Kale Rice Bowl Recipe

A quick lunchtime brown rice bowl with kale, capers, salted yogurt, za'atar, toasted sesame seeds - and a poached egg for good measure.

Kale Rice Bowl

Hi all. The past couple of weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind on this end. I'm (happily) juggling a small handful of projects, all of which I love, but when I find myself setting a google alert for a shower - well, I'm not particularly proud of that. On the cooking front, for the time being, it means I've had to get quite fast and creative in the kitchen. I'm throwing together meals, mostly from the ordinary staples I keep on hand - brown rice, eggs, whatever vegetable is on hand...And yes, some meals are much more successful that others ;) This Kale Rice Bowl, for example, is well worth mentioning. Grains, and greens, and all sorts of goodness going on here. I've been working my way through my last batch of za'atar, and it's part of what makes the bowl special.

Kale Rice BowlKale Rice BowlKale Rice Bowl

You can certainly take this bowl in many different directions if you like. In place of the za'atar, try a different spice blend. On the grain front, I used brown rice, but almost did it with freekah (didn't have time to cook it)....farro would be nice. Or! My original intent was to bake the shredded kale (massaged with olive oil and za'atar), so it had more of a crispy texture, but didn't want to wait for the oven to heat. I ended up sauteing the kale instead. Anyway, play around! xo -h

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Kale Rice Bowl

I used lacinato kale here. But use whatever you like, or even substitute chard.Or how about broccolini?

olive oil or clarified butter
1 bunch of kale, destemmed, chopped/shredded

~3 cups cooked brown rice

To serve:

- capers, rinsed, dried, and pan-fried until blistered in butter
- a poached egg
- a dollop of salted greek yogurt
- a big drizzle of good extra-virgin olive oil
- lot's of za'atar
- toasted sesame seeds

In a large skillet or pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the kale and a couple pinches of salt. Saute until the kale softens a bit and brightens, just a minute or so. Stir in the rice, and cook until the rice is hot. If your rice is on the dry side, you might have to add a small splash of water.

Serve the kale rice topped with (preferably) all of the following: the capers, poached egg, yogurt drizzled with olive oil, and plenty of za'atar.

Serves 2-3.

Prep time: 5 minutes - Cook time: 5 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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I love pushing rice bowls as a dinner idea, I always think of it more for breakfast/lunch, but would be a perfect quick and filling dinner. Thank you for sharing!


Lovely dish!


This is perfect! I've been on the busy side myself and was running out of quick meal ideas. I love this and will definitely try it out this week.

Briana Morrison

I do something incredibly similar, but also including cooked Puy lentils and a dash of sambal oelek in the mix; poached egg like yours if I really want a protein fix. I also like homemade dukkah in this, with the lovely subtle crunch and taste of pistachios. Beautiful images as always. *sigh* Hope all your projects are ticking along nicely




Delicious! I just made this with a few substitutions (didn't have capers)...no capers, so I cooked some cannellini beans seasoned with garlic & onion and made soft boiled eggs. Very nutritious and filling!


I just made this replacing the rice for black beans. It was great!


This looks delicious and very beautiful!

Skylor (@SproutLifestyle)

looks so good. I think I'll veganize this tonight and swap out the yogurt and eggs for toasted pine nuts and garbanzos. Yum!


I love your rice bowl - so simple, comforting and delicious. If za'atar is not available, the Japanese seeweed and sesame mix is also very flavorful.


This is one of my favorite meals...completely underrated in my opinion. Definitely on the menu for later in the week!


This is my major go-to dinner. Sometimes I premake the ingredients so when I don't feel like cooking during the week I can just reheat and it's delicous.


I love getting email from you, Heidi. Up here in Toronto, we are digging out after a snow-storm last week. I have tried a lot of your recipes,and have sent on to my friends here. I am having a hard time finding za'a'tar or sumac, but it must be available somewhere. Will try this one for sure.


I did a similar dish to this recently but used quinoa as the grain, and I roasted small cubes of butternut squash for some nice color and texture. I dressed it with a dash of truffle oil and a squeeze of lime + some salted pumpkins seeds to finish. It was yummy!

Alice Dishes

Love this; so amazing Heidi. Simple and perfect for a February NYC day! Gluten-Free too!!

The Healthy Apple

We are on a tight budge right now as we are about to move, which has also left us with less time to cook. I have been making a version of this a lot lately, usually with farro lightly dressed in a garlicy vinaigrette and red pepper flake-spiced kale. Will definitely be trying this version to mix it up a bit, as I always have za'atar on hand. It certainly fits the bill of quick, nutritious, and filling, and as soon as I start making it, I'm glad we didn't give in to take-out. Thanks for the inspiration!


Dear Heidi, I just sent my daughter a copy of your Kale Rice Bowl. She is in her fourth year at Portland State University and needs quick healthy meals. This will be perfect for her. I got a copy of Super Natural Every Day from the library a week ago. Needless to say, I’m ordering the book today. Your book is amazing. So far I have made 7 recipes from the book (this morning was Multigrain Pancakes, my husband was a happy man) and 2 from your website. Tonight is Cabbage Soup, with many more recipes in waiting. Thank you!!

HS: Thank you LuAnn! Portland has amazing markets - your daughter is lucky! Happy to hear you're enjoying the recipes.


Sounds delicious! I love meals like this that are so simple, but so yummy. Have all these things around the house pretty much always, so I'm sure I'll be throwing this together sometime soon!

Little Kitchie

This is such a great quick meal for one. I always have left over cooked carbs. this reminds me of a simple version of the Korean rice bowl and im going to serve this Gochujang. I can not wait to try this with barley or wild rice too!

Belinda @themoonblushbaker

I actually make this with wild rice cooked in rotel tomatoes with jalapeños, I add some kidney (or white) beans. On a tortilla or flat bread I layer kale, cheddar cheese & the rice mixture. Roll it up for lunches at work. Heat in microwave for under a minute.... Melts the cheese & softens the kale! I like mine with hot sauce too!


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