Healthy Budget Rice Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Japanese Chicken-Scallion Rice Bowl

Rating: 4.04 stars
22
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.

Smoked Turkey, Kale & Rice Bake

Rating: 4.38 stars
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.

Bean & Veggie Taco Bowl

Rating: 5 stars
2
Simple brown rice and black beans serve as the backdrop for sautéed veggies and taco toppings!

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: 4 stars
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.

Hoisin-Ginger Meatloaf

Rating: 3.5 stars
2
Scallions, hoisin sauce and ginger give this pork-and-turkey meatloaf great flavor and plenty of vegetables boost the fiber and nutrients. We love the texture of brown rice as a filler in this healthy Asian-flavored meatloaf recipe, but feel free to swap fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs for the rice.

Five-Spice Turkey & Lettuce Wraps

Rating: 4.31 stars
26
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.

Meal-Prep Roasted Vegetable Bowls with Pesto

Rating: 5 stars
3
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.

Zucchini Rice Casserole

Rating: 4.59 stars
40
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.

Easy Chicken Fried Rice

Rating: 4 stars
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.

Roasted Red Peppers Stuffed with Kale & Rice

Rating: 4.63 stars
12
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.)

Vegetarian Sushi Grain Bowl

Rating: 5 stars
4
Skip the hassle of making sushi rolls at home and just go for this grain bowl. Start with a base of brown rice and add veggies, dressing and creamy avocado for a delicious and easy meal.
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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!

Mac & Cheese

Rating: 3.5 stars
3

This healthy, homemade macaroni and cheese recipe is topped with plenty of golden breadcrumbs. If you want to add a little flair to this healthy macaroni and cheese, use aged Gruyere instead of Cheddar and add extra ingredients like peas, chopped cooked mushrooms or chopped ham. This recipe makes more Cream Sauce without the Cream than you'll need for the macaroni and cheese. Refrigerate or freeze the extra sauce and use it in place of heavy cream in any sauce or soup that calls for cream.