Healthy Swaps for White Rice

10 Healthy Alternatives To White Rice

White Rice Swaps

White rice is a cheap and easy starch many people choose to meal prep with, but there are healthier alternatives to white rice out there, and they could really transform your meals!

We’re not saying you should never eat white rice; rather we are giving you options, to try to make a healthier choice. Some of those options include; brown rice, quinoa, and cauliflower rice. And sweet potato rice...Have you heard of that?! Wow!

If you want to eat white rice, make sure to add plenty of veggies and herbs to increase the nutritional value of the meal prep. Keep your portion sizes in check by sticking to ¾-1 cup (cooked) per meal. You can also round out the white rice with the addition of beans to make the meal a complete source of protein, which is especially important for vegans.

Here are our favorite 10 Healthy Alternatives to White Rice, why they are healthy, and some recipe ideas on how to start using them in meal prep!

1. Red Or White Quinoa

Quinoa contains the second most protein of any grain and has all of the essential amino acids. It is also naturally gluten-free and high in fiber.

Quinoa - Alternatives To White Rice

2. Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower rice is a great, low carb alternative to rice. One serving contains a day worth of Vitamin C.

Cauliflower Rice in a food processor
How To Make Cauliflower Rice & Meal Prep With It
Related Article: How To Make Cauliflower Rice

3. Broccoli Rice 

Broccoli rice is another great low carb alternative full of fiber, plant-based protein and iron.

broccoli rice - Alternatives To White Rice

4. Brown Rice 

Brown rice is full of fiber to help your digestive system stay on track and keep you feeling full.

Brown Rice

5. Barley

Although not as popular as some of the other grains, barley provides a good serving of fiber and many other important minerals such as selenium.

Barley in a spoon

6. Couscous

Couscous is a type of pasta that is rich in calcium plus provides essential B vitamins

Couscous is an Alternative To White Rice

7. Farro

Farro is an easy to digest grain that is full of protein and iron.

Farro on a plate

8. Freekeh

Known as a super grain, Freekeh contains more protein and fiber than quinoa.

Freekeh is an Alternatives To White Rice

9. Sweet Potato Rice

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and dietary fiber

Sweet potato rice in a food processor

10. Bulgur Wheat

Also, know as cracked wheat, bulgur wheat is an excellent source of plant-based protein and provides over 25% of your daily fiber needs.

Picture of Burlgar Wheat

10 Healthy Alternatives To White Rice

Now that we know what the alternatives to white rice are and why they are good for us, let's check out how to use them! 

21 White Rice Free Meal Prep Recipes

Quinoa Recipes

One Pan Garlic Shrimp With Quinoa 

Quinoa Fruit Salad

Add some chicken to this for a well-rounded meal!

Cauliflower Rice Recipes

Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Whole30 Baked Buffalo Chicken Casserole 

21 Low Calorie But Still Awesome Casserole Recipes

Broccoli Rice Recipes

Stir Fry Pork and Broccoli Rice 

Low Carb Broccoli Crust Pizza 

Brown Rice Recipes

One Pot Lemon Herb Chicken & Rice 

Mexican Brown Rice Bake

Barley Recipes 

Barley Soup

Skillet Barley With Kale & Eggs 

Couscous Recipes

Crispy Parmesan Quinoa Cakes

These Couscous cakes are made with an Alternative To White Rice

Southwestern Black Bean Couscous Salad

Farro Recipes

Blueberry Farro Yogurt Bowl

Butternut Squash & Farro Chili

Freekeh Recipes 

Sweet Potato, Freekeh, and Pomegranate Salad 

Freekeh Cowgirl Salad

Sweet Potato Rice

Vegetarian Sweet Potato Fried Rice

sweet potato fried rice - alternative to white rice

Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls With Sweet Potato Rice

Sweet potato rice bowl

Bulgur Wheat

Cinnamon Banana Bulgur Breakfast

Bulgar wheat breakfast

Powerhouse Bulgur Salad With Orange Vinaigrette

Swap white rice in this Bulgar salad

And because we always like to give you a little something extra...Here is a 13th grain we love! 


Try out this new grain in A Black Rice & Lentil Salad! Keep the recipe as is for a vegan friendly option OR add in chicken or shrimp for a punch of protein! _ INGREDIENTS ½ cup black rice, 1 ¼ cups water Salt to taste ½ cup fresh or frozen edamame ½ cup @melissasproduce lentils  ¼ cup broken walnuts 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 1 teaspoon finely chopped or grated fresh ginger Soy sauce to taste (optional) 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil or walnut oil (substitute olive oil or grapeseed oil if you are allergic to tree nuts or sesame seeds) 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro METHOD: Combine the rice, water and salt to taste in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer 40 to 50 minutes, until all of the liquid in the pan has been absorbed by the rice. Remove from the heat. Remove the lid, place a clean dish towel over the pan and return the lid. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, if using frozen edamame, cook it, following the directions on the package. In a medium bowl, toss together the rice, edamame, lentils, walnuts and cilantro. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the rice vinegar, lime juice, ginger, soy sauce, cayenne, sesame or walnut oil and grapeseed oil. Toss with the salad. Refrigerate in a bowl or in containers until ready to take to work or eat. _ Recipe Credit: @nytimes

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    1. Hi Sheetal - brown basmati rice is a low glycemic food so this should be OK for a diabetic. However, please consult your physician if you are unsure if this food is right for your health.

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