substitute for rice in meal prep

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Are you looking for delicious substitutes for rice in your meal prep? Look no further! We have compiled a list of nine easy and healthy alternatives that will add variety to your diet.

Finding alternatives to rice in meal prep can help add variety to your diet and accommodate dietary needs. Here are 9 easy substitutes:

  1. Quinoa: A gluten-free seed that is higher in protein than rice.
  2. Riced cauliflower: A low-carb and low-calorie substitute that resembles cooked rice.
  3. Riced broccoli: Another low-carb and low-calorie option that is rich in vitamin C.
  4. Shirataki rice: Made from konjac root, this rice alternative is calorie-free and high in fiber.
  5. Barley: A grain that is similar in calories to rice but higher in protein and fiber.
  6. Whole-wheat couscous: A healthier option than regular couscous, as it is higher in fiber and protein.
  7. Chopped cabbage: Low in calories and carbs, chop cabbage and cook it until tender.
  8. Whole-wheat orzo: A pasta similar to rice in shape and texture, but higher in fiber and protein.
  9. Farro: A chewy grain that is high in protein and nutrients.

By incorporating these alternatives, you can enjoy a range of flavors and nutritional benefits in your meal prep.

Quinoa – A Gluten-Free Seed Packed with Protein

Quinoa is a fantastic substitute for rice in meal prep, as it offers a higher protein content and is gluten-free. This versatile seed is not only nutritious but also easy to cook and pair with a variety of flavors and ingredients. Whether you’re looking to add some extra protein to your meals or avoid gluten, quinoa is a smart choice.

The Benefits of Quinoa:

  • Higher in protein: Quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source. With approximately eight grams of protein per cooked cup, it surpasses the protein content of rice.
  • Gluten-free: For individuals with gluten sensitivities or those following a gluten-free diet, quinoa is a safe and delicious alternative. It allows you to enjoy a grain-like texture without any gluten-related issues.
  • Rich in nutrients: Quinoa is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is particularly high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, and iron, supporting overall health and well-being.

With its nutritional profile and versatile nature, quinoa can be used in various recipes, such as salads, stir-fries, and pilafs. It is a great addition to your meal prep routine, providing you with a satisfying and nutrient-dense alternative to rice.

Riced Cauliflower and Other Low-Carb Options

If you’re looking to reduce your carb intake in meal prep, riced cauliflower, riced broccoli, and shirataki rice are wonderful substitutes for rice. Riced cauliflower and riced broccoli are low-carb and low-calorie alternatives that closely resemble cooked rice in texture and appearance. They provide a great option for those watching their carbohydrate intake without sacrificing taste or nutrition.

Additionally, shirataki rice, made from konjac root, is an excellent choice for those looking to cut calories and increase their fiber consumption. This rice alternative is calorie-free and high in fiber, making it a perfect addition to your meal prep. Its unique texture and ability to absorb flavors make it a versatile substitute for rice in a variety of dishes.

By incorporating riced cauliflower, riced broccoli, and shirataki rice into your meal prep routine, you can enjoy delicious and satisfying meals while maintaining a low-carb lifestyle. These alternatives provide the perfect foundation for creative and healthy recipes, offering a range of flavors and textures to enhance your culinary experience.

Barley, Whole-Wheat Couscous, and Other Nutritious Alternatives

If you’re looking to experiment with different substitutes for rice, options like barley, whole-wheat couscous, chopped cabbage, whole-wheat orzo, and farro offer unique flavors and nutritional benefits.

Barley is a grain that can replace rice in your meal prep. It has a similar calorie content to rice but provides higher amounts of protein and fiber. These nutritional benefits make barley a great choice for those looking to add more protein and fiber to their diet.

Whole-wheat couscous is another excellent alternative to rice. It has a higher fiber and protein content compared to regular couscous, making it a healthier option. The texture and shape of whole-wheat couscous are similar to rice, allowing you to enjoy a similar eating experience.

For a low-calorie and low-carb substitute, consider using chopped cabbage in place of rice. When cooked until tender, chopped cabbage becomes a delicious and nutritious replacement. It adds a unique flavor and texture to your meal prep while keeping the calorie and carbohydrate intake low.

If you prefer pasta-like alternatives, whole-wheat orzo is a great choice. It has a similar shape and texture to rice but offers higher amounts of fiber and protein. Whole-wheat orzo is a versatile substitute that can be used in various dishes to add a nutritious twist to your meal prep.

Lastly, farro is a chewy grain that brings both flavor and nutrition to your meal prep. It is high in protein and nutrients, making it a valuable addition to your diet. Farro offers a distinct taste and texture, enhancing the overall experience of your meals.

By incorporating these alternatives into your meal prep, you can enjoy a range of flavors and nutritional benefits while exploring various options to substitute for rice. Whether you’re looking to increase protein and fiber intake or reduce calorie and carbohydrate consumption, these substitutes provide a fantastic way to diversify your diet and support your dietary goals.


Q: Are these substitutes suitable for people with dietary restrictions?

A: Yes, these alternatives to rice are suitable for people with dietary restrictions such as gluten-free, low-carb, and calorie-conscious diets.

Q: How do I cook quinoa?

A: To cook quinoa, rinse it under cold water, then add 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of quinoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender.

Q: Can I use riced cauliflower and riced broccoli in any rice dish?

A: Yes, riced cauliflower and riced broccoli can be used in any rice dish as a low-carb and low-calorie substitute. Simply cook them as you would cook rice and use them in your favorite recipes.

Q: How do I prepare shirataki rice?

A: Shirataki rice is usually sold pre-packaged in water. Before using it, rinse it thoroughly under cold water, then cook it in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Drain and pat dry before adding it to your dish.

Q: Is barley easy to incorporate into my meal prep?

A: Yes, barley is easy to incorporate into your meal prep. It can be cooked on the stovetop or in a rice cooker, and then used as a base for various dishes or added to salads and soups.

Q: How do I cook whole-wheat couscous?

A: To cook whole-wheat couscous, bring 1 1/4 cups of water to a boil. Stir in 1 cup of whole-wheat couscous, cover, and remove from heat. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork before serving.

Q: Can I use chopped cabbage as a substitute in stir-fries?

A: Yes, you can use chopped cabbage as a substitute in stir-fries. Simply cook it until tender, and it will add a delicious crunch to your dishes.

Q: How do I cook whole-wheat orzo?

A: To cook whole-wheat orzo, bring a pot of water to a boil and add the orzo. Cook for about 8-10 minutes until tender but still slightly firm. Drain and rinse with cold water before using it in your meal prep.

Q: How do I incorporate farro into my meal prep?

A: Farro can be cooked by simmering it in water or broth until tender, usually around 20-30 minutes. Once cooked, you can use it as a base for grain bowls, salads, soups, or as a side dish.

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