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Vegetable Rice with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Vegetable rice with spicy peanut sauce is a quick, easy way to use leftover rice and whatever vegetables you have on hand. The recipe can be ready in under 30 minutes.

It’s very tasty and versatile. And one of those recipes you can use as a guideline if you like. If you like peanut anything, you’ll like this.

peanut sauce pouring onto veggie fried rice in skillet.

I always make extra rice in my rice cooker so that I can use the leftovers another time as plain rice or, more often, stir-fries with vegetables. Rice freezes beautifully and keeps in the fridge for many days.

You can use most any of your favorite veggies, of course, and add as much or as little of the sauce as you want. In fact, if you prefer, serve the sauce at the table and let the diners add their own sauce.

Bottom line: This delicious recipe for rice with vegetables and peanut sauce is simple, nutritious and flavorful. It’s great for using up those wilting vegetables in your fridge and a perfect weeknight meal or side with good nutrition.

Ingredients – tailored to your taste

cooked rice, beans, peppers, green onions, broccoli, lime, Thai chili sauce, peanut butter, soy sauce.
cooked rice, beans, peppers, green onions, broccoli, lime, Thai chili sauce, peanut butter, soy sauce, red pepper flakes.

Rice: Long-grain rice is preferable for stir-fries as the grains separate nicely. Examples are Jasmine rice and Basmati. If you don’t mind your rice a bit softer and stickier, you can use medium-grain rice (I do when I use leftover Chinese steamed rice). It’s best to use cold rice for stir fries (so leftover rice is perfect).

Fresh Vegetables: Any short-cooking veggies will work. I used green onions, red bell pepper, green beans and broccoli in the pictures. Other good choices are mushrooms, matchstick carrots, asparagus, cauliflower, celery, red cabbage, zucchini, snow peas or sugar snap peas.

Peanut sauce recipe: includes peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, Thai sweet chili sauce, red pepper flakes and fresh garlic.

More variations and substitutes

  • Use quinoa or noodles instead of rice.  
  • For a lower calorie version, leave out the grains (carbs) altogether and just add the peanut sauce to the stir-fried vegetables.
  • Add some chopped or grilled chicken or tofu for a complete meal.
  • Make the peanut sauce as spicy or as mild as you want with more or less red pepper flakes or, instead, sriracha or garlic chili sauce.
  • I use regular creamy peanut butter, but you can use crunchy or all natural peanut butter. If you have a nut allergy, you can use sunflower butter.
  • Instead of regular soy sauce, you can use low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos.

Step-by-step instructions

fresh veggies sauteeing in skillet.
Add the oil to a wok or large pan over medium-high heat. When the oil hot, add peppers, onions and beans, Stir fry for a couple of minutes.
more veggies added to skillet and sauteed.
Add the broccoli and continue to sauté until all the fresh veggies are tender crisp.
peanut sauce pouring onto veggie fried rice in skillet.
Add the rice and cook for about 1-2 minutes or until it’s warm. Then add half the sauce and continue to cook.

Heat for 1-2 minutes or until warm. Taste and add more sauce if you like.

Tip

It’s best to use cold rice or leftover rice for stir-fries since cold rice is drier and firmer and less likely to get mushy when incorporated with the veggies and sauce.

Shortcuts

  • In addition to using leftover rice, use a bag of frozen stir fry vegetables and follow the directions.
  • Buy white or brown rice at your local Chinese take-out restaurant.
  • The easiest way to cut down on the stir fry time is to microwave the harder vegetables for about 90 seconds in the microwave before adding them to the stir fry.

Make ahead

You can stir-fry the vegetables hours or even a day ahead of time and keep them in the fridge in an airtight container. For best results, slightly undercook them because they’ll continue to cook when reheating.

You can also make the peanut butter sauce ahead of time and store in a separate container in the fridge. The sauce will thicken as it cools. So, the next day, you may have to reheat it in the microwave to loosen it up enough to pour.

When you are ready to serve, reheat the vegetables in a large skillet. Add the rice and cook until warm. Add the peanut butter sauce and give it a good stir.

What to serve with this vegetable rice recipe

The first option is to serve the vegetable rice with spicy peanut sauce as a main dish with cubed tofu or chopped rotisserie chicken tossed in.

The second option is to serve it as a side dish with, for example, marinated grilled pork chops, Mediterranean grilled chicken, baked balsamic glazed chicken or crispy baked fish.

veggie fried rice with peanut sauce in skillet.

More stir-fry recipes

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peanut sauce pouring onto veggie fried rice in skillet.
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5 from 7 votes

Vegetable Rice with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Vegetable rice with spicy peanut sauce is a quick, easy way to use leftover rice and whatever vegetables you have on hand. Ready in under 30 minutes.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 sides (3 main dish)
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked rice (long or medium grain), preferably cold, Note 1 (from 1 cup raw rice)
  • 2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 5-6 cups vegetables, cut into small pieces, Note 2

Peanut Sauce

  • 3 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoon Soy sauce, low sodium
  • 2 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes or more, to taste

Instructions

  • MAKE THE PEANUT SAUCE: Whisk together all peanut sauce ingredients until smooth in a measuring cup or small bowl. Set aside.
  • STIR FRY VEGETABLES AND RICE: Heat oil to medium high heat in a wok or large frying pan (I use a non stick wok or skillet). Stir fry vegetables for 8-9 minutes or until tender crisp. Add rice and continue to cook for a few minutes while stirring until heated through.
  • ADD PEANUT SAUCE: Pour half the peanut sauce onto the vegetable rice. Mix through. Taste and add more as you need or pass the extra sauce to drizzle on once plated. Serve with lime wedges if desired.

Recipe Notes

  1. Rice options:  Long-grain rice – eg Jasmine rice, Basmati, regular – is preferable for stir-fries as the grains separate nicely. If you don’t mind your rice a bit softer and stickier, you can use medium-grain rice such as Chinese steamed rice. It’s best to use leftover cold rice. Here’s a recipe for long grain rice. 
  2. Vegetable options: green onions, red bell peppers, green beans, mushrooms, carrots (thinly sliced), asparagus, cauliflower, celery, zucchini. 
  3. Make-ahead
    • You can stir-fry the vegetables hours or even a day ahead of time and keep them in the fridge in an airtight container. For best results, slightly undercook them because they’ll continue to cook when reheating.
    • You can also make the peanut butter sauce ahead of time and store in a separate container in the fridge. The sauce will thicken as it cools. So, the next day, you may have to reheat it in the microwave to loosen it up enough to pour.  
    • When you are ready to serve, reheat the vegetables in a large skillet. Add the rice and cook until warm. Add the peanut butter sauce and give it a good stir.
  4. Variations
      • Use quinoa or noodles instead of rice.  
      • For a lower calorie version, leave out the grains (carbs) altogether and just add the peanut sauce to the stir-fried vegetables.
      • Add some chopped or grilled chicken or tofu for a complete meal.
      • Make the peanut sauce as spicy or as mild as you want with more or less red pepper flakes or, instead, sriracha or garlic chili sauce.
    •  
 
Nutrition values are estimates based on about 3/4 cups per person. 

Nutrition

Calories: 277kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 345mg | Potassium: 411mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 7726IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg
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