Whether it’s sautéed with black beans, rolled into sushi, or stirred into risotto, rice is one of the most beloved and popular starches out there. So if you’re going low-carb or grain-free (Paleo and Whole30-ers, we’re lookin’ at you!) and thinking longingly of your favorite rice recipes, we get it—and have a few pretty delicious solutions. These seven vegetable rice recipes may look and taste like your favorite rice dishes, but they use riced veggies instead. Translation: They’re lighter, help you stick to your eating plan, and give you some extra fiber to boot. No more feeling deprived.
Is it a salad? Is it fried rice? Does it matter what we call it when a dish tastes (and looks) this good? Seasoned with an Asian-inspired dressing and topped with an egg, this colorful, tangy pile of pulverized beets and chopped spinach is too appetizing to resist.
Even if you aren’t watching your carbs, veggie rice recipes can totally be a part of your meal routine. Take this one—riced sweet potato makes sure you’re still satisfying your starchy cravings while giving you some healthy vitamin A and extra fiber as part of the deal.
Even people saying no to rice are bound to be hit with a serious urge for sushi every once in a while. That’s where cauliflower steps in. Taking the place of the grain in these veggie rolls, they mimic rice so well, it’s hard to tell that there’s anything unusual going on here. Don’t have a sushi rolling mat? Just toss everything together and call it a deconstructed sushi bowl!
If cauliflower can be turned into rice, why not its green cousin? Here, broccoli is blitzed in a food processor before getting tossed with fruit and nuts for a unique and refreshing combination.
Sure, most tabbouleh is usually made with bulgur wheat, but many recipes also use rice as their starch of choice. This Paleo version nixes grains entirely, going for pulsed zucchini instead. The veggie is used raw and dressed with fresh herbs and a zippy lemon dressing, meaning that this dish is entirely no-cook and ready in minutes.
This dairy- and grain-free dish gets its risotto-like texture from riced butternut squash, cooked down to tender in bone broth with mushrooms for a meaty bite. You’ll be surprised that a recipe made up almost entirely of vegetables can make such a filling meal.
Whether plantains are on your weekly grocery list or have never made it into to your kitchen, this is a great way to use them. Lightly stir-fried with steak and veggies, the starchier cousin of the banana makes for a perfect, grain-free substitute for this fried “rice.”