30+ Recipes Starring Rice

updated Nov 15, 2023
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two fried sunny side up eggs with chili oil served over rice and garnished with scallions with one yolk broken and running
Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaeffer; Food Styling: James Park

It’s easy to create a budget-friendly meal when you have a bag of rice on hand. Between the type of rice (white, brown, jasmine, etc.) and how you cook it (in a rice cooker, on the stovetop, or in the oven), you have a lot of options to play around with.

It’s also hard to get bored when there are so many budget-friendly ways to top a bowl of rice. A simple protein, a vegetable, and an unusual sauce is all you need for a great meal, but there are even more ways to get creative. Here are 21 recipes starring rice to get excited about.

Rice Recipes

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Spicy Roasted Cauliflower Stir-Fry

The three main ingredients in this recipe are cauliflower, onion, and rice. It does require a few pantry ingredients like sesame oil, rice wine, and soy sauce, but it’s worth stocking up on these for other stir-fry recipes, as they’ll last a long time.

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2 / 34
Brown Rice Bowl with Lentils, Caramelized Onions & Fried Egg

I think the definition of a good budget meal is a recipe that has hearty grains and some protein. This recipe does exactly that with the rice, lentils, and egg. Harissa — or any hot sauce — is a welcome addition.

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3 / 34

This is an everyday breakfast staple in China and in many parts of the world. The concept in its basic form takes rice and broth and toppings to create a silky porridge.

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"Low-Rent" Tuna Poke Bowl

Upgrade your can of tuna by pairing it with a little rice, sauce, sesame seeds, and avocado. Avocado certainly isn’t cheap, but the rest of the ingredients are very budget-friendly.

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5 / 34
Freezer-Friendly Roasted Vegetable Burritos with Black Beans and Rice

Fill your freezer this winter with delicious homemade burritos. This version combines rice, black beans, and vegetables.

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Chicken and Wild Rice Bake

This recipe uses wild rice, brown rice, and vegetables as a base. The whole thing is topped with bone-in chicken thighs before being frozen for later consumption.

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7 / 34
Red Jambalaya Fried Rice

Fried rice is a great way to use up leftover rice. This recipe elevates that idea with a playful twist on jambalaya.

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Bacon and Kimchi Fried Rice Frittata

I’m pretty obsessed with the idea of this frittata. It uses basic kitchen staples like rice and eggs and upgrades them with bacon and kimchi. You can even make your own kimchi if you’re up to it.

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9 / 34
Lemon Rice Pudding

Need a cheap dessert to feed a crowd? This recipe calls for rice, dairy, and lemon. You can play around with it a bunch, by either using Meyer lemons or regular lemons, and using half-and-half instead of cream. It’s totally up to you and what you have around.

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10 / 34
Brown Rice Bowl with Chard & Nutty Tomato Romesco Sauce

This is a great option for a cheap lunch. Top cooked brown rice with whatever greens you have on hand — we use Swiss chard here — and then a homemade romesco sauce.

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11 / 34
Chicken Rice Bowls with Honey-Mustard Sauce

A meal consisting of chicken, rice, and vegetables isn’t anything new, but the addition of this honey-mustard sauce really brings the whole dish to life. When in doubt, make a special sauce for cheap meals.

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12 / 34
Chicken and Snap Pea Stir-Fry

This recipe combines one protein, one kind of rice, and one vegetable. But don’t be fooled! There are a lot of little additions that make this recipe special.

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13 / 34
Potato Risotto

This recipe is intended to be made in a pressure cooker. It’s a simple, hearty meal that will warm you up in the winter.

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14 / 34
Vegan Stir-Fried Garlic Tofu and Eggplant

I’ve been making this recipe about once a week for the last few months. After you’ve fried the tofu, the whole things comes together very quickly if you have a wok.

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15 / 34
Watermelon Curry

The most expensive ingredient in this recipe is the watermelon (everything else is pantry basics). This might sound a little strange as a recipe, but trust me — it’s delicious. It’s best hot right off the stove.

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Stir-Fry Chicken

The cashews in this dish really make this recipe for me. The texture addition is just so good and a little surprising if you’re new to making meals in the wok.

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17 / 34
Rice Pudding in a Mug

Need a cheap dessert for one? Pull out your bag of rice and a mug! This recipe is pretty basic, so feel free to play around with it until you find what you love.

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18 / 34
Quick and Easy Basil Beef

Basil and beef are a perfect match. If you have yet to experience this relationship, now is the time to do it with the help of this recipe.

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Cheesy Tex-Mex Rice

The most important ingredient in this recipe might be cheese (duh), but there’s a whole lot of cheap ingredients that bolster the cheese to make this possible. Put your cast iron skillet to work!

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20 / 34
Korean Curry Rice

This hearty curry will keep you warm during the colder months. It’s filled with beef, vegetables, and kimchi.

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21 / 34
Chili Crisp Fried Eggs Recipe
Our favorite way to level up a fried egg? Cooking it in the spicy, aromatic flavors of chili crisp.
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22 / 34
Miso Ginger Chicken and Rice Skillet Recipe
Umami-rich miso paste and zingy fresh ginger brings this one-skillet chicken dinner together.
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Sweet and Savory Wild Rice Salad
Crunchy with red pepper and cucumbers, savory with wild rice and chives, sweet with dates, zesty with lime and orange juice.
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Microwave Cheesy Egg Rice with Spam and Kimchi Recipe
A simple microwave egg rice with melty mozzarella cheese, salty spam, and spicy kimchi.
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Fried Rice
A step-by-step guide for an easy, quick, and aromatic fried rice that wins every time.
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Trader Joe's Cheesy Artichoke Rice Bake
This cheesy artichoke rice bake makes for a hearty and delicious weeknight meal.
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Cilantro-Lime Rice Recipe
This cilantro-lime rice is zesty and fresh, and the perfect addition to almost all of your weeknight meals.
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Jollof Rice Recipe
Jollof rice is a smoky, spicy tomato and pepper-based rice dish that's a staple throughout West Africa.
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Chitra's Chitranna (Shredded Cabbage, Lime & Peanut Rice)
A variation of nimbekai chitranna, made with shredded red cabbage and carrots lightly sautéed in oil and then tossed with cooked turmeric rice, fried peanuts, lime juice and chopped cilantro.
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Recipe: The Best Creamy, Cheesy Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice
The nostalgic casserole we love, made even easier with help from the slow cooker.
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Honey-Garlic Shrimp Stovetop Rice Casserole
Rice, shrimp, and broccoli all steam together in one pot, and are finished with a savory honey drizzle.
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