Baked Brown Rice

Don’t hate me because I cook with white rice.

I know it isn’t nutritious and definitely is not en vogue with the healthy eaters of the world. But I swear to you, every time I have tried to make brown rice, it has been absolutely terrible. I feel these faint twinges of guilt every time I put white rice on the table but it hasn’t been enough to get me past the pain and gag-quality of failed brown rice.

However, last week, my friend, who happens to be an extremely healthy eater and who I am sure wonders how she found herself to be stuck with me, coerced me into trying this baked brown rice concoction she had made. And wow. I mean wow. It didn’t taste remotely like any brown rice I have ever made.

I’ve made it four times since then and have a feeling it will be replacing our white rice from here on out. While it takes a bit more planning since the baking time is longer, it is a cinch to throw together, and it is downright delicious. I’ve included a few variations below the recipe that will take this simple brown rice and knock it out of the park.

Happy healthy eating from one newly converted brown rice lover to you!

Update 2/2011: After a year, this brown rice has continued to be an extreme staple. Love, love, love it. I make it with low-sodium chicken broth when I have it on hand or sometimes just with water and a little extra salt. Sometimes I even get all crazy and do half broth, half water. The real key is to keep your eye on it and make sure it doesn’t dry out and burn on the bottom.

Baked Brown Rice

Baked Brown Rice

Yield: Makes about 3 1/2 cups cooked rice

Baked Brown Rice

Note: This recipe doubles beautifully for a 9X13-inch pan.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water (if using water, add 1 teaspoon salt)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8X8-inch or 9X9-inch baking pan. Place the rice in the prepared pan and pour in the liquid. Stir to equally distribute the rice. Cover tightly with a double layer of aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from the oven and let sit for five minutes before removing the aluminum foil and fluffing with a fork. If your rice still has a bit of liquid on the bottom or conversely, if it is dried out, adjust the baking time up or down to make changes.

Notes

Variations: Before baking, slice one small yellow onion into dices or half moons and caramelize and brown in 1 teaspoon of olive oil until golden and soft (about 10 minutes in a nonstick skillet). Stir onion into rice and broth mixture and bake according to recipe.

After removing rice from the oven and letting it sit for five minutes, remove aluminum foil and stir in the zest and juice from 1 lemon, 1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 apple, finely diced.

http://www.melskitchencafe.com/baked-brown-rice/

Recipe Source: my friend Jennifer S.

101 Responses to Baked Brown Rice

  1. Lisa says:

    What a great idea!

  2. Jenn says:

    Another plus to this recipe–it helps heat the house! I love having something in the oven for dinner in the winter. When I don't turn the oven on for dinner, I feel it!I will have to try this some evening. The variation sounds pretty tasty.

  3. Chrissy says:

    Baking would be an alternative… I've never had a problem w/cooking brown rice on the stove…If u have a Trader Joe's try their bulk rice in bags.. 2-1 ratio and simmer for 40min…(yes 40, no lie) that's after bringing water to a boil and then 2nd boil after rice is added… foolproof

  4. Anonymous says:

    I'm so excited you posted this recipe as I bought a box of brown rice but have yet to cook it! I found a recipe but was still skeptical, but if you say its easy and good, I know it is!thanks!

  5. renee says:

    i'll have to try this…i've never had success with brown rice, so i'm a white ricer for sure…but i feel guilty as well when that's what i eat. thanks!!!

  6. Leslie says:

    Hmmm. I'll try it because you've never steered me wrong before. But, like you, I'm a pretty die hard white ricer, Basmati or Jasmine are hard to beat! Thanks again for all the effort you put into your blog. I really do enjoy it, as does my family when I put one of your recipes on the table!

  7. Terri says:

    I love brown rice and I'm looking forward to trying this method instead of on the stovetop. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Hillary N says:

    I don't mind brown rice but great ideas for giving it more pizazz! Oh and I made those oatmeal choc caramel bars from a few posts ago..and I now hate you ;-p…a 1/3, no let's say a 1/4, of the pan was gone before my kids woke up this morning, which means I can't blame it on them..I wish I hated those bars..then I wouldn't be as inclined to have them for breakfast this morning as well..;-D

  9. Jessie says:

    THank you so much. I like you have never been able to stomach brown rice around here because of never turning out right. We use whole wheat everything else but just couldn't convert to brown rice. I am definitely printing this off and using it next time we have a rice dish.

