You’d think with a bed of plain brown rice and ho-hum unflavored black beans, that this dish might be bland, but the blank canvas of the rice and beans balances beautifully with the explosive, spicy flavors of the roasted veggies. And just like with your favorite taco or burrito, you can doctor it up to be exactly what you want. Add a touch of salsa, a dollop of sour cream, some cheese, cilantro, or avocado to really make the rice bowl your own.
Why should I make these roasted vegetable rice bowls?
Grain bowls like these are great because they:
Are nourishing and nutritionally balanced.
All those veggies combined with hearty whole grains and a meatless source of protein make this one great dish. In one serving, you’ll get over half of your daily recommended allowance of dietary fiber. And my favorite part—each bowl has a whopping 17 grams of lean, plant-based protein—making this a perfect dish for Meatless Monday! You’ll also snag 112% of your daily allowance of vitamin A in just one bowl. Why is getting vitamin A important? Well, vitamin A is one of the nutrients that our body can’t create itself, so we have to get it solely through dietary sources. Vitamin A is really important to help keep your eyes, skin, bones, and immune system healthy.
Perfect for meal prep.
Cook the beans, rice, and vegetables on the weekend, and you’ll have easy lunches or weeknight dinners for the entire week!
When different family members have different tastes, build-a-meal dinners like these are perfect. Someone doesn’t like beans? They can just make their bowl with rice and veggies. Someone is dairy-free or vegan? They can skip the sour cream and cheese toppings. And so on.
Make great leftovers.
This dish not only made for a great lunch, but it also made for a great dinner the next day and a great lunch the day after that, and as an awesome side dish the day after that. This is one of those recipes that makes a ton, and you can stash that in the fridge for easy-peasy eating all week-long.
What kinds of vegetables are in these rice bowls?
While the lime helps set the flavor of the bowls off, the real flavor superstar of them are the roasted veggies. I roasted sweet potatoes with garlic, jalapeno peppers, red onion, and red peppers. Before popping them in the oven, I tossed the veggies in olive oil and a spice mixture that adds an incredible amount of flavor to the final rice bowls.
But don’t feel limited to what I used! Vegetables that are delicious in rice bowls include:
- Sweet potatoes, like I did here
- Brussels sprouts
- Butternut squash, cut into cubes
Do I need canned or dried beans?
These rice bowls get a hefty source of protein from black beans. For simplicity, you can absolutely just drain and rinse some canned black beans. But if you want to give the bowls even more flavor, we recommend cooking seasoned black beans. We like to do big batches on the weekend to stash in the fridge or freeze for later!
How do I store the leftovers?
Sure, I made it all look pretty in the bowl for these pictures, but for fridge-storage, I just stir the brown rice, black beans, and roasted veggies all together in a big bowl and stuff it in the fridge. When it’s time to eat, I just heat up the mixture, put a few of my favorite toppings on it and a fiber-packed, protein-filled, flavorful, vegetarian lunch is served. I love that it’s a one-bowl kinda meal. No need to pack veggies or crackers or anything for the side. Gosh, I love easy meals.
What else can I add to these rice bowls?
Our favorite ways to top these rice bowls are sour cream, cheese, cilantro, sliced avocado, and lime—they all complement the spices and burrito bowl flavors of the beans and veggies. But you could also top them with:
- Fried eggs
- Shredded lettuce
- Sliced green onions
- Chili-lime vinaigrette, ranch dressing, or another sauce