How to Make Brown Rice — Cooking Brown Rice

Having perfect Brown Rice Recipes is important for many of your favorite dishes, including fried rice, 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. Learn how to cook brown rice in a way that you’ll be willing to make time and time again.

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.

A bowl of rice with the text, "How to Make Brown Rice" at the top.

Have you read about the nutrition of it, but wondered how to make brown rice? I think people can get overly dramatic about “how hard” it is to make it.

The thing is, if you have a batch of this whole grain ready, you can do so much with it. Here are some favorite recipes that use brown rice: Crispy Orange Tofu, Vegan Chorizo with Lentils and Brown Rice, and Red Beans and Rice Burgers.

Why Brown is Better

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.

Here are some of the things that makes the whole grain healthier:

  • it includes the outer layer of the rice, called the bran, where many of the superfood nutrients are contained!
  • it’s loaded with manganese, a trace mineral that’s important for things like bone production, skin integrity, blood sugar levels, and more.
  • it has fiber! Fiber is the new black. Because if you’ve heard anything about the microbiome, you know that fiber is an important contributor to having a healthy gut.
Two forms of brown rice grains have been formed into heart shapes.

You can usually find either long-grain or short-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.

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
  • Water

How to Make Brown Rice: Step-by-Step

So, now down to the steps for making brown rice.

Cooking whole grain rice is pretty easy. It takes a little bit of time, but most of that time it is in the pot and you don’t have to stir it or stand over it, so that’s what makes it so easy.

One cup of dry brown rice will produce about 4 cups of cooked. 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.

Rice is in the bottom of a bowl covered with water.

Pour one cup of the whole grain into a bowl and cover with water. Use your hand to mix the the grains in the water.

Looking down on rice in a bowl with water. The water is getting cloudy from the starches released from the rice.

See that milky water? That’s the starch rinsing off the of the exterior of the rice. It’s good to get rid of this now to help you have the best cooked grains when you’re done.

A pyrex measuring cup sits next to a 1 cup measuring cup full of grains. Words are below them indicating what's inside.

The number one question people ask is what is the brown rice to water ratio. The best brown rice water ratio is 2 cups of water per every 1 cup of brown rice. So, let’s get to it.

Now that the rice is soaked and you’re ready to start the brown rice cooking, place the rinsed grain into a medium-sized, lidded pan. Add 2 cups of water and turn up the heat to medium-high, and bring it to a boil. Once this boils, reduce the heat to low, put a lid on it, and set your timer for 40 minutes.

So, if you’re wondering how long to cook brown rice, by the time you add the amount of time it takes for soaking the rice, and for the water to come to a boil, etc, it’s roughly one hour.

How do you make brown rice taste good?

Here are some favorite seasonings to make tasty brown rice:
Chopped fresh cilantro
Chopped fresh parsley
Fresh salsa
Garlic powder combined with salt
Onion powder
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 a who grain and 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.

Brown Rice Nutrition

I’m all for using whole grains whenever possible. A lot of people think refined grains taste better, but taste buds are malleable and you can train yourself to like brown rice over time. One cup of brown vs. white rice provides you with nearly 3 more grams of fiber, which has a lot of benefits, like keeping you fuller longer.

There are so many benefits to brown rice!

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!

A bowl of red beans and rice is in the foreground with a plate of cornbread behind it.

Red Beans and rice is a hearty, flavorful recipe that originates in the South, but enjoyed all over the word.

Red Beans and Rice

This savory stew is a classic and you'll love this vegan version of Red Beans and Rice. Serve it up with vegan cornbread for the ultimate delicious experience!
Red Beans and Rice Recipe
A bowl of red beans and rice is in the foreground with a plate of cornbread behind it.
Crispy Black Bean Burrito with Potatoes and Rice

These Vegan Burritos are delicious when using cooked brown rice as part of the recipe.

Crispy Black Bean Burrito with Potatoes and Rice

This easy Crispy Black Bean Burrito recipe is made with brown rice, potatoes, corn, and salsa. Served in a crispy burrito shell and topped with guacamole.  It's good, clean, fun-eating food that you'll want to serve on repeat!
Crispy Black Bean Burrito with Potatoes and Rice Recipe
Crispy Black Bean Burrito sits next to a bowl of guacamole and fresh cherry tomatoes.
Vegan Chicken and Rice Casserole with mushrooms and topped with vegan cheese. A perfect, quick weeknight recipe for your family!

You know the delicious Vegan Chicken and Rice Casserole that’s so delicious with a creamy sauce? It’s just as tasty when using brown rice!

Vegan Cheesy Chicken and Brown Rice

This Vegan Chicken and Rice Casserole is magical, because it’s so full of comfort food goodness that it disappears like that!
Vegan Cheesy Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe
A plate holds a serving of vegan chicken and rice with the casserole dish behind it and a glass with a pink beverage.
Vegan Chorizo with Lentils and Rice

This Vegan Chorizo recipe is so spicy and delicious and perfect when served with brown rice.

Vegan Chorizo with Lentils and Brown Rice

Try this one-pot Vegan Chorizo with Lentils and Brown Rice for a hearty, healthy, delicious weeknight dinner.
Vegan Chorizo with Lentils and Brown Rice Recipe
Vegan Chorizo with Lentils and Rice
Chopsticks hold a single bite over a bowl full of sesame tofu.

This Sesame Tofu is amazing and delicious when served over noodles, brown, or white rice!

Vegan Sesame Tofu

You'll love this delicious Vegan Sesame Tofu served over rice, cauliflower rice, or noodles. It has a sticky sauce but is a nice low-carb option for vegans.
Vegan Sesame Tofu Recipe
A chopstick holds a single bite over a bowl of sesame tofu.
Looking down on a small bowl full of cooked grains.

That’s it for this simple brown rice recipe!

A bowl of brown rice with this text above it: How to cook brown rice.

Brown Rice Recipe

Follow these simple steps on How to Make Brown Rice and you’ll be enjoying this nutritional powerhouse in your favorite recipes soon!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 85kcal
Author: Namely Marly


  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups water


  • Place 1 cup of 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. 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 either serve immediately, or store in airtight container in your fridge.

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Nutrition Facts
Brown Rice Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 85
% Daily Value*
Sodium 4mg0%
Potassium 63mg2%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Protein 1g2%
Calcium 10mg1%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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.


4 Responses to How to Make Brown Rice — Cooking Brown Rice

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyUndine Reply

    Hi, I have a question about the Vegan Big Mac recipe you posted a couple of years ago. (I can’t leave a comment on the post featuring that recipe, for some reason.) The recipe calls for “1 cup red quinoa, cooked according to package instructions.” Does that mean, one cup RAW quinoa, cooked, or one cup COOKED quinoa? I ask because, I interpreted the recipe to mean the former, and the burgers came out…a bit top-heavy on the quinoa, I thought.

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyLauren Deegan Reply

    I am definitely switching to brown rice starting today and looking forward to trying out your one skillet brown rice bowls. They look absolutely delicious in the photos.

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyPam Reply

    Can I cook the rice with chicken broth rather than water

    Can I cook the rice in chicken broth rather than water?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Pam. You can cook your rice in a broth, but I would always recommend vegetable broth.

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