Kid Friendly Rainbow Rice Pilaf

I think for most parents one of the hardest things to get kids to eat is their vegetables. My 2.5 year old has had a love/hate relationship with them. Some weeks she’s all about the broccoli, and others she refuses to eat anything but carbs. Rice has always been one of her favorite things to eat and sometimes is all she will eat for dinner. So I came up with a rice side dish that includes lots of veggies and is tasty for the whole family.

I searched around on Pinterest and found some recipes for rice pilaf (rice cooked in broth). Most rice pilaf recipes include onions, and other vegetables like peas. After some experimenting, I adapted a recipe into this Rainbow Rice recipe. I love making it because I can use whatever veggies I have in the house. Its flavorful and nutritious with 2 cups of vegetables hidden in it.

For this recipe I used a medium carrot, zucchini, and half of a red pepper I had leftover, but you could use whatever vegetables you have in the fridge. Other possibilities could be finely chopped broccoli, red onion, mushrooms, or peas. I love using carrots and zucchini because I can use a cheese grater to quickly grate my veggies into small pieces. Keep in mind, some vegetables have a higher water content and need to have some moisture squeezed out. Zucchini for instance can be quite wet, so I recommend grating it onto a tea towel, or paper towel, and wringing out the excess moisture.

Maybe the reason why my daughter loves this so much is because we call it Rainbow Rice. Either way, its a win for us! Follow me on Instagram, and let me know how this recipe works for your family.

Kid Friendly Rainbow Rice Pilaf

Prep Time 8 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 23 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6


  • 2 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 2 cups shredded or finely chopped veggies (I used carrots, zucchini, and red pepper)
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice, rinced
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 clove garlic, minced *optional
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Prepare your veggies. Wash and grate, or finely chop, 2 cups of vegetables. Keep in mind, vegetables with a higher moisture content, like zucchini, should have the excess moisture squeezed out for best results. Simply put grated veggies on a tea towel, or paper towel, and squeeze the excess moisture out.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat oil or butter over medium high heat. Add your veggies to the pot and sauté for approx 3 mins. This helps cook away some of the moisture in your vegetables. Add in the rinced rice and garlic (if using), and sauté for 1-2 minutes more.
  • Add in chicken or vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for 13-15 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.
  • Fluff with a fork and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.
Keyword easy, kids, rice