Nutty and savory Peanut Butter Rice that only requires 5 minutes of actual cooking. A delicious one-pot dish that is a quick, wholesome, and healthy delight!

Disclaimer: This is traditionally an African peanut butter rice recipe that originates from Zimbabwe and called mupunga unedovi . My version is NOT the authentic version as I’ve added soy sauce into the mix. Plus, the original version is usually mushy.

From my research, you can find this dish in most homes in Zimbabwe. You can check out this YouTube video from ZimboKitchen if you’re interested.

Close-up of peanut butter rice with a spoon, served with peas and marinated tofu.

In this post you’ll learn:

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • šŸŒ± Healthy Delight: Enjoy guilt-free Peanut Butter Rice ā€“ a tasty vegetarian & vegan bowl packed with protein and healthy fats.
  • šŸš Easy Peasy Cooking: No chopping required!
  • šŸ•’ Quick: Ready in 15 minutes, and you only need 3 minutes of real cooking to mix the peanut butter sauce!
  • šŸŒ¶ļø Mild or Wild Option: Whether you like it spicy or mild, this recipe is customizable to suit your taste buds perfectly.
  • šŸŒˆ Customizable: Get creative! Add your favorite veggies or protein and make it a meal.
  • šŸ½ļø One-Pot Dish: Not a fan of dishes? Same. This recipe is one-pot, leaving you more time to savor life and spend less time at the sink!
A white bowl with peanut butter rice and tofu with a spoon, with coriander in the foreground and another bowl in the background.

Ingredients

  • Brown Rice: A hearty and wholesome base that adds a nutty flavor.
    • I use long-grain Basmati rice for this because I don’t want the grains to get sticky.
    • Feel free to sub with regular brown rice, but refrain from using short-grain rice if you don’t want the rice to be sticky.
  • Peanut Butter: The star of the show, bringing a creamy, nutty indulgence when used as a peanut sauce.
  • Soy Sauce: A savory umami boost that takes this Peanut Sauce Rice up a notch. It’s a must!

And three optional spices & garnish:

  • Garlic Powder: Elevate the flavor profile with a hint of garlic, adding aromatic undertones.
    • Feel free to substitute with 1 cloves of finely minced garlic. Add the minced garlic to the pot of uncooked brown rice so you won’t have the aftertaste of raw garlic.
  • Cayenne Pepper: A pinch of heat; customize the spice level to your liking.
  • Coriander: Surprisingly, they pair really well with peanuts! But of course, only add this if it doesn’t taste like soap to you! šŸ˜‰
Ingredients for peanut butter rice with labels on a white marbled background.

Step-by-step Instructions

Step 1: Cook the Rice

Cook the rice following package instructions.

For a general guide, use 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of brown rice. Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until cooked; no stirring is needed.

Taste-test after 10 minutes; add water if necessary to prevent burning. It could take anywhere between 10-30 minutes to cook brown rice, depending on the brand.

Once the rice is done and fluffy, turn off the heat. If the rice is sticky at the bottom, cover with a lid for 3-5 minutes so the rice won’t stick anymore.

Step 2: Mix with the Peanut Butter Sauce

While waiting, break apart any clumped peanut butter with the back of a spoon.

In a bowl, mix the peanut butter, soy sauce, and optional spices (garlic powder, cayenne pepper).

Pour the peanut butter sauce/mixture into the rice pot, then mix, ensuring all grains are well coated.

Garnish with coriander if using. Serve warm and enjoy your Peanut Sauce Rice!

A big white plastic spatula with savory peanut butter rice taken from above.

What should I do if my rice is still hard after cooking?

Don’t worry, you can just add a bit more water (around 1/4 cup of water) to your saucepan and continue cooking on low heat. Repeat this as many times as necessary until your rice is cooked.

Top Tips

  • Rice – Avoid using short-grain rice such as sushi rice, risotto rice, or Spanish bomba rice as they are stickier.
  • Peanut Butter – Choose 100% natural peanut butter with only peanuts listed as the ingredient, as many peanut butter include added sugar and other additives.
  • Cover / Not Cover the Pot – While some people advocate for covering your pot of rice, I don’t find this necessary.
    • I don’t usually cover my pot since it’s easier for me to check whether my rice is done.
    • Plus it also means fewer dishes for me. But feel free to cook your rice covered, or in any way you’re used to!
  • Quick Serving – If you’re tight on time, this recipe is already delicious with frozen peas! Simply microwave your green peas and you’re done!
    • If you have more time and would like something more filling, scroll down because the next section is all about serving suggestions!

Serving Suggestions

This rice peanut butter pairs well with my Easy Marinated Tofu, like what I had done below. I’ve also added some frozen peas which I microwaved to defrost for extra veggies! Easy peasy!

They also pair really well with my Indonesian Sticky Tempeh recipe. Because even though this is traditionally a Zimbabwean peanut butter rice recipe, peanut sauce is a very Indonesian thing too so of course they pair well!

This rice with peanut butter sauce also goes well with my Vegan Jackfruit Rendang recipe (Indonesian curry-like dish) or with my Roasted Tandoori Vegetables.

Jazz It Up

Make this a one-pot meal by dumping in some frozen vegetables, to the uncooked rice. You can also add some finely chopped fresh vegetables like carrots and onions to the pot.

For more protein, add some tofu into the mix, or check out my 5-Minute Easy Marinated Tofu, which will be done marinating just in time when your rice is done.

Of course, you can also make peanut butter fried rice with this, especially if you have leftover rice.

In terms of presentation, garnish is key. You can add some red pepper flakes and your herbs of choice to make this dish stand out. My favorites are chives and spring onions!

