Rainbow Sushi Rolls

5 from 1 vote
Healthy veggie rainbow sushi rolls with a creamy tamari almond butter sauce to dip. Making your own sushi rolls is a lot easier than you think! This makes a delicious vegan and gluten-free lunch or dinner, and is a great activity for date night.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 16 minutes
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Jan 16, 2019 (Last updated Sep 28, 2022) by Hannah Sunderani

Rainbow Sushi Rolls

Rainbow Sushi Rolls! It’s been a hot minute since I shared a rainbow roll to the blog. So this blog post is dedicated to sharing my new Rainbow Sushi Rolls! Made with sushi rice, nori, purple cabbage, carrot, kale, avocado and alfalfa. I’ve rolled the veg into a tightly packed sushi roll, with a tamari almond butter sauce to dip. Are you drooling yet?

Typically my sushi rolls are made using rice paper, but this time I decided to switch it up, going for a classic sushi roll with nori and sushi rice.

I’m not going to lie, this was my first time making a classic sushi roll. And I’ve since learned that it’s super easy to make sushi at home. Plus, it’s so much fun!

Rainbow Sushi Rolls

I’m ashamed to admit that six years years ago I bought a bamboo sushi mat to make sushi at home. But it wasn’t until last week that I actually took that sushi mat out of its packaging! It’s criminal I know.

In my defence, I always thought making sushi was a hefty task, and instead reverted to making rice paper rolls. Rice paper rolls require no special utensils, and therefore seemed way more do-able. Had I know just how easy it is to roll your own sushi, especially with my bamboo mat, I would have made hundreds of rolls by now.

But, you live and you learn. And if I’ve learned anything this week it’s that making sushi is not nearly as intimidating as one might think. In fact, chopping and slicing the veg is really the hardest part.

When it comes to making sushi, you want to ensure the veg is well chopped into thin slices. Using a sharp knife, and taking extra care in slicing. It will go a long way to getting you a nice and tightly packed roll. I’d opt in for a mandolin if you have one. Mandolines make it much easier to create thinly chopped veg, and at a much faster rate. I used the classic settings to slice my cabbage, and the “matchstick” setting to get the carrot slices nice and thin.

I made the sushi rolls by laying out my bamboo sushi mat with a sheet of nori on top. Next, I gently patted a thin layer of sushi rice on top of the nori sheet. Then arranged the veggies in an even layer on top, leaving a bit of rice (about an inch) undecorated at the top. (see photo below)

Colorful platter for Rainbow Sushi Rolls

Next, I rolled the bamboo mat away from me, while tucking in the veg like a burrito for a tightly packed roll. Once rolled, I added a bit of water to my fingers and gently rubbed along the edge to seal the nori together. Finally, I grabbed a sharp knife and cut the rolls into bite sized pieces.

It might sound a bit finicky, but I promise it’s easy and fun! And you’ll get the hang of it as you go.

Here’s a couple tips that I learned along the way:

  1. Don’t overpack the roll. You’ll be surprised just how little veg is needed to fill your roll. If you overstuff the sushi, it will make it much harder to roll, and even harder to eat because the roll will be massive. I like to keep it to a minimum of about 1/3 cup veg in total for each roll. You also want to be sure to leave about 1 inch of nori/rice at the top uncovered while decorating. This will ensure you are able to seal the sushi roll at the end.
  2. Understand your sushi rice. And by this I mean two things. First, is that it’s easy to get carried away when it comes to adding rice to your nori. But, to ensure there is more room for filling you want a thin layer of rice. With my first few rolls I added quite a bit of rice, meaning less room for filling. You want to add just enough rice to coat the nori entirely (about 1/4 inch thick). Second is that it’s important to know that sushi rice is very sticky! It helps to wet your hands with water to work with the rice more easily. I did this throughout the sushi making, ensuring my hands were always slightly damp to stop the rice from sticking to my hands.

As for the dip, I really love this creamy tamari almond butter dip! Made with almond butter, tamari, miso, lemon, water and cayenne. It really adds a deep and creamy flavour for dipping that’s so gourmet. It was a huge hit!

