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How to Make Rainbow Rice Bowls

How to Make Rainbow Rice Bowls

For a light, satisfying meal, grain bowls are the way to go. Not only are they nutritious and on-trend (just take a peek at the menus of the all-day cafes popping up everywhere), but they’re also family-friendly: Everyone can add the toppings they like, and leave out those they don’t. To make grain bowls even more fun and visually appealing, try making them with rainbow rice, grains of white rice that have been dyed fantastic colors using natural pigments from food.


It’s easier than it sounds! Learn how to make rainbow rice bowls in three easy steps:


The ingredients:


  • For purple rice: red/purple cabbage and white vinegar
  • For pink rice: red beets
  • For yellow rice: green tops of carrots or saffron threads
  • For best results, use classic white rice. Brown or wild rice will not become as vividly colored.


The method:


Finely slice or chop about a cup of whatever vegetable element you’re using to color the rice. If you’re using saffron threads to make yellow rice, you only need a few strands.


Following the instructions on the rice’s packaging, measure enough water to cook the rice and pour into a medium pot over high heat.


When the water comes to a boil, pour the rice in and turn the heat down to low. Put the vegetable ingredient into a fine mesh colander that can fit neatly over the pot. You want the vegetables to be mostly submerged in the water. If using cabbage, drizzle about a teaspoon of white vinegar over the top. If using saffron, place the threads directly into the pot.



Allow the vegetables to simmer gently in the water with the rice. Once the water is dyed, remove the colander, cover the rice, and allow to simmer until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. The rice should have absorbed the color of the water to turn purple, pale pink, or bright yellow.



Fluff the rainbow rice gently with a fork, and then scoop into individual dishes as the base of your grain bowls.


Topping ideas






  • Steamed edamame
  • Spiralized carrots and zucchini
  • Julienned cucumbers
  • Sliced avocado
  • Pickled cabbage or kimchi
  • Sliced bell peppers
  • Finely shredded kale
  • Thinly sliced radishes



  • Crispy shallots
  • Mung bean sprouts
  • Microgreens
  • Toasted sesame or sunflower seeds or peanuts
  • Pickled ginger
  • Fresh cilantro, mint, or basil
  • Lime wedge




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