  10. Jelli Bean says:

    I've never heard of baking rice. Nice concept. I can't help but think of the energy savings that a rice maker could offer you though. After 3 or 4 trials, I've found the perfect balance of water to rice and mine comes out well every time. I encourage you to keep trying a more energy efficient way.

  11. Andrea says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I struggle with those same twinges of guilt over white rice. I tried brown rice once…only once, that's how bad it turned out. If this recipe works for me I really owe you one!

  12. Julianne says:

    I wish I would've had this last night. I made brown rice to go along with our excellent tilapia, and of course, like always, the rice was just under cooked and BORING. I even added a tbsp of balsamic vinegar, some red peppers and green onions to it. Those parts tasted good, but the rice was just dumb. I decided the next time to try cooking it with chicken stock, and since I usually make my own stock, it will hopefully add a little zip to the rice. Boo on brown rice, yay for good recipes for it!

  13. Thank you! We will have to try this. I don't always like brown rice so I find my self making the white rice more often.

  14. Erin B says:

    Thank you!! My youngest daughter LOVES rice, but I too feel bad about serving the white rice. My brown rice always turns out…gummy. I am going to make this for her THIS WEEKEND!! Yay!

  15. Cammee says:

    I've never heard of baking it, pretty clever. You should try short grain brown rice. It has a better texture and my kids snarf it up. I don't even think they realize it's brown rice!Mel, (can I call you that? We're friends now, right?) YOU ARE A PIZZA GOD!! Seriously, you are the master. I had all but given up on homemade pizza–soggy crust, yucky sauce, no crispy edges on my pepperoni. Your crust, sauce (oh, the sauce!) and preheated stone have changed my phone dialing ways!

  16. grace says:

    don't be a rice-ist, melanie. :)

  17. Jen says:

    I think the tastiness of the brown rice depends in part on what kind of brown rice you're using. I just love brown jasmine rice, and brown basmati is good, too! Uncle Ben's probably not so much.Though actually brown rice isn't all THAT much healthier than white rice (it has a little more fiber, among a few other things). One of the major differences is that brown rice generally has a much lower glycemic index, but white basmati has a low glycemic index, too, so it's pretty much just as "healthy" as cooking with brown rice.(Hopefully, that's not too much TMI…)

  18. Melanie says:

    Hillary – don't hate me! I'm just trying to look out for everyone's sweet tooth!

  19. Sonya says:

    I agree with Cammee about you being the Pizza God. Pizza has given me heart burn since my youngest was born…9 years ago. So I gave up eating it. But making my own at home has fixed that problem. Your sauce is amazing (but I leave out the extra sugar) and preheating the pizza stone…WONDERFUL crisp crust. Thanks for a great blog to read.

  20. Melanie says:

    Thanks, Cammee and Sonya. I'll try not to let all the niceties go to my head!

  21. Janssen says:

    Mine is in the oven right now. Crossing my fingers that my brown-rice hating husband won't complain :)

  22. Pam says:

    Just found your blog. We are brown rice eaters, but I'll have to try your method next time I make it up. I usually do it in the rice cooker, and after figuring out the ratios it works great.I have to tell you that I love how you have links to printer friendly versions of your recipes. love that.

  23. I love brown rice! And I will be trying your variations. I tried 2 recipes last week that were NOt from your recipe blog. They failed. I will be much more loyal now! :~D

  24. I, too, have had problems with making and liking brown rice. This looks like a great way to make it (especially with the variations) and fairly hands-free, too. Thanks!Nicole

  25. Suzanne says:

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe!!! I can't tell you how much brown rice I have going to waste because I couldn't get it right, even in my rice cooker. I made this for dinner last night and it was a HUGE hit. I LOVED it. Thanks again!

  26. I've had the exact same problem with brown rice vs. white. Oh the guilt. Can't wait to try this recipe. :)

  27. Melanie says:

    Hi Suzanne – so glad this worked out for you, I've been wondering if anyone had tried it yet. Thanks for letting me know!