Rainbow Sushi Rolls with almond butter dip

It’s safe to say that this won’t be the last of my sushi making shenanigans. Now that I know just how easy it is to make at home I’ve got a ton of combos to experiment with!

Making rainbow sushi rolls is also a great date night activity, or something fun to do with your kids. Apart from chopping the veg (which I will be honest, takes some time), the sushi making process is quite straight forward. I do hope you’ll give it a try. (And not wait 6 years to use that bamboo sushi mat like I did – trust me I have major regret).

And, if you do make this recipe please let me know in the comments below what you think! I love hearing from you. And of course, tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #twospoons. Nothing makes me happier than to see your recreations.


Veggie Rainbow Sushi Rolls with Tamari Almond Butter Sauce

5 from 1 vote
Healthy veggie rainbow sushi rolls with a creamy tamari almond butter sauce to dip. Making your own sushi rolls is a lot easier than you think! This makes a delicious vegan and gluten-free lunch or dinner, and is a great activity for date night.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 16 minutes
Serves 7 rolls


  • 1 1/2 cup sushi rice
  • 3 cup water
  • 1 cup purple cabbage shredded
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 cup kale chopped
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 cup alfalfa sprouts
  • 7 nori sheets

Tamari Almond Butter Sauce


  • Begin by making sushi rice. Rinse rice thoroughly, then add to saucepan with water. Cook rice for 15 minutes, or as instructed on package. Remove from heat and fluff with a wooden spoon. Cover with tea towel and let cool long enough to be able to handle with your hands.
  • While you are waiting for the rice, prepare your veg. Thinly slice cabbage, and cut carrot into matchsticks (I recommend using a mandolin for this). Chop kale leaves into small pieces, discarding the stems. Thinly slice avocado.
  • Place bamboo sushi mat on work station (you can also use plastic wrap, if you don't have a bamboo sushi mat). Lay nori sheet on top of matt and gently press sushi rice on top to cover nori sheet in a thin layer.
  • Arrange veggies in an even layer (avocado, red cabbage, carrot, kale and alfalfa), parallel to the edge of the nori sheet, leaving about 1-inch of rice at the top undecorated. (for a visual, see image in blog post above)
  • Gently roll bamboo matt away from you, to roll the nori sheet into a log like a burrito. (For a tightly packed roll tuck in the veg with your fingers as you). Once in a roll, use a little bit of water to seal the edge.
  • Slice sushi roll into bite sized sushi pieces with a sharp knife and set aside. Continue this process until you've used all the rice, nori sheets and veg. (I was able to make 7 rolls).
  • To make the tamari almond butter sauce, add almond butter, tamari, miso, lemon juice, cayenne pepper flakes and water to a bowl. Whisk until smooth and creamy. Optional to add more water to thin if desired.


Tamari Almond Butter Sauce can be made ahead, it will last in fridge for up to 5 days. 
Sushi will last in fridge for up to 24 hours. I recommend leaving in log form and covered well with wrap. Keep in the fridge. Cut into bite-sized sushi pieces before serving. 
If you don't have a bamboo sushi mat you can use a square of plastic wrap. (I have never tried this but I imagine it's a bit more finicky). 



Calories: 269kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 329mg | Potassium: 383mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2753IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 2mg

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and hashtag it #twospoons



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  1. This recipe is great! Simple, easy, and healthy. The sauce is so flavourful too! My husband and I really enjoyed it 🙂

    • Thank you Krystal! I am so happy that you and your husband loved this recipe. I love the sauce too. 🙂

  2. Hi ttsunamii! Thanks so much for reaching out. 🙂 It was an intentional decision not to season the rice in this recipe as I wanted to make it simple and minimalist. However, if you prefer to season the rice than I urge you to go for it! It’s delicious both ways. Or, feel free to check out some of my other recipes, like my sushi donuts for a seasoned sushi rice. 🙂 (
    Hope you enjoy! Happy cooking!