How to Make Brown Rice 5 Ways

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Learn how to make brown rice 5 different ways. Find instructions for stove top, rice cooker, Instant Pot, microwave, and slow cooker below!

Text that say "5 Ways to Make Brown Rice" on a photo of it cooked in a bowl

Brown Rice Nutrition Facts

This variety of rice is a whole grain. Because less processing is involved, it’s more nutritious than white rice.

Only the hull is removed from brown rice. As a result, it is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. While this grain contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, it’s especially high in:

  • Dietary fiber – supports healthy gut bacteria, aids digestion, and keeps you feeling full
  • Manganese – essential for energy production, bone strength, and a healthy nervous system
  • Selenium – improves immune and thyroid function and may reduce the risk of certain cancers
  • Magnesium – contributes to the overall health of most biological functions
  • Folate – this B-vitamin that is important for blood cell production and overall cell regeneration

Is brown rice gluten free?

Yes, all forms of rice are gluten free. Just pay attention to flavored rice mixes that contain gluten and/or other ingredients with gluten in the dish. This may be in the accompanying seasoning packets or sauces. Some prepackaged side dishes may also be multigrain mixes that have pasta, barley, couscous, freekeh, bulgur, or other gluten-containing grains.

Is brown rice healthier than white rice?

Because the bran and germ are intact, brown rice contains more overall nutrients than white rice. It’s higher in calories, but the health benefits far outweigh the calories.

Plus, the high fiber in brown rice will keep you feeling full longer. As a result, you’re less likely to consume more calories overall.

You can even use brown rice as a substitute for other types of rice in your favorite recipes. Use it in my recipes for Cheesy Zucchini Rice Casserole or Polish Meatballs (aka Porcupine Meatballs). Or, combine it with cauliflower to lighten up a classic dish when you make cauliflower fried rice.

How to make brown rice

Making brown rice is essentially the same as making any other type of rice. The main difference is a longer cook time because of the bran coating. Also, it requires a little extra cooking water.

Cooking brown rice

Generally, for every 1 cup of brown rice, you will need about 2 cups of liquid. This will produce about 3 cups of cooked rice.

Keep in mind that depending on the cooking method, it may take longer to cook – almost twice that of white rice.

Some people like to rinse rice before cooking, but this step is not necessary.

Cooked rice freezes beautifully, making it perfect for meal planning and easy meal prep!

As a result, you can either save leftovers or make a double batch to store in the refrigerator or freeze. Then you can incorporate the cooked brown rice into meals like or simply reheat it to use as a side dish.

How to reheat brown rice

When reheating, you’ll want to add a tablespoon of liquid per cup of cooked rice for moisture.

  • Microwave: Put the rice in a microwave-safe container and sprinkle the liquid over the top. Cover with a lid, then heat for 1-2 minutes to warm it through.
  • Other cooking methods: Add the rice and liquid to a saucepan and break up any large clumps. Cover the pan with a lid and cook on the stove top on low for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

How to Cook Brown Rice on a Stove

This is the most straightforward method, allowing more control over the texture of the rice.

Brown rice stovetop instructions

  1. Combine 1 cup rice with 2 cups water in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat and simmer with the lid on.
  3. Cook until all of the water has been absorbed, about 40-45 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let sit for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Brown Rice in a Rice Cooker

This is probably the easiest method for cooking any kind of rice. Just push a button and it does the cooking for you!

TIP: If you have a separate “brown rice” button, use that. Otherwise, the regular option will work just fine.

  1. Add 1 cup brown rice and 2 cups water to the rice cooker.
  2. Put on the lid and turn it on.

Instant Pot Brown Rice

Because there’s less evaporation in a pressure cooker, the amount of water is different for this method. 

TIP: Coating the liner with cooking spray or oil helps to prevent sticking and foaming when making pressure cooker brown rice.

  1. Add 1 cup brown rice and 1 cup cold water to the Instant Pot.
  2. Attach the lid and turn vent to the sealed position.
  3. Cook on High for 15 minutes. It will take about 5-10 minutes to come to pressure.
  4. Do a Natural Pressure release for 5 minutes, then manually release the rest.
  5. After the pin drops, remove the lid and fluff the rice before serving.

How to Microwave Brown Rice

This method cooks rice in about 30 minutes and without any extra pans or equipment. Plus, when you microwave brown rice, you can serve it in the same dish you cooked it in!

How to cook brown rice in a microwave

  1. Combine 1 cup of brown rice with 3 cups of water in a microwave-safe dish.
  2. Microwave uncovered for 10 minutes on high.
  3. Reduce the power to 50%, cover the dish, and cook for another 20 minutes.
  4. Let sit for about 5 minutes, then fluff and serve.

