How to Cook White Rice

Want to avoid mushy, crunchy, or overcooked rice? You’re in luck: here’s a no-fail method of how to cook white rice that works every time.

How to cook white rice

Have you ever over-cooked rice and ended up with a glue-y mush? Under-cooked it to where it’s crunchy? Gotten it stuck to the bottom of the pan? Any way you can think of to botch rice, we’ve done it! Until, we met the perfect way to cook rice…and our lives changed forever! (OK, not really. But hear us out!) This method is quicker than the traditional method, and results in well cooked rice every time. It’s especially helpful for brown rice because it can cut the time drastically. Basically, it’s the trick you need. Here’s how to cook white rice perfectly, every time.

Trick: How to Cook Brown Rice…in Just 30 Minutes!

How to cook white rice

How to cook white rice…the right way.

So, what’s the secret to the “right way” to cook rice? It’s called the Pasta Method. This method is just like it sounds: you actually cook the rice like you would pasta. The traditional method of how to cook white rice is this: you place the grains and water in a saucepan, bring it to a boil, then simmer until the water is absorbed.

For the Pasta Method to cook white rice, you:

  • Boil a pot of water 6 times the amount of rice. (For 1 cup of rice, boil 6 cups water.)
  • Add the white rice and cook for 9 to 12 minutes, tasting the rice until it is tender.
  • Drain and return the rice to the pot. Cover and allow to steam for 5 minutes.

And that’s it! It makes perfectly tender rice: no sticking to the bottom, no crunchy rice, and no soggy overcooked rice. It’s life changing!

White rice recipe

How much is a serving size of rice?

If you’re planning to serving sizes of rice, here’s a handy cheat sheet:

  • What’s the water to rice ratio? Use 6 cups of water for every 1 cup dry rice.
  • How much does 1 cup dry rice make? 1 cup dry rice = about 3 cups cooked
  • How much is a serving size of rice? When serving as side or as a stir fry, we usually plan for 3/4 cup to 1 cup rice per serving.
  • How many calories in 1 cup of cooked rice? There about 200 calories in 1 cup cooked rice.

Can you cook white rice in an Instant Pot?

Yes, you can cook white rice in an Instant Pot! Alex and I love making whole grains like farro, bulgur and quinoa in our Instant Pot because it’s totally hands off and leaves the stove free for cooking other things. Here’s our White Rice in an Instant Pot method!

You also can cook Brown Rice in the Instant Pot! And it drastically cuts down the cook time.

Can you use this method for brown rice?

The “pasta method” is perfect for brown rice! We love it because it cuts down the time drastically. Instead of the standard 1 hour, the pasta method allows you to cook brown rice in just 35 minutes. Here’s our recipe for How to Cook Brown Rice.

How to cook white rice

Is brown rice healthier than white rice?

Great question! Calorie-wise, they are very similar. Brown rice actually has more calories than white rice, about 216 calories per 1 cup vs. about 200 calories for white rice.

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

In short: While the calories are similar, brown rice is packed with more nutrients than white! When you can find time to cook it, brown rice is a great choice, too.

White rice recipes

It’s hard to make a list of recipes that use white rice, because you can serve rice with almost everything. But here are some of great rice recipes where you can use this technique:

This recipe is…

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

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How to cook white rice

How to Cook White Rice


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (11 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x

Description

Want to avoid mushy, crunchy, or overcooked rice? You’re in luck: here’s a no-fail method of how to cook white rice that works every time.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup long or short grain white rice
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Rinse the rice: Using a strainer, rinse the rice under cold water, then drain it completely.
  2. In a saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the rice, stir once, and continue to boil uncovered for 9 to 12 minutes, bubbling rapidly. Taste a grain of rice; if it is tender, remove the pan from the heat, then pour the rice into the strainer.
  3. Return the rice to the pot (without the heat). Cover the pot and allow the rice to steam for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff the rice with a fork. Stir in the kosher salt.
  4. Optional: Spice it up by stirring in 1 tablespoon butter, 2 tablespoons chopped thyme or oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder.

  • Category: Essentials
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Basics

Keywords: How to Cook White Rice, White Rice Recipe,

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

5 Comments

  • Reply
    DESIREE
    March 9, 2020 at 9:18 pm

    I tried this method but the rice came out mushy.. any ideas?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      March 10, 2020 at 9:29 am

      Did you remove the rice right at 9 minutes? What style of rice did you use?

      • Reply
        Anonymous
        March 10, 2020 at 11:03 am

        I used long grain white rice and I started timing it when it returned to boiling and it was about 10 min.. should I start timing when I put rice in pot?

        • Reply
          Alex Overhiser
          March 10, 2020 at 11:08 am

          Yes, you may want to start tasting at 8 minutes for doneness. Thank you for making the recipe!

      • Reply
        Desiree
        March 10, 2020 at 11:05 am

        I used long grain white rice and started timing it when the water returned to a boil after putting rice in.. boiled for about 10 min.. should I start timing at a diff point?

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