How to Make Instant Pot Brown Rice
This is exactly how to make Instant Pot Brown Rice! Brown rice usually takes forever and can be a little finicky. This is my favorite way to make it! It’s completely foolproof and takes 30 minutes, tops. You will get fluffy, flavorful brown rice every time. Who knew that the electric pressure cooker would solve all our gummy, crunchy, tastes-too-healthy brown rice woes! We make this at LEAST once a week.
Yesterday we were at the dentist and Valentine and Charlotte were squeezed into the same chair. Another patient was walking by and said, teasing, “How are you two small enough to fit in the same chair?” And Charlotte, 8 years old, shot back, “Well, you see, we’re these itty bitty people called children.”
I was in the other room with Truman and the dentist, but I heard all the adults laughing, and the receptionist gleefully told me the story. I’m not sure if this is my cue to put Charlotte in improv classes, or if Eric and I just really need to cut back on the sarcasm at home, so that our kids can enjoy their innocence a bit longer.
How is everyone holding up this March? I feel so happy that we have a bit longer still before Easter. Remember last year when Easter was on April 1?? Or those years when it’s in March?? Probably you don’t pay attention to this, but as a food blogger my life kind of revolves around holidays. I’m so glad I have a few more weeks to get you some Easter recipes!
I made a leg of lamb last week that I’m so excited to share with you, and I have an EPIC deviled eggs recipe coming your way here soon (One word: maple candied bacon. Okay yeah that’s 3 words but work with me here. I mean come on, candied bacon!!)
How to make Instant Pot brown rice
But instead of holiday food, today I have an every day staple for you: brown rice. Do you love it? Do you hate it? It can be pretty bad when it’s made poorly. Gummy and bland, or worse, crunchy and flat.
But that’s never going to happen to you again once you start making instant pot brown rice!! I’m telling you, using the electric pressure cooker for brown rice is a total game changer. Brown rice takes FOREVER to cook on the stove, or in the oven, or whatever other method you want to try. But in the instant pot, brown rice takes about 30-35 minutes: 15 minutes of high pressure cook time, about 15 minutes of natural release time.
And it comes out perfectly fluffy every time. I’ve never had it fail me. We’ve switched from eating white rice to almost exclusively eating brown rice in our family, because this method is so easy and of course it’s much healthier. An hour long stovetop process is way too much work for a weeknight, so I would usually just make white rice for dinner, because it’s so much faster. But now I can have my cake and eat it too, or rather, have my brown rice and quickly too. Instant pot brown rice ftw.
My secrets are to add just a few things to your rice before cooking, no matter what you’re serving it with: salt (duh), a little garlic, a teaspoon or so of Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base, and a little bit of butter. (The butter is optional but tasty.) I always use jarred garlic because I’m lazy like that. The chicken base is the real secret, because it basically means your making your rice in chicken broth instead of water. It infuses the rice with delicious flavor. I’m in love!
What to eat with brown rice:
I don’t need to tell you that rice goes with basically everything. But I have some ideas to get you started.
Here is a link to all the dinner recipes on my blog. I literally just went through the first few pages and picked out anything that I would pair with brown rice.
Red Beans and Rice (like the kind at Popeye’s)
There are a ton more ideas! Start here.
To rinse or not to rinse? Do you have to rinse rice?
Now listen, rinsing rice is kind of a pain in the butt. You have to find your strainer in the back of the cupboard, get the rice all wet and sticky before adding it to the pot, etc. I know, first world problems, but it IS one more step, and if you’re trying to get dinner on the table stat, I get it, it’s just one more thing.
BUT. Rinsing the rice really does make a difference. It removes some of the outer layer of starch on the rice, resulting in finished grains of rice that don’t stick together as much.
I will be honest and tell you that I don’t always rinse my rice. Sometimes perfectly non-gummy rice is not worth another two minutes of my time. Heresy! Charlatan! ;)
To sum up: rinsing helps your rice have less “gummy” texture. If that’s important to you, rinse. If you’re not to picky, toss it in the pot dry.
Can you freeze rice?
You can. It’s not going to be AS delicious as when it’s fresh, but it works fine if you have a bunch of leftovers that you don’t know what to do with. (Make this Sheet Pan Chicken Fried Rice with leftovers!)
Let your rice cool. Place in a ziplock bag, and flatten the bag so that it lies flat. Freeze on a baking sheet so that it keeps its shape.
Do not defrost or thaw. Stick it straight in the microwave from the freezer. (Not the ziplock. Transfer it to a bowl first.) If it seems extra dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time and microwave again.
Happy brown rice making!! What are you making in your Instant Pot lately??
How to Make Instant Pot Brown Rice
- 2 cups dry brown rice
- 2 & 1/2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1-2 tablespoons butter, optional
- Rinse your rice if you want to make sure that your rice won't be at all gummy. If you are not overly particular, you can skip it.*
- Give it a stir and put the lid on your pressure cooker, making sure the valve is pointing toward "seal."
- Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
- Do a natural release for about 15 minutes. (This is a fancy way of saying, do absolutely nothing for 15 mins.)
- Turn the valve to "Vent" (be careful, hot steam is going to come out) and remove the lid.
- Stir your rice. Replace the lid and let the rice continue steaming for another 10-15 minutes, or however long you need to get the rest of your meal together.
- Serve hot!
- You can double this recipe. You do not need to change the cook time. How awesome is that??
- To freeze leftovers, place your rice in a ziplock bag, and flatten the bag so that it lies flat. Freeze on a baking sheet so that it stays in that shape. Do not defrost or thaw. Stick it straight in the microwave from the freezer. (Not the ziplock. Transfer it to a bowl first.)
Another rice dish you will love:
Coconut Jasmine Rice with Cilantro << An amazing recipe for white rice! Love this stuff with curry. Yum.
Eat this with brown rice:
Slow Cooker Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce << One of the top recipes on my blog!
Traditional Tejano Carne Guisada (Braised Beef for Tacos) << This is what is next to the brown rice in all the photos above.
More brown rice ideas from friends!
Spinach Pecan Brown Rice Salad from Vanilla and Bean << I love love LOVE this salad.
Korean Tempeh Bowls with Broccoli, Brown Rice, and Sriracho Mayo from Eats Well with Others
Zucchini Rice Casserole (Brown Rice!) from Rachel Cooks
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