Broccoli, Beet, and Kale Brown Rice Bowls with Pesto

Brown rice pesto bowls with broccoli, beets, and kale – a superfood dinner that takes no time at all to prepare.

This bowl is very telling. In fact, it’s a bit of a loud mouth.

If this bowl could talk, it would usher you over and tell you it’s a perfect example of what I eat on the nightly. Glamourous? Hardly.

Broccoli, Beet, and Kale Brown Rice Bowls with Pesto Sauce - a healthy, filling vegetarian meal | #vegetarian #dinner #recipe

It would state its case by providing examples:

Exhibit A. Exhibit B. Exhibit C. Exhibit D.  Exhibit E (<-particularly Exhibit E).

You see, on any given weeknight, come 5pm PST, my creative juices have dwindled, and I have hanger for a hot filling bowl of nutritious food. In order to avoid being a pantry pirate and making some real bad decisions, I’ve gotten into the habit of tossing loose odds and ends into a skillet and mix said ingredients with cooked rice and homemade or store-bought sauce. I will admit, sometimes said bowls are comprised of recipes deconstructed and re-purposed to fulfill my hankerings. I’ll periodically borrow the sauce from recipe A, the cooked veggies from recipe B, the meat from recipe C, give it all a little shake, add some salt and proceed to feed the food fiend.

I know you’re wondering…does this bowl tastes like topsoil? I can confirm and solemnly swear that it does not. Here’s where you’ll just have to take a flying leap of the Trust Cliff and spread those wings, m’dear. Because it’s maaaahvelous. When in doubt, just add more pesto.

If you’re plumb knackered at the end of the day, the veggies + rice (+ meat if you’re a carnivore) repertoire is pretty on point. It’s speedy quick and clean – your ultimate pantry piracy avoidance to keep your good decisions on track.

Broccoli Beet Kale Brown Rice Bowls with Pesto - an easy plant-based meal perfect for busy weeknights!

Red beets, broccoli, kale, red onion, and garlic are the main components of this recipe. Combined, these veggies award you a smattering of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Saute those items up, throw in some cooked rice (or prepare the rice while the veggies are sauteeing), and mix in your favorite pesto sauce. For this recipe, I used basil pesto sauce, but beet pesto or arugula pesto would be awesome as well! Need some protein? Just add chicken.
Get that superfood!

Broccoli, Beet, and Kale Brown Rice Bowls with Pesto

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Author: Julia


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 medium beet peeled and chopped into ¼-inch cubes
  • 1 large crown broccoli chopped into florets
  • ¼ red onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ head Russian red kale leaves chopped, about 4 cups
  • 1 cup dry short grain brown rice
  • 1/4 cup to 1/3 basil pesto sauce plus more for serving, store-bought or homemade
  • sea salt


  1. Cook the rice according to package instructions. While the rice is cooking, prepare the veggies.
  2. Heat the oil over medium-high in a skillet or wok. Add the chopped beet, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until beet turns bright red and begins to soften, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the broccoli and red onion and replace the cover. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until the broccoli turns bright green and has softened, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and kale, cover, and cook until kale has wilted, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the brown rice and pesto sauce and stir together well so that everything is combined and heated through. Taste the mixture for flavor and add sea salt to taste. Serve heaping bowls with additional pesto sauce to taste.

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  1. Medha @ Whisk & Shout

    This looks SO good. Like, unreal. I can’t believe you somehow think this could ever NOT be glamorous, because I was drooling the moment I saw that pesto! But, maybe I’m biased, because this is exactly my kind of daily meal too 🙂 Pinning!

  2. Ashley

    hahaha oh gosh I do the same thing so often for dinner!! These sound sooo good!! I seem to always have extra beets and broccoli in the fridge …. so I so need to try these bowls out!!

  3. Joanne

    Um, YES to post- 5pm exhaustion!! I really just need to make a big bowl of grains and a big bowl of beans on the weekend for random veggie bowls throughout the week. I feel like that would be a much better life choice than what I’ve been eating lately. Ahem.

  4. Michael Hernandez

    Tried it and wow was I surprised at the flavor! A filling, healthy meal that I will make and share many times over.

  5. lp

    i didn’t have any pesto (and tbh i’m not a huge fan of it in general) but i did have basil. i googled “broccoli & beets recipe” and found this recipe. i didn’t have any kale, either, and, i made it with fresh basil & thyme thrown in at the end (with like 1/8 the amount of garlic lol). it was so so so good. thank you for your post!

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi there! I’m so happy you enjoy the recipe with your changes! It’s so simple and healthful 😀 Many thanks for the sweet comment! xoxo

  6. Linda Thomas

    Indeed a great meal and very simple. Are used a simple tahini sauce because I didn’t have the ingredients for pesto. It was a great; truly vegan.

    Thank you from a non-Cook

    1. Julia Post author

      I’m so happy you like it, Linda! I love the idea of using a tahini sauce…I’ll have to try that soon! Thanks for the sweet note! 😀 xoxo


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