40 Rice Cake Topping Ideas
Let's be honest, here. By themselves, unflavored rice cakes aren't terribly exciting. However, they have some sterling qualities:
- They are gluten-free.
- They are vegan.
- You can buy them non-GMO, organic-certified.
- There are only 60 calories in a rice cake (some brands have fewer).
- The plain varieties contain no saturated or trans fats.
I like them because they are versatile, fairly inexpensive, and crunchy.
As a person who struggles with portion control, I'd like to remind you that it doesn't matter if you are eating a very healthy, 45-60-calorie gluten-free snack if you use too much of the topping. I noticed during one testing session that my cottage cheese layer was as thick as the rice cake. If I am making a meal out of one of these, I'd give myself a little leeway. However, if it's supposed to be a snack, I have to be careful about how much topping I am using. End of lecture. (See also: How to Lose Weight With Portion Control)
Back to their versatility, though. Below are forty suggestions for topping rice cakes.
I eat a lot of rice cakes at work, because I hate it when my sandwich bread gets mushy. Simply pack the toppings separately from the rice cakes, and assemble at lunchtime.
1. Egg Salad
Don't have an egg salad recipe? Now you have 12.
2. Tofu-Eggless Salad
3. Chicken Salad
4. Tuna Salad
Often made with mayonnaise, Max's favorite secret ingredient.
5. Ham and Swiss
I usually add a squirt of Dijon mustard.
6. Devilled Ham
I like mine with Dijon mustard and green onions, as in this devilled ham recipe (just use green onions instead of yellow).
7. Turkey and Muenster Cheese
With sprouts and some of that delicious spicy horseradish mustard … so good.
8. Holiday Turkey Sandwich
My new favorite "holiday sandwich" is this one: Turkey breast, cream cheese, red onion, sprouts, and cranberry relish. Instead of bread, rice cake! (See also: Creative Recipes for Leftover Turkey)
9. Quick Pizza
For a more Italian flavor, try salami or pepperoni with mozzarella , olives, and a tomato slice. I like to microwave that one briefly, just to melt the cheese. Emergency pizza!
10. Peanut or Almond Butter
There's nothing wrong with the basics.
11. Peanut or Almond Butter…
and honey, or jelly. An even better basic.
Appetizers Using Rice Cakes
When I get home from work, I usually have a snack. By keeping rice cakes handy, I can conjure up something delicious. Here are some of my favorites.
I could just eat tapenade with a spoon and be happy. A rice cake holds more tapenade than a spoon, so that makes me happier.
13. Salmon Spread
I'm still not tired of salmon, even after this post. Salmon spread is great on a rice cake!
14. Smoked Salmon
Smoked salmon with capers (drain them) is also delicious, albeit expensive.
15. Cream Cheese and Chives
I love cream cheese, but I use the low-fat version on rice cakes (and spread thinly). Sprinkle some chopped chives and just a little salt. (See also: Quick and Easy Cream Cheese Appetizers)
Camilla has 21 uses for pesto, and I'd like to add #22, which is to spoon it over a rice cake.
17. DIY Veggie Spread
Veggie spreads? Mark Bittman of the New York Times has developed several variations. I particularly like the broccoli with parmesan, pine nuts, and olive oil. Swoon.
18. White Bean Dip
19. Canned Bean Dip
I also like the bean dip that comes in a can, at the grocery store, by the tortilla chips section, on a rice cake. That works.
While we're on legumes, don't forget about hummus. My daughter thinks the one with roasted red peppers is the best. If your store doesn't carry it, here's my favorite hummus recipe.
21. Pimento Cheese
Again, thin layer, folks: Pimento cheese. Yum!
22. Canned Cheese
If you just want instant gratification in a pimento-cheese like fashion, heck, you can get that cheese that squirts out of the can. Don't judge me.
23. Artichoke Dip
Turns out that rice cakes are an excellent vehicle for hot artichoke dip. They are sturdier than dumb ol' crackers. This stuff is dangerously good. I like to add a can of mild chiles for a little more zip.
24. Pears, Spinach, and Bleu Cheese
Slice up some pears, thinly, add to your rice cake along with some baby spinach, and sprinkle with bleu cheese.
25. Avocado, Salsa, and Cilantro
Let's try Mexican flavors: To a rice cake add sliced avocados, salsa, and cilantro.
26. Cottage Cheese
When I am starving, I just plop a tablespoon of low-fat cottage cheese onto a rice cake and call it good, because it is.
27. Chopped Avocado Salad
Combine chopped avocados, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, a little olive oil and garlic salt and try that on top. Delicious!
28. Sliced Avocados or Guacamole
We have an avocado tree. It's one of my favorite things in the whole world. My husband started it from a seed. They are delicious, so sometimes I just eat sliced avocados (or guacamole) on a rice cake.
Make a Meal of Rice Cakes
Why not? It's a low-calorie starch to round out any meal.
29. Rice Cakes and Chili
Cornbread with chili is great, but so are rice cakes, particularly if you get the cheesy ones. If your chili is really thick, just spoon it on top. I used a little low-fat sour cream on top of that combo.
Gluten-free croutons! Just break a rice cake into pieces and float it on split-pea, tomato, or any creamy soup.
Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato . . rice cakes? Sure, why not.
32. Peanut Sauce
33. Ahi Poke
I live on the Island of Hawaii, and so I took some of my favorites and rice cake'd them: Spicy Ahi Poke with Cilantro.
Caramelize sliced Spam in medium-heat frying pan with shoyu (soy sauce). While you are heating the Spam, fry an egg. Assemble in layers of rice cake, Spam, and fried egg. If I were really making it correctly, I'd add gravy on top.
35. California Roll
I had fun making this one. Mix crab (fresh or canned, drained and flaked) with mayonnaise. I added a few drops of Sriracha sauce to mine, but it's spicy, so be warned. Place crab mixture on rice cake and add some chopped avocado, a little grated carrot, a drizzle of sesame oil, and sprinkle with chopped nori (sushi wrapper).
For the Sweet Tooth
For a sweet snack or a light dessert, try these delicious toppings. (See also: 15 Super Quick Homemade Desserts)
36. Sliced Bananas and Peanut Butter
This really hits the spot. My daughter likes a drizzle of honey on that one, too.
37. Cinnamon Toast Cakes
My husband suggested we try "cinnamon toast" flavors — yum! Spread a thin layer of butter, and add a sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar. I couldn't remember the last time I had had cinnamon toast.
You were waiting for this one, I know. NUTELLA. That's all I have to write about that suggestion.
39. S'more Cakes
While we're on chocolate, you can make a S'more rice cake from the aforementioned Nutella. Add some mini-marshmallows. Devour.
40. Strawberries and Cream Cheese
Again with the light cream cheese — but this time, slice some strawberries and put those on top.
What do you like to top your rice cakes with?