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Easy Vegan Meatball Rice Bake - One-Pot Dinner

 This easy vegan meatball rice bake is a delicious one-pot dinner that's simple to make, with less time in the kitchen and less washing up.

Easy Vegan Meatball Rice Bake

Easy Vegan Meatball Rice Bake - One Pot Dinner

I love a one-pot dinner for their ease and less washing up is always a win.

My latest is this vegan meatball rice bake, a very easy one-pot dinner.

It gets the big thumbs up from both my husband and son.

The fact that my son loved it was a big win, as he can be a bit picky with new dishes.

I have to agree that it's rather tasty.

Rice bakes

Rice bakes are a great way of cooking rice along with whatever you are serving it with.

The rice steams gently in liquid under the other ingredients, while the vegetables and anything else you add roasts on top.

Perfect every time.

After you've tried this vegan meatball bake, try roasted vegetable rice bake; mushroom rice bake with gravy or this fakeaway Chinese sweet and sour tofu rice bake.

Which rice works best in a rice bake

Basmati is the perfect rice to use in a rice bake.

It's a long-grain, aromatic rice.

It can be replaced with another long-grain rice or white rice

Don't use creamy rice like arborio or pudding rice which are just used for risotto or rice pudding and not right for this type of dish.

vegan meatball rice dish with a serving spoon.

Why are rice bakes so good?

Here are a few reasons I recommend these one-pot rice bakes so highly.

  1. Fluffy - the rice cooks perfectly and is light and fluffy
  2. Smoky - the vegetables roast for that smoky rich flavour
  3. One-dish - it's all cooked in one dish, with no pre-cooking of any of the ingredients
  4. Healthy - no added oil
  5. Frugal - use up whatever vegetables you have
  6. Frozen - use cheaper frozen veg
  7. Protein - rice is a source of protein, but you can add more with pulses, tofu or vegan meatballs
  8. Air fry - you can bake this in the oven or an air fryer
  9. Cheap - it's a cheap family meal
  10. Less washing up - no pots to wash, just one ovenproof dish

Love one-pot dinners? Try this easy falafel & sweet potato roasting pan dinner.

Reader's photos

I absolutely love when readers tell me they enjoy my recipes.

It's an added bonus when they share a photo too.

Lovely comments make all the hard work worth it 

Reader's photo and comment - the family loved it, meat-eaters too.

Lovely comment about Tinned Tomatoes blog recipes always being good

Reader's photo of meatball bake (really enjoyed it for dinner,)

Reader's comment - made with a few veg swaps and enjoyed it.

Reader's photo of meatball bake - absolutely gorgeous & her husband loved it too.

Reader's photo of meatball bake - loved it, sister and husband asked for second helpings .

vegetable protein balls.

Which vegan meatballs?

There are lots of plant-based vegan meatballs available from supermarkets and health food shops.

Some are soya based, some are made with pea protein and some are vegetable and bean-based.

I've not tried a bad vegan meatball yet. They've all been good.

And of course, you can make your own. Try these chickpea and rice meatballs; aubergine meatballs; or these bean balls.

close up of meatball rice bake,

What you need to make plant-based meatball rice bake

Here are the simple ingredients you need to make this easy and delicious veggie meatball recipe.

  1. Rice - basmati rice
  2. Vegetable stock - vegetable stock cube
  3. Oregano - dried
  4. Basil - dried
  5. Salt & pepper - to season
  6. Meatballs - vegan of course
  7. Meatball sauce - or pasta sauce, like tomato sauce or marinara sauce
  8. Peppers - bell peppers, any colour
  9. Onions - red or brown


Here are a few tweaks you can make to this dish.

  • Beans - add white cannellini beans or chickpeas to the rice layer
  • Corn - add a layer of corn over the rice layer.
  • Use up veg - use whatever veg you have
  • Spice - add some chilli flakes or fresh chilli and paprika to the sauce to spice it up

Next, check out Easy Vegan Rice Recipes for Lunch or Dinner.

Rice bake spooned over to show the rice layer.

Make it saucy!

The sauce added to this rice bake coats the veg well and soaks into the rice but it isn't super saucy.

For a more saucy finish, add an extra layer of sauce.

Wait until the veg is roasted and the vegetarian meatballs are starting to brown before adding it.

Just drizzle it over the 'meatballs' and veg, then pop it back in the oven for a few minutes to allow the sauce to warm through before serving.

What kind of dish do you cook meatball rice bake in?

You can cook this rice bake in a casserole dish, oven dish or roasting tin.

My oven dish is 31 cm x 23 cm (12 inches x 9 inches) and 6 1/2 cm (2 1/2 inches ) deep.

Try to use a dish with similar dimensions like this Kitchen Craft Oven Dish or this rather nice turquoise Hairy Biker's Oven Dish.

It can be a little bigger or smaller and deeper.

Rice with vegan meatballs.

How to serve vegan meatball bake

To be honest, I just serve this bake as it is. 

It's the perfect one-dish meal.

However, you may like to serve it a bit differently.

Here are a few meatball bake ideas for you.

  • Salad - with a dressed side salad
  • Potato wedges - for a double carb taste sensation
  • Burrito - serve in wraps, topped with sauce and cheese, then baked
  • Wraps - in wraps with salad and mango chutney
  • Poppadoms - on the side with mango chutney

How long will this baked rice keep?

As with any rice dish, you need to cool it quickly before storing it in the fridge.

Once it is out of the oven, spoon it into another dish to cool, then pop it in the fridge in an airtight container.

Don't leave it out on the counter long, as bacteria builds quickly on rice.

You can keep it in the fridge for one day and reheat it until properly hot.

Never reheat rice more than once!

