Looking for a quick and delicious lunch idea? How about some quick rice bowl recipes to make ahead? These are the perfect easy meal for lunch or dinner!

Multiple rice bowl recipes in bowls on a counter, from Shelf Cooking

A rice bowl is an incredibly filling meal and they are so versatile. We're going to share a bunch of different ideas for quick rice bowl recipes that you can make ahead. Keep in mind that you can mix these up and try different meats, seasonings, and toppings to create your own rice bowls!

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These are tried and true rice bowl recipes that you'll absolutely love, so plan to put them on repeat for your lunch or dinner time rotation. You can never go wrong with any of them, and they're so simple to prepare for the whole week. So first up! A childhood favorite…


Teriyaki chicken rice bowl on a counter, from Shelf Cooking

Panda Express, anyone? This rice bowl is even better than a teriyaki chicken rice bowl from one of our favorite fast-food restaurants. Not only that, but it's also a breeze to pull together and the flavors are out of this world.

You can add whatever vegetables you have on hand. Our go-to is definitely broccoli, but you can also add sweet peas, shredded carrots, green onions, or anything else that you fancy!


Copycat Cafe Rio sweet pork rice bowl on a counter, from Shelf Cooking

If you've heard of Cafe Rio, you might be familiar with the flavors in this delicious rice bowl! Nothing quite beats the flavor combos in this one. The sweet pork is so versatile, you can also use it for burritos or a plain old salad (and it'll become your favorite salad ever)!

This kicky rice bowl is typically served with salsa, avocado, corn, beans, and cheese. But there is no limit! You can't go wrong serving it with leftover black bean and corn salsa, either.


Steak with rice, peppers, pico de gallo, and guacamole, from Shelf Cooking

This is always a hit with the husband! He absolutely loves a good meaty rice bowl, and this one always makes him smile. It's so easy to throw together and it's the perfect use of that one lone steak that's been hiding out in the freezer for a while.

Serve up your steak fajita rice bowl with sour cream, guacamole, bell pepper, onion, cilantro, and lime!


It's so easy to make your own rice bowl recipe! There are a few key ingredients you'll need, but you can really mix it up to make it your own using what you've got. That's what shelf cooking is all about, right?!

  • Rice – White rice is the cheapest and most versatile because it has such a basic flavor profile. But there are tons of rice substitutes you can use instead if you don't have white, so don't sweat it! It also freezes really well, so you can always have some cooked rice ready to go.
  • MeatGround beef, steak, brisket, diced chicken, shredded chicken, pulled pork, pork chops, salmon, tuna, tilapia, shrimp… The sky's the limit! It doesn't even have to be freshly made. A rice bowl is an easy way to repurpose your leftovers and make an old meal new!
  • Veggies – Literally any veggies that you have that are about to go bad will taste delicious! You can also use leftover vegetables that have been hanging out in the back of your fridge for a little too long.
  • Toppings – These will depend a little based on the taste profile you're going for with your rice bowl. But for the most part, pretty much anything you have will work! #GiveUsAllTheCheese
  • Spices – Here's where you can really take your rice bowl the extra mile! Take that pulled pork and turn it into a Mexican rice bowl by adding in taco seasoning. Or take your diced chicken, add some garlic salt, and onion powder, and it'll go with pretty much any vegetables you need to use up!
  • Sauces – Here's another way to take your rice bowl to the next level. You can easily take some plain meat, add teriyaki or hoisin sauce, and boom! Now it's an Asian meal.

Pro Tip: Pull out your handy dandy kitchen inventory and you'll be able to whip up a delicious rice bowl in no time without any thought at all!


Three meal prep lunches in containers for lunch, from Shelf Cooking

It takes hardly any time to make your meals over a weekend so you can grab and go as you need them! Take them to work with you so you're not tempted to head to the drive-through. They're also a great meal to have on hand for those busy nights when everybody is headed in different directions. Plus, these heat up really well and keep nicely in the refrigerator.

It doesn't take much to prep these ahead of time! All you need are some reusable containers and whatever ingredients you plan on using. Bonus points if you use a glass container because you can just pop it in the microwave to heat up. #Winning

Alright, well there you have it! Our favorite rice bowl recipes plus an easy way to make your own. What's your fave go-to meal like this? Let us know in the comments!

Four different rice bowl recipes on a counter, from Shelf Cooking

Looking for more shelf cooking ideas?

Happy rice bowling!