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A metal saucepan with a spoon and brown rice in it.

How to Cook Brown Rice

Learn how to cook brown rice (short, medium, or long grain) perfectly every time. It's great for meal prep or freeze it for up to 2 months.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings (1/2 cup each)
Calories 115kcal



  • Bring 6 cups water and salt to taste (I like 1 teaspoon) to a boil in a large pot or saucepan (3 1/2 quarts or larger). Add rice, stir, and return to a boil. Boil uncovered for 30 to 32 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Using a fine mesh strainer, drain rice and rinse with hot water. Return to the pot and cover to keep warm.


  1. Water: 6 cups sounds like too much, but this is the "pasta method" for cooking rice, not the "steaming method." You leave the pot uncovered and drain off the excess water at the end. This is exactly how we make my copycat Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice.
  2. Rice: This method will work for any short, medium, or long-grain brown rice such as jasmine or basmati. Avoid any par-boiled "quick cooking" brown rices.
  3. Yield: This recipe makes 3 cups of brown rice, or 6 servings (1/2 cup each).
  4. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  5. Freezer: Rinse with cold water instead of hot water in step 2, to cool the rice down. Pack into a measuring cup and measure portions (1-cup, 2-cup, 4-cup, etc.). Pack into freezer-safe bags, press flat, label, and freeze for up to 2 months.
  6. Brown cilantro lime rice: For this Chipotle copycat favorite, add a bay leaf to the pot with the salt in step 1. Remove the bay leaf before rinsing the rice. Stir in 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, and additional salt to taste if desired.
  7. Olive oil: For extra richness, stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter with the salt in step 1. 
  8. Chicken broth: For extra flavor, substitute all or some of the water with chicken broth.


Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 115kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg