How to Make Brown Rice — Cooking Brown Rice

Having good brown rice recipes is important for many of your favorite recipes, including fried rice, burritos and more. If you’ve battled with the switch from white rice, you’ll love these tips on how to make brown rice taste good. We all know 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.

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

Have you read about the nutritional benefits 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 of our favorite recipes that use brown rice: Crispy Orange Tofu, Vegan Chorizo with Lentils and Brown Rice, and Red Beans and Rice Burgers.

You can also add a little bit of tofu, some sliced green onions, and sprinkle it with some dried ginger for a quick lunch. Oh, and it never hurts to have a little soy sauce or sriracha on hand as well.

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, the place where all the superfood nutrients are contained!
  • it’s loaded with manganese. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, brown rice ranks third in manganese. Manganese is 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. It is! Because if you’ve heard anything about the microbiome, you’d 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 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.

How to Make Brown Rice: Step-by-Step

So, now down to the steps for how to make 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.

What You’ll Need

Brown whole grain rice – you can buy this at most any grocery store
Bowl (to rinse the rice in)
A colander (to drain the rinsed rice)
Medium-size pot with tight-fitting lid

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.

Now you’re ready to begin 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.

How to Use Whole Grain Rice

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.

Some of my favorite recipes include Vegan Chorizo with Lentils and Brown Rice, Red Beans and Rice Burgers, One Skillet Brown Rice Bowls, and Veggie Sushi Bowls.

Looking down on a small bowl full of cooked grains.

I hope you love this recipe as we do! Have you tried it? Be sure and leave a comment and a rating of this recipe below and then take a quick photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. I love seeing your creations!

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
Keyword: Brown Rice Recipe
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.


Updated by Marly · Permalink