Master Recipe for Brown Rice


Our easy method produces fluffy rice every time.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

Learn how to cook brown rice with our easy recipe. It’s really more of a formula than a recipe—and a revolutionary approach. While many recipes say you need 50 minutes to cook it, we say to simmer the brown rice for just 30 minutes to prevent overcooked, mushy rice.

Be sure to use a wide, shallow pot with a tight-fitting lid—it’s key to getting evenly cooked rice. And measure the rice and water carefully—don't just eyeball the ingredients.

Why should you cook brown rice, not white? Unlike white rice, brown rice retains the nutritious bran and germ covering of the rice grain. This gives it a chewy texture, a nutty aroma, and plenty of essential nutrients.

The Right Ratio: Although it's printed on the package, the standard 2-to-1 ratio makes mushy rice. For long-grain brown rice, use 1 1/4 cups water to 1 cup rice. For short-grain brown rice, use 1 1/2 cups water to 1 cup rice.

brown rice in bowl with spoon

Diana Chistruga


  • 1 cup brown rice

  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups water

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt


brown rice ingredients

Diana Chistruga

  1. Combine rice and water and cook:

    Bring rice, water, and salt to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook at a slow, steady simmer for 30 minutes.

    brown rice and water in pan

    Diana Chistruga

  2. Steam and fluff:

    Let the cooked rice sit for 10 minutes, covered, to absorb maximum moisture; then remove the lid, and fluff the grains with a fork.

    fluffing cooked brown rice with a fork

    Diana Chistruga

Storing and Reheating Cooked Brown Rice

Refrigerate cooked rice in an airtight container for up to five days. To freeze: spread the cooled rice in an inch-thick layer in a large resealable plastic bag. That way you can easily break off individual portions as needed.

Whether frozen or refrigerated, reheat rice in the microwave, covered, until steaming, one to three minutes.

brown rice in bowl with spoon

Diana Chistruga

3 Ways to Use Brown Rice

Rice With Greens and Eggs: Sauté spinach, collards, kale, or any other hearty green in olive oil with sliced garlic, salt, and pepper. Serve the greens over brown rice with a fried egg on top. Season with red pepper flakes.

Fried Rice: Stir-fry chicken, tofu, or shrimp until cooked. Remove from the pan, and add sliced vegetables. Cook until crisp-tender, remove, and then add chopped ginger, scallion, and garlic to the pan. Cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add vegetables and protein back to the pan, along with some rice, and toss. Finish with soy sauce.

Hot Rice Cereal: Heat rice with milk and a pinch of salt in the microwave or on the stovetop. Top with cinnamon, bananas, maple syrup, nuts, or seeds.

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