Oven Baked Rice with Vegetables, a delicious side dish made with basmati rice, mushrooms, carrots, peppers, onions and broth. The rice is so fluffy and baked to perfection. It's the perfect accompaniment to any roast, fish or vegetarian/vegan alternatives. On the table in well under an hour.
As much as I love some plain basmati rice, or some good old pilau rice, especially with Asian or Middle Eastern food, this vegetable rice is a great favourite of mine, not only because it reminds me of home, but also because it's healthy, filling, and so delicious too.
Plus, there is not need to have extra veggie sides, this dish takes care of the carbs and vegetables at once. Cooking on the stove top is certainly quicker, but baking it in the oven ensures a perfectly cooked rice where every grain is separate and fluffy, without any stirring whatsoever.
You can use any vegetables you have around, either fresh or the frozen vegetable mix. I am a huge fan of mushrooms, so of course I had to throw some in; they also add more goodness to the dish.
Making this dish is super simple, only one thing is crucial here: getting the rice to water/stock ratio right. With basmati rice, the perfect ratio is 1: 2 ½, so one cup of rice and 2 and a half cups of water or stock.
I haven't tried it with any other rice, but I would think that if you use long grain, the amount of liquid has to be increased to at least 3 cups, as it needs more water to cook perfectly.
- basmati rice
- chopped mushrooms
- red pepper
- green pepper
- vegetable oil
- a knob of butter
- vegetable stock/broth
- salt and pepper - to taste
- spring onions - to garnish
Step-by-step photos and instructions
If you use mushrooms, I find that cooking them beforehand makes the dish a lot more flavourful. Also, grating the carrot not only reduces its cooking time, but it also adds a splash of colour to the rice.
- melt the butter, add the chopped mushrooms, and cook them on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until golden
- remove them from the heat, add the oil and chopped onions and salt, and fry them until golden
- add the peppers, grated carrots and the cooked mushrooms, then in goes the rinsed rice and stock
- give everything a good stir, then transfer to an oven-proof dish and place the lid on
- bake in the preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius (390 Fahrenheit) for 35 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked through
- use a fork to fluff the rice up, and garnish with chopped spring onions
For me, cooking has always been a matter of making the most of the ingredients I have around. Unlike baking, which requires precision for the ingredients to work their magic, with anything else, it's a matter of taste and availability.
I find that onions, carrots and peppers together are the golden mix for any soup, casserole or hot pot. They are, most of the times, quite enough to flavour any dish, and up the nutritional value.
Apart from mushrooms, feel free to add anything else that you have: peas, broccoli broken into small florets, sweetcorn, green beans, and the list is endless. With tougher veggies that require a longer cooking time, make sure they are pre-boiled before adding them to the dish.
I love the simplicity of this side, and the great flavours combined, but, if you like a bit of a kick, you can use some turmeric, more more colour, or some dried herbs. Do give it a go!
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Oven Baked Rice with Vegetables
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 2 carrots
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms
- ½ red pepper
- ½ green pepper
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 a knob of butter
- 2 ½ cups vegetable stock/broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- spring onions to garnish
- In a pan set over a medium heat, melt the butter, and add the mushrooms and chopped garlic.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms release their liquid and become golden.
- Remove them from the pan, and set aside.
- In the same pan, add the oil, chopped onion and half a teaspoon of salt, and fry until the onions are golden.
- Add the grated carrots, chopped peppers, and cooked mushrooms.
- Rinse the rice until the water runs clear, then add it to the pan of vegetables.
- Pour over the stock, give it a good stir, and transfer everything to an oven-proof dish and place the lid on.
- Bake in the preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius (390 Fahrenheit) for 35 minutes or until the liquid is completely absorbed, and the rice is cooked through.
- Use a fork to fluff the rice up, then garnish with spring onions.