by Lane | 9:50 am

Once in my lifetime, I had the unfortunate (but fortunate) privilege of knowing what it felt like to be low in funds. In an effort to feed my children, I had to be very discerning about how to make a dollar stretch. It’s because of this that I found and made (some of) these 7 cheap and easy rice bowl recipes.

Preparing cheap and easy dinner meals doesn’t have to be bland, boring or devoid of taste. As a matter of fact, cheap and easy dinner meals can be ever so fun, quick and tasty; because it’s open to the imagination.

You don’t have to be a gourmet chef or even a finance major to get more bang for your buck. All you need is a little imagination.

So, here we are, without further ado – 7 Cheap and Easy rice Bowl Recipes.

Teriyaki Fried Rice Bowl

Teriyaki Fried Rice Bowl

  • ¼ cup of canola oil
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 2 cloves diced garlic
  • 6 cups cooked long-grain rice
  • 2 large eggs – optional
  • 1 recipe of teriyaki sauce
  • ¾ cup of agave and 3/4 cup of soy sauce


  1. Heat your walk or large skillet with oil.
  2. Stir fry the carrots, celery and red pepper for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the peas, corn and garlic and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the egg and stir until ‘slightly’ set.
  5. Add the rice and mix together thoroughly.
  6. Add the teriyaki and stir until mixed.

Divide in bowls and enjoy

Teriyaki Sauce

Combine agave with soy sauce. Cook until slightly boiling. Remove from heat and cool until ready to use.

Rice Bowl with Roasted Vegetables

Rice Bowl With Roasted Veggies


  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 2 cup carrots, sliced
  • 1cup red onion, sliced
  • 1 container fresh mushrooms, wiped and rinsed
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen broccoli
  • 1 red bell pepper, halved and seeded
  • 1 green pepper, halved and seeded
  • 5 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons toasted cashews, optional
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • Sea salt


  1. Heat oven to 425°.
  2. In a bowl, toss veggies with, 4 tsp olive oil and salt.
  3. Place on a baking sheet and roast until tender, stirring once, about 30 minutes.
  4. Toss cooked rice with toasted cashews, 1 tsp olive oil and chopped parsley.
  5. Divide rice mixture, pepper, carrot and onion between 4 bowls.

To toast cashews – toast in oven for NO MORE than 8 minutes. Remove and cool.

Burrito Bowl

Burrito Bowls


  • 2 cup uncooked rice
  • 1lb of your favorite cooked meat (optional)
  • 1 cup salsa, homemade or store-bought
  • 3 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
  • 2 (15.25-ounce) can whole kernel corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 chopped Roma tomatoes, diced
  • Cheese, TT
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more, to taste


  1. To make the sour cream sauce, whisk together sour cream, lemon and lime juice. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan of 2 cups water and a dash of salt, cook rice according to package instructions; let cool.


  1. Divide rice mixture into 4 containers.
  2. Top with beans, meat, lettuce, corn, cheese, tomatoes, avocado and cilantro. Serve one immediately for yourself and drizzled with your favorite salsa.
  3. Cover the other three and place them immediately in the refrigerator. These are your lunches for the week.

Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowl

Teriyaki Chicken Bowl


  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 small white onion, finely diced
  • 1 red pepper, cut in chucks
  • 1 lb. sliced chicken breast
  • 1 recipe of teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sweet chili sauce
  • 6 cups of cooked rice
  • Optional for garnish: diced green onions, sesame seeds


  1. Into a large skillet, add sesame oil and heat on medium-high heat. When hot, add onion and red pepper and saute for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add chicken breast to skillet and saute over high heat until cooked through.
  3. Add teriyaki sauce and sweet chili sauce. Stir until the chicken is well coated in sauce.
  4. Set aside.
  5. Spoon rice inside the bowls and top with the chicken and sauce.
  6. Serve while hot.

Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl



Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl


Cilantro-lime rice:

  • 6 cups cooked rice, {or cooked grain of choice}
  • 6 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced

Chipotle-Lime Marinade:

  • 2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • ½ ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt

Chicken Burrito Bowl:

  • 1 lb raw chicken, sliced or cut into chucks
  • 2 bell peppers, (1 red, 1 green) sliced into thin strips
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • tomatoes, diced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


Marinade the Chicken:

  1. Combine all the chipotle marinade ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Place the chicken and the marinade into a Ziploc baggie. Toss to cover completely.
  3. Marinate in the fridge for ‘at least’ and hour before you’re ready to cook.

To Make the Rice:

  1. Combine the cooked rice, lime juice and cilantro.
  2. Stir to combine + set aside.

To Make the Bowl:

  1. Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium heat with oil olive
  2. Grill the veggies until crisp tender.
  3. Remove the peppers from the heat and aside.
  4. Grill chicken until just no longer pink inside. Remove from heat and slice.
  5. Divide your rice between four bowls.
  6. Add veggies and chicken.
  7. Drizzle with any remaining cooked sauce.

Chicken Fajita Bowl


Chicken Fajita Bowls



  • ⅓ cup lemon or lime juice
  • ¼ cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons Soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 pounds of chicken thighs (you can use breast if you like but I really like thighs. They are juicier)

Remaining Ingredients

  • 1 recipe of cilantro rice
  • 1 red pepper, cut into slices
  • 1 green pepper, cut into slices
  • I can of black or red beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 onion, cut into slices
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • tomatoes, garnish


Marinade the Chicken

  1. Whisk all the marinade ingredients together.
  2. Pour marinade into a Ziploc bag.
  3. Cut raw chicken into strips or cubes (your choice)
  4. Add chicken.
  5. Marinade for the least an hour before use.

To Make Fajitas

  1. Heat oil in a wok or skillet.
  2. While the oil is heating, drain AND SAVE the marinade.
  3. Cook chicken until done in the wok or skillet.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Heat a little more oil to the wok or skillet.
  6. Stir fry peppers, garlic and onion together until slightly tender. It’s good for them to be still crunchy. About 3-4 minutes.
  7. Add chicken and a little more marinade. Cook for about 1 more minute.
  8. Divide the cilantro rice into 4 bowls.
  9. Add the fajita mixture on top.
  10. Drizzle with a little more cooked marinade.

Fun Ramen Bowl (Yaki Soba)

Fun Ramen Bowl (Yaki Soba)


  • 14 oz ramen noodles
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 2 cups fresh bean sprouts (canned just isn’t the same)
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • Soy sauce, TT
  • 2 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 boiled eggs, optional


  1. Cook the ramen noodles to package directions. Drain well . Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a wok or skillet.
  3. Saute all the veggies until slightly tender.
  4. Add the noodle mixture to the veggies and stir-fry for 4 minutes.
  5. Add the soy sauce and toss through.
  6. Separate into bowls and top with sesame seeds.


What are some of your:

  • cheap and easy rice bowl recipes,
  • cheap and easy dinner meals
  • or, cheap and easy dinner ideas?

Comment below and let me know.







Hello, this is a great article. For someone who is living alone like me, I really want to cook simple meals, i also love rice. I hope i could try it too. I am tired of ordering take-outs. thank you for this article

Sep 27.2018 | 10:34 am


    You’re welcome, Jason.

    These dishes are quick, easy and soooo much cheaper than take out.

    Sep 27.2018 | 10:58 am


These are great suggestions for some easy and low-cost rice meals. I had been looking for some inspiration for my meal plan next week as you don’t always want to cook the same and my family can be a bit fussy. But I’m sure they will like these recipes. So I think I have all of my meals for next week sorted and shopping for the ingredients shouldn’t be difficult either.
Just wondering – how much time should I allow for making these dishes?