Or if you’re amping up the presentation, pack the rice into a small circular bowl. Then put a plate on top of it and invert it to make a neat peanut rice dome, like how they serve rice in restaurants.

Two hands holding a white plate of peanut butter rice with marinated tofu, peas, and coriander.

Storage and Meal Prep Instructions

Storage: Store any leftover Peanut Butter Rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Consume within 5 days.

Meal prep: This rice with peanut butter is meal prep-friendly! Cook a larger batch, divide it into individual portions, and refrigerate for quick and easy meals throughout the week.

Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop, adding splashes of water if it gets too dry.

Freezing: I do not recommend freezing this rice and peanut butter since the texture might change as rice tends to get grainy when frozen.

Close-up of peanut sauce rice with tofu, peas, coriander, and a spoon digging into the dish.

FAQ

What tastes good with peanut butter?

Ohh I can write you an entire article about this!

It goes well with fruits (such as apples and banans), chocolate (such as in my Chocolate Chip Baked Oats), oatmeal, yogurt (such as when used as a topping in my Vegan Quark Bowl recipe), in ice cream, or of course the classic peanut butter & jelly combination (which is featured in my Cake-like Healthy Baked Oats Without Banana recipe)!

Can I use noodles instead of rice to make peanut butter noodles?

Yes, this sounds like a great idea! Note that you might need to increase the quantity of the peanut sauce ingredients to be able to coat it well.

When mixing with noodles, make sure that your peanut sauce is mixed well before you pour it into the noodle bowl.

Can I use white rice instead of brown rice?

Yes, you can. Although note that brown rice packs much more nutrients than white rice. Check this Cleveland Clinic article for the differences in nutrition between brown and white rice.

Note that you might need to reduce the cooking time accordingly.

Can I use leftover rice for this recipe?

Yes, you can. Make sure to reheat your rice though, so the peanut butter will mix more easily.

If you have leftover rice, you can also make peanut butter fried rice instead. Similar steps as making your regular fried rice, just adding the peanut sauce at the end!

What other spices can I add for more flavor?

Experiment with ginger, lime, or even a dash of sesame oil for extra depth!

Can I use a rice cooker to make the rice instead of a saucepan?

Absolutely, a rice cooker works well in this rice with peanut butter recipe.

Want More Recipes Like This?

If you like this recipe, I bet you would also like my Peanut Avocado Sushi Roll!

And for more saucy (& spicy) recipes, check out my Kimchi Aioli, Gochujang Aioli, or my Tandoori Mayonnaise. All three sauces are oil-free but taste just as creamy as ever!

3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Rice (Peanut Sauce Rice)

Closeup of peanut butter rice with peas and marinated tofu.
Nutty and savory Peanut Butter Rice that only requires 5 minutes of actual cooking. A delicious one-pot dish that is a quick, wholesome, and healthy delight!
Jem @ The Fruity Jem
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Serving Size 3 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice (200 grams), I used basmati but feel free to sub with other brown rice
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce (15 ml)

And the OPTIONAL spices & garnish

  • Ā½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • a pinch cayenne pepper adjust according to preference
  • coriander chopped (for garnish)

Instructions

Cook the Rice

  • Cook the rice according to package instructions.
  • If it's missing, a general instruction is to use 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice used. Bring it to a boil in a saucepan or a small pot, then reduce the heat to low once boiling.
    Simmer on low heat until the rice is cooked, doing a taste test after the first 10 minutes. You do NOT have to stir your rice at all so you can just leave it as it is.
  • To prevent burning, add more water every now and then if the rice is still uncooked but if there is no more water in the pan.
  • Once the rice is done, turn off the heat.
  • If the bottom of the rice is sticking to the pot, cover the pot with a lid for 3-5 minutes. This will trap the steam so the bottom doesn't stick.
    Skip this step if your rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.

Mix with the Peanut Butter Sauce

  • While waiting, if your peanut butter is clumping together, use the back of the spoon to press and break apart your peanut butter.
  • To the bowl containing your peanut butter, add the soy sauce and the optional spices (garlic powder and cayenne pepper). Then mix the sauce mixture.
  • Now pour the peanut butter mixture into the rice pot and mix until all the rice grains are well coated. Garnish with the optional coriander if using.
  • Serve while warm and enjoy!
    Feel free to add some extra protein as you wish.

Notes

Top Tips
  • Rice – Avoid using short-grain rice such as sushi rice, risotto rice, or Spanish bomba rice as they are stickier.
  • Peanut Butter – Choose 100% natural peanut butter with only peanuts listed as the ingredient, as many peanut butters include added sugar and other additives.
  • Cover / Not Cover the Pot – While some people advocate for covering your pot of rice, I don’t find this necessary.
      • I don’t usually cover my pot since it’s easier for me to check whether my rice is done.
    • Plus it also means fewer dishes for me. But feel free to cook your rice covered, or in any way you’re used to!
  • Quick Serving – If you’re tight on time, this recipe is already delicious with frozen peas! Simply microwave your green peas and you’re done!
      Storage, Meal Prep, and Freezing Instructions
      • Storage: Store any leftover Peanut Butter Rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Consume within 5 days.
      • Meal prep: This recipe is meal prep-friendly! Cook a larger batch, divide it into individual portions, and refrigerate for quick and easy meals throughout the week.
        • Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop, adding splashes of water if it gets too dry.
      • Freezing: I do not recommend freezing this rice and peanut butter since the texture might change as rice tends to get grainy when frozen.

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      Recipe Rating




      2 Comments

      1. 5 stars
        Was a bit skeptic with this combo but I tried it anyway to use up my peanut butter. It’s actually really good. Just served it with some grilled veggies and it was delicious.

      2. 5 stars
        Love this combo, makes for a more fulfilling meal.