Looking for a flavorful brown rice recipe that makes tender and fluffy brown rice with perfect results every single time? This Instant Pot brown rice is THE ONE!! A super simple and easy recipe that makes the best brown rice with minimal time and effort…
Instant Pot Brown Rice
I’ve been sitting on this recipe for SO long — because hey, it’s kind of hard to get excited about brown rice recipes. Right?! But this Instant Pot brown rice is NOT your mama’s brown rice recipe! Forget about the mushy & bland or still crunchy & oily brown rice of the past…
What you get (every time!!!) is a BIG batch of tender and slightly chewy, yet still fluffy brown rice that’s the perfect side for any main dish or as a base for a variety of meals (like this peanut butter chicken or this meatball casserole). AND it doesn’t require you to babysit it on the stove top to prevent boil overs or scorching. #winning
Now before you freak out about the “big batch” part, let me tell that this works perfectly for any size family. Big batches of everything are a way of life when I’m feeding my large family, but in this case, it’s ideal for smaller families, too.
HERE’S WHY: Brown rice keeps in the refrigerator for roughly a week, meaning you can make a batch early in the week and then use it as needed for meal prep and easy weeknights throughout the week. You will be amazed at how much of a timesaver this is and totally fall in love with the convenience of having it ready to go.
PRO TIP: Brown rice reheats surprisingly well, and I’ll go into detail on how to reheat brown rice in just a moment…
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Ditching My Rice Cooker For An Instant Pot
Another benefit of making brown rice in the Instant Pot? I’ve been able to ditch my rice cooker altogether. Shocking, isn’t it?!
I’ve been on a mission lately to streamline my kitchen, and taking a hard look at all of the small kitchen appliances I’ve accumulated is a big part of that. Though I dearly love my rice cooker (and have discovered it’s pretty versatile over the years), I gave it the boot.
This Instant Pot method is totally my new favorite way to prepare perfect rice in a fraction of the time. Not only did I pay a third of the price of my high-end rice cooker for it, but it makes much larger quantities and offers even more functionality. I could probably ditch my slow cooker too, but I often use both at the same time when meal prepping.
So for perfectly cooked rice the easy way, these days I’m Team Instant Pot Rice all the way…
Best Brown Rice In Instant Pot Ingredients
Sure you can cook brown rice with just water and maybe a little salt, but you’ll probably be more than a little disappointed with the plain rice that results. You know, that ordinary, boring, and bland rice that typically comes to mind when you think of whole grain brown rice? Yeah, that’s what you’ll be plating up…
Luckily, it doesn’t take much additional effort to add LOTS of flavor (and you’ll still get all of the health benefits)! You just need to make a few tweaks to the basic ingredients for a better flavored brown rice — starting with the type of brown rice you use.
Two types of rice that work well in the Instant Pot are basmati and jasmine. If you want a chewy texture and nutty flavor, you’ll want to choose a long-grain brown rice, like this brown basmati rice. You could also use brown jasmine rice, but texture will be more moist and clumpy and the flavor slightly more floral.
In either case, this Instant Pot brown rice uses 2 cups of rice, which will make about 6 cups of cooked rice.
What To Add To Brown Rice For Flavor:
stock or broth — my best tip for how to make flavorful brown rice is to simply replace the water with a good stock or broth. Chicken, beef, or vegetable broth or stock are all a great way to easily season brown rice as it’s cooking.
your favorite cooking oil or fat — while oil or fat is not necessary to cook rice, adding it during the cooking process does more than just add flavor. A little oil also improves the texture by locking in moisture and preventing the rice from becoming sticky. Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, butter, and ghee are all excellent choices.
kosher salt — broth or stock will go a long way toward seasoning brown rice, but I’ve found that adding salt gives it an extra boost. My favorite is this unrefined kosher mineral salt. Keep in mind that you may need to add a little more if using a low-sodium broth or stock.
Cooking more flavorful rice is easy with these simple swaps. Using just these three basics, you can create SO many different combinations that will instantly make brown rice taste better and/or adapt it for various dietary requirements. I’ve even made delicious vegan brown rice by using vegetable broth, olive oil and kosher salt!
However, if you want to go beyond basic, I’ve got a few more ideas for seasoning brown rice…
How To Season Brown Rice
- Toss a few bay leaves into the pot to infuse the rice while it’s cooking.
- Add a few teaspoons of your favorite spices and/or spice blends either before or after cooking.
