Basque Vegetable Rice

September/October 2007

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (78 votes)

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.

"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...
Basque Vegetable Rice

Makes: 6 servings, 1 1/3 cups each

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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
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/4 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


  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.

Tips & Notes

  • 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.


Per serving: 250 calories; 6 g fat (1 g sat, 4 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 45 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 5 g fiber; 434 mg sodium; 439 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (100% daily value), Folate (50% dv), Vitamin A (40% dv), Iron (15% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 212

Exchanges: 2 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat

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Recipe Categories

Ease of Preparation
Total Time
More than 1 hour
Preparation/ Technique

New Year's Eve
Type of Dish
Main dish, vegetarian
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