Having perfect brown rice is important for many plant-based dishes, including fried rice, black bean burritos, and more. If you’re trying to switch from white rice, you’ll love these tips on how to make brown rice taste good. Brown rice is best because it has more fiber and nutrients.
You can also add some Marinated Tofu over rice topped with some sliced green onions. It’s delicious! It never hurts to have a little soy sauce or sriracha on hand as well.
Have you read about the nutrition, but wondered how to make brown rice? I think people can get overly dramatic about “how hard” it is to make.
Brown Rice Benefits
OK. A lot of people, if given the choice, would select the white grain over brown. There are members of my own family that I still have to nudge a little before they’ll eat the brown grain.
I’m all for using whole grains whenever possible. A lot of people think refined grains (such as white rice) taste better, but taste buds are malleable, and you can train yourself to like brown rice over time.
There are several reasons cooking with whole grains is healthier. Brown rice contains:
- The outer layer of the rice, called the bran, where many of the superfood nutrients are contained!
- Manganese, a trace mineral that’s important for things like bone production, skin integrity, blood sugar levels, and more.
- Fiber! If you’ve heard anything about the microbiome, you know that fiber is an important contributor to having a healthy gut. It also has the added benefit of keeping you fuller longer.
You’ll also get added niacin and many more phytonutrients. There are so many benefits to brown rice!
Types of Brown Rice
There are several types of brown rice you can try:
- Brown Short grain rice — It has a nuttier flavor and chewier texture
- Brown Long grain rice — This is the most wildly available, and it has an earthy flavor and neutral texture
- Brown basmati rice — Basmati rice has a distinctive floral scent and a nutty flavor.
You can usually find long-grain rice at most grocery stores in the United States. I have a thing for short-grain myself, but it’s sometimes a little more pricey and not always available. You can usually find short-grain rice at most health food stores.
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Brown rice — You can use either short or long-grained brown rice.
- Optional Oil — You can add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the water as the rice cooks. Adding oil can prevent sticky rice.
How to Cook Brown Rice
Let’s get to it. Learn how to cook brown rice in a way you’ll want to make time and time again.
- Place 1 cup of brown rice in a bowl, cover with water, and let sit for a minute.
- Use your hand to stir the rice to release the starch.
- The cloudy water indicates the rice is releasing starches.
- Use a colander to drain the soaking water.
- Add two cups of water to a medium-sized saucepan. Add the rinsed rice.
- Place over medium-high heat. Bring to boil.
- Reduce heat to simmer and place a lid on the pot. Set your timer for 45 minutes.
- After the time is up, remove the lid and stir once to make sure there is no more liquid at the bottom of the pan. If so, let it cook another 5 minutes.
- If not, remove from heat and allow the cooked rice to rest for 15 minutes.
- After the resting period, fluff with a fork and serve immediately,
See that milky water when you’re rinsing the uncooked rice? That’s the starch released from the exterior of the rice. It’s good to get rid of this now to create the best cooked grains when you’re done.
Cooking whole grain rice is pretty easy. Of course, it does take a little bit of time, but most of that time the rice is in the pot and you don’t have to stir or stand over it, so that’s what makes it so easy.
Here are important ratios to remember:
- One cup of dry brown rice produces about 4 cups of cooked rice. — That sounds like a lot, but by the time you throw some in your chili or serve with broccoli and tofu, it’s gone just like that! And *that* is usually about a week for us.
- Water Ratio — The number one question people ask is what is the brown rice to water ratio. You’ll need 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of brown rice.
- Brown Rice Cooking Time — So, if you’re wondering how long to cook brown rice, by the time you add the time it takes for soaking the rice, and for the water to come to a boil, etc, it’s roughly one hour.
- One cup of brown vs. white rice provides nearly 3 more grams of fiber!
Store leftover cooked rice in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. It can be frozen for up to 2 months.
How do you make brown rice taste good?
Here are some favorite seasonings to make tasty brown rice:
Chopped fresh cilantro
Chopped fresh parsley
Garlic powder combined with salt
A number of seasonings such as dill, basil, oregano, etc.
Vegan butter or olive oil adds a nice touch too!
Is brown rice healthy?
Brown rice is the healthiest rice because it’s a whole grain. It’s therefore a nutritious ingredient that can be added to a number of dishes. It’s full of fiber and many other phytonutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
Best Brown Rice Recipes
You can use this whole grain as a substitution in every recipe that calls for white rice. You’ll just need to take into account the longer cooking time. Here are some favorite easy brown rice recipes!
Make this perfectly spiced vegan chorizo in minutes! Then serve this soy chorizo on tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and even with tortilla chips!
Bring the flavors of New Orleans home with this Vegan Jambalaya that celebrates brown rice, creole seasonings, and steamed veggies.
This vegan Tofu Casserole features slow-baked tofu atop a bed of rice and broccoli, smothered in a rich, garlicky, vegan cheese sauce.
This easy Vegan black bean burrito recipe is made with brown rice, potatoes, corn, and salsa. Serve it with guacamole and favorite toppings.
This tasty vegan sushi recipe is easy to make thanks to step-by-step instructions and simple ingredients. Serve sushi with a delicious sauce.
Vegan Fried Rice is flavorful and easy to make. Enjoy a Chinese takeout favorite at home and save money. Make it with your favorite veggies!
This amazing Sesame Tofu recipe is easy to eat and delicious! Forget take-out, because this fried tofu with sesame sauce is the best ever.
This marinated tofu recipe creates tofu that’s crispy and full of flavor. If you’re looking for easy tofu recipes, this is the one for you!
Crispy, easy, air fried tofu is a protein-rich, delicious addition to many of your favorite meals. Serve with rice or steamed vegetables.
For weeknight, on-the-go, dinners, this Wild Rice and Sweet Potato Skillet Dinner is easy, affordable, delicious, and a family favorite.
Enjoy this Vegan Teriyaki Bowl recipe, with less than 10 ingredients and ready in 30 minutes or less. It’s an easy plant-based dinner recipe!
This Vegan Chicken and Rice Casserole is magical, because it’s so full of comfort food goodness that it disappears like that! Minimal ingredients, Ready in 30 minutes!
Savor each bite of this one-pot Chickpea Curry recipe with its exotic flavors made so simply, so easily with ingredients you love!
This delicious vegan red beans and rice is easy, hearty comfort food in a bowl. Serve it with cornbread, vegan cream, and sliced peppers.
Red Beans and Rice
Vegan Black Bean Burrito
Vegan Cheesy Chicken and Brown Rice
Vegan Chorizo Recipe
More Rice Recipes
Make these whole grain recipes part of your family favorites:
That’s it for this simple brown rice recipe!
Master Recipe Brown Rice
- 1 cup brown rice
- 2 cups water
- optional, olive oil (see notes)
- Place 1 cup of uncooked brown rice in a bowl. Cover with water and let sit for a minute. Use a spoon (or your finger) to stir the rice up a bit to release the starch. You'll see the water turn a milky color. Use a colander to drain the water.
- Add two cups of water to a medium-sized saucepan. Add the rinsed rice. Add optional oil if using. Place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to simmer and place a lid on the pot. Set your timer for 45 minutes.
- After the time is up, remove the lid and stir once to make sure there is no more liquid at the bottom of the pan. If so, let it cook another 5 minutes. If not, remove from heat and allow the cooked rice to rest for 15 minutes. After the resting period, fluff with a fork and either serve immediately, or store in airtight container in your fridge.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2016 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2022.