- Chopped fresh herbs are a great way to add a fresh taste to cooked rice.
- A squeeze of lemon or lime over top immediately brightens up rice, as does a splash of vinegar.
- Stir in condiments, such as sriracha, soy sauce, Tabasco sauce, and salsa, before serving.
- Grind lots of fresh black pepper over the top. (This is one of my personal faves!)
Rice is really just a blank canvas for whatever flavor profile you want to create, so don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. It’s hard to go wrong — well, aside from burning it, but you don’t have to worry about that when you cook your rice in the Instant Pot!
How To Cook Brown Rice In Instant Pot?
If you’ve been plagued with mushy brown rice in the past, it’s probably because you’ve been using too much water or liquid. And you know what? It’s NOT YOUR FAULT!
You can totally blame it on the water ratio… Most packages recommend a 2:1 ratio of water to rice, when you really only need about a 1.25:1 water to rice ratio for perfect brown rice. That’s 1 1/4 cups of water for every cup of rice. And for brown rice made in the Instant Pot, you need even less water (or whatever liquid you’re using) — thanks to its closed cooking environment.
So are you ready to learn how to cook brown rice in an Instant Pot? Yeah, I thought so! Step number one is to rinse your favorite variety of brown rice in a fine mesh strainer under cool water. Rinsing rice introduces a tiny bit of moisture before cooking, which will help keep the rice grains from sticking together.
From there, you simply add the rinsed brown rice, liquid of your choice, the cooking or or fat, and about a half teaspoon of kosher salt to the Instant Pot insert.
How Long To Cook Brown Rice In Instant Pot?
As far as how long to cook brown rice in the Instant Pot, I’ve tried several different methods. The cooking time I’ve found works best is to cook it on high pressure for 25 minutes and then perform a natural release for 10 minutes. At this point you can release any remaining pressure, remove the lid, and fluff your perfectly cooked brown rice.
That’s it! Five minutes of active prep, and you’re on your way to an easy meal prep staple that you can use for days upon days.
My Favorite Instant Pot Brown Rice Recipe
One batch of this Instant Pot brown rice recipe yields about 6 cups of brown rice after cooking. It can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer to be used for meals throughout the week, so I typically make it ahead of time on Sundays. I actually often double it (something I could never do in my smaller rice cooker), because yeah, we go through THAT MUCH in a week!
My favorite basic recipe that I’ve been making lately is basmati brown rice + chicken broth + ghee + kosher salt. This combination provides enough flavor to make it enjoyable as a side, while keeping it it fairly neutral (like a white rice) for use in casseroles, fried rice, stir fries, and bowls.
How To Reheat Brown Rice
Have you seen the hack for reheating rice with an ice cube? It sounds weird, but it TOTALLY works, AND I think it’s the best way to reheat brown rice.
Simply place the amount of leftover cooked rice you want to reheat on a plate, and place one or two ice cubes on top (depending on the amount of rice). Microwave it on high for about a minute, and the ice cubes will gently steam the rice to reheat it without drying it out.
When the timer goes off, remove the ice cubes and discard them. Your rice will be warmed through and just as moist and fluffy as freshly cooked rice!
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More EASY Instant Pot Recipes:
Whether you’re an Instant Pot beginner or a seasoned pro, I think you’ll love these easy staples that can be made in an electric pressure cooker!
- Instant Pot Mexican Rice — If you love the Mexican red rice that’s commonly served in Mexican restaurants, you will adore this simple recipe that’s ready to serve in just about 30 minutes…
- Salsa Chicken — This Instant Pot chicken recipe is easy to prepare, super versatile, and freezes well. Just 4 ingredients and under 40 minutes prep to table!
- How to Cook Sweet Potatoes In Instant Pot — No more undercooked sweet potatoes, this one simple secret will produce a perfectly cooked Instant Pot sweet potato every time… Making sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot is a total game changer for meal prep or those doing a Whole30!
- 6 Minute Egg — These Instant Pot hard boiled eggs turn out amazing every time! 6-minute eggs are easy to peel, perfectly cooked, and never have those icky green yolks…
- Coconut Quinoa — Just 3 ingredients and insanely easy prep (use your rice cooker or Instant Pot) make this delicious coconut quinoa with lime zest recipe a go-to side dish or breakfast option… Total winner!
I’d love to see how your Instant Pot brown rice turns out… Tag me @Unsophisticook on Instagram or use the hashtag #Unsophisticook so I can check it out. Enjoy!