Ask anyone in Asia (or the world) what the most important food crop on the planet is, and you’re likely to hear the word “rice” every single time. Rice not only accounts for nearly 70 percent of human caloric intake, but approximately 3 billion people depend on it for survival.
Most every culture has its own particular method (or several) of preparing rice — it can become sweet, savory, sticky, crispy, and even creamy, depending on how you treat it. Today we wanted to highlight rice’s malleability, and its capacity to transform into a variety of different comforting and cozy meals. While you may associate comfort food with pizza, veggie burgers, ice cream, and mac and cheese, there are so many comfort food rice recipes! Think about it. Who doesn’t love rice? It’s versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes because it is easily flavored. Check out our 15 favorite comfort food rice recipes that incorporate autumn flavors below, and let us know which ones you’re excited to make at home!
1. Chili Cornbread Casserole
The only thing more delicious than golden cornbread dipped in chili is a Chili Cornbread Casserole! The hearty chili is made with rice, kidney beans, crushed tomatoes, and plenty of seasoning. As is, this recipe is ridiculously easy and minimalist. Add some sautéed green peppers and onions into the chili mix if you want to amp it up a bit.
2. Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash
This Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe pops in your mouth and is flavored with a triad of spices: sage, rosemary, and thyme. They’re mixed with the rice, along with celery and onion in a blend that tastes remarkably like bread stuffing and then baked in a roasted acorn squash half. It all comes together perfectly: the stuffing doesn’t overcook inside the tender and sweet squash.
3. Vegetable Paella Risotto
This fusion dish combines the best of the worlds. This Vegetable Paella Risotto has a creamy texture like risotto and the savory flavors of paella without the dairy or seafood. What’s the secret? Smoked paprika. This dinner entrée is so flavorful, packed with vegetables, and not to mention, easier than traditional risotto.
4. Bisi Bele Bath: Indian One-Pot Spicy Rice and Lentils
This Indian dish, traditionally called Bisi Bele Bath, literally translates to hot lentil rice dish, which is perfect because that’s exactly what it is. It’s a spicy, healthy, nutritious, and flavorful one-pot meal prepared using aromatic spices and vegetables of your choice.
5. Mixed Herb Lentil and Wild Rice Soup
This Mixed Herb Lentil and Wild Rice Soup definitely hits the spot. With sweet potato, carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, and mixed beans, this soup is filled with wholesome nutritional goodness! Adjust the spiciness level to your liking!
6. Sweet Potato ‘Rice’ Casserole
Sweet Potato ‘Rice’ Casserole is a filling and surprising meal. Surprising? Yes! You won’t believe it’s not real rice! The sweet potato rice cooks to a perfect consistency in 40 minutes in the oven and the savory flavors from the vegan mozzarella and pesto pair well with the sweetness that comes from the potato when roasting.
7. Lemony Butternut Squash Risotto
Lemony Butternut Squash Risotto has so much going for it: tons of flavor from the slow-cooked onions, garlic, and rosemary, a super creamy texture from the pumpkin, and a cheesy flavor from the nutritional yeast. Adding the zest and juice of a whole lemon gives it just the right kick!
8. Golden Rice Pudding With Turmeric, Ginger, and Pink Peppercorns
Golden Rice Pudding With Turmeric, Ginger, and Pink Peppercorns is a spin on the Ayurvedic turmeric-based beverage, golden milk. This lightly-sweetened pudding is a medley of flavor with turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, peppercorn, and ginger. It’s a health-promoting treat that’s perfect for anytime.
9. Turkish Stuffed Peppers
These yummy Stuffed Peppers are served Turkish-style with currants, pine nuts, dried mint, allspice, and dill. It’s an aromatic and delicious dish that’s not only simple to make, it’s delicious! These are made using dolmalik biber, a type of Turkish pepper with thin walls, but regular bell peppers work just as well.
10. Fall Harvest Collard Green Rolls
Fall Harvest Collard Green Rolls feature seasonal wild rice pilaf rolled into collard leaves for handheld packages of seasonal goodness! Acorn squash, pecans, dried cranberry, and shredded carrot are stuffed into each collard leaf. For added fall flavor, make the cranberry balsamic sauce for dipping/spreading/eating straight out of the jar with a spoon!
11. Creamy Grilled Zucchini Tomato Risotto
Creamy Grilled Zucchini Tomato Risotto is perfect for when you want something cooked on the table in less than 30 minutes. The tomato-based dish also contains grilled zucchini and peas, herbs, spices, and not much more, so it’s an easy one-pan meal for when you’re cooking for two, or even just for one.
12. Wild Rice Pilaf With Butternut Squash, Cranberries, and Pecans
With lemon and orange juices, fresh ginger and spices, this Wild Rice Pilaf With Butternut Squash, Cranberries, and Pecans produces a shock of delicious flavor.
13. Roasted Brussels Sprouts Brown Rice Salad With Sesame Orange Dressing
Not only will this Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Brown Rice Salad change the way you think about salad, it’ll change the way you roast Brussels sprouts. Spinach and fresh veggies are combined with nutty brown rice with the most perfect roast Brussels sprouts you’ll ever taste. Seriously — if you’ve never cared for Brussels, this salad is the place to try them.
14. Bibingkang Malagkit: Filipino Rice Cake With Caramelized Coconut
Bibingkang Malagkit: Filipino Rice Cake With Caramelized Coconut is one of the several types of rice cakes hailing from the Philippines. It’s made from a simple combination of coconut milk and glutinous rice that is baked and then topped with a rich coconut caramel sauce. The cake itself is thick and chewy while the topping is crispy and caramelized.
15. Cheesy Broccoli Brown Rice Bake
For a simple and nourishing dinner, you can’t go wrong with this Easy Cheesy Broccoli Brown Rice Bake. It’s easy as can be, especially if you cook the brown rice in advance. Lots of broccoli-rice dishes require pre-blanching the broccoli or sautéing garlic and onions, but I was in no mood for that many steps when I made this dinner. No, this dish is just about as simple as it gets! You pretty much just mix brown rice and broccoli in a casserole dish and stir it up with a basic cheesy sauce. Easy peasy.
Want more comfort food rice recipes? Broaden your rice repertoire and learn how to also make recipes with Rice Flour, Black Rice, and Wild Rice. We also recommend trying these 25 Exciting Rice Recipes.
We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!
Lead image source: Lemony Butternut Squash Risotto