Forbidden rice bowls with a variety of roasted vegetables and carrot top pesto sauce. This colorful, nutrient-rich meal is perfect for using up your supply of farmer’s market veggies.
Roasted Vegetable Forbidden Rice Bowls with Carrot Top Pesto

These forbidden rice bowls are the perfect swoon-worthy nutrient-dense meal.

Clean, full of variety, flavor, and texture, and a most excellent way of using up the random vegetables we find in the nooks and crannies of our fridge. 

Plunk a variety of roasted summer veggies in a bowl with some rice (be it actual rice, sweet potato rice, broccoli rice, etc), some form of protein, and sauce, and I’m all doe-eyed and hearts and flowers.

Make it colorful, and I’m swooning!

Roasted Vegetable Forbidden Rice Bowls with Carrot Top Pesto

The combination of roasted heirloom carrots, summer squash, sweet potato, heirloom cherry tomatoes, a jammy egg or two with some homemade pesto sauce in these forbidden rice bowls is all sorts of dreamy.

What is Forbidden Rice?:

Forbidden Rice is simply another name for black rice (also known as purple rice). Grocery stores place it right next to brown and white rice in the rice aisle 🙂 If you prefer using a different rice, go for it!

Lettuce discuss the elephant in the room: the rice.

Whether or not rice and potatoes are paleo-approved completely depends on who you ask…and the answer is usually a reflection of whether or not that person can tolerate one or the other. You can read more about this in my blog post, Is Rice Paleo?.

I handle rice like a true champ, so my one modification to eating paleo is I do consume rice. With that said, if you already know your body doesn’t bode well with rice, you can easily swap it out for cauliflower rice (or vegetable rice of choice, such as sweet potato, beet, broccoli, etc.), spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles (or vegetable noodle of choice), quinoa, etc. Point is, you have options!

Pesto Sauce Options:

Have you ever made carrot top pesto sauce using the carrot greens that are attached to carrots?

I love using vegetable greens in pesto sauce, which is exactly what I did with the carrot tops here. Simply remove the carrot tops from the carrots, give them a good wash, and use them in combination with basil or your favorite fresh herb for a dreamy-fresh sauce!

Because I’m sensitive to garlic, I made the carrot top pesto without garlic. If you’re stomach is cool with it, feel free to add in 1 to 3 cloves, depending on your personal preference.

To keep the pesto dairy-free, I simply roasted some walnuts and added nutritional yeast, both of which can yield that nutty, creamy, cheesy flavor so that we’re not missing out on anything.

AND if you’re looking for a different type of pesto, I’ve got you covered! Try my beet green pesto, kale pesto, roasted beet pesto, basil pesto sauce, or your favorite pesto sauce of choice.

Recipe Notes:

  • For meal prep, make the pesto sauce up to 5 days ahead of time and store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
  • Roast the vegetables and cook the rice up to 2 days ahead of time.
  • Use your favorite homemade or store-bought pesto sauce.
  • Use any type of rice, vegetable “rice,” or vegetable noodle as the base for these bowls.
  • Add grilled chicken, steak, or salmon for added animal protein.

Other modifications you can make to this forbidden rice bowl? Generally, if it’s local, or if it’s in season, I say go for it. Use your farmer’s market and CSA produce to your heart’s delight!

My cookbook, Paleo Power Bowls, is now available! CLICK HERE to check it out. Thank you for your support!

If you make this recipe, please feel free to share a photo and tag me at @The.Roasted.Root on Instagram!

Roasted Vegetable Forbidden Rice Bowls with Carrot Top Pesto

Roasted Vegetable Forbidden Rice Bowls

5 from 1 vote
Roasted vegetables, forbidden rice and homemade carrot top pesto comprise these delicious bowls
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 3 to 4 people


Carrot Top Pesto

Roasted Vegetable Forbidden Rice Bowls

  • 1 large zucchini squash chopped
  • 1 large patty pan squash chopped
  • 1 bunch heirloom carrots tops removed
  • 1 large sweet potato chopped
  • 3 to 4 cups cooked forbidden rice
  • 1.5 cups heirloom cherry tomatoes
  • 2 ounces microgreens
  • 4 to 8 large eggs soft or hard boiled


Make the Carrot Top Pesto

  • Add pesto ingredients minus the oil to a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Leaving the food processor on, slowly stream the olive oil through the opening of the top. Taste pesto for flavor and add more sea salt and/or cider vinegar to taste. Transfer to a sealable container or jar and refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare the Roasted Vegetable Bowls

  • Preheat the oven to 415 degrees F.
  • Spread the chopped zucchini, patty pan squash, heirloom carrots, and sweet potato over 2 large baking sheets. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Use your hands to toss everything together so that the vegetables are coated with oil. Roast for 25 to 35 minutes, until vegetables reach desired doneness, giving the vegetables a stir or shake halfway through roasting.
  • Divide the rice between 3 or 4 large bowls. Top with roasted vegetables, cherry tomatoes, microgreens, and hard or soft boiled eggs. Drizzle with desired amount of carrot top pesto, and serve!


*Use 1 cup parmesan cheese for an un-paleo version
**Use 1/3 to 2/3 cup olive oil, depending on desired pesto sauce consistency.
If you aren't sensitive to garlic, add 1 to 2 cloves raw or roasted garlic to the pesto.
You can use your favorite homemade or store-bought pesto sauce instead of the carrot top pesto if you'd like.


Serving: 1Bowl (of 4) · Calories: 587kcal · Carbohydrates: 47g · Protein: 20g · Fat: 38g · Fiber: 9g · Sugar: 12g
Author: Julia
Course: Lifestyle
Cuisine: American
Keyword: forbidden rice recipe, gluten free recipes, healthy bowl, paleo, roasted vegetable forbidden rice bowls, vegetarian meal, what is forbidden rice
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!
Farmer's Market Roasted Veggie Rice Bowls with Carrot Top Pesto - make great use of your CSA Box or farmer's market produce with these delicious, colorful bowls!

Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living,, etc.

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Questions and Reviews

  1. I think it’s so awesome that you’re not limiting yourself from certain foods just because they aren’t technically paleo. If it makes you feel good then kuddos for listening to your body. With all of the conflicting research out there, it’s really the best thing we can do for our health as individuals.

    Anyways, this bowl is speaking all of my love languages. I’m obsessed with that pesto! Definitely trying that soon!

  2. this is a kind of meal i need after a vacation where im all about veggies!!! such a beautiful presentation 🙂

      1. Hi Cindy!

        Forbidden rice is simply black/purple rice. You can find it in the rice aisle next to the brown rice and white rice. You can always swap it out for what you have on hand, though! xoxo

  3. LOVE that you listed all your pestos for a make-it-your-own style dinner! Those are always my most successful ones.

  4. yummy recipe with all of the ingredients I love, especially sweet potatoes and great idea to use all of these as a all in one clean out your refrigerator dish, thank you