This large batch rice recipe is veggie-packed, vegan, and can make enough to feed you throughout the week. Substitutions are included in the recipe notes!
Versatile & Meal Prep Friendly Veggie Rice
This is a meal prep recipe that can easily be adapted to supplement different proteins and side dishes throughout the week, or to be used as is for a delicious and healthy meal prep lunch!
It’s flavor profile is flexible and truly can be made into a side dish or entrée with anything. Similar to Spanish Rice, Spring Harvest Rice uses fresh tomatoes and a plethora of vegetables and spices.
Make as is and it will yield about 10 cups of rice.
Meal Prep Rice: Swap It Out
Not everyone likes peas and bell peppers, and that’s a-okay with me! Here’s a few substitution ideas to suit your tastes.
- Instead of PEAS try edamame or sliced snap peas
- Instead of BELL PEPPERS try carrots and celery
- Instead of RICE try farro, barley, quinoa or couscous. Cook according to package directions and follow the rest of the recipe as written.
When swapping vegetables in this recipe, keep the measurements the same. This will ensure your rice comes out as tasty as possible!
Additionally, I encourage you to use simply whatever you have on hand. Even if it’s a combination of the vegetables in your fridge to match the measurements in the recipe – that’s great! You’ll prep a delicious rice dish and cut down on food waste. Win-win.
See recipe for a full list of substitutions.
Spring Harvest Rice Meal Ideas
Here’s a few ways you can make this recipe a meal.
Wrap rice with black or refried beans in a flour tortilla topped with shredded cheese for an easy vegetarian burrito.
Serve with rotisserie chicken for an easy weeknight dinner.
The Cooking Process
To make this rice the best it can be, the vegetables need time to simmer. Put the pot on while you’re doing other things around the house, and check it periodically. You won’t need to watch it the entire time it cooks, so it’s good to cook when you’re already at home and can peek in on it every once in a while.
Browse through the photos below to see different phases of the cooking process and the final product.
There’s no replacement for time when cooking. Each step of the recipe builds a layer of flavor, toasting the spices, sautéing the aromatics, and then adding the fresh tomatoes and allowing them to cook down. The result is a lightly spiced, flavorful rice packed with vegetables. It’s a hearty, flavorful dish.
- 6 cups cooked rice (white or brown) 3 cups uncooked
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups fresh tomato diced (subsitute canned)
- ½ red bell pepper diced
- 1 lb frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon parsley
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- First, cook your rice. I prefer using an Instant Pot, or Rice Cooker, but you are welcome to use any method you'd like, including microwaved steamed rice (no shame in shortcuts). Substitute couscous, farro, or barley and cook according to package directions. Set aside for now.
- In a large, heavy bottomed pot, or dutch oven over medium/medium high heat add oregano, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika and cumin. Toast briefly (a minute or less) to bolster their flavors. Next, add in 3 tablespoons of olive oil, or preferred cooking oil, and heat until shimmering.
- Add diced onion, garlic, and bell peppers. Sauté until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and simmer uncovered over medium heat about 30-40 minutes, until tomatoes are cooked down and there is minimal liquid left in the pot. Simply put, it should look less like tomato sauce and more like a big pot of sautéed vegetables.
- Incorporate the bag of frozen peas and salt and pepper. Mix well to combine and defrost the peas.When using frozen peas, it's best to add them at the last minute. If they cook too long, they turn mushy!
- Add the rice 1-2 cups at a time, mixing well. Be sure to break up the chunks of rice to blend with the vegetables. Repeat the process until all of the cooked rice is incorporated. Done!
- Substitute rice for farro, barley, quinoa, or couscous. Cook according to package directions.
- Combine any of your preferred spices for a custom blend. Add some cayenne if you enjoy heat, or swap basil for paprika if you prefer things more mild.
- Substitute sliced snap peas or edamame for frozen peas, if preferred.
- Substitute carrots and celery for bell peppers, maintaining measurements.
Have you tried this recipe? What substitutions did you make? Let us know how you liked it in the comments below!