Healthy Budget Rice Recipes

Find healthy, delicious budget rice recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Arroz con Pollo

Rating: Unrated
9
Arroz con pollo, or chicken cooked with rice, is a common dish in Spain, Latin America and the Caribbean. We use quick-cooking brown rice here to help you get this on the table in just 40 minutes. Serve with a mixed green salad tossed with cilantro-lime vinaigrette.

Japanese Chicken-Scallion Rice Bowl

Rating: Unrated
15
Here's the quintessence of Japanese home cooking: an aromatic, protein-rich broth served over rice. Admittedly, Japanese cooking leans heavily on sugar--for a less traditional taste, you could reduce or even omit the sugar.

Easy Cauliflower Fried Rice

This vegetarian faux fried rice uses riced cauliflower in place of white or brown rice to pack in extra veggies and cut down on carbs. Chile-garlic sauce pumps up the heat, and fresh ginger adds a bright, warm bite. If you don't like the heat of the chile-garlic sauce, leave it out and add a bit more tamari or soy sauce for a rich, fermented tang.

Pressure-Cooker Chicken & Rice (Arroz con Pollo)

Rating: Unrated
3
Satisfy your Mexican-food craving with this healthy recipe. Just dump all your ingredients into an electric multicooker, such as the Instant Pot, in this easy recipe for flavorful arroz con pollo.

Bean & Veggie Taco Bowl

Rating: Unrated
2
Simple brown rice and black beans serve as the backdrop for sautéed veggies and taco toppings!

Roasted Red Peppers Stuffed with Kale & Rice

Rating: Unrated
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.)

Easy Chicken Fried Rice

Rating: Unrated
2
Frozen mixed vegetables make this healthy chicken fried rice recipe quick, easy and economical. If you don't have leftover cooked rice, be sure to thoroughly cool your rice before adding it to the wok--if it's too warm, it creates too much steam and sticks to the wok. To quickly cool warm rice, spread it out on a large baking sheet and refrigerate while you prep the rest of your ingredients, about 15 minutes.

Five-Spice Turkey & Lettuce Wraps

Rating: Unrated
19
Based on a popular Chinese dish, these fun wraps also make appealing appetizers for entertaining. Make it a meal: Serve with chile-garlic sauce and rice vinegar for extra zip; toss diced mango and strawberries with lime juice for a quick dessert.

Rice, Cheddar & Spinach Pie

Rating: Unrated
11
This rice, spinach and Cheddar pie is a cinch to prepare--especially if you have leftover cooked rice. If you don't, follow package directions for 4 servings to get about 3 cups cooked rice. Serve with steamed artichokes with light mayo mixed with lemon for dipping.

Shrimp Fried Rice

Rating: Unrated
7
This healthy shrimp fried rice recipe is packed with vegetables and makes 4 generous servings, so you'll need to use a large skillet that is at least 12 inches wide. A large wok also works well. If you have cooked rice on hand, omit Step 1 and add 2 1/2 cups cooked rice to the pan in Step 5.

Meal-Prep Roasted Vegetable Bowls with Pesto

Your co-workers will be jealous when you pull out this healthy lunch of roasted veggies and brown rice. Put together 4 lunches when you have time and you will have packable lunches (or ready-to-eat dinners) for several days--just grab a container on your way out the door in the morning.

Smoked Turkey, Kale & Rice Bake

Rating: Unrated
3
This hearty one-skillet dinner is loaded with celery, kale, tomatoes and quick-cooking brown rice. It's easy to make the recipe vegetarian by substituting smoked tofu for the turkey.

Inspiration and Ideas

Roasted and Stuffed Red Peppers

"Wowzer! This was delicious. I substituted quinoa for the brown rice but otherwise made the recipe exactly as written." – jupett

Thai Fried Rice

Try this recipe that is better than takeout, and cheaper too!

Couscous Paella Soup

Rating: Unrated
1

This soup is inspired by the flavors and ingredients of paella, but unlike paella it's simple enough for a speedy weeknight dinner. If you can't find Spanish chorizo, use pepperoni (add a pinch of smoked paprika if you have it). Serve with warm whole-grain garlic bread.