  28. Katie says:

    Oh, you have to get a rice cooker! You will never go back! I am not all that handy in the kitchen and I think I put different ratios in my rice cooker all the time and it still comes out fine! Any excess moisture just steams out!Also, you inspired me to invest in a Bosch mixer, just arrived today! Cannot wait to try some rolls. Also do you keep powdered milk in the freezer or do you use it up quick enough? I want to make the orange rolls (again!) but now all I can find are gigantic boxes of the powdered milk…

  29. Katy ~ says:

    Big YUMS up. I'm not a fan of brown rice, but this sounds GOOD! I'd certainly be willing to try it. Will have to go to the bulk food section and buy just enough to make this. Thanks for sharing!

  30. Kristin says:

    I have the same problem with brown rice, but I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I don't like to admit this to anyone, but I use trader joe's frozen brown rice. Three minutes in the microwave and you get perfect brown rice. When I started I thought I'd just use it when I didn't have the time, but of course now I use it all the time.

  31. Melanie B. says:

    You've saved the day again. We've been eating brown rice but it rarely turns out. This will be perfect!

  32. Anonymous says:

    You have such amazing recipes! I have found that using a high-quality brown rice makes a big difference in the end result – no-name brands have not worked well for me. Someone gave me a baked white rice recipe several years ago that I've found works great with brown rice. It's basically the same as yours, but you add some slivered almonds and some chives before baking…yum! My family also loves to jazz up plain rice by sprinkling some dill weed on top. I thought it sounded weird till I tried it, but it's pretty tasty. Thanks for sharing – you've reminded me that I need to cook brown rice more often. :)Camille

  33. Melanie says:

    Katie – congratulations on your Bosch! How fun…and I hope you love it as much as I love mine. As for powdered milk, I don't store mine in the freezer. I go through it fairly quickly but I've seen sites that recommend storing it in the freezer if you don't want it to start tasting stale. Happy bread making!

  34. Camie says:

    Can you make brown rice in the rice cooker?

  35. Melanie says:

    Hi Camie – I'm sure you can although I never have. Read through the comments above – I think several people have indicated they use a rice cooker.

  36. Nikki says:

    Thank you! I made this tonight and it worked out great- the rice was perfect. I always dread cooking brown rice for some reason, until now. I will continue to make brown rice this way from now on.

  37. Stephanie D says:

    I made it last night and was bummed. First, brown rice is the single issue that has brought my husband and me closest to divorce. He HATES brown rice. HATES IT. In the past when I've tried to switch, he has threatened to leave me. But, when I saw you post the recipe, I thought it would surely sway him. Not so.I followed the directions and when I pulled it out of the oven and let it rest for 5, there was still a substantial amount of liquid at the bottom of the dish. I waited a bit longer and served it out of desperation, and it was still pretty crunchy and very brown ricey. I live at sea level (can see it from my kitchen window) so elevation wasn't a problem. What on earth did I do wrong?

  38. Melanie says:

    Stephanie D – I'm sorry that this rice didn't work out for you. If there was liquid at the bottom of the dish but it was still crunchy, my guess is that it needed to be baked longer (there can be many variations of oven temperature, baking dish size, etc. that may cause this). Also, the seal of the foil or lid needs to be really tight so that the rice steams perfectly. Once again, sorry it wasn't great – that's frustrating!

  39. Melanie says:

    Nikki – glad this worked out! Thanks for letting me know.

  40. [...] up, this is a simple meal consisting of rice (you can see from the picture, I used my new favorite baked brown rice recipe) smothered in some type of chicken sauce and topped with anything from chow mein noodles to [...]

  41. Lorie says:

    Hi Melanie!

    This worked perfectly for me! I also put a lid on top of the foil though. In any event, do you think this method would work w/ white rice? Not sure I can get the hubby to eat brown rice all the time :) I did freeze some (with beans though) and it worked well. I have some in the freezer plain, so I will see how that tastes.

    Thanks!
    Lorie

  42. Mel says:

    Lorie – thanks for the tip about using a lid. I’m so glad you liked this rice. I hope it tastes ok out of the freezer.

  43. Lorie says:

    Hi Melanie, do you think this method will work w/ white rice?

