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Want to make brown rice but don’t have an hour? Here’s how to cook brown rice the fast way—and it turns out perfectly every time.

How to cook brown rice
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Ever wanted to cook brown rice, until you saw the 1 hour cook time? Alex and I try to cook this healthy whole grain as an alternative to white rice. But if you’re anything like us, you see the 1 hour label and immediately disregard it for weeknights. Am I right? Who has 1 hour to cook rice on a weeknight? But we’ve found the “fast way” to cook brown rice. It’s not instant, but it cuts down the time investment for sure. In just 35 minutes, you’ve got a big pot of nutritious brown rice that cooks perfectly every time! Here’s how to cook brown rice on the stove…the fast way.

How to cook brown rice...the fast way!

What’s the “fast” way to cook brown rice?

So, what’s the secret to the “fast way” to cook brown rice? It’s called the Pasta Method. In the pasta method, you cook the rice like you would pasta. In the standard way to make rice, you’d place the grains and water in a saucepan, bring it to a boil, and simmer until the water is absorbed. Not so with the pasta method!

For the Pasta Method to cook brown rice, you:

  • Boil a pot of water, much like you would for pasta.
  • Drop the rice grains in, and cook them for about 20 minutes until tender.
  • Drain the water. Return the rice to the pot and let it steam for 5 minutes.

This ends up with a much quicker cook time than the standard method for how to cook brown rice on the stove, which typically takes about 50 to 55 minutes to cook and 5 to 10 minutes to steam.

How much does 1 cup dry rice make? 1 cup dry rice = 3 cups cooked

Is brown rice healthier?

Is brown rice healthier?

Great question! With white rice being so much quicker to cook than brown rice, why would you want to eat it? Turns out, brown rice has a lot of nutritional benefits. Brown rice has an impressive amount of vitamins, minerals and beneficial compounds because it is less processed than white rice. If you want to get technical…

White rice has its hull, bran and germ removed. However, brown rice keeps the nutrient-packed bran and germ and only has the hull removed. As a result, brown rice retains the nutrients that white rice lacks such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Brown rice also has more fiber than white rice.

In summary: Yes, brown rice is packed with more nutrients than white rice! So when you can find time to cook it, brown rice is a great choice. Want to read more? Go to Brown Rice vs White Rice.

Can you cook brown rice in an Instant Pot?

Can you cook brown rice in an Instant Pot?

Yes, indeed you can! Alex and I love cooking essentials like rice and quinoa in our Instant Pot (pressure cooker). The method is usually not quicker: but the advantage is that it’s totally hands off and leaves the stove free for cooking other things!

If you’re interested in trying rice in a pressure cooker, try our Brown Rice in Instant Pot recipe. You also can cook White Rice in an Instant Pot.

Can you use the pasta method for white rice?

Absolutely, you can use this method for white rice, too! Here’s a recipe showing the timing for How to Cook White Rice using the pasta method.

Brown rice recipe

Any brown rice recipes to recommend?

Of course! We have so many recipes with using it, it’s hard to know where to begin. Here are some of our favorite brown rice recipes:

This recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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How to cook brown rice

How to Cook Brown Rice

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x
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Want to make brown rice but don’t have an hour? Here’s how to cook brown rice the fast way—and it turns out perfectly every time.


  • 1 cup long or short grain brown rice
  • 6 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Rinse the rice: Using a strainer, rinse the rice under cold water, then drain it completely. (Here’s why.)
  2. Boil the rice using the “Pasta Method”: In a saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the rice and stir. Continue to boil uncovered until tender, with the water bubbling rapidly, for 20 minutes. Start tasting at 18 to 20 minutes: if the rice is tender, remove the heat. If not, keep cooking 5 to 10 minutes more until the rice is tender. (All rice types and brands are slightly different, so you’ll have to adjust according to the specific rice. Ours is usually done in around 18 to 25 minutes.)
  3. Steam the rice: Pour the rice into a strainer, then return it to the pot. Cover the pot and allow the rice to steam for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff the rice with a fork. Stir in the salt.
  • Category: Essentials
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Basics

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 and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Doug Heoms says:

    “Pour the rice into a strainer then return to the pot.” In the strainer or poured back into the pot (without the strainer)?

  2. Dawn lent says:

    So I started making this and then realized when I got to the part where you let it steam I wasn’t sure if you turn the heat all the way off or just slightly off So I have the Burner on low will see how that goes if you could Clarify that for me that would be great Thank you so much and thank you for the quick way to make the rice

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      All the way off!