13 Easy, Tasty Ways to Eat Brown Rice

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By: , – Bryn Mooth
6/13/2013 6:00 PM   :  45 comments   :  347,474 Views

Why does brown rice get such a bad rap? Sure, rice can be a little bland. And yes, the brown version does take longer to cook. But here’s the thing: In addition to being one of the healthiest foods in the human diet—rich in fiber, cholesterol-lowering fats and nutritious minerals and antioxidants—brown rice has a deep, nutty flavor and hearty texture that’s anything but boring.
 
White rice is highly processed brown rice that’s been stripped of its bran—and nearly all its nutrients. You’ll find short- and long-grain varieties; short-grain rice tends to be more sticky and compact when it’s cooked, while long-grain rice is fluffier. You may also be able to find quick-cooking brown rice (which is partially cooked and then dried). Brown rice is different from wild rice (which is actually a grass, not a rice), though they’re delicious together. Here are some great ways to enjoy brown rice:
 
Cooking brown rice.
To make 3 cups of cooked rice, bring 1 cup of brown rice, 2 1/2 cups of water and a pinch of salt to a boil; cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 40 to 50 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat, leave the lid on the pan and let the rice sit for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving. (You can also make brown rice in the slow cooker.)
 
Oven-Baked Brown Rice.
This SparkRecipes member recipe is dubbed “foolproof”; it’s baked in a foil-covered dish in the oven for an hour.
 
 
Prepared And Make-Ahead Brown Rice.
You’ll find already-cooked brown rice on your grocery shelf, and it’s a quick and easy way to enjoy this staple. Too, cooked rice freezes well, so if you plan to cook a batch of brown rice for a recipe, make double what you need and freeze the rest for up to 6 months.

Now, onto those recipes and meal ideas... 
 

Better Than Takeout Chicken Fried Rice

Cook the rice ahead of time (or use heat-and-serve prepared rice) and use pre-cut vegetables, and you’ll have dinner ready in no time. Chef Meg’s healthy version of fried rice has far fewer calories and less sodium than takeout.
 
 

10-Minute Fried Rice

If you're short on time, try this even faster version of fried rice.
 
 

Black Beans ‘N’ Rice

Chef Meg renovated a member recipe for a Mexican favorite, with plenty of diced tomatoes and great spices to give the dish lots of kick (and plenty of fiber and protein, too).
 
 

Delicious Broccoli-Rice Bake

You may remember broccoli-rice casserole from your childhood: It’s hearty, comforting and tasty, even for kids who hate broccoli. Use any kind of whole grain in this recipe: brown rice, wild rice, wheat or barley, even whole-wheat orzo.
 

Chicken Stir-Fry with Vegetables and Brown Rice

It’s easy to swap brown rice for white with your favorite Asian dish. Need some inspiration? This combo of lean chicken, fiber-rich brown rice and tons of veggies makes for a smart and satisfying meal.
 
 

Slow-Cooker Chicken And Rice Soup

This creamy, delicious (and low-calorie!) soup takes just 10 minutes of hands-on prep time. Toss the ingredients into your slow-cooker and let the soup make itself.
 

Zesty Chicken And Rice Skillet

This easy recipe uses quick-cooking brown rice as a time-saver. Low-fat Italian dressing and Dijon mustard create a kicky sauce that surrounds cooked chicken and bell peppers.
 

Garlicky Brown Rice

This flavorful recipe would make a great side dish for chicken. Here, the rice is cooked pilaf-style, which means the grains are sautéed with garlic in a little olive oil before the cooking liquid (in this case, low-sodium chicken broth) is added.
 
 

Brown Rice with Pecans and Cranberries

Dried fruit and nuts add flavor and texture to your favorite brown rice. This side dish is fast and fancy, the perfect accompaniment to any cool-weather supper.
 

Herbed Brown Rice with Mushrooms

A hearty side or a light meatless entree, this savory dish is packed with flavor and fiber. It would pair perfectly with roast meat.
 


Chickpea and Brown Rice Salad

This hearty, healthy salad is great warm or cold. It's even better the next day, after the flavors have had a chance to mingle.
 
What is your favorite way to eat brown rice?
 

Bryn Mooth is extending her 20-year career in publishing as an independent journalist and copywriter. She shares seasonal recipes, kitchen techniques, healthy eating tips and food wisdom on her blog writes4food.com.
 


