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.
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.
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.
What to do with leftovers?
Package leftovers promptly and store them in the fridge for up to 4 days. Freeze for longer storage. Reheat with a bit of water if the rice seems a bit dry. Cold, dry rice is perfect for Vegetable Fried Rice or Chicken Fried Rice! Make extra so that you can make fried rice later.
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
Tell us what you think!
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- 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.
Love this way of making rice but I do think a 9×13 pan can be a little dangerous as some of the hot boiling water splashed out even with the foil cover on it! Next time I made it I switched to a 2 1/2 quart round casserole dish with the higher sides and it still turned just fine in the same amount of time. Just feel it’s a little safer to use the casserole dish and will always make rice like this from now on. Thank you!
I’ve never had the water boil and splash like that. I wonder if maybe your oven is running at a higher heat. Have you checked it with an oven thermometer recently? Glad you found an alternative dish that you feel comfortable with.
So I wanted to try this recipe but, wanted to know if I could make this ahead of time and reheat?
Yes, rice reheats well as long as it’s not overdone. If it looks a bit dry, add some water, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave until hot. Fluff.
Lisa Broussard Januska
I will never look at my ninja foodi, or my stove top, ever again to make rice. This is hands down the MOST incredibly perfect flavorful, rice I have ever eaten in my life… That says a lot, coming from this Cajun girl who cooked rice everyday growing up! My Dad had to have rice.every.single.day and it was the least we could do for that sweet man!! Thank you so much for this recipe…each single grain was perfectly cooked, not one piece was dry, it was a dream to pack up and refrigerate, as I made tripled this recipe, used three cups, so I’d have rice for stir fry later this week! The possibilities on what you can do with this recipe, are endless!
Yay! So glad you saw success!
Awesome recipe! I used chicken broth instead of water and salt. Best rice I have ever made delish!
Yay! So glad to hear you had great results.
If I halved the recipe would I leave everything else the same? Well other than the pan side.
I think so. I haven’t made one cup, but as long as you use a smaller dish, you should be good. Let me know how it goes!
I’ll give the lemon & thyme rice a try. Thanks!
I’m searching for a baked vegetable rice and came across this recipe! What do you think…would adding seasoning or veggies (to cook along with it) make a difference in the amount of water needed or the cooking time? Or should these all be added after? In any case, can’t wait to try it!
I haven’t tested it with vegetables included. You can absolutely add seasonings though. In fact, we have a version here: Baked Rice with Lemon and Thyme.
I’ll give the lemon & thyme rice a try. Thanks!
Can you double the recipe without changing time or temp?
I have tested this with three cups of rice with fine results. More than that, I would suggest simply cooking two pans at the same time. That will ensure even doneness throughout.
Needed to make Spanish rice for a crowd and decided to use this recipe as a guide since I’ve never baked rice in an oven before. It came out perfect! In fact, I think it came out better than it does on the stove. So glad I found this recipe!
No joke that I can’t cook rice! This simple recipe was life changing!! Who knew. Lol
Yay! Glad you were successful.
I can cook a lot of things, but perfectly cooked rice on the stove top always eluded me. No more! This recipe is so easy and has made perfect rice each time I have used it. And not having to monitor one more pot on the stove top is an added bonus. Thank you, thank you!
Yay! So glad to hear it was successful!
This makes the perfect sticky rice! & not having to watch & stir it means I can just focus on my stir-fry, so the veggies & meat turn out perfect, as well.
Glad to hear it’s working for you! 🙂
I have used this recipe twice recently without fail! I live at high altitude and baking the rice is an awesome hack for this adjustment. This quick, fool-proof method is a meal prep game changer. I will never go back to trying to cook rice with the variables of high altitude, humidity, under/over cooking. This recipe will get you over the intimidation of cooking rice perfectly!
Great recipe, but the photos show a glass 9 x 13 pan – did you use this pan at that high temperature?
All the photographs on the site are of real food made according to what’s pictured. I’ve never had a Pyrex pan break — except for the time a kid put it in the cupboard precariously and it dropped on the floor. A quick google search shows that Pyrex is safe up to 500 degrees. It’s the sudden change in temps that can cause issues.
Excellent recipe. If you want a fluffy non sticky rice soak and rinse pour off milky water. Place in pan to cook when rice rinse water is pretty clear. Wash away the starch creates a much fluffier rice.
Good to know, though I love a good sticky rice (makes eating with chopsticks so much easier)!
I am in Colorado, making meals at altitude. I needed to add a little more time to the recipe, but the rice was the best we’ve had! Thanks, Jessica, for helping this part of our “Thai Thursdays” be a success!
So I used the Jasmine rice that you get from Costco, with the elephant on it:), and I made 3 cups of rice, so double the water, same salt, foiled it up tight, and baked for 22 mins….at 450 ….turned out absolutely perfect! No sticking or burning on the bottom of the pan….magic! Thanks! My kiddos like the baked rice over the stove top, too!
Thanks for letting us know the numbers on jasmine!
I’ve made this rice many times – such an easy way to get perfect rice! My rice cooker died a couple years ago, but I do not miss it at all now that I have learned this method. 20 minutes is usually just right; sometimes there’s still a little bit of water remaining in the bottom of the pan – I just pop it back into the oven for a couple minutes for the rice to absorb the rest of the water and it’s fine.
Love it that it’s working so well for you.
This worked great! It was perfect. I have made baked rice before, Mexican and brown, but always cooked them at 350 degrees. I think the higher temperature in your recipe works better. Can’t wait to try brown rice next! This would come in super handy when you have company – one less thing to worry about! Thank you so much for this recipe and for all the others that you share with us. They are appreciated!!!
Yay! So glad it was a win for you! And yes, it’s fantastic for hands-free dinners.
Oh my! This recipe is fantastic! Other than using a microwave and instant rice, I’ve never had success making rice. These directions were so easy to follow and my rice turned out fantastic. Who knew it was so simple? Thanks so much for sharing!
Awesome! Now you are a rice-making winner!