Brown Rice For Breakfast: 7 Recipes Full of Whole Grain Goodness

Brown rice is highly versatile, easily finding its way into dishes both sweet and savory, making it a welcome addition to your morning breakfast. This chewy, nutty whole grain has long been a favorite among healthy eaters for its wide-ranging nutritional benefits: Each 216-calorie cup of cooked brown rice contains 5 grams of protein and 3.5 grams of fiber, plus 45 grams of carbohydrates, to keep you energized for hours.

Try brown rice in these 7 breakfast recipes to feel satisfied, energized, and ready to seize the day.

Source: iStock

Breakfast Fried Brown Rice

Here’s a savory, vegetarian-friendly dish that can make great use of leftover brown rice. Protein-rich eggs and spinach come together here with thinly-sliced scallions and light seasonings to make a simple and satisfying morning dish. Food & Wine’s recipe serves 2 and takes 50 minutes to complete (or just 15 minutes if you already have cooked rice on hand). Each serving has 483 calories and 14 grams of protein.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup short-grain brown rice (or 3½ cups cold cooked brown rice)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon untoasted sesame oil or peanut oil
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus more for serving
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Hot sauce, for serving

Directions: In a medium saucepan, combine the rice with the water and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook the rice over low heat until tender, about 30 minutes; drain.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the sesame oil until shimmering. Add the scallions and cook over moderate heat until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the cooked brown rice, vinegar, and soy sauce, and cook until rice is heated through, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes longer.

Push the cooked rice mixture to the sides of the skillet and add the lightly beaten eggs to the middle, stirring until cooked, 1 minute. Mix the eggs with the rice. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot with soy sauce and hot sauce.

Source: Thinkstock

Honey Banana Rice Pudding

Give your brown rice a sweet spin with a light and tasty honey banana breakfast pudding. Simply add a few ingredients to your cooked brown rice to make a warm, fruity breakfast porridge, and be sure to mash half of your banana for additional texture. It’s filling, healthy, and delicious — all the best qualities a breakfast can have. Dessert For Two’s simple recipe takes 15 minutes to complete and yields 2 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups cooked brown rice (cold)
  • 1 cup milk (any kind)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 banana (half mashed, half sliced)
  • Garnishes: dried fruits, nuts, extra honey

Directions: In a small saucepan, combine the brown rice, milk, butter, and cinnamon. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally. Stir in the mashed banana and the honey. Cook about 1 minute to thicken.

Divide between two bowls, and top with your choice of garnishes and the remaining banana slices.

Source: Thinkstock

Zucchini and Kimchi Quiche With a Brown Rice Crust

Closet Cooking shares a savory breakfast inspired by Korean and French cuisines. The dish is a unique spin on the savory egg-and-cheese-based quiche, using Gruyere and Korean kimchi — a spiced and pickled cabbage, available at most Asian markets — to craft its flavorful filling. An understated brown rice crust complements the dish. Recipe takes 45 minutes to complete and yields about 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • ¼ cup Gruyere, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup Gruyere, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup kimchi, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup zucchini, grated, squeezed, and drained
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: Mix the rice, cheese, and egg in a bowl. Press the rice mixture into a pie plate, about ¼ inch thick.

Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit until the edges and bottom just start turning golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Mix the eggs, milk, Gruyere, garlic, kimchi, zucchini, green onions, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Pour the egg mixture into the pie crust.

Reduce heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown and set in the center, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Source: iStock

Tropical Breakfast Quinoa and Brown Rice

Enjoy the flavors of the tropics with a fruity brown rice and quinoa fusion from Hummusapien. Coconut and mango flavors will have you daydreaming of sun-baked islands. Sure, we’ll have to come back down to earth eventually — but no need to rush through breakfast to get there. Recipe takes an hour to make and yields 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 2¼ cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ¾ cup long-grain brown rice
  • ¼ cup quinoa
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 large mango, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: Bring coconut milk, almond milk, rice, and quinoa to a boil in a medium pot. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low. Stir in coconut, flax, and maple syrup.

Simmer, uncovered, for about 45 to 55 minutes (stirring every 10 minutes or so), or until rice is tender. Feel free to add more almond milk if necessary.

Once everything is cooked through, stir in vanilla extract and cubed mango. Serve warm topped with more shredded coconut and mango, if desired.

Source: iStock

Chipotle Sweet Potato and Brown Rice Egg Skillet

So far we’ve seen some sweet recipes and some savory, but why not try a combination of both? The powerfully zesty flavors of chipotle powder and poblano pepper mix here with delightfully earthy sweet potato. Eggs, avocado, cotija, cilantro, and lime round out the recipe’s Mexican feel. For all its wonderful textures and flavors, this recipe from Naturally Ella is healthful and vegetarian-friendly. Dish takes 30 minutes to complete and serves 1 to 2.

Ingredients:

  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ red onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced poblano pepper
  • 1 medium sweet potato, shredded
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon chipotle powder and water
  • Juice from one lime
  • ½ cup cooked brown rice
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons crumbled cojita cheese

Directions: In an 8-inch cast-iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and peppers, cooking for 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in shredded sweet potatoes, juice from 1 lime, and 2 tablespoons water. Cover and let cook for 4 to 5 minutes, just until sweet potatoes are becoming soft.

Stir in the cooked brown rice and cilantro. Make a well in the center of the pan and crack both the eggs in. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and let cook until egg whites are set and yolk is done to desired firmness, 7 to 12 minutes.

Serve with wedges of avocado, a sprinkle of cojita cheese, cilantro, and a bit of extra lime juice

Source: Thinkstock

Maple Fruit and Nut Brown Rice

Gluten-free eaters will love this dish, comprised of brown rice, coconut flakes, almonds, raisins, and just enough maple syrup to give it a superbly sweet ending. If you make your brown rice the nice before, you’ll be able to whip together this dish in the morning in a snap. You can also pre-make the dish and serve it cold. Wonky Wonderful’s dish takes 45 minutes to complete (including rice cooking time) and yields 2 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut chips
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • Pinch of cinnamon (optional)
  • Pinch of salt

Directions: Cook brown rice in water according to package directions. Once the rice is finished cooking, add the coconut milk, coconut chips, maple syrup, almonds, raisins, cinnamon, and salt.

Stir and cook over medium-low heat until the coconut milk begins to absorb and the mixture thickens, about 5 to 10 minutes. Serve warm. Top with additional coconut chips, almonds, a drizzle of maple syrup, and a splash of coconut milk.

Source: iStock

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Granola Bars 

After puffing some brown rice at home using these simple steps, you’ll open up a new world of ways to use the whole grain. Puffing rice at home will lend the bars a slightly chewier, more breakfast-suitable flavor. On top of their wonderful chewiness, these bars offer the never-fail combination of chocolate and peanut butter, with a crunchy peanut finish for the perfect texture. Honey and Figs Kitchen’s recipe takes 20 minutes, plus rice-puffing time, and yields 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups puffed brown rice
  • 1 cup rolled oats, toasted
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ⅛ cup shelled peanuts
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate
Directions: Chop the peanuts and chocolate. Warm peanut butter and honey and pour the on the puffed rice and oats. Stir to form a cohesive dough and add chopped peanuts and chocolate chunks. Press into a pan and chill overnight. Cut into squares and enjoy! 

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