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Comments

  • ROLFESWIFE
    45
    thanks for all these great ideas!! - 6/15/2014   4:49:44 PM
  • 44
    I don't have a particular favorite for rice, but these looking darling. Will try these. - 12/23/2013   6:53:25 AM
  • 43
    may favorite way is vegetable fried rice cooked with only pam. i'm liking a lot of these recipes especially the one with mushrooms - 10/31/2013   8:34:21 PM
  • 42
    I can't wait to try some of these healthy recipes. Thanks for sharing. - 10/25/2013   5:01:47 PM
  • 41
    Thanks for sharing these recipes....they look delicious! - 7/21/2013   7:09:18 AM
  • 40
    I've printed off a few of these. I love brown rice and have actually gotten my husband to prefer it to white rice. We make a lot of soup and stews in the winter. The chicken rice soup sounds absolutely yummy. Thanks for this blog. I can't wait to try some of these recipes. - 6/25/2013   11:37:06 PM
  • ELLEN546
    39
    I haven't tried it with brown rice, but I cook white/mixed rice in the microwave (not the precooked stuff). The directions are much the same, but it doesn't burn on the bottom when it boils dry, and doesn't need so much attention. - 6/17/2013   8:18:56 PM
  • 38
    I like to pre-cook at least 5 cups of brown rice and then once it has just about cooked, I like to add a tbsp of smart balance and one package of Lipton Vegetable Soup Mix, add 1/4 more cup of water and simmer on low. This makes about 1 weeks serving of rice, great for on the go... - 6/16/2013   9:44:12 AM
  • 37
    Brown and Wild Rice combined makes a very good base for home made Beef Stroganoff (not low calorie nor low fat - but for an occasional splurge and tightly controlled meals for breakfast and lunch [or dinner for those of us from the south]).
    As a youngster, I never had brown rice, but was exposed to it as an adult. I love its nutty taste and texture. My DW is less enthused than I, so I usually do the prep work for the brown rice while she fixes her naked white rice.
    I use it as an alternative to the popular Spanish seasoned white rice and for many other rice dishes as well. It makes a great Fried Rice dish. - 6/15/2013   2:26:28 PM
  • 36
    I use parboiled brown rice so it only takes 20 minutes to cook. I cook it plain or with kidney bean. - 6/15/2013   2:25:30 PM
  • 35
    I love brown rice but my husband hates it. So we compromise and I fix brown about half the time and white the rest of the time. I like white rice just fine but to me it is empty calories and I need the nutrition. - 6/15/2013   2:25:10 PM
  • 34
    I love brown rice. Usually I just add a splash of soy sauce, but I'll try some of these recipes - they look yummy! - 6/15/2013   2:04:38 PM
  • 33
    Brown rice has such a nutty nice flavor, after trying it, how one can go back to white is beyond me.
    I have to watch carbs so never more than 1/3 cup. Usually 1/4 cup with veggies, or meat added is more than enough.
    I also like to add wild rice and cook it with chicken stock and mushrooms.
    It's such a versatile food, so many good was to cook and enjoy it. - 6/14/2013   10:38:38 PM
  • 32
    In what way does brown rice not go with those legumes? It's great in everything, including sweet dishes! - 6/14/2013   10:27:19 PM
  • 31
    I've tried brown rice and I don't like it. Sorry, I'll stick with my white rice. Also, brown rice does not go with red beans, white beans, or lentils. - 6/14/2013   10:17:56 PM
  • DELLMEL
    30
    I love brown rice. Can't wait to try a few of these. - 6/14/2013   3:52:17 PM
  • 29
    "What is your favorite way to eat brown rice? "
    * boiled with a Tablespoon of Coconut Oil and a lot of parsley - 6/14/2013   1:16:22 PM
  • 28
    Ha--lots of opinions on the best way to cook brown rice! Here's mine: Don't use so much water. I have very good results when I keep the proportions to 1.25 cup rice : 2 cups water. I grew up in Colombia, & we like our rice well cooked but not sticky--right in the middle between moist sticky rice & dry Indian-style basmati rice. Bring to a hard boil but then turn all the way down to the lowest heat, & cook for 40-45 minutes. A pan with a tight-fitting lid is essential, & don't even lift the lid to peek at it while it cooks.

    My favorite way to eat brown rice is in very small amounts--usually just 1/4 cup cooked--& plain, but with some kind of delicious curry poured over it. - 6/14/2013   11:01:16 AM
  • 27
    Brown rice should be soaked overnight and rinsed/drained before cooking to break down tits phytic acid and make it more bio-available. A serving is less than a half cup cooked.

