It's called the grain of life for a good reason.

Did you know that rice is the most consumed grain around the world? Due to its accessibility, affordability, and ease of cooking, it's no surprise that this grain comes in a wide range of sizes and varieties. The subtle flavor of rice makes it an ideal base for rice bowls, allowing toppings with bold flavors, exotic seasonings, and spices to shine. Here are our 12 favorite recipes for rice bowls.

1. Lemon-Parmesan Chicken and Rice Bowl

This recipe will have you reminiscing about the chicken broccoli casserole of your childhood. The cheesy grown-up version of the classic dish is brightened up with the zest and juice of one lemon. Many community members suggest skipping the step of cooking the rice in the oven and recommend cooking it on the stove-top or in a rice cooker instead.

Photo by foodpornographer

2. North African Beef and Brown Rice

This one-pot meal is truly comforting. Here, brown rice is cooked in an aromatic combination of coriander, cardamom, smoked paprika, and cinnamon, together with steak, carrots, sweet potato, and cabbage. To save on cooking time, use instant brown rice in place of regular.

3. Oyakodon (Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl)

The Allrecipes member who shared this recipe, describes it as "a delicious traditional Japanese meal consisting of chicken sauteed and then cooked in a Japanese broth, and then finished with egg and served over rice. It's really easy, filling and delicious." The rice used in this recipe is jasmine, with a beautiful floral aroma. You'll find other common Japanese ingredients here as well, including mirin (Japanese rice wine), dashi stock, and soy sauce. If you have a hard time finding dashi or don't want to make it yourself, allrecipes community member LSUTiger suggests using fish stock.

Photo by iYing

4. Naked Chicken Burrito Bowl

You might find this recipe similar to a burrito bowl from your favorite fast-food restaurant. This one is loaded with chicken, black beans, corn, and Monterey Jack cheese. Top the burrito bowl with salsa, lettuce, and sour cream. For extra heat and flavor, use Mexican spice blend when cooking chicken.

Photo by Soup Loving Nicole

5. Turkey and Spinach Rice Bowl

This recipe comes from allrecipes community member Linda a Bit of Flavor, who writes: "Looking for a quick and healthy way to use up some holiday leftovers? A Turkey and Spinach Rice Bowl may be just what you seek! This one-dish meal is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner, and will please most palates!" Linda bumps up the flavor in this dish by using a combination of chicken broth and water to cook rice. This recipe works equally well with leftover grilled or roasted chicken.

Photo by Deb C.

6. Sweet Thai-Style Chicken Bowl

We're back to the aromatic jasmine rice in this recipe. The rice is cooked separately and then topped with chicken curry. The curry, made with chicken, coconut milk, and curry powder, gets its sweetness from diced mango and sugar. Feel free to cut down on the sugar, or eliminate it altogether to suit your personal taste. For the perfect contrast of creamy and crunchy, this rice bowl is topped with chopped cashews and sprouts.

7. Orange-Chicken Rice Bowl

This colorful rice bowl gets its pretty look from red bell pepper, zucchini, and broccoli. The flavor comes from a combination of orange juice and Asian-style toasted sesame salad dressing. For even more flavor, try marinating chicken in the toasted sesame salad dressing for about an hour before cooking it.

Photo by Mel Dana

8. Asian Shrimp Rice Bowl

The orange marmalade and hoisin sauce shrimp marinade makes this dish really zingy and flavorsome. Together with soy sauce, honey, and chile paste, it makes for a very tasty rice bowl. Serve over Jasmine rice and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

9. Brown Rice Buddha Bowl

Buddha bowls are traditionally a combination of raw and cooked vegetables, beans, and a flavorful dressing over brown rice or quinoa. This bowl is topped with a spicy Thai lime-sesame dressing that adds a punch of flavor to chickpeas, snow peas, baby corn, carrots, and bell pepper. Buckwheat Queen who shares this recipe, suggests cooking long-grain brown rice in a pressure cooker, which cuts down the total cooking time by over 30 minutes. If you don't have a pressure cooker, use a traditional stove-top cooking method.

Photo by Buckwheat Queen

10. Grilled Shrimp Rice Noodle Bowl

Here is another recipe with grilled shrimp, but instead of plain rice, it actually uses rice noodle. The beauty of using rice noodles is that they cook in just a few minutes, making this a perfect dish for a busy weeknight meal. Allrecipes member Jessica writes: "Delicious! I made this dinner 3 times in the past two weeks I enjoyed it so much. The flavors in this dish come together very nicely." The combination of mint, cilantro, fish sauce, lime, and fish sauce are reminiscent to flavors you'll find at your favorite Vietnamese restaurant.

11. Sizzling Steak Burrito Bowl

"This sizzling steak burrito bowl is not your average burrito bowl," says Culinary Envy. "Marinated grilled steak, savory Spanish rice, zesty beans and corn, smoky ranch, plus all the other fantastic fixings. Perfect for game day! Serve with lime wedges."

Photo by Culinary Envy

12. Easy Korean Ground Beef Bowl

Seasoned with green onions, ginger, soy sauce, and sesame, and served over brown rice, these Korean beef bowls make a quick and easy dinner. "The ingredients can easily be adjusted to suit your taste," says bd.weld.

Photo by bd.weld

Check out our collection of Rice Bowl Recipes.