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.
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. I’ll be showing you how we make it nice and easy!
Add Marinated Tofu over rice topped with sliced green onions. It’s delicious! Then add your favorite sauce.
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.
Here are some reasons cooking with whole grain rice is healthier:
- The outer layer of the rice, called the bran, is where many of the superfood nutrients are contained.
- Manganese, a trace mineral that’s important for things like bone production, skin integrity, and blood sugar.
- Fiber — 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.
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.
- Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
- Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
- Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
- Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
- Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
- Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
- Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
- Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
- Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
- 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.
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.
- Water Ratio — You’ll need 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of brown rice.
- Brown Rice Cooking Time — it takes about one hour to prepare and cook brown rice.
- 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: Add chopped fresh cilantro, chopped fresh parsley, salsa, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. 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 many 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!
Perfect 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.