  44. Mel says:

    Lorie – I’ve never tried this with white rice. I’m guessing there would need to be some adjustments made since the liquid to rice ratio differs between brown and white rice – and so does the cooking time. Sorry I’m not more help! If I try it with white rice, I’ll let you know (and you do the same!).

  45. [...] Strength of My Kitchen Cafe [...]

  46. Danielle says:

    Delicious and easy to make. The rice turned out perfect. Will definitely make this again. Thanks Mel for your wonderful recipes!

  47. Julie says:

    Question: We’re brown rice newbies, and we finally made this last night, and after following the directions carefully I still had rice that was a bit crunchy. I added some more water and microwaved the dish for 3 1/2 more minutes. It was much better than brown rice we’d had before! Do you think I need more water, a longer cooking time, or a combo of both? I just bought a 20 lb bag!, so I’m hoping to make this work great. Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Julie – if your rice was still crunchy but didn’t have any residual liquid in the bottom of the dish, I would suggest adding 1/4 cup more liquid before baking and increasing the baking time by 10 minutes. If the rice was crunchy and still had liquid settling at the bottom, I would simply increase the baking time by 10-15 minutes. Hope that helps (and that you can use up that 20 pound bag!).

  48. I only eat brown rice because it’s healthier than white. That being said, I bet this recipe will make me think brown rice is tastier too! Thanks for sharing!

  49. Nicole says:

    A friend of mine sent me a link to this recipe. I finally got around to making it tonight. Thank you for a great brown rice recipe. My kids and husband who normally won’t touch brown rice loved it!! Its a keeper and I’ll be making it again.

  50. Faye says:

    Have you tried short grain brown rice? It’s my family’s favorite. It is moist and never dry like long grain brown rice can be. Cooked on the stove top with chicken broth and a teaspoon of olive oil, it is yummy!

    • Mel says:

      Faye – I’ve never tried short grain brown rice but it looks like I need to! You are the second person this week who has brought it to my attention.

  51. Liz K. says:

    So, I can’t remember if I have let a comment for this rice yet. I have made so many of your recipes so many times that I lose track of what I have commented about. Anyway, even if I did leave a comment before this rice is worthy of another comment.
    I have made this many many times and I still get excited when I taste how good it is. Before this method I had tried many different ways to make brown rice edible but it just never turned out good. Everyone in my family loves this rice too. Thanks for helping us make the transition to brown rice so much more tasty!

  52. Mel says:

    Liz – I don’t think you’ve commented before, so thanks! I agree with you every step of the way on this rice.

  53. Allison says:

    I made this tonight, using 1 cup of beef stock that needed to be used up, and the rest water. It was amazing!! So, so tasty. The only thing I’ll do differently next time is that the rice stuck to the glass dish like crazy, so I think I’ll try greasing it before pouring in the rice & liquid. Thank you!

  54. Kim in MD says:

    I was a white rice only girl until I baked brown rice for the first time. Now it is the only rice my children request! I add a Tbsp. or two of butter into the dish to add flavor and prevent stickiness (the rice doesn’t stick to the pan, either). I boil the chicken broth before pouring it into the pan, and it cooks in one hour. I love your recipe because there is one less pan to clean! :-)

  55. Jenna says:

    Mel,
    This rice is the first recipe of yours I tried (last spring) and it is just so wonderful. We make this with Amylu chicken sausage for an easy meal. I have even impressed company with this rice and that feels great. Your blog has made my life so much better. Thank you!
    Jenna
    p.s. I am looking forward to making the pumpkin chocolate chip bread. It is so reassuring to know that it WILL be yummy.

  56. Jennifer says:

    I made this last night and then refrigerated so we could have it today after church. I just reaheated it in the microwave. It was really good. I like how it was not sticky and the grains of rice were individual. Very tasty.

  57. Jennifer says:

    I’m thinking that now I will throw a batch of this rice into the oven any time I am baking something else at 350, which is pretty much all the time. At least once a week, it reheated so well I can just keep it in the fridge.

  58. Ariane says:

    I made this tonight with steak and I was a little skeptical that apples and parmesian cheese would be any good in brown rice but boy was I wrong. It was sooo good! The only thing I will do different next time is spray my baking dish so the sides won’t burn. Your blog has really improved my cooking, haven’t had a flop recipe yet! Thank you for sharing your love for cooking with us!

  59. bdubz says:

    I do a sweet version of this. I add a cup of chopped dates and a tin of fruit salad (but don’t add the salt…). It makes a delicious, creamy and very filling breakfast that my 18 year old son adores. This amount will do 3 breakfasts for him.

  60. Mary Karlee says:

    I’m a believer! Our rice was so moist and delicious! We are already brown rice converted, but this just makes it so much better. Thanks! As a side note, my rice was done at about 55 minutes.

  61. [...] Recipe Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe [...]

  62. Leigh Anne says:

    Made this w/ your Teriyaki Chicken and it was YUMMY! It turned out perfectly. Hubs couldn’t believe it was brown rice. I added a few cubes of butter before baking for extra tastiness. I also stirred in the toasted almonds and green onions like you suggested….crunchy & delish! Thanks for a great recipe :)

  63. Lauren says:

    I LOVED this recipe!!! Thank you! I have tried cooking brown rice for years now and every time it has been horrible. So I decided to try your recipe last night and it was perfect! Even my 2 year old gobbled it up! I wanted to make a Spanish version of this dish as well, so along with your variation of browning the onions (which I diced), I also added a few cloves of minced garlic and one tsp of cumin. I added the chicken broth (I used 3 cups instead of 2 1/2 based on some of the reviews) and an 8 oz can of tomato sauce. I brought this to a boil and immediately poured onto the rice. Perfection!

  64. [...] Wednesday: Coconut Lime Chicken Tenders, Garlic Green Beans, Baked Brown Rice [...]

  65. AnnieK says:

    I am making this for the second time tonight. I actually have no issues with brown rice, but I do love this recipe. I don’t add anything in at the end, just rice and chicken stock in the oven. Perfectly yummy and my husband loves it as well. About to eat it with some slow cooked pork chops. Thanks for sharing this!

  66. Megan says:

    I’m making this right now and I decided to double the recipe in a 9×13 pan. Do I need to double the cooking time too?

  67. Mel says:

    Megan – when I double this, I usually increase the baking time by at least 5-7 minutes. You’ll have to keep an eye on it to be sure but doubling the time will overcook it, I think. I’d stick with increasing it by 5-7 minute increments and see how it goes.

  68. [...] the pineapple chunks alongside the grilled chicken. I like to serve this teriyaki chicken with baked brown rice (cooked with chicken broth – and after baking, I stir in toasted almonds and [...]

  69. Lori says:

    Hi Melanie, just curious which brand of brown rice did you use?

  70. Amy says:

    I baked this up last night. Thank you for the pointers. At the end of the cooking time I gently move the pan back and forth and it had a lot of water still in it and I could tell by the sound of things that the rice was rolling around in there too, so I cooked it for another 35 minutes and it was perfect. I don’t use brown rice very often because I takes so long to cook, but this was very easy and worry free. We will try it again. I am also going to try it in the crock pot and see so I can use it during the Summer. Thanks for sharing.

  71. Amy says:

    I baked this up last night. Thank you for the pointers. At the end of the cooking time I gently move the pan back and forth and it had a lot of water still in it and I could tell by the sound of things that the rice was rolling around in there too, so I cooked it for another 35 minutes and it was perfect. I don’t use brown rice very often because it takes so long to cook, but this was very easy and worry free. We will definitely have this again. I am also going to try it in the crock pot so I can use it during the Summer without heating up the kitchen. Thanks for sharing.

  72. [...] I used to hate brown rice. It tasted crunchy and flavorless. I started eating brown rice when I started working out and I needed to find a way to make it enjoyable.  I found this recipe on Pinterest . [...]

  73. Gail says:

    This is my favorite rice! So easy to prepare and it comes out perfectly every time. I just read through your summer menus and the next time I make this I will save leftover rice to try your crispy sw chicken wrap…sounds good! Btw…leftovers of this rice also makes excellent fried rice…yummm! Thanks for another great recipe!

  74. Kim F says:

    Thank you for this. I cannot wait to give this a try. I’ve refrained from switching to brown rice because I’ve had such mixed results preparing it… this might just do the trick. I live at high altitude so I will have to adjust a bit I imagine but I know it will be great.

