Pesto Infused Rice with Seitan


“How’d you get this so creamy?” one of my roommates asked me, sitting on the couch next to my other two roommates, too preoccupied with their own bowl of rice to ask questions.

Vegan pesto. It never fails to pull a bunch of ingredients together and make them taste coherently awesome. Originally, I pulled out my last batch of pesto frozen from the fall with intentions of slathering it on baked eggplant. But when I pulled out the eggplant housed in my bottom refrigerator drawer and noticed tan, soft spots speckling its purple skin, I abandoned ship and fleeted towards a different route.

My first thought was pasta, but then I stumbled upon a bag of rice on the way to fetch that pasta, and ended up making this dish: Pesto-Infused Rice with Seitan. It was a hit with everyone in my apartment, and my bet is that it’ll please the people in your household too. If you don’t have pesto stashed away in your freezer, find yourself some basil and simply let your food processor do the work. You can find my vegan recipe inserted below.

Pesto Infused Rice with Seitan


  • -3/4 cup brown rice
  • -1 1/2 cups water
  • -1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • -1 onion, chopped
  • -1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • -1 cup seitan, cubed
  • -2 packed cups chopped spinach
  • -Heaping 1/2 cup vegan pesto
  • -Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In medium sauce pan, combine water and rice, cover, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook 45 minutes, until rice is tender.
  2. In large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add onions, bell pepper and seitan. Generally season with salt and pepper. Saute until onions and pepper are tender. Stir in spinach. Add rice and pesto. Adjust salt and pepper, to taste. Serve.

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  • Reply
    February 1, 2012 at 9:08 am

    YUM! I never thought of combining pesto and rice but it looks fantastic! Can’t wait to try it! 🙂

  • Reply
    Nicole, RD
    February 1, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    That pesto-infusion…wow. That sounds absolutely incredible!! I love seitan, too. 🙂

  • Reply
    February 2, 2012 at 1:40 am

    Great article!!! I think I’m going to write a health product review on the benefits of brown rice

  • Reply
    The Candid RD
    February 2, 2012 at 7:23 am

    I’m doing a vegetarian store tour in a couple weeks and wanted to find a recipe to do with nutritional yeast, so thanks for the pesto recipe! It sounds great (basically just pesto, with nutritional yeast for added nutrients?!). I love it!
    Seitan I’m still a bit scared of….

  • Reply
    Hannah (BitterSweet)
    February 3, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Excellent, I just bought seitan on a whim because it was on sale! I knew the recipe would come to me… Thanks for providing it. 🙂

  • Reply
    February 7, 2012 at 12:15 am

    Flexitarian here. It was fantastic! And it didn’t take as long as anticipated given that I made the seitan from scratch.

  • Reply
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