weeknight dinner. It can even be made ahead, stored in the refrigerator, and then reheated with some water.
Spanish Toasted Rice
Spanish Toasted Rice is an easy side dish that will add incredible flavor to any Mexican meal. It can also be used up leftover cooked rice that has become dry or sticky; simply reheat in the microwave and serve with enchiladas or tacos for a delectable treat!
Make this delicious Spanish rice ahead of time and freeze it for up to five days in an airtight container. To reheat, simply thaw in the refrigerator before cooking in the microwave for two minutes.
Before you begin making this Spanish rice, it is first important to toast the grains. Doing this adds an extra layer of flavor and speeds up cooking time considerably – only taking a few minutes extra! Makes all the difference!
Once your rice is toasted, add garlic and vegetables and cook for several minutes. Finally, stir in tomatoes – you may use a tomato masher if you don’t have one handy – then stir in broth until fully absorbed.
Create a delicious and fluffy Spanish rice! Serve this with beef enchiladas or chicken enchiladas for an easy weeknight dinner.
For a vegetarian version of this Spanish rice dish, substitute vegetable stock for the chicken broth and leave out the chorizo. You can also top it off with fresh cilantro and some lime juice to give it an extra kick of flavor.
This recipe is ideal for potlucks as it can be prepared ahead of time. It’s a delectable one-pot meal that can be served on its own or as part of an impressive spread at dinner parties.
The only drawback to this dish is that it must be baked before serving, which requires a large ovenproof braiser or cazuela. But the end result is worth all the effort! The top layer of rice gets crunchy, the chorizo crisps and browns, tomatoes become soft and jammy, and garlic permeates everything with its fragrance.
Onigiri is an easy and delicious way to grab a quick lunch on the go. It takes only minutes to prepare and you can flavor it with various ingredients.
Onigiri are traditionally wrapped in nori seaweed; however, you can substitute this for shiso leaves or kelp if desired. Or you can grill it for a caramelized and toasty exterior (known as yaki onigiri).
Making an onigiri requires some rice and other ingredients. Japanese short-grain rice works best since it’s sticky enough to maintain shape when cooked.
Before making onigiri, rinse the rice thoroughly to remove excess starch and keep the grains fluffy. You can do this either in a pot or rice cooker; if using the latter, pour the rinsed rice into either a bowl or pot and swish it around to get all of the starch off.
Once the rice is warm, you can shape it into a ball with either your hands or use an onigiri mold. To shape with hands, wet the palm of your hand and grab some handfuls or portions of rice and gently press together; this helps the rice maintain its shape while also dispersing flavor and moisture evenly.
If using a mold, spray the inside with water and add your rice. Place the top of the mold on top and press down until all of the rice has been packed in. Repeat with remaining grains and filling.
Other ingredients you can add to onigiri include wakame seasoning, edamame, shio kombu (dried bonito flakes), cheese, scrambled eggs or mayonnaise. All these simple additions give the dish extra texture and flavor without overwhelming the rice itself.
Wakame seaweed is a nutritious ingredient to use in onigiri recipes due to its high mineral content, vitamins, and antioxidants. It also supplies iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium. You can find this seaweed at most supermarkets.
You could also mix some shio kombu or katsuobushi into the rice for extra flavor and texture. You could also season with different seasonings like furikake, shichimi togarashi, and more for variety.
California Roll Rice Bowl
California roll sushi bowl is a refreshing take on the classic dish, featuring sweet and tangy sushi rice topped with crab (or imitation crab), crisp vegetables, buttery avocado, umami-rich nori, flavorful pickled ginger, creamy sriracha mayo, and crunchy sesame seeds. This recipe is easy to make ahead of time for weeknight dinners; perfect for any occasion!
Make this California roll sushi bowl by cooking the sushi rice according to package instructions. Make sure to rinse it thoroughly beforehand in order to prevent it from getting sticky or chewy. You can cook this rice in a pot on the stovetop, with an Instant Pot, or using a rice cooker.
Once the rice is cooked, transfer it to a bowl and stir in the sushi vinegar. Allow to cool until room temperature before adding any other ingredients.
In addition to sushi rice, you’ll need crab meat, avocado, cucumber and some seaweed. A traditional California roll is made with crab meat or imitation crab but you can substitute shrimp or fishcakes if you prefer.
For crab, you have two options: buy pre-packaged crab meat in a bag or find imitation crab in the seafood section of your grocery store. Regardless of which option you pick – real or imitation – you’ll be amazed at how tasty and budget friendly it can be!
When it comes to veggies, you can either use matchstick carrots or diced avocado. Diced cucumber is also delicious. I like adding a small bit of nori snack – dried seaweed found in the sushi aisle in smaller squares than what would normally be found for real sushi rolls – for extra crunch.
Once all your toppings have been added to the bowl, garnish with some nori, pickled ginger and furikake for extra flavor and texture. If desired, drizzle some spicy mayo overtop for extra zest!
This recipe is ideal for sushi lovers or anyone seeking a quick and easy lunch or dinner that tastes like it took all day to make! This fun take on the traditional California roll will surely impress guests!