    What's with the white rice photos in this article anyway? Speaking of white rice, some nutrition experts will argue that white rice is a 'neutral' starch and legal on a low-carb diet whereas brown rice is not. - 6/14/2013   10:15:26 AM
  • 26
    to help keep your rice, brown or white from becoming sticky, fold 2 pieces of paper towel to fit between the pot & it's cover..when cokking time is complete, simply put the toweling in place, remove from heat, let stand for normal standing time, fluff with fork..every grain is separate & cooked perfectly.. - 6/14/2013   10:09:44 AM
  • 25
    I know it's not cost effective, but for someone like me who mainly cooks for one, the Uncle Ben's microwavable packets of brown rice are kind of awesome. It takes 90 seconds & it gives you 2 cups-I usually get the plain, or the brown & wild rice. It's great when you need somthing quick, or if you just don't want to fuss with cooking rice. - 6/14/2013   10:03:17 AM
  • SHARONCAPPS
    24
    Boy do some of those recipes look good. I will be trying some of them. I do like brown rice but just never seem to cook it as much as I should. - 6/14/2013   8:32:15 AM
  • 23
    not a big fan of brown rice but I will give one of these recipes a try so that I actually will eat it. - 6/14/2013   12:37:10 AM
  • 22
    I find that cooking the brown rice in vegetable or chicken stock adds to the flavor. - 6/13/2013   11:26:02 PM
  • 21
    I don't recall ever eating brown rice...but will give it a try. Recipes/photos looks delicious. I always read comments regarding a recipe for more input, suggestions and tips. Thank you all. - 6/13/2013   10:48:33 PM
  • 20
    Great looking recipes! Can't wait to give them a try! - 6/13/2013   10:34:54 PM
  • ETHELMERZ
    19
    Those are some great recipes, I'm copying them right away. - 6/13/2013   10:30:19 PM
  • ROSEBUDH
    18
    brown rice, salsa, chicken and black beans or northern beans or whatever kind=yummy meal! - 6/13/2013   10:24:25 PM
  • ROSEBUDH
    17
    2TIGRE--They say don't ever stir the rice once you put it into the pan. That is what makes it mushy and like paste. Put the rice, water and salt on and let it come to a full boil, then turn it down on low and let it simmer for 20 min then shut it off, leave lid on and let it sit for another 10 min or longer depending on how you like it. - 6/13/2013   10:22:49 PM
  • 16
    I love my brown rice for breakfast. I cook mine with water, sugar free maple pancake syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins and peanuts. I eat it with some non fat milk. Yummm..........I love that. - 6/13/2013   10:17:27 PM
  • 15
    These dishes look great! I love rice but my husband finds brown rice to be lacking, so getting some different ways to cook it might help him like the texture vs. white rice! Thanks! - 6/13/2013   9:42:02 PM
  • 14
    Some of these recipes look great but I don't have a lot of luck making rice. I literally can not remember the last time I managed to make "fluffy" rice. For way too long, every time I make rice (according to the recipe/directions to a tee), it always comes out "sticky". What am I doing wrong? - 2/18/2013   11:31:28 PM
  • 13
    Brown rice pudding! - 1/31/2013   1:11:09 AM
  • MELITORRES22
    12
    This is perfect!!! My husband has been truing to get me to east more brown rice, but I have found a recipe I like. We've just recently found out he has high cholesterol so we need ways to lower it. This is definitely gonna help!! Thank you - 1/26/2013   12:41:18 AM
  • 11
    White rice has no flavor!
    We love Dirty Rice which is baked in oven with broth, dried onion soup, etc.
    Leftover brown rice mixed with black beans, salsa and chicken is excellent!
    And I add it to many soups as well as making brown rice and wild rice mushroom soup! I could go on and on!!! - 1/24/2013   9:29:00 PM
  • DARLAD8
    10
    Yuuuummmmyyy!! - 1/23/2013   9:21:11 AM
  • 9
    I use brown rice as a crust for making quiche :)
    - 1/22/2013   4:49:29 PM
  • 8
    brown rice freezes well..pack in small baggies, or plastic containers..defrost in microwave..my basic brown rice recipe: 1 cup brown rice, 2 cups broth(chicken, beef or veggie), 1 bay leaf, 1/2 tsp liquid hot sauce..bring all to a boil, stir, cover, simmer 30 to 35 mins, remove from heat..to keep rice from sticking i drape a piece of paper towel over the rim of the pot & replace cover..works every time. - 1/22/2013   10:11:57 AM
  • 7
    Interesting recipes but they don't appear that appetizing, maybe I've got to get over the brown rice thing. I did get some quick cooking brown rice at an expo, it was mahatma brand and it was nice, but it did not stick and i reverted to white rice. - 1/22/2013   6:13:50 AM
  • 6
    Love brown rice!
    Thank you for the great info & recipes. - 1/22/2013   2:22:56 AM
  • 5
    It all looks so good, I need to try some of these! - 1/22/2013   12:51:13 AM
  • 4
    The best way too cook rice is to cook it like pasta. Just bring water to a boil, add your rice, and check it after 15 or so minutes. If it's still not cooked, check it again in a few minutes. Drain it in a strainer and serve. No worries about ratios or burning your rice. - 1/21/2013   10:26:41 PM
  • 3
    I love brown rice. After switching, white rice just seems worthless to eat. Only issue is it takes longer to cook. - 1/21/2013   8:59:14 PM
  • 2
    I don't mind brown rice I just generally don't have it. I really like wild rice (which isn't really rice at all). - 1/21/2013   8:45:55 PM
  • 1
    The only luck I've had cooking brown rice is in a rice cooker. It's great because it turns off automatically when the rice is done. I make a big batch in the rice cooker, and then transfer it to a couple of containers in the refrigerator for a day or so before portioning it out. I put half-cup servings into ziploc snack bags, and then freeze them in a larger freezer bag. Then, I just take out a single serving and defrost/reheat any time I need rice. I find that if I try to portion out the rice right from the cooker, it's too moist to mearure accurately. It gets less sticky after chilling, and is much easier to measure out then. - 1/21/2013   8:01:40 PM

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