Rice is one of the most versatile sides to add to a meal. You can season, spice up, or mix it up with other ingredients for unique and exciting recipes.
Quick meals just got easier! A satisfying plate usually includes a protein (like fish), vegetable, and starch.
1. Mediterranean Rice with Spinach and Feta
Spinach and rice make an irresistible combination in this Mediterranean-inspired dish. The spinach adds plenty of vitamins, such as iron, fiber, potassium and antioxidants to the rice while providing it with additional nutritional benefits.
This dish can be served as a side with beef, lamb or fish or as vegetarian main course. It also fits perfectly into those on the Mediterranean diet due to its low fat content and high fiber content.
To prepare this dish, first wilt the spinach in olive oil until it becomes tender and soft. After that is done, combine the cooked spinach with rice.
You can also add other kinds of greens, like kale or Swiss chard, for extra nutrition. Just remember to drain them beforehand.
Next, cook the onions and garlic in olive oil until they become soft and golden. Be sure to keep stirring so that the onions don’t burn or stick. Once softened, add spinach and stir until wilted – about 3 minutes.
Once the spinach has completely wilted, add rice and vegetable broth to a pot. Bring this to a boil then reduce the heat to low and cover; allow it to simmer for 15 minutes. After that, take off the lid and allow it to rest for five minutes.
After this resting time, fluff the rice and fold in the feta cheese. You may wish to garnish the dish with more pieces of feta for visual appeal.
Spanakorizo is an age-old Greek rice recipe that makes for a nutritious side or filling main course. Made with rice, spinach, onion and dill with lemon and tomato for flavorful cooking, Spanakorizo will leave you wanting more!
Rice and spinach is an ideal combination for those following a Mediterranean diet, as it provides plenty of fiber, calcium, potassium, iron and vitamin C. Plus the feta cheese and lemon add extra nutrition!
This Mediterranean-inspired dish is simple to make – only requiring a few ingredients and you can prepare it ahead of time for any weeknight dinner or lunch. Serve hot or cold, pairing perfectly with grilled meats or fish.
2. Spanish Toasted Rice
Toasted rice is a staple of Mexican cuisine and can be prepared with an array of flavors. For an effortless meal, serve this flavorful side alongside fish or other protein sources for an irresistibly satisfying combination.
This recipe requires just one pot, meaning less dishwashing and it’s the perfect family-friendly dinner that uses pantry staples. Plus, it’s vegan, gluten free, and a nutritious choice for those looking to incorporate more legumes into their diet.
For this delicious yet straightforward rice recipe, you’ll need long-grain white rice, chicken broth, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, garlic, salt and spices – all of which can be found at your local grocery store or online.
Use the amount of liquid and cooking time recommended on your bag of rice, or follow the directions on the package. Be sure to toast the grains in hot oil before adding them to the liquid for a fluffy, tender result.
Stir your rice frequently and you may need to add more liquid if it becomes dry or chewy. Be sure to remove it from heat before it becomes sticky.
Spanish Toasted Rice is the ideal accompaniment to any Mexican or Latin-inspired meal, and it’s so simple to make at home! You can prepare this dish ahead of time, reheat in the microwave, then enjoy with other favorite Mexican dishes for a nutritious lunch or dinner.
This classic Mexican side dish is a must-have for any taco or burrito night! This one-pot creation has smoky paprika and just enough chili for an irresistible flavor that’s sure to please everyone at your next Mexican dinner table.
Spanish rice can be served with a variety of dishes, from classic favorites like Carne Asada Street Tacos to more modern creations such as easy shredded chicken taquitos. It’s also an ideal accompaniment for Cuban black beans, grilled shrimp or blackened fish tacos.
3. Black Beans and Rice
A delectable combination of two popular Latin American foods, black beans and rice, makes for a quick and effortless meal that’s ideal to prepare. It pairs perfectly with various dishes such as tacos, enchiladas, and burritos for an array of deliciousness!
Adding more protein and fiber to your diet is a great way to feel satiated for longer. Plus, this food is healthy for you–rich in magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, dietary fiber and complex carbs. It’s low in calories too.
To enhance the flavor of black beans and rice, you can saute garlic, onions, and peppers with them before adding them to a pot of water. Doing this adds an earthy, aromatic note that goes perfectly with the beans.
Another way to make this recipe more authentic is by using homemade sofrito. Sofrito is a flavorful mix of sauteed onions, peppers and seasonings commonly found in Mexican dishes. You can use it for additional depth of flavor when cooking black beans and rice or simply to use up leftovers from another recipe.
One of the reasons I love this recipe so much is that it takes only an hour to prepare, meaning you can have a nutritious and filling meal ready when you get home from work or school. Plus, it makes great meal prep since it keeps well in the fridge.
This one-pot meal is loaded with beans and chicken stock, providing a quick and flavorful one-pot meal that’s sure to please everyone in your household. Packed full of protein, fiber, and flavor – you won’t be disappointed!
This dish is vegetarian and vegan friendly; you can omit the chicken broth or even substitute it with vegetable broth if desired.
You can reheat or freeze this recipe for future meals. To reheat, heat slowly in the microwave or on the stovetop to ensure the rice cooks evenly and remains fluffy.
If you’re searching for a flavorful side dish to accompany your fish, black beans and rice are an excellent choice. Not only are they simple to prepare, but their variety of flavors will make your dinner stand out from the rest.
4. Salmon & Rice Bowl
Salmon rice bowls have become a worldwide sensation, and for good reason. Not only are they deliciously simple to make but also come in minutes! With flakey salmon, fluffy rice, creamy avocado and fresh cucumbers and green onions, these rice bowls make for an easy healthy lunch that everyone will love!
These delicious layered salmon rice bowls are the ideal way to toast a wonderful dinner with your family and friends. Packed full of flavor, they’re sure to please everyone at the table!
Start with crisp seasoned salmon drizzled in honey garlic sauce. Finish it off with fluffy white rice, a refreshing cucumber avocado salad and some spicy mayo for an irresistible meal!
For the crispy rice, I used a method inspired by tahdig, an aromatic Persian-style pan-fried rice dish with saffron, butter, yogurt and dried cherries. If you have leftover rice from other meals, these bowls could also be made with that leftover grain!
You can even reheat this salmon rice bowl for lunch if you do it ahead of time! The warm rice and moist fish make it the ideal option for a light lunch or quick on-the-go meal.
To reheat rice and salmon, add an ice cube to a bowl and microwave it for 45 seconds. Check the temperature, if necessary, microwave in 30-second intervals until both items are heated through and rice is warm.
Kewpie mayo, sriracha sauce and avocado make for an irresistibly flavorful bowl that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner. For something different, add slices of fresh shelled edamame or wilted baby spinach for some added color and crunch.
This recipe is ideal for meal prepping, so feel free to double it or make a large batch and have them on hand throughout the week! If any leftovers remain, be sure to store them in an airtight container so that they don’t go bad.
If you want to save time, purchase a pre-made salmon marinade and skip the seasoning step. Just be sure to add salt and pepper for flavor!