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This cozy, satisfying black rice bowl with maple roasted butternut squash and creamy tahini dressing is packed with flavor and nutrients.

a black rice bowl with maple roasted butternut squash, sauteed chickpeas, broccoli, and tahini dressing
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Why we love this recipe

When you’re looking for soul-satisfying deliciousness and unimpeachable nutrition, this black rice bowl has got your back. Food doesn’t get more delightfully grounding than this.

This recipe is:

  • Earthy, sweet, nutty, and a little bit savory
  • Bursting with protein, complex carbs, and micronutrients galore
  • Naturally vegetarian and gluten-free, with an easy vegan option
  • Make-ahead and meal-prep friendly
  • Flexible — sub in different components if that’s what you’ve got

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe. It includes some prepared elements — you’ll find the recipes for those linked below. A rice bowl is a very flexible format, so please feel free to swap elements in and out to suit your needs.

ingredients in bowls

The rice

  • Black rice is also called forbidden rice. This gorgeous, deep purple whole grain packs a huge nutritional punch and has a wonderful, satisfyingly nutty taste and gently chewy texture. While it’s grown in long-, medium-, and short-grain varieties, most of what you’ll find commercially available in the U.S. is medium-grain. That’s perfect for this recipe. You can learn more about black rice here.

The rest

  • You can include chickpeas straight from the can if that’s all you’ve got the time and energy for — no shade. But if you want to level it up a bit while still keeping things nice and easy, make a batch of my sautéed chickpeas instead. They’re so good.
  • Maple-roasted butternut squash is earthy, sweet, and just a touch savory. I love making it with butter, but you can use olive oil instead to keep it vegan.
  • Here’s where to find our creamy, lemony, garlicky tahini dressing. I originally developed the recipe for my favorite falafel pitas, but it works beautifully to tie together the flavors in this bowl, too.
  • You’ll also steam some broccoli. I love the way it keeps with the cold-weather vibes while lightening things up a bit. Other good contenders would be miso-roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted broccolini, roasted fennel, or kale salad.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a beautiful, nutritious black rice bowl. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. Boil the rice until tender and chewy.
  2. Roast the squash.
  3. Sauté the chickpeas, steam the broccoli, and make the dressing.
  4. Assemble the bowls, or invite your diners to assemble their own. That’s it!

Expert tips and FAQs

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

You can make each of the elements in advance and store them in separate airtight containers in a nice, cold fridge for a week. I recommend assembling the bowls right before serving (or having diners assemble their own).

More favorite grain bowls

a black rice bowl with maple roasted butternut squash, sauteed chickpeas, broccoli, and tahini dressing

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a black rice bowl with maple roasted butternut squash, sauteed chickpeas, broccoli, and tahini dressing
5 from 23 votes

Black Rice Bowl

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
This satisfying black rice bowl with maple roasted butternut squash, chickpeas, and tangy tahini dressing wins equal points for nutrition and deliciousness.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
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Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Combine rice, water and salt in a medium pot.
  • Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until tender but still nice and chewy, about 35 minutes. (Check package instructions for timing, since brands may vary.)
  • Let rice sit, covered, for 10 minutes to continue steaming a bit and absorb any excess moisture.
  • Meanwhile, prepare butternut squash, sautéed chickpeas, and tahini dressing.
  • In a medium pot with a tight-fitting lid, bring an inch of well-salted water to a boil. Add broccoli florets, cover tightly, and steam until broccoli is almost as tender as you like. Drain well. (It will continue to soften a bit from the residual heat.)
  • To assemble the bowls, spoon some rice, squash, chickpeas, and broccoli into each serving bowl. Drizzle with tahini dressing and serve right away.

Notes

  1. Black rice is also called forbidden rice. This gorgeous, deep purple whole grain packs a huge nutritional punch and has a wonderful, satisfyingly nutty taste and gently chewy texture. While it's grown in long-, medium-, and short-grain varieties, most of what you'll find commercially available in the U.S. is medium-grain. That's perfect for this recipe. 
  2. Maple-roasted butternut squash is earthy, sweet, and just a touch savory. I love making it with butter, but you can use olive oil instead to keep it vegan.
  3. You can include chickpeas straight from the can if that's all you've got the time and energy for — no shade. But if you want to level it up a bit while still keeping things nice and easy, make a batch of my sautéed chickpeas instead. They're so good.
  4. I love the way simple steamed broccoli keeps with the cold-weather vibes while lightening things up a bit. Other good contenders would be miso-roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted broccolini, roasted fennel, or kale salad.
  5. I originally developed this creamy, lemony, garlicky tahini dressing recipe for my favorite falafel pitas, but it works beautifully to tie together the flavors in this bowl, too.
  6. You can make each of the elements in advance and store them in separate airtight containers in a nice, cold fridge for a week. I recommend assembling the bowls right before serving (or having diners assemble their own).

Nutrition

Calories: 446kcal, Carbohydrates: 79g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 18.5g, Fiber: 17g, Sugar: 18g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salads + Bowls
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

Hungry for More?
Subscribe to Umami Girl's email updates, and follow along on Instagram.
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

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Carolyn Gratzer Cope Bio Photo

About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

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