Dinner, Gluten Free, Healthy, One Pot, Vegan

Baked Rice Puttanesca with Basil Aioli

Fragrant and fluffy, this Baked Rice Puttanesca is loaded with bursting cherry tomatoes, chickpeas and classic Italian flavors. No need to turn on the stove—simply throw everything in a pot, bake and serve with a drizzle of creamy vegan basil aioli.

Baked Rice Puttanesca with Basil Aioli

I am so excited to share this recipe because it’s from my upcoming cookbook, Fantastic Vegan Recipes for the Teen Cook! This baked rice dish is one of the first recipes I developed and it’s still a favorite of mine. Baking your rice (instead of cooking it over the stovetop) is a foolproof way of achieving light and fluffy grains every time. For this version, I borrowed flavors from the classic Italian dish, Pasta Puttanesca.

I created the recipes in my cookbook with the goal of making them approachable for everyone—including my fellow teenagers! I also wanted each and every recipe to reflect my creativity and maybe offer up something you haven’t tried before. This baked rice is the perfect example. It’s not too difficult if you’re just starting out in the kitchen, but also not overly simplified to the point where you don’t need a recipe.

How to Make Baked Rice

Baked rice does take some time to make, but very little hands-on work. All you need is one large, lidded pot that’s also oven-safe. A baking dish and tin foil will also get the job done, but I find a sturdy pot is much easier to handle. To your baking vessel of choice, add cherry tomatoes, a chopped onion, a few more aromatics and a generous glug of olive oil. Give everything a good toss and cover the pot. Bake for 20 minutes to allow those flavors to develop before adding the rice.

While the aromatics bake, I like to prepare the other ingredients. Rinse the rice, drain the chickpeas, measure out the capers and olives. Get a kettle or pot of water boiling over the stove as well. When the aromatics are ready, simply add in your remaining ingredients and pour over the boiling water. Bake covered for another 25 minutes.

You may be tempted to remove the lid to peak at the rice while it’s baking, but it’s important the pot stays covered the whole time. Trapped steam is what yields perfectly tender rice, so you want to make sure none of it escapes! Once the baked rice comes out of the oven, I recommend letting it sit covered for another 10-15 minutes to let all those flavors absorb and settle. To serve, fluff with a fork and pile into bowls.

The Best Vegan Aioli…

While the rice bakes, you should have just the right amount of time to make a delicious basil aioli. A traditional aioli contains eggs, but this vegan-version uses a secret ingredient! Remember that can of chickpeas we used in the rice? Well, you’ll be needing some of the liquid from the can (aquafaba) as well as a couple tablespoons of chickpeas. Together, these ingredients are going to make the aioli perfectly thick and light.

To make the aioli, add the chickpeas and aquafaba to a high-speed blender along with lemon juice and salt. Whip it up until completely smooth. You’ll notice that the mixture will begin to get a little frothy, that’s the aquafaba doing it’s magic! Very slowly, drizzle in some good-quality olive oil with the blender running on low and the aioli will thicken into a rich and creamy sauce. Add in that fresh basil for a pop of freshness and try not to eat this stuff straight from the blender.

If you enjoy this recipe, please consider pre-ordering my cookbook! Fantastic Vegan Recipes for the Teen Cook is packed with tons of flavorful, weeknight recipes like this one that anyone can make! Whether you’re a teen like me, or just looking to for some yummy vegan inspiration, I made sure to include something for everyone.

Pre-order HERE

More Vegan Recipes to Try

Made this recipe? Tag @wandering_chickpea on Instagram and follow along on Pinterest for more delicious recipes!

Yield: 4 servings

Baked Rice Puttanesca with Basil Aioli

Baked Rice Puttanesca with Basil Aioli

Fragrant and fluffy, this Baked Rice Puttanesca is loaded with bursting cherry tomatoes, chickpeas and classic Italian flavors. No need to turn on the stove—simply throw everything in a pot, bake and serve with a drizzle of creamy vegan basil aioli.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 lemon peel strips
  • 1 tbsp pizza seasoning
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice, rinsed well
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives, roughly chopped or torn
  • 3 tbsp capers, drained
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Basil Aioli

  • 1/4 cup aquafaba
  • 2 tbsp chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Handful of fresh basil


  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  2. Add the cherry tomatoes, chopped onion, garlic, cinnamon sticks, lemon peels, spices and sugar to a large lidded pot. Toss with olive oil to combine and bake covered for 20 minutes.
  3. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Reserve 1/4 cup of the canning liquid (aquafaba) and 2 tbsp of chickpeas for the basil aioli.
  4. Once the tomatoes have softened in the oven, stir in the remaining chickpeas, rice, olives and capers. Season generously with kosher salt and black pepper. Cover the dish and return to the oven for another 25 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make the basil aioli. Add the aquafaba, chickpeas, lemon juice and salt to the container of a high speed blender. Blend until very smooth. With the blender running on low, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the aioli thickens. This may take a couple minutes of continuous blending. Finally, add the chopped basil and blend until smooth. 
  6. Serve the baked rice in shallow bowls with a drizzle of basil aioli and more fresh basil. 

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 557Total Fat: 46gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 38gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 510mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 6g

All nutritional info is an estimation

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a review below and tag @wandering_chickpea on Instagram!

Leave a Reply