The Best Simple Rice Substitutes

rice substitutes

Is your supermarket all out of rice? Mine too! But it’s OK there are plenty of delicious rice substitutes, many of them more nutritious (and quicker to cook!) than this humble grain.

The Best Rice Substitutes – Steamed or Fried Rice

1. Couscous

Quicker to cook than rice, couscous provides the same blank canvas and substance you get from steamed rice. Just cook as per the packet.

2. Risoni

Pasta that’s shaped like little grains of rice. I like to toss in a little butter or oil to stop it sticking.

3. Quinoa

Steamed quinoa has a stronger flavour and chewier texture than rice. But it’s an excellent steamed rice substitute and has the added advantage of slightly more nutrition with more fiber and protein.

If you’re new to cooking quinoa see The Easiest Way to Cook Quinoa

The Best Low Carb Rice Substitutes

1. Skip it

Do you really need that big pile of rice with your curry or stir fry? You’d be surprised how you don’t even miss it by just leaving out the rice.

2. Extra Veg

MY favourite low carb rice substitute is to serve extra veg with the meal. If it’s a stir fry I add extra veg to the wok. But if it’s a curry or another type of sauce based dish, I serve on a bed of baby spinach leaves if I’m in a hurry.

If I have more time I like finely shaved raw cabbage or some steamed broccoli. But any veg can be used.

3. Cauliflower ‘Rice’

A lot of low carb people swear by finely grated cauliflower as a substitute for rice. It looks incredibly similar and can taste delicious, especially with a rich full flavoured curry. Just be careful if you are susceptible to bloating or IBS symptoms like my husband.

4. Roast Nuts

If I want to make a meal more substantial without resorting to adding rice and causing havoc with my blood sugar, nuts are my go-to. A handful of roast cashews, walnuts, macadamias or almond will prove the extra calories and bulk. Plus they’ll taste delicious as well.

The Best Rice Substitutes – Risotto

1. Red Lentils

Red lentils are an awesome alternative to risotto. They cook down into a similar comforting oozy texture but they’re way more nutritious. More fiber, more protein and less carbs. Win!

See my recipes for Red Lentil ‘Risotto‘ or Oozy Red Lentil ‘Risotto’ with Red Wine & Sausages to get you started.

2. Oats / Oatmeal

Ever tried a savoury version of oatmeal (porridge)? Well now’s your chance!

While I don’t personally have any oat-risotto recipes I’d recommend starting with this delicious sounding savoury oatmeal from Cookie + Kate.

More Ingredient Substitutes

Also see see the Simple Ingredients Substitutes Index.

Have fun in the kitchen!

With love,
Jules x

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