How to Cook Brown Rice Perfectly Every Time
Cooking rice might seem as easy as throwing it into boiling water and walking away, but if you’ve ever had a rice mishap, you know that’s far from the truth. You do one thing wrong, and you end up with a pile of mush. You do another thing wrong, and you’ve got burnt rice stuck to the bottom of the pot for all eternity (although trying to scrub it off does make for a great arm workout).
Brown rice is even trickier to cook than white rice, but the added nutrients and nutty flavor make it well worth the extra effort. Part of the difficulty is that unlike white rice, you have to soften the hard, outer bran layer of brown rice (the part with the extra good stuff) without making it gummy and gross. We’ve got you covered. Just follow these instructions to cook perfect, fluffy brown rice.
Brown Rice Cooking Instructions
Total Time: 45 minutes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
- 2 cups hot water
- 1 cup dry brown rice
- 2 tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
- Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
- While the water is boiling, rinse rice in a strainer under cold water until the water runs clear.
- Add rice and salt to the boiling water. Mix well; cook for 30 minutes.
- Pour rice into a strainer to remove the water.
- Put rice back in the saucepan, cover with a tight lid, and let it sit for 10 minutes with the heat off.
- Uncover the pot and fluff rice with a fork.
Brown Rice Recipes
Now that you’re an expert in cooking the perfect brown rice, it’s time to find some great recipes to show off your new skill. Here are a few of our favorites.
1. Ground Turkey and Rice with Green Beans
Don’t let this short list of basic ingredients fool you. This healthy dish packs an Asian flare thanks to the sesame oil. So add this quick, easy recipe to your meal prep rotation.
- 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 lb. 93% lean ground turkey, raw
- 5 cups green beans, ends trimmed
- Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
- 1⅓ cups brown rice cooked
2. Chicken Burrito Bowl
Next Tuesday, instead of grabbing takeout tacos, head to the kitchen and make this chicken and brown rice dish. It’s so quick, you’ll be ready to eat faster than if you’d made a round-trip to the Mexican restaurant.
- 1⅓ cups cooked brown rice, warm
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1⅓ cups canned pinto beans, drained, rinsed, warm
- 12 oz. shredded cooked chicken breast, warm
- 2 cups fresh tomato salsa
- ¼ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (1 oz.)
- ½ medium avocado, sliced
3. Southwestern Salad
Break out of your salad rut with this satisfying salad where the greens play a supporting role to cast of veggies, beans and brown rice. You can also do a fridge dump and swap the veggies listed below with whatever is in your produce drawer.
- ¼ cup frozen corn kernels
- ¼ red onion
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes
- ½ bell pepper
- 1 green onion
- 1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro
- ⅓ cup black beans
- ⅓ cup cooked brown rice
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- ½ medium lime
- 1 dash hot pepper sauce (like Tabasco)
- 2 cups arugula