Making Instant Pot brown rice is convenient and efficient because it reduces the cooking time and ensures perfectly cooked, fluffy rice every time without the need for constant monitoring. Pressure cooking brown rice also preserves the nutritional value of the rice and enhances its texture and flavor.
This simple “how-to” recipe shows you the very basic method for using your favorite pressure cooker to get perfectly cooked brown rice every time.
Brown rice is my favorite. Ok, I love all kinds of rice but brown rice has that extra flavor I love. It’s also very versatile and goes so well with many different recipes. If you’re meal planning for the week, brown rice can be a big part of that plan! That’s why this recipe shows you how to make perfectly cooked, simple and basic brown rice. You can certainly do all sorts of stuff to it to jazz it up, but let me show you the basics first.
What is brown rice?
Brown rice has actually been enjoying a lot of good press the past several years for it’s goodness and healthy benefits.
Brown rice is a whole grain that provides numerous health benefits. It is rich in nutrients, including magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and B vitamins. It’s also high in dietary fiber, which can help lower cholesterol levels, improve digestion, and promote feelings of fullness. And… brown rice is a low-calorie, low-fat, and low-sugar food that can help with weight loss by providing satiety and reducing the risk of overeating. How about that?
But wait, there’s more! Brown rice also has a lower glycemic index compared to white rice, which means it can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Overall, brown rice is a nutritious whole grain that can provide a range of health benefits and is a good addition to a healthy diet.
Learn more about the health benefits of brown rice on WebMD.
How Can Brown Rice be Used?
Brown rice is very versatile and can be used in a wide range of dishes and cuisines including Indian, Mediterranean and American. One of the most common ways to use brown rice is as a simple side dish. It can be cooked on its own, seasoned with herbs or spices of your liking, and served alongside a protein and veggies.
Another way to use brown rice is as a base for hearty salads. Combine cooked brown rice with a variety of vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds for a filling and flavorful meal. This is a great way to pack in lots of nutrients and create a meal that will keep you full for hours.
Brown rice is awesome when added to soups and stews to add texture and nutrients. It works particularly well in hearty soups and chowders, where it adds a satisfying chewiness and nutty flavor to the dish.
Brown rice is also a great ingredient to use in stir-fries. Because brown rice has the extra outer layer, you don’t have to worry as much about that mushy texture you can sometimes get with white rice.
Why Make Instant Pot Brown Rice?
Using an Instant Pot to cook brown rice requires minimal effort and time. Unlike traditional stovetop cooking, you don’t need to constantly monitor the pot or worry about the rice boiling over. The Instant Pot also locks in the moisture and flavor of the rice, resulting in perfectly cooked and flavorful brown rice. Using the Instant Pot cuts down on the cooking time as well.
Even appliances that are just rice cookers can be a hassle because we only use them for 1 thing and they can take up valuable counter space. But since our Instant Pot already has a place on the countertop, it’s perfect for making rice of all kinds including white rice and brown rice.
Of course, we start with long grain brown rice. Then we use water or broth, and to help with the consistency – a teaspoon of olive oil. That little bit of olive oil helps the rice to be less sticky and gives it a wonderful consistency with just a tiny little flavor boost.
Water or Broth?
To make the absolute most basic brown rice, you can use regular water as the liquid. That’s totally fine. That’s the clean slate way. Rice, however, really benefits from a little extra oomph. And we can achieve that little extra oomph by using broth or stock as the liquid. Use any kind you normally like. I like to use regular chicken broth. It brings the natural flavors of the rice to life in just the right way. Feel free to use low-sodium, or any other varieties to suit your needs.
Ratio of liquid
This one is easy. When cooking brown rice in an Instant Pot pressure cooker, use 1.25 cups of liquid per 1 cup of dry rice.
Rinse the rice. This is important. Rinsing rice gets rid of any debris and surface starch which can make rice clumpy and unappealing. A quick rinse with cold water in a colander is all it takes. After rinsing, put the rice in the Instant Pot (in the metal liner of course), add your liquid and olive oil. Give it a little stir to get everything nice and even.
Pressure cook for 20 minutes
Now that we have our rice and liquids in the Instant pot, secure the lid, make sure the vent is in the closed (sealing) position, and pressure cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. When the 20 minutes are up, allow the pressure to naturally release (NPR – Natural Pressure Release. In other words, do nothing for 20 minutes). The natural release time should be about 20 minutes. When the pin drops (indicating all the pressure is released), carefully remove the lid. Press “cancel” on the Instant Pot. We don’t want it going into the “keep warm” cycle. Now use a fork or large spoon (or the scoop which comes with the appliance), and fluff up that rice by gently scooping and moving it around.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much rice does this make?
Brown rice basically doubles in size and weight. A single serving size for brown rice is about ½ cup. This recipe will make 4 half-cup servings.
Can this recipe be doubled?
Absolutely this recipe can be doubled. Just be sure to stick with the ratio of 1.25 cups liquid per cup of dry brown rice.
Can Brown Rice be Frozen?
Brown rice can easily be frozen. Make sure to let the rice cool, then portion into freezer bags. Squeeze out as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 4 months.
I love using brown rice in just about every situation you would use white rice. In fact, we have a couple of favorite Chinese restaurants, but they don’t serve their dishes with brown rice. So… we bring our own in. We’ve never gotten any static doing that, but that may vary from restaurant to restaurant of course.
As mentioned above, brown rice is a great foundation for a hearty salad. Try combining the cooked brown rice with diced bell peppers, diced cucumber, red onion, parsley, mint, and cilantro. Then make a simple dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. This wonderful cold salad can go with you anywhere and is loaded healthy goodness.
I also love brown rice with salmon. Have you tried our Best Damn Air Fryer Salmon? Served with some brown rice and fresh asparagus, you’ve got an excellent meal that’s easy to make any night of the week and is also an excellent idea for a meal plan.
Oh, and here’s another recipe to try which already has the brown rice an an ingredient… our Instant Pot chicken and Brown Rice. Oh my goodness I LOVE this one! The chicken is loaded with flavor and the brown rice is simply cooked to all it’s stupendous glory! Did I just say “stupendous glory”? Ok, maybe I got a little excited, but I really do love that recipe. 🙂
Other ideas include:
- Stuffed peppers: Stuff bell peppers with a mixture of cooked brown rice, ground meat (I like ground turkey), favorite herbs and spices.
- Fried rice: Sauté diced vegetables, scrambled eggs, and cooked brown rice in a wok or skillet for a quick and satisfying meal.
- Rice bowls: Layer cooked brown rice with protein (cooked chicken ground turkey, etc.), vegetables, and a flavorful sauce (Teriyaki, pesto, hummus) for a wholesome and customizable rice bowl.