Healthy Rice Side Dish Recipes

Find healthy, delicious side dish with rice recipes including rice and beans, Spanish rice, fried rice, and risotto. Healthier recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Broccoli, Cheese & Rice Casserole

Rating: 5 stars
4
Ditch the baking dish and make this easy skillet broccoli, cheese and rice casserole. Cooking the casserole in a skillet keeps the flavors and textures fresh--no mushy, sad broccoli! Serve this easy side with baked chicken for a family-pleasing healthy dinner that's ready in just 30 minutes. It would also be a great addition to your Thanksgiving spread or a party buffet.

Easy Brown Rice

Rating: 4 stars
4
Here's the only recipe you need to make perfect brown rice every time! This healthy whole grain is great on its own as a side dish, or use it in your favorite recipes calling for cooked brown rice.

Zucchini Rice Casserole

Rating: 4.59 stars
23
We pack extra vegetables into this cheesy baked rice casserole. Plus we substitute brown rice for white, reduce the cheese by half and swap turkey sausage for pork sausage. If you're bringing it to a potluck, plan to reheat it before serving.

Black Sticky Rice

Black sticky rice, a delicious whole-grain alternative to white rice, is purplish black in color and has a chewy texture. This recipe gives you a simple method for how to make black sticky rice. Look for it in natural-foods stores in the bulk department or with other whole-grain rice.

Basic Risotto

Rating: 4.63 stars
8
Slowly adding hot broth to arborio rice helps release the starch from the rice, giving risotto its characteristic silky, creamy texture. We add a splash of wine along with each addition of broth to give the dish a more pronounced wine flavor. If you'd prefer the wine to be more subtle, add the entire cup at the end of Step 2 and cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed, then begin adding the broth. If you prefer to omit wine, use more broth in its place.

Chicken, Mushroom & Wild Rice Casserole

Rating: 3.44 stars
14
In Minnesota, chicken, mushrooms and wild rice are often bound together in a casserole with cream of mushroom soup. We forgo the sodium-rich canned soup and make a light, creamy sauce that gets depth of flavor from dry sherry and Parmesan cheese. If you already have cooked chicken, use 4 cups and skip Step 2.

Nina's Mexican Rice

Rating: 4 stars
6
The key to nutty and flavorful Mexican rice is cooking the rice first in oil until it is nicely golden.

Roasted Red Peppers Stuffed with Kale & Rice

Rating: 4.63 stars
8
You can vary the filling by substituting robust mustard greens or collards, or milder greens, such as spinach, escarole or Swiss chard. (Cook the greens until just tender in Step 2.)

Baked Rice with Roasted Corn, Peppers & Onions

This filling rice casserole, loosely based on paella, features seared corn, roasted peppers, garlic and red onions. If you like, include diced zucchini or chopped green beans as well. A flavorful roasted garlic mayonnaise makes a luxurious topping.

Green Risotto

Rating: 4.2 stars
5
Serve this pretty, pesto-flavored risotto alongside roasted chicken or pork roast or serve with a big salad for a light dinner. We add a splash of wine along with each addition of broth to give the dish a more pronounced wine flavor. If you'd prefer the wine to be more subtle, add the entire cup at the end of Step 3 and cook, stirring, until the liquid is gone, then begin adding the broth. You can substitute more broth in place of the wine.

Cherry, Wild Rice & Quinoa Salad

Rating: 4.67 stars
5
This whole-grain wild rice and quinoa salad recipe is perfect for toting to summer potlucks. It features sweet cherries, crunchy celery, nutty aged goat cheese and toasted pecans. If you can find red quinoa, it's particularly pretty.

Rice & Lentil Salad

Rating: 3.78 stars
7
A simple dressing of sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard and paprika flavors this rice and lentil salad. It's a great way to use up leftovers.
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Inspiration and Ideas

Coconut Brown Rice

The secret to the maxed-out flavor of this coconut brown rice dish? Coconut in three forms—milk, oil and shredded.

Slow-Cooker Cheesy Rice with Broccoli

Rating: Unrated
2
This dish is sure to be a kid favorite that adults will crave, too. Broccoli and cheese is a classic pairing for a reason, and when served with rice and umami-rich mushrooms, the combo is even more comforting. Garnish with shaved Parmesan and additional kosher salt and black pepper, if desired.

Japanese Shiitake & Vegetable Rice (Takikomi Gohan)

Dashi gives this vegetable rice recipe its savory depth. Rinsing the rice may seem like an extraneous step but it removes some of the surface starch for fluffier rice. And soaking the rice in seasoned dashi before cooking infuses the dish with more flavor.