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How to make this rice bake with vegetables and vegan meatballs

A step-by-step photo guide followed by a full printable recipe.

I hope you enjoy this easy, protein-packed rice bake.

making meatball rice bake - step 1 - rice and sauce.

Step 1

  • Add the rinsed rice to a casserole dish and add the vegetable stock, herbs and seasoning.
  • Next, add the tomato sauce.
  • Then scatter the red onion across the bake.

making meatball rice bake - step 2 - meatballs and roasting.

Step 2

  • Now add a layer of sliced peppers.
  • Next, add a layer of vegan meatballs.
  • You can spray or drizzle some olive oil for a nice finish, but you don't have to.
  • Bake, then serve and enjoy!

rice, rice bake, vegan meatballs, vegan meatball bake, one-pot dinner
British, vegan
Yield: 4
Author: Jacqueline Meldrum
Easy Vegan Meatball Rice Bake

Easy Vegan Meatball Rice Bake

This easy vegan meatball rice bake is a delicious one-pot dinner that's simple to make, with less time in the kitchen and less washing up.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 45 MinTotal time: 55 Min


  • 225g (1.2 cups) basmati rice
  • 1 vegetable stock cube (made into stock with 300ml/1.12 cups boiling water)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • a good grinding of salt and pepper
  • 500ml meatball tomato sauce (or tomato pasta sauce)
  • 1 red onion, peeled, halved and roughly sliced
  • 2 bell peppers (any colour), topped and desseded, then cut into slices
  • 400g (14 oz) vegan meatballs (more or less is fine)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/350f/gas mark 4.
  2. Rinse the rice, drain off the water then place in a large oven-proof dish or a casserole dish. My dish is 31 cm x 23 cm (12 inches x 9 inches) and 6 ½ cm (2 ½ inches deep).
  3. Make up your stock, adding the herbs, salt and pepper, then pour it over the rice and mix together.
  4. Pour over the tomato sauce and spread in an even layer.
  5. Top with a layer of sliced onions and peppers.
  6. Now add the vegan 'meatballs'.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes until the 'meatballs' are starting to brown.
  8. Serve and enjoy!


  • You can use up any veg you have.
  • For a saucier mixture, 5 minutes before the end of cooking, pour a layer of sauce on top and pop back in the oven for a few minutes to warm the sauce through.
  • As with any rice dish, you need to cool it quickly before storing it in the fridge. Once it is out of the oven, spoon it into another dish to cool, then pop it in the fridge in an airtight container. Don't leave it out on the counter long, as bacteria builds quickly on rice. You can keep it in the fridge for one day and reheat it until properly hot. Never reheat rice more than once!

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

22.44 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

8.08 g

Carbs (grams)

58.67 g

Fiber (grams)

4.71 g

Net carbs

53.94 g

Sugar (grams)

8.45 g

Protein (grams)

23.48 g

Sodium (milligrams)

894.63 mg

Cholesterol (grams)

72 mg


  1. That looks amazing and so easy. Can't wait to try it. Jill x

    1. I hope you try and enjoy it Jill.

    2. I made it for my daughter and I for dinner last night with some naan bread and some mango chutney (you got me doing that with my dahl too). We loved it and I'll make again soon. Thanks for another brilliant recipe. Jill x

    3. Oh that's fabulous! I am so glad you both enjoyed it.

  2. Putting it on my meal plan now! (Sam B)

  3. Never thought of doing this but it looks tasty. Nice idea

  4. My family really liked this rice bake. Thanks for this recipe!

    1. I am so glad you liked it. I'm chuffed a few people have tried it already and loved it

  5. Your Easy Vegan Meatball Rice Bake is an absolute game-changer! Not only is it delicious and hearty, but the one-pot convenience makes clean-up a breeze. The vegan meatballs are flavorful and satisfying, and they perfectly complement the wholesome, perfectly cooked rice. With a dish this fantastic, it's clear that you've nailed the art of vegan cooking, offering a balance between health, ease, and taste. It's recipes like this one that make vegan eating exciting and accessible. Great job!

    1. Wow, what a fabulous comment. Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know your thoughts.

  6. This easy, one pot dish looks and sounds incredible. A great meal for a busy weeknight.

    1. Oh yes it's definitely a perfect one for midweek with very little prep but lots of flavour and filling too.

  7. One pot meals are the best, especially for busy weeknights! This is also a great dish to serve when entertaining guests who are on a vegan diet. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh yes it is definitely both those things and if you aren't vegan you can use your favourite meatballs

  8. Love this Easy Vegan Meatball Rice Bake - One-Pot Dinner recipe, is easy and looks delicious. Always looking for vegan recipes as I do not eat meat and have Hashimoto, can not eat dairy, so always helpful to see this kind of recipe. Thanks for sharing and making easy for us :)

    1. I am so glad it's just what you are looking for. I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we do.

  9. What a great idea for an easy weeknight meal. This vegan meatball rice bake looks delicious.

    1. Oh yes it's super simple to make. Just layer everything up in the dish & let the oven do the work.

  10. This easy meatball rice bake looks and sounds marvelous. It's perfect for a meatless meal on a busy weeknight.

    1. Yes it's perfect for a weeknight dinner. So tasty too.

  11. Love this easy vegan one pot dish. Making it for dinner tonight. Thanks for sharing.

  12. With our crazy summer schedule anything in one dish is a must-try for my household. We enjoyed this vegan meatball rice bake for dinner. Just the right amount of spices, textures and tastes in this meal. An added plus is we are trying to have more plant-based meals! This one is going in my recipe box!

    1. I have lots of one-pan dishes like this if you need more ideas. I'm so glad you enjoyed my meatball bake.


I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x