This oven baked rice recipe works every time. No hard rice or too sticky, it’ll be a perfect staple recipe you’ll use forever.
A wily fisherman from Key West taught me this technique. For him, it kept a boat’s galley cleaner, served more food and used very little space. For you, it allows you to “set it and forget it” and continue creating in the kitchen, rather than hovering over a pot of rice for 30 minutes.
It has not failed me for over 15 years.
Why bake rice instead of cook it on the stove-top?
Oven-baked rice is evenly heated making each grain of rice equally absorb water and heat. A stove-top will only heat the rice from the bottom of the pan where it directly contacts the stove, resulting in need to occasionally stir the pot.
Does it matter if I use water or stock?
It “boils down” to preference. Water is perfect to prepare rice. It has been used for millennia. If you’ve got some vegetable or chicken stock in your pantry, then it is totally awesome to cook with that! There is no wrong answer.
If you cook with stock, remember that the flavors will concentrate and be absorbed by the rice. Season accordingly and keep in mind the color of the rice may slightly change depending upon your stocks/spices used.
Should I use herbs & spices?
Use ’em if you got ’em. Salt is requisite. Everything else is for fun.
We like to add herbs d’provence (some spice brands make this blend), which is rosemary, thyme and oregano, when making something European in flavor. Sometimes, we’ll throw in dried chives and chili salt when our rice accompanies a grilled steak or chicken thigh. For a bit of Asian-inspired flavors, we’ll use soy sauce and dried mushrooms to flavor the rice, then top each serving with toasted sesame seeds.
Why is rice so tricky to cook, anyway?
If you find this one challenging, you’re not alone. The most common mistakes include choosing the wrong variety of rice for a recipe, bad water-to-rice ratios, and/or excessive stirring.
There are countless rice varieties, but there two very different kinds of grain: short grain -or- long grain. Short grain rice is commonly used to make dishes like sushi, sticky rice, and risotto. Long grain rice goes into dishes like paella, red beans & rice, and fried rice. Make sure to double-check your recipe and bag labels. Different rices require varying amounts of water.
Plus, rice has tons of starch in it. The more rice is agitated in the presence of a liquid, the more that starch comes out, and the stickier the rice will become. Plus, the tiny grains will break, resulting in something akin to a porridge rather than rice pilaf.
There is an entire industry devoted to serving properly cooked rice. Rice cookers and rice cooker accessories, boil-in-a-bag rice, and individually-wrapped cups of rice. This oven-baked rice recipe uses long grain rice (we use white -or- brown jasmine rice) and sticks to simple cookware.
A few seconds for food safety…
Rice is a food that can quickly become a Petri dish if you’re not careful.
If you make a big batch or have leftover rice, cool it down and refrigerate it as soon as you can.
If it sits out at room temperature for a long time at a potluck, toss it out once the event has concluded. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Other recipes that use the same ingredients or go well together:
- Chicken and rice
- Boiled chicken
- Homemade chicken broth
Other sides we love:
Oven Baked Rice
- ovensafe pot
- ovensafe lid -or- aluminum foil
- 1 cup rice, long grain white -or- brown
- 2 cups water -or- stock
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp oil canola, sesame, olive -or- butter
The Preheat – It is essential.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
Prep the rice
- Bring water, salt & oil to a boil.
- Once boiling, add rice and briefly stir to make sure the rice isn't sticking together.
- Bring the rice back to a rolling boil. Quickly stir to make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot and is clump-free.
- Cover with a lid -or- aluminum foil.
Bake the Rice
- Place in 350°F oven for 30 minutes.
- Wet your serving spoon or rice paddle with a little water before serving and less rice will stick to it.
- This ratio is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
- Double it, triple it, or half it. It’s always the same. Just make sure your pot is large enough to hold all the cooked rice!
- 1 part rice: 2 parts water = 3 parts cooked rice