Basque Vegetable Rice

Basque Vegetable Rice

9 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2007

Zucchini, onion, tomatoes and bell peppers stud this paella-inspired rice dish. You may add other vegetables, such as mushrooms and peas, or if you like something heartier, some slightly spicy Italian sausage is a good choice.

Ingredients 6 servings

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Original recipe yields 6 servings
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  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small dried red chile pepper, such as chile de arbol, broken
  • 1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, preferably Spanish
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1¼ cups short-grain white rice, preferably Valencia (see Tip)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
  • 6 lemon wedges, for garnish


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Heat oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add chile pepper, onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft but not browned, about 6 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, paprika, thyme, salt and pepper; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
  3. Add rice; stir to coat well with the tomato mixture. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the rice is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot directly from the pan, garnished with parsley and lemon wedges, if desired.
  • Tip: Valencia rice (sometimes called paella rice) is Spanish-grown, short-grain rice classically used when making paella. It differs from other short-grain rice because of its ability to absorb moisture without breaking down. When fully cooked, the individual grains of rice remain whole. ‘Bomba' is the best variety. Find it in specialty markets or online at Arborio rice can be used as a substitute, but yields a creamier dish.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1⅓ cups
  • Per serving: 206 calories; 5 g fat(1 g sat); 4 g fiber; 35 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 116 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1,984 IU vitamin A; 57 mg vitamin C; 27 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 523 mg sodium; 427 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (95% daily value), Vitamin A (40% dv), Folate (29% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 2½ starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat

Reviews 9

September 17, 2017
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By: Barbie BROWN
basic and a bit bland as it comes. ive made other similer recipys with much more flavour
April 06, 2011
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By: anne
3 minor changes and it is perfect! I swap oregano for the thyme. Use chipoltle peppers in adobo instead of the dried peppers. Finally, prepare the rice separately, using the vegetable broth in place of water (once the vegetables are cooked just stir in the already-cooked rice)--YUM!
August 30, 2010
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By: bhess26
I've made this dish several times and I love it! It's perfect because I'm a vegetarian and can eat it as is, my omni husband adds sausage and he loves it too. Definitely squeeze lemon on it right before serving, it adds another layer of flavor to the dish. Great for leftovers!
August 10, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I love this dish and have made it several times. I agree with one reviewer that it can be a bit bland, especially if you use reduced sodium broth. Instead of adding more salt, however, I throw in capers and/or finely chopped olives. So good, and the perfect work lunch!!!
April 14, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I omitted the thyme, substituted peppers in adobo sauce for the dried peppers and used a spanish rice mix and really liked this recipe. I made it once as listed and found it a bit bland but loved it with the substitutions.
December 01, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
excellent meal. tasty. great leftover. a real keeper. the rice is the key - so make sure that you get the spanish rice.
September 23, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
This is a wonderful recipe; I gave it a slight twist with the following ingredients; cooking for about the same length of time. Makes 2 hearty servings. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; 1 small dried red chile pepper, such as chile de arbol, broken; 2 chiles picked in vinegar, sliced; 1/2 red and 1/2 Spanish medium onions, quartered and thinly sliced; 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped; 1 large ripe tomato and 1/2 tin plum tomatoes,seeded and diced; 1/2 cup petit pois 1/4 cup broad beans; 1/4 cup pigeon peas; 3 large mushrooms, halved and sliced; 1 carrot, diced 1 red bell pepper, diced; 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced; 1/2 teaspoon tarragon; 1/2 teaspoon herbes de provence; 1/2 teaspoon sea salt; 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper; 2 tablespoons dry Sherry; Splash of balsamic vinegar; 3/4 cup Arborio and Wild rice (ratio 4:1); 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth; Splash of Worcester sauce; 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish; 4 lime wedges for garnish Anonymous, London, England
September 23, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
This recipe was so good, I can't wait to make it again! I varied slightly from the recipe by not using peppers and adding yellow squash instead. It's a keeper. Peggie, Keeneyville, IL
September 23, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
This tasted like dirt. I think the thyme doesn't go well with this dish. It probably would be quite good seasoning it with parsley and saffron as a substitute. Anonymous, Philadelphia, PA
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