Baked Rice is simple and fuss-free. It steams perfectly and tastes great every time. If you’ve ever felt like a failure making rice, those days are over when you bake rice.
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. Even better, you can cook more than one dish at the same time. Slide in a pan of Hands-Free Cashew Chicken for a perfect pairing with your oven rice.
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. What is it about rice that makes it such a stumbling block to home cooks?
Thankfully, it really is easy to make, especially when you cook rice in the oven!
Why Make This
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. I particularly like to bake rice in the oven alongside a pan of Hands-Free Cashew Chicken.
It goes with anything! Rice is a delicious, versatile, and inexpensive side dish that is embraced by cultures the world over. This humble grain is featured in Mexican food, Italian risotto, Asian bowls, Catalan paella, Cajun Jambalaya, French pilafs, and Mediterranean dishes. It’s the base of many a curry or Chicken Tikka Masala.
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.
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.
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.
Once you’ve mastered simple baked rice, be sure to try Baked Lemon And Thyme Rice – that’s packed with flavor.
Baking rice in the oven requires three ingredients and about 30 minutes of your time. It comes out perfectly almost every time, and takes only one dish! 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!
What to Do With Leftovers
Provided that you haven’t overcooked your rice or left it out too long to dry out, you can package the leftovers and reheat them within the next four days.
Cold, dry rice is perfect for Vegetable Fried Rice! I regularly make extra so that I can make fried rice in the days to come.
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 1/2 cups water.
- Make sure your water is boiling – You want boiling water added to the rice. Hot water just won’t cook it properly.
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, like we use for our Seasoned Rice Pilaf. If you use a different type of rice it may affect how long it takes for the rice to be baked. For instance, brown rice will take 45 minutes to bake.
Store rice in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. I place the bags of rice in a large food service container in my pantry.
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.
It’s important to keep rice free of contaminants and bugs, so make sure you seal the container after each use.
If you love rice in a variety of dishes and flavor profiles, then it’s in your best interests to buy it in bulk. This 10-pound bag of rice cost me $3.52 at my local Ralphs. That’s about 35 cents/pound.
Shop around and consider keeping track of prices at the stores you normally shop at. Make a habit to buy rice at the store with the lowest unit rice.
At my target price, a batch of baked rice costs me about 35 cents!
More Great Rice Dishes
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Good Cheap Eats we should be dishing out more often.
- 2 cup long-grain white rice uncooked
- 1/2 tsp 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.