Sep 27.2018 | 11:03 am


    Hey Sammy,

    Thanks for your comment and question. Rice takes about 25 minutes to prepare and about 5 minutes to steam. In that take one could make these meals while the rice is cooking, EXCEPT for the chicken which takes about an hour to marinate.

    Sep 27.2018 | 09:58 pm


First impression your food looked so good!! Then i read your first statement , you had me sold there. You have some great recipes and your presentation made we want to scoop them right off the screen. You know I’ll be trying these recipes! 🙂 Thank You for such a great visual representation of your article / recipes! Yum! You rock!

Sep 27.2018 | 10:26 pm


    LOL. Thanks Melody. As I mentioned, I had to go inexpensive for while because this is what we could afford. These are so good.


    Sep 27.2018 | 10:34 pm

Stewart Bibby

OMG I want the Teriyaki Bowl and the Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl right now. Super inexpensive dishes and Ive bookmarked this page for dinner for the kids.

Sep 27.2018 | 11:49 pm


    LOL. I know! My mouth drools for that one, too. That’s my favorite.


    Sep 28.2018 | 12:45 pm


Every single one of these recipes looks absolutely delicious, and I cannot wait to try them. Thank you for thinking about people who really do need to watch their money, by giving us some really healthy choices on a budget! Nice work.



Sep 28.2018 | 01:49 am


    You’re totally welcome, Babs.

    Sep 28.2018 | 12:46 pm

Andrew A.

As parents of three and being not rich (not yet lol), our first, second and third rule are “Save, Save and Save”.
For this reason I am always on the hunt for yummy-tasting cheap recipes and this is how I found your website.
What I liked the most about your article Lane, is that you do exude love for cooking and healthy food. These are really some great suggestions and I just cannot wait to make some of your dishes. I would like to start off with Fajita (I love Mexican food) and given it is Friday today, we have the time to find the missing ingredients.
I will let you know the marks we will get from our kids lol and of course I will keep coming for more suggestions!

Sep 28.2018 | 09:25 am


    LOL. Thank you, Andrew. Touch back and tell me how you like it.

    On a funny note, I had the Mexican bowl last night. I just through some scraps that we had in the frig. Rice, Beans, ground turkey, lettuce and tomato. I put a little hot sauce in my dwindling ranch dressing and used that as a topping.

    Sep 28.2018 | 12:48 pm

Matts Mom

Wow! Honestly I don’t know which recipe I am going to try first. Every one of them looks delicious, and great for my diet! I am visiting my dad right now in Alaska, and I am actually going to try a few out here. Gives us a little variety for dinners. I am a single mom and also on a limited budget, so these are right up my alley. Thanks for the wonderful recipes!

Sep 28.2018 | 02:50 pm


    You’re very welcome, Leahrae. I had to learn to play it simple as well.

    Sep 28.2018 | 09:45 pm


Hi, this looks really delicious but we don’t have carrots in the place where I live. Can you recommend me an alternative?

Sep 28.2018 | 08:26 pm


    Hi there Furkan,

    What I do is what I do. Meaning if I don’t have one ingredient, I replace it with whatever I like (like mushrooms. Correction, I love mushrooms). What are some delicous veggies that is available that you love? Feel free to use thosel.

    Sep 28.2018 | 09:44 pm

Chas Guevara

Hi Lane,
All of the recipes look great! I was wondering if you by chance know the nutrition information for them. I have to watch my calories (I’m on a diet), but more importantly, per drs. orders, I have to watch my sodium and sugar intake.
Thanks for posting!

Sep 29.2018 | 04:15 am


    Thanks. I never actually plugged the numbers into a calorie counter. I’ll consider add that more so in the future.

    Oct 02.2018 | 10:26 am


Geez, my favorite was the Teriyaki Chicken Bowl.
I started salivating when I saw it… LOL
Gosh, I’ve got to give it a try.
Thanks for all these great recipies.

Sep 29.2018 | 04:27 am



    Should you decide to give these a try, touch base again and let me know what you think.

    Oct 02.2018 | 10:25 am

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