You’re perhaps familiar with the concept of a veggie rice bowl, yes? It’s also known as a rice bowl, buddha bowls, whole bowls, burrito bowl, and hippy health food. But it can be whatever you want it to be.

Consider this veggie bowl recipe a blueprint for a plant-based meal, keeping in mind that ideally, a bowl contains rice and an array of vegetables that possess some sorta contrast in terms of taste and texture and even temperature. (Although if you don’t fancy raw vegetables, they can be lightly steamed or sautéed until they’re warmed through.)

This just happens to be a purple veggie bowl because author Allison Day happened to find a lot of that hue in her fridge one day. But you can make it a green bowl, orange bowl, red bowl, or any other color you desire given an assortment of similarly hued produce. And when you do that, kindly let us know in a comment below what your creation comprised.–David Leite

Veggie Rice Bowl FAQs

Can I substitute other vegetables or grains?

Absolutely. This particular combination makes a pretty spectacular-looking bowl, but you can use whatever you’ve got languishing in your fridge or pantry. Try swapping in shredded carrots, or roasted squash, or a different grain like quinoa or couscous.

How do you make balsamic glaze?

Gorgeously eggplant-purple, jammy, and sweet, balsamic glaze can be drizzled over any veggie bowl, savory or sweet to lend it a striking appearance and pronounced tang.

In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup balsamic vinegar to a boil (turn on your exhaust fan and stand back so you don’t choke on the vinegar steam). Reduce the heat to medium and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup, 10 to 15 minutes. Store in a glass jar in the pantry for up to 6 months.

A veggie rice bowl filled with cabbage, rice, chickpeas, hazelnuts, and cilantro on a wooden table.

Veggie Rice Bowl

5 from 1 vote
This veggie bowl is chock-full of good-for-you ingredients, including brown rice, chickpeas, vegetables, and nuts.
David Leite
Servings1 servings
Calories557 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 45 minutes


  • 1 red beet, unpeeled, ends trimmed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup uncooked short grain brown rice
  • 1/2 cup canned or freshly cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded red cabbage 
  • 4 radishes, quartered 
  • 1/4 cup roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped (or substitute almonds)
  • 2 sprigs fresh cilantro 
  • Your favorite vinaigrette
  • Aged balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze, (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF (204ºC).
  • Crunch the beet up in a sheet of aluminum foil and roast until tender when pierced with a knife, anywhere from 1 to 2 hours, depending on the size and age of the beet.
  • Carefully unwrap the beet and let it cool until you can handle it. Grab a paper towel and give the beet a scrub or slip the peel right off with the paper towel. (Be forewarned that the beet will stain your fingertips.) Slice the beets into wedges.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the water and rice to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • In a bowl or soup plate, arrange sections of cooked brown rice, roasted beet, chickpeas, cabbage, radishes, and radicchio. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and sprinkle with the hazelnuts and cilantro. Dribble with the balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze, if using.
Whole Bowls Cookbook

Adapted From

Whole Bowls

Buy On Amazon


Serving: 1 bowlCalories: 557 kcalCarbohydrates: 77 gProtein: 18 gFat: 22 gSaturated Fat: 2 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4 gMonounsaturated Fat: 15 gSodium: 98 mgPotassium: 1012 mgFiber: 14 gSugar: 13 gVitamin A: 853 IUVitamin C: 36 mgCalcium: 135 mgIron: 6 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2016 Allison Day. Photo © 2016 Allison Day. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This recipe for a healthy rice and veggie bowl with lots of flavors and textures can and should be used more as a guide than a strict plan. You may not have some of the ingredients on hand as some may be difficult to find and most can easily be substituted.

My local grocery store did not carry hazelnuts or hazelnut oil, and those are ingredients I would only purchase from a source that I trusted would have fresh product. It just so happened that I had freshly roasted almonds, so I used those for the crunch factor.

The recipe makes one ample serving and the whole meal, from start to finish as written took about 90 minutes to prep, cook, and assemble. (I recommend roasting your beets ahead of time.) I started with the beet, which I knew would take longest to cook. Next, I started the rice, which takes 40 minutes. (BTW, you might want to make a bit more rice for leftovers or additional portions.)

While I had my oven going for my beet, I quartered the head of radicchio, drizzled it with olive oil, sprinkled some salt and pepper, and stuck it in the oven, too. It took about 15 minutes to crisp up nicely. I also gave the chickpeas the same treatment and I highly recommend it as this dish could easily veer to the bland side of the street.

I ended up just drizzling a little vinegar over the top, which was much easier and added a nice pungent note. I definitely prefer a mixture of cooked and raw vegetables. If you weren’t trying to stick with the purple theme, I would think some sliced avocado would make this bowl just about perfect.

This complete veggie rice bowl is a nutritional powerhouse. And a tasty one at that! It includes so many different textures and would be easy to adapt to whatever vegetables you have lurking in your fridge. This makes 1 very filling serving. I made this rice bowl for dinner and I couldn’t finish it!

I served the dish as a hot-and-cold combo and the varying temperatures and textures were really good. I chose to use a whole-grain mustard vinaigrette and that worked great. The vinaigrette really made the vegetables pop. I had some ready-made balsamic glaze and that was awesome drizzled on top.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. This sounds like a wonderful recipe! But are you sure about the nutrition facts? I know that this bowl contains both nuts and plenty of complex carbs. But 1034 calories per serving doesn’t sound right.

    1. rina, it does sound like a lot. I double-checked our nutrition calculator and all the ingredients are listed correctly. Do keep in mind that brown rice is listed as uncooked, which contributes significantly to the calorie count along with the chickpeas and nuts. With a drizzle of vinaigrette, the nutritional information is quite accurate.

  2. 5 stars
    Why stop at rice? I like my veggie bowls with quinoa, but have also used whatever grains I have on hand. It could be rice, barley, farro, etc. Balsamic glaze over the bowl sounds delicious, and I will be trying this one soon!

    1. Exactly, Lisa. Love the way you’re thinking. And have also blended quinoa with brown rice. And I love a blend of farro, barley, white and brown rice, steel-cut oats, and winter wheat. There’s no end to the options!