Is Rice Vegan? The Tasty Truth About This Plant-Based Staple


Jan. 8 2024, Published 1:03 p.m. ET

Hand holding rice grains above an open burlap sack filled with rice
Source: iStock

When you first adopt a plant-based lifestyle, it can often feel like you have more questions than answers. Is coffee vegan? Are bagels vegan? Is rice vegan? The list goes on

Well, today, we’ll answer at least one of those for you. We've also got a bunch of plant-based rice recipes to delight your taste buds and make your transition to a vegan diet easier.

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Three bowls of different types of rice on a table.
Source: iStock

Is rice vegan?

Yes, rice is one hundred percent vegan. Grown in rice paddies in various parts of the world, Britannica says the grain comes from the grass species Oryza sativa. Along with being suitable to eat on a plant-based diet, rice is also gluten-free and full of healthy goodness.

When preparing rice dishes, it's important to avoid adding animal-derived ingredients like meat, dairy, or eggs to keep the meal vegan-friendly. Instead, opt for plant-based add-ons like vegetables, tofu, or beans (canned or dried) to enhance the flavor and nutritional value.

Bowl of rice on a table.
Source: iStock

There are endless vegan rice recipes to try.

These delicious vegan rice recipes are perfect for impressing your friends or eating all by yourself on your “me time” date nights. (Because sometimes sharing is overrated.)

Vegan Rice-A-Roni

I just had to include this recipe from My Quiet Kitchen. I mean, who doesn’t have fond memories of Rice-A-Roni? Right? This healthy(ish) vegan take on the classic boxed version from your childhood is just as easy to make and has the same fluffy, buttery taste. (If you like it, you’ll probably love these vegan instant noodles.)

Vegan Kimchi Fried Rice

Got some leftover rice? This kimchi fried rice from Vegan Punks offers a quick and flavorful way to use it up. With a smattering of veggies, a simple stir-fry sauce, and the essential Korean ingredient of vegan kimchi (a well-known good mood food), it's a true taste sensation. Best of all, it’s ready in just 15 minutes!

Vegan Coconut Rice Pudding

Veggie World Recipes’ rich and creamy coconut rice pudding is easy to make and requires just a few simple ingredients. With a rich coconut flavor from the coconut cream and notes of vanilla and cinnamon, this decadent dessert is bound to be a hit with lovers of the traditional version.

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Vegan Rice Bowl

This straightforward rice bowl slash Asian-inspired salad from Lazy Cat Kitchen combines cooked rice, piles of fresh vegetables, and soy-marinated tofu into a bowl of heavenly goodness, and tops it with a tasty, spicy soy dressing.

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Autumn Squash Wild Rice Bake

Vegan Yack Attack’s autumn squash wild rice bake makes a simple, delicious dinner option. Packed with fall vegetables, this dump-and-bake dish features wild rice that is perfectly chewy, combined with a medley of autumn flavors.

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Easy Vegan Bean Burrito

This vegan bean burrito is kid-friendly and has a perfect balance of crunch, softness, heat, creaminess, and filling. If you love Mexican food but don't have much time, no problemo. You can make Nutritiously’s healthy take on a much-loved classic with just a few simple ingredients, one of which is brown rice!

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