Rainbow Rice

close up of rice with with green yellow and red vegetable mixed into it.

This recipe is from Good and Cheap.

Good and Cheap cover 2nd edition

Good and Cheap is a gorgeous cookbook for people with limited income, particularly on a $4/day food stamps budget. The PDF is free and has been downloaded more than 1,000,000 times. I have more cookbooks, too!

Here are three quick ways to make plain rice into beautiful, delicious rainbow rice. An early reader, Charles, said he loves rice with vegetables, but these treatments work for grains other than rice as well—everything from quinoa to barley to farro. Vegetables are a great way to liven up the usual rice and beans.


close up of rice with with green yellow and red vegetable mixed into it.
Rainbow Rice
Print Recipe
Here are three quick ways to make plain rice into beautiful, delicious rainbow rice. Vegetables are a great way to liven up the usual rice and beans.
Servings
2
Servings
2
close up of rice with with green yellow and red vegetable mixed into it.
Rainbow Rice
Print Recipe
Here are three quick ways to make plain rice into beautiful, delicious rainbow rice. Vegetables are a great way to liven up the usual rice and beans.
Servings
2
Servings
2
Ingredients
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups water
  • salt
Red Variation
  • 1 cup canned tomatoes puréed
Yellow Variation
  • 1 cup canned winter squash, pumpkin or sweet potato puréed
Green Variation
  • 1 cup frozen spinach, beet greens, chard or fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. To make normal rice, pour 2 cups of water into a pot with 1 cup of uncooked rice and two pinches of salt. That’ll be enough for two generous portions, or three or four smaller servings. With the lid off, bring to a low boil over medium heat, then turn the heat down to low and put the lid on slightly askew, so that the steam can escape. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the water is all gone.
Red Rice
  1. Stir the tomatoes with 1½ cups of water, then pour it into a pot with 1 cup of uncooked rice and two pinches of salt. Cook as above.
Yellow Rice
  1. Stir the squash, pumpkin, or sweet potato with 1½ cups of water, then pour it into a pot with 1 cup of uncooked rice and two pinches of salt. (You can also use frozen, boiled, or sautéed squash.) Cook as above.
Green Rice
  1. Chop up the spinach as much as you like. The more finely chopped, the more it will disperse into the rice. Cook normal rice, as above, for about 15 minutes, until most of the water is gone but not quite all. Mix the spinach into the rice. Cook with the lid off for the last 5 minutes. Adding the spinach at the end keeps it lush and bright, rather than the sad color of overcooked spinach.

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Leanne Brown

Hi! I'm Leanne Brown, a home cook in Brooklyn by way of Canada. I write cookbooks, like the one below!

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Good and Cheap cover 2nd edition

Good and Cheap is a gorgeous cookbook for people with limited income, particularly on a $4/day food stamps budget. The PDF is free and has been downloaded more than 1,000,000 times. I have more cookbooks, too!

Sign up for my newsletter!