This one pot rice dish is a staple for fall cooking in my home. Sauté onions and garlic, add in the other ingredients, cover, and let sit for 45 minutes. After that, all that’s left is to eat! The original version of this dish is based on this paella recipe but I’ve morphed it into a stove-top casserole dish as an easy adaptation. Rice and tomatoes cooked together can leave you with al dente rice but the secret is to make sure the rice is well coated with oil before adding the tomatoes. As a side note, our toddler also loves this one pot rice dish (as long as I use a mild curry powder)!
This vegetarian one pot rice dish is easy to throw together but is a well-balanced, filling meal. Make sure you use a solid curry powder- it can make or break the dish!
- 4 teaspoons olive oil divided
- 1/2 medium red onion minced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 cup short grain brown rice
- 1 1/2 cups 1/4-inch cubed butternut squash about 1/2 pound
- 1/2 cup chickpeas drained/rinsed if using canned
- 1 1/2 tablespoons mild curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3/4 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- Scallions for serving
- Cilantro for serving
In a 3 qt (or 5 qt) dutch oven, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add in the onion and cook until onion is translucent and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.
Next, add in the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil followed by the brown rice. Stir until the rice is well coated with oil.
Stir in the squash, chickpeas, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Then add in the tomatoes and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to the lowest simmer, cover, and let cook for 45 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Sprinkle with scallions and cilantro before serving.
Tips & Tricks: As noted, if the rice isn't coated with oil, the tomatoes will stop the rice from cooking fully and you will end up with al dente rice. Don't skip this step.
Plan ahead: Find this recipe in the Naturally Ella Real Plans meal planning upgrade
Nutrition: See the information.
One Pot Rice
Although cook time of these one pot rice dishes may be long, the hands-off, worry-free meal is an excellent trade off. Additionally, there are a few ways you can easily mix this up if the above written dish isn’t quite to your liking (or if you’re ready to branch out from using curry powder in everything).
Sweet Potatoes: Swap out the butternut squash for cubed sweet potato.
Spices: If you’re unsure of curry powder, try using a bit more of traditional paella spices: smoked paprika with a bit of turmeric.
Quinoa: While you can make a variation using a faster cooking grain, be sure to adjust how you cook the recipe. Steam the butternut squash until almost tender then add to the pot with the quinoa and cook for about 15 minutes or so. The texture will change but this meal would be ready in less than 30 minutes!
Brown rice is one of my top five grains. It takes more time to cook than other gluten-free grains but is so versatile. Most of all, I love how it soaks up the flavor of the other ingredients. Just be sure to pick up the right kind! I prefer short grain brown rice but be sure to watch out for sweet brown rice. The end result would be a much stickier rice!
This recipe was originally published on November 7th, 2012. Last updated on September 22nd, 2016. Get the original recipe.