Baked Rice is simple and fuss-free. It steams perfectly and tastes great every time. All you need is rice, salt, and hot water! If you’ve ever felt like a failure making rice, those days are over when you bake rice in the oven.
When you cook rice in the oven, you take all the guess work out of the process. It’s quick, easy, and completely hands-free for making perfectly cooked rice. Save time when you cook more than one recipe in the same hot oven, like Hands-Free Cashew Chicken.
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I can’t make rice.
My rice never turns out.
I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t make good rice.
Have you ever said those words? Believe me, you are not alone.
Rice is the one good cheap eat that I hear folks struggle with continuously, but once you master it, a whole world of great, budget-friendly food opens up for you.
Thankfully, it really is easy to make, especially when you cook rice in the oven!
Why Make This
It’s foolproof. Since rice is featured in so many dishes and serves as a supporting side to so many delicious things, it’s in your best interests to learn how to make good rice. This foolproof method to bake rice in the oven will give you confidence to make rice a regular dish in your meal planning.
It’s easy! Baked Rice is a no-brainer side dish to prepare. It takes very little effort and can bake alongside other dishes in the oven, making dinner prep a snap. It is so easy to assemble Rice Bowls when you’ve got Easy Oven Baked Rice.
Baked Rice goes with anything! This whole grain is a delicious, versatile, and inexpensive side dish that is embraced by cultures the world over, featured in Mexican food, Asian bowls, Catalan paella, Cajun Jambalaya, French pilafs, and Mediterranean dishes. Rice is the base of many a curry and a great side to Chicken Tikka Masala.
Here’s what you’ll need to make baked rice in the oven:
The ingredients list here is short. All you need is rice, salt, and very hot, boiling water. Rice is readily available at almost any grocery store, so nothing special needed.
We use regular long-grain rice for this baked rice recipe, but you can easily swap in other types of rice, though you may need to adjust the ratio of water to rice or how long you cook it, depending on the variety.
Nonstick cooking spray helps your rice not stick to the glass baking dish.
While it doesn’t really matter what kind of rice you use, it does matter what equipment you use.
Either bake your rice in a Dutch oven with a securely fitting lid, or use heavy-duty aluminum foil (as we do here) to securely cover the 9×13-inch baking dish so that the heat does not escape. You want the rice to steam/bake covered.
This rice is a delicious base to easy Chicken and Gravy.
Jazzing up your Baked Rice is super simple. Add a few knobs of butter, fresh or dried herbs, ground spices, or even chicken or vegetable broth instead of the boiling water.
There’s no end to the delicious flavor combinations you can make! Two of our favorites include Baked Lemon And Thyme Rice and a recipe from the Good Cheap Eats Dinner in 30 Minutes (or Less!) Cookbook, Cilantro Lime Rice.
Baking rice in the oven requires three ingredients and about 30 minutes of your time. It comes out perfectly every time, and there’s only one dish to wash!
Any recipe that allows you to cook and serve in the same vessel is a winner in my book.
The process is very simple:
- Grease a baking dish and boil some water. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Put uncooked rice and salt in the prepared pan.
- Add the boiling water.
- Cover the pan tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.
This really is a simple dish! Be sure to watch the video to see how easy it is!
You can freeze cooked rice. Just package it in an airtight container, chill completely in the refrigerator, and then freeze. To reheat, thaw and warm the rice.
Sometimes, after freezing the rice is a bit dryer than it was beforehand. This makes it ideal for adding to soups or using in fried rice.
Tips for Success
- Follow the ratios – for every cup of long grain rice, use 2 cups water; for every cup of brown rice, use 2 cups water, but increase the baking time to 45 minutes; for every cup of basmati or jasmine rice, use 1 ½ cups water.
- Make sure your water is boiling – You want boiling water added to the rice. Hot water just won’t cook it properly.
- If making more than two cups of rice, be sure to use a larger baking dish than 9×13.
- Store uncooked rice in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Many white rices can be stored indefinitely at room temperature, however, brown rice has a shorter shelf life than white rice, about 3 to 6 months at room temperature. You can extend its shelf life by storing it in the refrigerator or freezer. You’ll know when brown rice is no longer good when it has a rancid, off odor.
This oven baked rice recipe takes 20 minutes when you use white rice. If you’re going to use brown rice, increase the cooking time to 45 minutes. The goal here is to make sure the grains are cooked through and the water has been absorbed. Use boiling hot water for best results.
For this recipe we just used long grain white rice. If you use a different type of rice it may affect how long it takes for the rice to bake. For instance, brown rice will take 45 minutes to bake.
Baked Rice and Stovetop Rice are both easy to make and delicious additions to meals. If you already have the oven on, it makes sense to bake it! If there’s no room in the oven, follow our instructions for foolproof stovetop rice.
Having frozen rice on hand makes for super quick dinners and lunches. Cool the rice completely, divide into meal size portions in freezer-safe containers, and chill for several hours in the fridge before storing in the freezer. To serve, thaw and reheat or reheat from frozen, adding a bit of water if the rice is a little dry.
More Great Rice Dishes
- 2 cup long-grain white rice uncooked
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 cup water boiling
- Preheat the oven to 425°. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place the rice and ½ teaspoon salt in the bottom of the pan.
- Pour the boiling water into the pan and cover it right away with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Seal the edges tightly.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.
This post was originally published February 9, 2019. It has been updated for content and clarity.