  75. Jana says:

    Just made this tonight for this recipe http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/main-courses/cheesy-chicken-and-rice-bake/#reviews. It turned out great! I took it out five minutes early and it was completely done. Made it with the chicken broth and it gave it good flavor. Thanks!

  76. Katie says:

    I love brown rice but it never seems to work for me either. I tried it again tonight, this time in my rice cooker…it was a disaster! I’m excited to try this. I have some brown basmati rice…do you think it would work with that?

  77. Mel says:

    Katie – I’ve never used brown basmati rice but if the cooking directions/time is similar to long grain brown rice then it should work just fine!

  78. jill says:

    Mel-do you recommend rinsing brown rice prior to cooking? I always give my jasmine rice a good rinse to remove the starch-have never had much luck with brown rice, so I am anxious to give this a try! Love your blog!

  79. Mel says:

    Jill – I never rinse my brown rice and for this method, it always works out beautifully!

  80. Mary Margaret says:

    I thought this recipe sounded strange. Is the liquid supposed to be boiling when you put it in the oven? I checked and doubled checked and didn’t see that listed, so I put it in there cold. It didn’t work, needless to say. :(
    Now I am trying to work some magic with the convection function on my oven so we can eat our chicken green curry sometime tonight….

  81. Mel says:

    Mary Margaret – no, the liquid isn’t boiling when you add it. You may need to bake it longer…it really is delicious. Sorry it didn’t work.

  82. Jodee says:

    I tried this today with white rice (finally used up the last of it so i can switch to brown) and it worked great! I used 1 1/2 C rice and 3 C water and baked it for 50 min.

  83. Katie says:

    I’ve made this several times and it’s always perfect. Just wanted to add that I finally tried it with brown basmati tonight and worked just as well!

  84. KW says:

    WOW! I never tasted brown rice so fluffy! Thanks so much for the recipe.

  85. Trish says:

    This is the first time I’ve ever made brown rice and actually liked it. Perfect! Thank you, Mel! You’re my favorite!

  86. [...] Sticking to whole grains is essential after a long day of fasting, brown rice is much healthier than regular rice, as it is full of antioxidants. So you won’t be filling your body with processed toxins. Photo by melskitchencafe [...]

  87. Emily says:

    I’ve used brown rice for years. Since I found this recipe, it is the ONLY way I’ll cook it. I’m fixing to put some in the oven right now for a pot of gumbo!

  88. Cindy says:

    I often make my mother’s recipe for “pork chops and rice” – using white rice. I’ve wanted to use brown rice but the conversion of rice to water is different so using brown rice has intimidated me. I found YOUR recipe for this conversion I wanted! So using YOUR amounts, I’m adding a package of “beef stew” mix to the water before adding to the rice. (I usually use a 9 X 12 pan). Then after baking for about 45 minutes, I’ll stir and then add the pork chops on top. The rice takes so much longer than the pork chops and depending on your cut, you might need more of less time. My pork chops should take less than 30 minutes.

    Also the left over rice is INCREDIBLE when used in meatloaf instead of crackers, oats, or bread. I always make meatloaf the day or two after pork chops and rice!

  89. Robin says:

    My recipe is similar, but saves ten minutes. I set my oven to 375 and boil the liquid immediately before pouring it over the rice, then bake for one hour. It has come out perfectly every single time. Just be careful when putting the hot pan into the oven!

  90. […] cooked brown rice (using either this baked method or this perfect stovetop […]

  91. Shannon says:

    I had to take the time to comment. Like many others, my white rice would come out perfect and my brown rice horribly gummy. This recipe came out perfect. I doubled it in a 13×9″ pan and used a homemade bone broth that had chicken bones, onions, carrots, garlic, fresh ginger, a little fresh lemon and chili sauce simmered in it all day(I had a cold when i made it). For the first time in my life, I am willingly eating brown rice and loving it. Thank you!

  92. Sue says:

    Or you could get Uncle Ben’s Instant Brown Rice. Tastes great. Couldn’t be simpler. Unless you burn it, how does a person screw up cooking brown rice?

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