Southwestern Brown Rice Bowl


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In my opinion, life without guacamole isn’t worth living. It’s quite possibly the worlds best topping and today it’s front and center on this Southwestern Brown Rice Bowl.

Southwestern Brown Rice Bowl from (@whatsgabycookin)

But it’s actually not ALL about the guacamole. The secret ingredient in this bowl is the most insanely delicious green rice you’ll ever make in your entire life. And I’m not lying. This green rice has been making quite a few appearances in our kitchen recently and my new rice cooker has been helping along the way! Once the rice is perfectly cooked, it gets tossed with my cilantro vinaigrette. The vinaigrette turns the mixture bright green and that alone is enough. But then you top it with everything your heart desires. For me that’s a combination of black beans, guacamole, pico de gallo, shredded romaine lettuce, chopped bell peppers and a sprinkling of cheese. (because have you met me? I live for cheese)

It’s one of those perfect meals that you can make and then take for lunches throughout the week or eat over and over and over again for dinner! I never tire of this one. As it stands it’s vegetarian, but you could easily add some cooked salmon or shredded rotisserie chicken if that’s more your speed.

Southwestern Brown Rice Bowl

5 from 4 votes


For the Rice:

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 shallot roughly chopped
  • 2 cups tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves tough stems removed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Toppings:

  • Black Beans
  • 1 recipe Guacamole
  • Pico de Gallo recipe below
  • Shredded Romaine Lettuce
  • Chopped yellow or orange bell peppers
  • Freshly Shredded Colby Jack Cheese
  • Additional cilantro for garnish

For the Pico de Gallo

  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 large white onion finely diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño chilies finely diced (seeds and membranes removed for a milder salsa)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice from 1 lime


  • Cook the brown rice in a rice cooker according to the package directions
  • Combine all the ingredients for the cilantro vinaigrette in a high powered blender and blend for 60 seconds until very smooth. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Fold the vinaigrette into the cooked brown rice.
  • Divide the rice amongst 4 bowls and top with black beans, guacamole, pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, bell peppers and cheese. Add extra cilantro to garnish if desired.

Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe by What’s Gaby Cooking

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Recipe Rating


  1. Averie @ Averie Cooks

    What a totally stunning bowl! Wish I was having it right now! Pinned! 🙂

  2. Southwestern Brown Rice Bowl | ShoutYourSite

    […] In my opinion, life without guacamole isn’t worth living. It’s quite possibly the worlds best topping and today it’s front and center on this Southwestern Brown Rice Bowl. But it’s actually not ALL about the guacamole. The secret ingredient in this brown rice bowl is the most insanely delicious green rice you’ll ever make in your   …Continue Reading […]

  3. Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

    OMG these bowls look AMAZING Gaby! I absolutely love Southwestern style flavours like this – all my favourite ingredients in one bowl! I think I’d be dipping some tortilla chips in there too! 😀

  4. Aggie

    life without guac…I shudder to think. This looks amazing, I could eat it every day!

  5. Lynn

    Wow, that looks like a nice rice cooker. Could you also cook grains such as millet, barley, wheat berries, etc. in the rice cooker? Wouldn’t it be nice if it were a multitasker and you could cook rice, grains and beans or can you?.

    • Gaby

      yes!! I cook millet, barley, quinoa, rice and farro in it! It’s awesome

  6. Monika

    This is right up my alley! The green rice is going to be a favorite. Now if I could just get an avocado tree in my garden……

  7. Susan

    Oh my, I can taste the flavors just my looking at your photos. It’s going to be -20 tonight, how great this would be for dinner tonight.

  8. Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch

    This looks absolutely delicious, Gaby! I agree about the awesomeness of guacamole. Nirvana.

  9. Aida Mollenkamp

    Yes, this looks amazing. Like everything I always wanted Chipotle to be.

  10. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Oh man, this rice bowl looks SO GOOD! Such a big bowl of comfort 🙂

  11. I love lists, Friday!!! – Shutterbean

    […] A rice bowl of my dreams! […]

  12. Jessica B

    Going to try these tonight, but in reviewing the recipe and making my shopping list, I’m surprised there’s no mention of LIME, except in the pico… but maybe that’s enough? I have deep-seated issues with tomatoes, so I usually skip pico or salsa, so I’ll probably just squeeze a little lime juice on my rice. Either way, can’t wait to give it a whirl!

  13. Thalia @ butter and brioche

    Guacamole is one of my favourite things in the world too.. so this brown rice bowl definitely is a recipe I will be making. Thanks for the recipe!

  14. MyMansBelly

    Hi Gabi, I’ve been thinking about getting a rice cooker. Which one do you have? We’ve been eating lots more grains and I’m tired of cleaning up the pots and pans from cooking on the stove. 😉

  15. Jamie

    Is it two cups of uncooked brown rice or two cups of cooked brown rice? That green rice looks so amazing and I don’t want to get the ratios off when we make it tomorrow night!

    • Gaby

      uncooked brown rice – so once you cook it it’s much more than 2 cups and it’s great as leftovers if there is extra!

    • Jamie

      Thanks for the info! We are excited to try them tonight!

  16. February 9 |

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    […] now you’ll have the perfect topping for Enchiladas, Brown Rice Bowls, Fiesta Fries, Avocado Toast and you can even toss it with some avocado and turn it into Guacamole […]

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  23. Tracey

    I made it tonight! Delicious, next time I’m going to add grilled shrimp!

  24. Cilantro Brown Rice | My Lilikoi Kitchen

    […] made a delicious cilantro rice side dish she had recently discovered on What’s Gaby Cooking blog.  Generally there’s no middle ground on the subject of cilantro.  You either love or hate […]

  25. Cailin

    5 stars
    One of my faves – especially with cauliflower rice! Just made it again this week!

  26. Sarah

    5 stars
    I love simple bowls like this that are great for prepping meals for the week.

  27. Gabriela

    5 stars
    I’ve only made the green rice and it’s probably the most flavorful rice I’ve ever had! Amazing!!! Definitely craving it right now!

  28. Harley

    5 stars
    Winner winner chicken (or tofu) dinner.

    Another great recipe. I added tofu marinated in a taco seasoning sauce and added it.

    So glad I found you, although now my family expects me to cook every night. LOL

  29. Skye

    You MUST feature more of this green rice,Gaby! It’s bloody amazing and more people need to experience it. I only subbed lime juice for red wine vinegar but So so good. I just had it with home made Thai chicken patties with extra green vinigarette drizzled on top and it paired perfectly!