Harvest Rice Bake with Crispy Breadcrumbs

A simple Harvest Rice Bake, perfect for your holiday table (and a great vegan Thanksgiving side!) I recommend using panko bread crumbs on top- they amp the crispiness in this easy dish.

Harvest Rice Bake is a perfect vegan Thanksgiving side! Made with sweet potatoes, vegetable broth, wholegrain brown rice, and topped with crispy breadcrumbs.

Somehow, some way, we made it to October. 

It’s already the second week of the month, guys, and I’m torn between feeling dizzy at the thought that 2018 is almost to a close, and at the same time gleefully pulling out all my sweaters, boots, and comfy cold-weather clothes.

In other words, see ya later, spaghetti straps. I’ll start missing you in February. Today, I’m all about the knits.

Knits that feel extra cozy when we think about this simple Harvest Rice Bake, made with just a handful of ingredients and is -get this! – the perf vegan Thanksgiving side.

I mean, vegans need love on Thanksgiving too, right? The day is about more than just the turkey!

Of course, if you’re like me, you shower the top of this Harvest Rice Bake with crumbled goat cheese because #IHEARTCHEESE and even though I love me a good vegan buddy, I’m not losing the cheese. So feel free to do whichever version floats your foodie boat.

This is another rice dish made using VeeTee Rice, the company kind enough to sponsor this post (meaning I received some compensation and free rice in exchange for the time and effort it took to develop and photograph the recipe below)

VeeTee par-cooks their rice prior to packaging. This means their rice blends are the perfect match for recipes like this, recipes that “finish” the rice during the overall baking process.

Harvest Rice Bake is a perfect vegan Thanksgiving side! Made with sweet potatoes, vegetable broth, wholegrain brown rice, and topped with crispy breadcrumbs.

| READ: Thanksgiving Turkey With Herb Butter Seasoning

Remember the kimchi fried rice and the spicy arancini from earlier this year? This is along the same lines; the vegetables and rice cook together in the pan, but since the rice is parcooked, the starch within the rice releases earlier in the cooking process, making the whole dish all creamy and yummy and bring in fall flavors like whoa.  

I used sweet potatoes and cauliflower in this recipe, but I’m already playing with adding sliced brussels sprouts, or butternut squash, or even chunks of apples into the mix.

You know, like all the fall things that are glorious and wonderful. Grab your wooly socks and a steaming cup of tea and let’s fall the hell out of tonight with a Harvest Rice Bake.

Harvest Rice Bake is a perfect vegan Thanksgiving side! Made with sweet potatoes, vegetable broth, wholegrain brown rice, and topped with crispy breadcrumbs.

Harvest Rice Bake


Dry Goods

brown rice1 1/2 cup, cooked
table salt1 teaspoon
chicken broth2 cups
olive oil2 tablespoons
panko breadcrumbs1 cup


sweet potato1 large, peeled and roughly chopped
cauliflower1 head, stem removed and roughly chopped
garlic2 cloves, minced
fresh sage2 tablespoons minced


Italian sausage1 pound, sliced into coins (optional)


This simple dish is filled with autumnal ingredients, topped with fried crispy breadcrumbs on top. I originally developed this recipe for a prepackaged microwave rice brand, but I’ve amended instructions below for making the rice on your own and adding into the dish. The rice is added once it’s cooked halfway, so it finishes in the heat of the oven and doesn’t overcook in the process. I love adding shredded chicken to this dish, which adds a protein boost that makes this dish worthy of dinner- but it’s delicious without, as well. If you don’t feel like cooking the chicken beforehand, I recommend picking up a rotisserie chicken at your local grocer. If you can’t find fresh sage, sub dry rubbed sage.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F and grease an 8×8” baking dish.
  2. Rinse the rice under cold water.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, and add the rice. Stir, letting the liquid dissipate, until the rice is slightly browned at the edges and beginning to toast.
  4. Slowly add to the pot 2 cups of water, stirring as you go, then add the table salt. 
  5. Bring to a boil and let cook with the lid off until the water has cooked off. The rice should be cooked on the outside but still slightly hard on the inside. (Alternatively, use 1 pack of VeeTee microwaveable rice)
  6. In a large bowl, combine the cooked rice, shredded chicken if using, chopped sweet potato, chopped cauliflower, minced garlic, minced sage, and Kosher salt. 
  7. Stir until well combined, then pour into the greased baking dish.
  8. Pour the vegetable broth in the pan.
  9. Cover the dish tightly with a lid or wrap in foil. Place in the oven and bake 30 minutes or until the cauliflower and sweet potatoes have softened all the way through.
  10. While the dish is baking, heat the olive oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Stir in the breadcrumbs until they are coated in the oil, then continue to cook, stirring often, until the breadcrumbs have turned a golden brown and crispy. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  11. When the rice dish is done baking, scatter the dish evenly with the fried breadcrumbs and serve warm.

Prep Plan

Prep it for later:
1. Make the rice as instructed, and set aside until cool enough to store.
2. Chop the shredded chicken if using, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, garlic, sage, and Kosher salt.
3. Combine with the half cooked rice in a large resealable bag or container.
4. Fry the breadcrumbs on the stove and transfer to a resealable bag or container.

You’ll need:
1 bag or container of half-cooked rice, shredded chicken if using, chopped vegetables, and minced sage
1 bag or container of fried breadcrumbs

Prepare from prepped:
1. Preheat the oven to 350*F and grease a 9×13” baking dish.
2. Spread the rice/shredded chicken/chopped vegetables mixture in the dish, then add the vegetable broth.
3. Cover the pan tightly with a lid or foil, and place in the oven.
4. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes and cauliflower have cooked through and softened.
5. Remove the lid or foil and evenly scatter the fried breadcrumbs on top of the dish.
6. Serve hot.

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