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Can you freeze cooked rice? Turns out it works well for preserving this whole grain ingredient: here’s what to do!

Can you freeze cooked rice

Got leftover rice on hand and want to preserve it? Or want to stock up to make weeknight cooking quicker? Enter: the freezer! Rice is an ingredient that freezes extremely well. Unlike other foods, it holds its texture and flavor after thawing. This makes cooked rice a simple ingredient to preserve for months and have on hand for dishes that call for cooked rice (like fried rice), or simply to accompany a stir fry or curry. Here’s how to freeze rice!

Can you freeze rice?

Freezing cooked rice is an effective way to preserve it. All types of rice freeze well; the texture and flavor remain unchanged after thawing. This makes it simple to preserve this whole grain to use later in soups, grain bowls, burritos, and more.

Some ingredients become mushy after freezing and defrosting, but rice is much more stable. Rice lasts in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. If you’d like to preserve it beyond that point, you can freeze rice for up to 3 months.

How to freeze rice

Ready to freeze rice? First, you’ll need to cook a pot of rice, then once it’s cooled to room temperature you can pop it directly into the freezer in a container or plastic bag. Here’s how to do it:

  • Cook the rice. You can use any type of rice: white rice, brown rice, jasmine, basmati, and more. Go to How to Cook Rice for instructions.
  • Cool the rice to room temperature. Avoid freezing warm rice, which adds additional moisture. If you want to freeze directly after cooking, you can speed up the cooling process: place the rice on a baking sheet in a single layer and place it in the freezer for a few minutes until it is room temperature. Otherwise, you can simply leave the rice in the saucepan and wait an hour or so until it comes to room temperature.
  • Place the rice in a sealed container or freezer-safe plastic bag. If using a bag, use a straw to suck any remaining air out of the bag and seal it.
  • Mark the “Use by” date. Use a permanent marker to label the rice with a “use by” date that is 3 months in the future. 
  • Freeze. Place the rice in the freezer and freeze for up to 3 months.
Can you freeze rice

How to defrost frozen rice

When defrosted from frozen, rice keeps its tender, fluffy texture. If you’re using the rice in a cooked dish like a soup or casserole, you can use it straight from the freezer. You can also pop it in the microwave or reheat it on the stovetop. Here’s how to thaw rice:

  • Reheat in the microwave. Place the rice in the microwave and cook on high for 2 to 3 minutes until warm.
  • Reheat on the stovetop. Or, place the rice in a saucepan and add a splash of water. Heat it over medium low heat for a few minutes until warm.
  • Or, use the rice frozen. You can use frozen rice without thawing it in cooked dishes like soups or casseroles that call for cooked rice. The heat of cooking the dish will thaw the rice. Try it in Chickpea Soup with Rice.
Brown rice and white rice
Both white rice and brown rice freeze well

Ways to use frozen rice

Cooking rice and freezing it makes dinnertime simple! In many cases, it can speed up dishes and make them weeknight friendly. Try these favorite rice recipes:

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Can you freeze cooked rice

Can You Freeze Cooked Rice?


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 minutes
  • Yield: N/A

Description

Can you freeze cooked rice? Turns out it works well for preserving this whole grain ingredient: here’s what to do!


Ingredients

  • Rice

Instructions

  1. Cook the rice, according to How to Cook Rice.
  2. Allow the rice to cool to room temperature. (To speed up the process right after cooking, you can place the rice in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze for a few minutes until it is room temperature).
  3. Place the rice in a sealed container or freezer safe resealable plastic bag. If using a plastic bag, suck out the remaining air with a straw. Use a permanent marker to write a “Use By” date for 3 months in the future.
  4. Place the rice in the freezer and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, place the rice in the microwave and cook on high for 2 to 3 minutes until warm. Or, place heat it over medium low heat on the stovetop with a splash of water for a few minutes until reheated.
  • Category: Frozen
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: Frozen

Keywords: Can you freeze cooked rice, can you freeze rice

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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