Slow Cooking Brown Rice

This method is perfect for when you need to “set it and forget it.” Easily double and triple the amounts to make large batches of slow cooker brown rice.

TIP: If your slow cooker is larger than 3 quarts, you’ll want to use at least 2 cups raw rice for it to cook properly.

Cooking rice in a crock pot

  1. Add 1 part brown rice and 2 parts water to the crock.
  2. Stir to combine, then attach the lid.
  3. Cook on High for 3 hours, or until all of the liquid is absorbed.

Make it a meal

Serving Suggestions

Brown rice makes the perfect side dish with any of these healthy dinner recipes:

Beef

Easy Beef Egg Roll Bowl
Easy Beef Egg Roll Bowl is a family-friendly keto dinner recipe made in one pan in under 20 minutes. Family isn't low carb? Serve it over rice or noodles!
Check out this recipe
Easy Ground Beef Egg Roll in a Bowl with colorful slaw mix
Gluten Free Beef Stir Fry
A quick and easy Asian-inspired dinner recipe the family loves with strips of steak and crisp-tender veggies. A few simple substitutions make it gluten free.
Check out this recipe
Gluten Free Beef Vegetable Stir Fry on a green plate
French Onion Soup au Gratin Stuffed Meatballs
Stuffed with caramelized onions and mozzarella, these meatballs turn the classic French Onion Soup au Gratin into a heaty meal. And of course, they are covered with more cheese and broiled till golden brown and bubbly.
Check out this recipe
French Onion Stuffed Meatballs

Poultry

Sriracha Lime Slow Cooker Turkey Tenderloin
 A sweet and spicy easy dinner recipe with healthy, protein-packed turkey made in your crock pot.
Check out this recipe
Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken Breasts
Soaking chicken breasts in a Greek yogurt marinade before grilling keeps them moist and juicy, while infusing them with a ton of fresh flavor.
Check out this recipe
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Instant Pot Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken (plus slow cooker directions)
This Instant Pot Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken recipe is sweet, savory, and sure to be a family favorite! So easy to make, and if you don't have a pressure cooker, you can also make it in the crockpot. Unlike takeout, this healthy dinner recipe is also gluten free, and can be made paleo and Whole 30 friendly.
Check out this recipe
Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Over rice on a red and white plate with red chopsticks

Seafood

Sesame Maple Glazed Salmon
A sweet and savory Asian-inspired fish recipe that even the non-seafood eaters will love.
Check out this recipe
Sesame Maple Glazed Salmon serves on a plate with broccoli and sauce
Chili Lime Shrimp
A quick and easy recipe you can make in one skillet with only a few ingredients in less than 10 minutes. A healthy and versatile dinner!
Check out this recipe
Honey Lime Shrimp with Chili on a plate
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More How to Guides

Cooked brown rice in a white square bowl

How to Make Brown Rice 5 Ways

Learn how to make brown rice on the stove, or in a microwave, crock pot, Instant Pot, or rice cooker. Here are instructions for all 5 methods!
Prep: 2 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • water

Instructions

Brown Rice on a Stove

  • Combine 1 cup rice with 2 cups water in a saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat and simmer with the lid on.
  • Cook until all of the water has been absorbed, about 40-45 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let sit for another 10 minutes.
  • Fluff with a fork before serving.

Brown Rice in a Rice Cooker

  • Add 1 cup brown rice and 2 cups water to the rice cooker.
  • Put on the lid and turn it on. If you have a “Brown Rice” setting, use that. Otherwise, the regular setting will work just fine.

Brown Rice in an Instant Pot

  • Add 1 cup brown rice and 1 cup cold water to the Instant Pot.
  • Attach the lid and turn vent to the sealed position.
  • Cook on High for 15 minutes. It will take about 5-10 minutes to come to pressure.
  • Do a Natural Pressure release for 5 minutes, then manually release the rest.
  • After the pin drops, remove the lid and fluff the rice before serving.

Brown Rice in the Microwave

  • Combine 1 cup of brown rice with 3 cups of water in a microwave-safe dish.
  • Microwave uncovered for 10 minutes on high.
  • Reduce the power to 50%, cover the dish, and cook for another 20 minutes.
  • Let sit for about 5 minutes, then fluff and serve.

Brown Rice in a Slow Cooker

  • Add 1 part brown rice and 2 parts water to the crock.
  • Stir to combine, then attach the lid.
  • Cook on High for 3 hours, or until all of the liquid is absorbed.
Nutrition Facts
How to Make Brown Rice 5 Ways
Amount Per Serving (0.5 cups cooked)
Calories 172 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 2mg0%
Potassium 127mg4%
Carbohydrates 36g12%
Fiber 2g8%
Protein 4g8%
Calcium 16mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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