Is there any grain more versatile than rice? In this roundup of delicious vegan rice recipes from around the world, you’ll find main dishes like hearty skillets and casseroles, side dishes (including savory pilafs), bowls, salads, and more. If you like your veggie dishes with rice, you’ll love this bountiful array of recipes.
In most of these recipes, you can use whatever variety of rice you’d like, though some call for a specific variety (like long grain brown rice, Basmati rice, etc). for best results. You can even swap in more exotic varieties like black forbidden rice or the various types of red rice.
There are so many rice varieties, as you can see in this comprehensive listing of rice varieties, it would be quite a challenge to make use of every variety grown! The types most frequently listed in this roundup are the ones most easily accessible in North American markets.
Rice Pilafs & Skillets
Tehri-Inspired Brown Rice and Sweet Potato Pilaf: Inspired by an Indian/Pakistani dish called Tehri, this brown rice and sweet potato pilaf is embellished with green peas and flavored with lots of ginger and cilantro.
Vegan Sausage and Lentils with Yellow Rice: Served over brilliant yellow rice, this is a dish that cross several cuisines — a little bit Italian, a tad Spanish, and maybe even a touch Caribbean. Whatever its origins, this dish is hearty and totally satisfying in a plant-based interpretation.
Cuban Black Beans and Rice: Nearly every Latin American and Caribbean country has its own standard rice and bean dish, and this variation is served widely both in home and restaurants in Cuba. One of the simplest and most satisfying of vegan rice dishes.
Vegan Hoppin’ John (Black-Eyed Peas and Rice): Hearty vegan Hoppin’ John is a plant-based version of the smoky, savory Southern recipe of black-eyed peas and rice, and a longstanding tradition to serve on New Year’s Day.
Vegan Dirty Rice: It might seem far-fetched to transform dirty rice, a classic Cajun recipe, into a tasty vegan dirty rice. But thanks to plant-based sausage and mushrooms, it’s easy to enjoy an “clean” interpretation of the original with this hearty recipe.
Wild and Brown Rice Pilaf with Apples & Pecans: This pilaf is made festive with apples and pecans. It’s a festive side dish, perfect for fall and winter holiday or special occasion meals.
Curry-Spiced Cauliflower and Rice Pilaf: Once you have your rice cooked, this aromatic curry-spiced cauliflower and rice pilaf comes together quickly. I highly recommend making this with brown Basmati rice, though any long-grain rice (especially long-grain brown).
Basmati Rice Pilaf with Fruits and Nuts: This aromatic pilaf, filled with sweet dried fruits and crunchy nuts, makes a lovely side dish to serve with curries. Use the optional chile peppers if you’d like this dish to have a little kick, but it’s good without them as well.
Thai Pineapple Fried Rice: This vegan version of Thai pineapple fried rice has the classic Thai sweet-and-salty twist. Sasha Gill, who contributed this recipe, says: “Pineapple might seem like an odd addition to fried rice, but it works — much less controversial than pineapple on pizza …”
Spanish Rice and Beans with Pimiento Olives: Here’s one of those dishes that’s open to interpretation and doesn’t strictly belong to any tradition. This vegan version is a great choice when you want something easy and hearty.
Jamaican-Inspired Rice and Red Beans: This is a shortcut and slightly Americanized version of Jamaica’s national dish, simply called “rice and peas” in the island nation.
Vegan Hot Dog Fried Rice: I’m not making this recipe up! Hot dog fried rice is a thing, and this plant-based version seems like it shouldn’t work — but does.
Spinach Lemon Rice with Fresh Herbs: A great rice side dish incorporating the fresh flavors of citrus and herbs. Why serve plain rice when it’s so easy to embellish it?
Mujaddara (Middle Eastern Rice with Lentils): This traditional Middle Eastern dish, is sometimes made with rice, or, in certain regional variations, with cracked wheat or bulgur. Either way, the grain is combined with lentils and lots of onions browned in olive oil.
Teriyaki-Flavored Vegan Fried Rice and Tofu: Here’s a sturdy weekday dinner main dish, embellished with bell pepper and peanuts. Having the rice cooked ahead of time makes it a breeze to prepare and is good with white or brown rice.
Vegan Burrito Bowls (with Salsa Rice and Plant-Based Protein: Vegan burrito bowls offer all the great flavors of vegetable burritos — and then some. Burrito bowls, popularized by Chipotle, have become quite popular on food sites around the web; this one is plant-based all the way.
Vegan Korean Beef-Less Rice Bowls: Korean Beef Bowl is an easy recipe to convert to a completely meatless version. And here we have it — a vegan Korean beef-less rice bowl for an easy weeknight meal.
Nori Rice Bowls with Tofu, Cucumber, & Avocado: Simple rice bowls are subtly infused with the tasty sea vegetable, nori. Embellished with crispy tofu, cucumber, and avocado, it’s a bit like veggie sushi deconstructed.
Vegan Mexican Rice Bowl: This colorful vegan Mexican rice bowl, filled with fresh flavor and great texture, makes an easy and affordable everyday main dish. Contributed by Toni Okamoto, author of Plant-Based on a Budget.
Southwestern Cheesy Vegan Rice Casserole: In this Southwestern cheesy vegan rice casserole, salsa and cilantro add a vivid flavor to a simple preparation. This is a great dish to serve with a colorful salad or a dish featuring black beans.
Cheesy Vegan Broccoli Rice Casserole: A cozy recipe inspired by the kind you’d find in spiral-bound community cookbooks, this cheesy vegan broccoli rice casserole is easy to transform from the original version. With plenty of broccoli and parsley, this plant-based green rice casserole is wholesome as well as somewhat addictive!
Brown and Wild Rice Stuffed Peppers: Peppers stuffed with two kinds of rice might just be the perfect vegan (and gluten-free) main dish to serve for holidays and special occasions.
Salads & Soup
Rice and Corn Salad with Black and Green Olives: A great way to use up leftover rice, this rice and corn salad is a great warm weather main dish. Lemony and fresh tasting, this rice salad is for olive fans.
Vegetable Sushi Salad (aka Deconstructed Sushi Bowl): Here’s a fun and economical way to enjoy the flavors of vegetable sushi but not the mess of making it — a tasty vegetable sushi salad featuring rice, avocado, carrots, cucumber, and nori. Also known as deconstructed sushi bowl, this version is quick to prepare once you have your rice cooked (it’s also a great way to use up leftover rice).
Thyme-Scented Tomato Brown Rice Soup: Tomato brown rice soup features a classic pair of ingredients that just made for each other. Swapping in brown rice for the usual white rice makes a comfort soup classic even heartier and more wholesome.