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How to Make Perfect Baked Rice in the Oven

Learn to bake rice in the oven so that you have a quick and easy side dish without a lot of hassle. This method produces perfect rice every time!

rice bowl with black beans and carne asada

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?

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.

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.

One fool proof method is to bake rice in the oven.

baked rice in glass baking dish

How to make easy baked rice?

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:

  1. Grease a baking dish and boil some water. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Put uncooked rice and salt in the prepared pan.
  3. Add the boiling water.
  4. Cover the pan tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.

large bag of long grain rice

How should you buy rice?

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!

How should you store rice?

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.

ingredients and equipment to make baked rice

How many cups of rice are in a pound?

A pound of uncooked rice has about 2 1/2 cups. When cooked, this will equal about 7 cups.

How much rice do you need per serving?

How much rice to make for your table will really depend on the eating habits of your dinner companions. For a family of 6, I recommend cooking 2 cups of rice which will result in about 6 cups cooked, or 1 cup of rice per person. Adjust how much you cook for the folks at your table.

Can I put uncooked rice in a casserole?

Rice will cook in a casserole if there is enough liquid. If you’re experimenting with a casserole recipe, you’ll need to account for enough liquid to cook the rice (about 2x liquid for each amount of rice) and enough “sauce” to keep your casserole from getting dry.

One of our favorite rice casseroles is this Chicken and Wild Rice Bake.

uncooked rice in pan ready for baking

What can you do with leftover baked rice?

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.

Can you freeze cooked rice?

Yes, 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.

fluffing baked rice with fork

Here’s a quick video to show you how easy it is to make Baked Rice in the Oven:

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.

What do you need to make baked rice?

These are the kitchen tools you need. Pretty short list!

  • 9×13-inch baking dish
  • heavy duty aluminum foil
  • hot water kettle or a pot to boil water

baked rice in baking dish with forkbaked rice in glass baking dish

Learn to bake rice in the oven so that you have a quick and easy side dish without a lot of hassle. This method produces perfect rice every time!

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. Place the rice and ½ teaspoon salt in the bottom of the pan.

  3. Pour the boiling water into the pan and cover it right away with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Seal the edges tightly.

  4. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.

You can make this recipe with brown rice, however you will need to increase the baking time to 45 minutes.

Leftover rice can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Store cooked rice in the freezer for longer storage.

Perfect Baked Rice | Good Cheap Eats

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