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Enhance Recipes: 5 BEST Substitutes for White Rice

Have you ever wondered what dishes can be made with white rice?

White rice forms an integral part of most cuisines and can be used in a variety of recipes.

Despite this fact though, there are quite a few people seeking healthier alternatives when it comes to their diet but also ensuring that their alternative does not compromise on the taste.

A great substitute for white rice is quinoa as it is packed with lots of nutrients and protein, making it a much healthier option.

Other alternatives such as wild or brown rice are great options too, along with cauliflower or barley which both give dish variation in flavor.

Ultimately, the best substitutes for white rice depend on your individual tastes so ensure you try out various swaps before settling for one.

What is White Rice?

what is white rice

White rice is one of the most popular grains in the world.

It’s a type of rice that has been milled to remove its husk, bran, and germ layer, resulting in a white grain with simpler flavors.

White rice is used in many dishes around the world and can be prepared in a variety of ways.

This type of rice is usually found as long grain, short grain and basmati.

Long-grain white rice is characterized by its individual or fluffy grains after cooking; short-grain has a tendency to clump together when cooked; and basmati has its own unique nutty flavor when boiled.

It can be boiled, steamed, fried or made into risotto-style dishes — all resulting in slightly different flavors and textures.

Boiling or steaming it in large pots was traditionally how it was made for large groups of diners.

When eating white rice by itself, you may want to add creamy butter or extra virgin olive oil so it won’t taste dry.

Generally speaking, make sure to plan your meal before cooking the perfect amount of white rice according to your recipe requirements — it’s an ingredient that hardens quickly if left out too long.

It also keeps really well once cooked and can last up 3 days stored in an airtight container if refrigerated promptly after finished cooking.

The 5 Best Substitutes for White Rice

These five substitutes for white rice are the perfect solutions for those seeking to add healthier grains into their diets without sacrificing flavor or texture:

1 – Brown Rice

brown rice

Brown rice is considered to be a much healthier alternative to white rice.

It has a higher fiber and nutrient content, including essential B vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus and several other minerals.

Brown rice also contains high levels of manganese and selenium.

While this type of rice can take some getting used to in terms of flavor and texture (it is chewier than white rice), it’s worth experimenting with if you want to cut down on the amount of white rice you eat or if you’re looking for healthier alternatives.

2 – Cauliflower Rice

cauliflower rice

Cauliflower rice is actually just grated or “riced” cauliflower florets.

It has a very mild flavor and an almost grain-like texture when cooked, making it an excellent substitute for those trying to reduce their carb intake.

Cauliflower rice can be cooked the same way as you would cook white rice — in boiling water or a bit of oil.

This type of rice is also easy to prepare ahead and freeze for later use, making it convenient for busy individuals who wish to ensure they are eating healthy during the week.

It is important to note that while cauliflower rice is lower in carbohydrates than traditional white rice, it still contains carbs so eating too much can still lead to storing fat.

3 – Quinoa


Quinoa is a seed that is packed with protein and nutrients and was supposedly a staple crop of the Incas.

It cooks in the same way as white rice does, but it does contain more nutrients than rice does.

It contains about twice as much fiber and protein compared to rice and can be cooked in about 15 minutes.

Quinoa has a nutty flavor that pairs well with light vegetables like peppers, onions, or mushrooms.

You can also add some herbs to this dish to give it a bit more zing.

Quinoa also takes dressings very well so you can give your dish an exciting new twist if you choose to take that route.

Quinoa might not be as affordable as some of the other options on this list, but it certainly has its benefits both in terms of its nutritional value and flavor.

4 – Broccoli Rice

broccoli rice

Broccoli Rice is a nutritious alternative to traditional white rice.

It’s made by combining steamed or raw broccoli with some of the same ingredients that are used in making regular rice, like butter and herbs.

Broccoli Rice has a nutty flavor and is packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

It’s low in calories and carbohydrates, so you can enjoy it without worrying about weight gain.

To make Broccoli Rice, start by steaming or boiling the broccoli until it’s tender.

Then mash it into small pieces to resemble the texture of rice grains.

Once you have mashed the broccoli into small pieces, add butter and herbs to taste and heat until everything is thoroughly combined.

You can also add vegetables to make your Broccoli Rice even healthier.

Serve hot with your favorite sauce or topping for a delicious meal that won’t leave you feeling guilty afterwards.

5 – Barley


Barley is one of the best grain substitutes for rice thanks to its high levels of dietary fiber.

Barley is also an excellent source of essential minerals like magnesium and iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc.

Grain-based dishes like risotto can be made with barley instead of rice – just make sure you choose pearled barley over pearl barley to get a similar texture.

It’s great in soups, stews, salads, and more.


In conclusion, white rice is a refined grain that has been stripped of most of its fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Although it is extremely popular its nutritional value is not ideal.

If you have been looking for healthier alternatives to white rice then try quinoa, couscous, millet, barley or bulgur wheat.

These all provide more nutrients and allow for a more varied diet. The options are limitless.

You can even use mashed potatoes or riced cauliflower as substitute for white rice to help increase the nutrient content of your meals.

There are plenty of delicious ways to enjoy your favorite dishes without compromising nutrition or flavor.

Whether you’re trying to add more variety in your diet or just looking for healthier options, white rice substitutes are an excellent way to get the nutrition you need with enjoyable flavors and textures.

substitutes for white rice

The 5 Best Substitutes for White Rice

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes


  • Brown Rice
  • Cauliflower Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Broccoli Rice
  • Barley


  • Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  • Organize all of your ingredients.
  • Use the proper substitute to cook your recipes.
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