Foolproof Oven-Baked Brown Rice

oven brown rice

Lately I have posted a couple of recipes that had rice as either an ingredient or as a side dish and I was surprised at the number of people who mentioned BROWN RICE as being the kind of rice they eat most often. I have to say that for ME, it’s the opposite. BROWN RICE is the rice I eat LEAST often, but only because it takes so long to make and I am usually in a hurry and just don’t take the time.

Recently, however, I came across an idea/recipe for making brown rice in the OVEN that seemed intriguing….so I decided to give it a try. I love how easy it is to throw together and that it turns out perfectly every time. Well for me it’s been TWICE, but that’s EVERY time I’ve made it! :-)

Foolproof Oven-Baked Brown Rice

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated

3 cups long, medium or short-grain brown rice
4 2/3 cups water
4 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread rice in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and top the rice with 4 pats (teaspoons) of butter.

oven brown rice


oven brown rice

Bring water to boil in a saucepan or in the microwave. Once boiling, remove from heat, stir in salt and pour water over rice.

oven brown rice

Cover baking dish tightly with a double layer of foil. Bake for 1 hour, until tender.

Remove baking dish from oven and uncover. Fluff rice with fork, then re-cover and let rice stand for 10 more minutes. minutes. Serve immediately.

I chose to “serve immediately” with a grilled chicken breast and a side of multi-vitamins. :-)

oven brown rice

So what exactly are the BENEFITS of eating BROWN RICE vs. WHITE RICE?

  • Brown rice has more nutrients than regular white rice because brown rice has only the outer layer, called the hull, removed while white rice has several layers of nutrients, removed.
  • Brown rice has more than 80% of your daily value of manganese, which gives you energy from both carbs and protein. Manganese also helps synthesize fatty acids, which keeps your nervous system in working order.
  • The fiber in brown rice helps satisfy your appetite and therefore decreasing your chances of overeating.
  • The fiber and selenium found in brown rice can also reduce your risk of many types of cancer, which I’d say is a health benefit we could all use.
  • Finally, oils found in brown rice can help lower cholesterol.

There you are, 5 good reasons to add BROWN RICE to your diet.  If not EVERY time you eat rice, then at least SOME of the time. And there’s simply not an easier way to MAKE it, than this!


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  1. Trixie says

    I read yesterday in a publication from the USA Rice Federation that eating rice also boosts the body’s production of serotonin, boosting mood. BONUS :)

    Thanks for this, Jillee!! (My personal opinion…….brown rice is prettier than white rice – hehehe)

    • says

      I am sorry, but I am going to burst everyones bubble with this.
      Last year it was discovered that rice, particularly brown rice has dangerous levels of arsenic. It is very important to cook it like pasta, draining off the cooking water.
      Here is an article explaining it. Or you can just google it. This is not a hoax. Children especially are at riskCook and drain your rice sort of like pasta.

      “We say to use about 6 parts water to 1 part rice,” says Michael Hansen, a senior staff scientist at Consumer Reports. “And then drain off the water after it’s done.” The FDA says that studies show rinsing and cooking in excess water can reduce total arsenic levels by 50 to 60 percent. “However, it should be noted that for enriched rice, rinsing will also likely reduce the amount of added nutrients,” the agency said.

      Choose aromatic rices. For those who are already fans of Indian basmati or Thai jasmine rices, the news is not so bad. According to the hundreds of recently released test results, aromatic rice varieties show the lowest levels of inorganic arsenic. Imported basmati and jasmine rices showed about half to one-eighth the level of arsenic as regular rices grown in the Southern U.S.

  2. Cat says

    This is very similar to a recipe I use by Alton Brown. His recipe involves bringing all the ingredients to a boil on the stovetop in a heavy pan such as a Le Creuset then covering and finishing off in the oven. It also makes a fabulous brown rice that is fluffy and not overly sticky and starchy.

    Sometimes, to change up the flavor I substitute some of the water with chicken broth and throw in some seasonings. Delicious. Really, the possibilities are endless and brown rice tastes so much better than plain old white rice.

    • CTY says

      Where can you get one? I did buy a loaf pan with glass lid by Martha Stewart, but have yet to see a 13×9 or even an 8×8. All I see are plastic covers.
      I was going to try my 7qt Dutch oven. I bet a large skillet w/ tight lid would also work (just make sure the handle can take 375 degrees).

  3. RainyDaisy says

    Hello! I love brown rice but hate cooking it, so I will definitely be trying this but……teaspoons of butter? Or tablespoons? Most pats are a tablespoon. Just clarifying. Thank you!!


    • Mary Alice says

      I would think that the amount of butter comes down to personal preference since butter is not needed to cook rice.

  4. Jennifer E. says

    I got these directions several years ago at a cooking class, but have found recently that you don’t even have to boil the water and it still works just fine (which makes it even easier!). I just use hot tap water. Also, I don’t use the double layer of foil, just a single layer crimped down around the edges, then the lid of my casserole dish on top of that. I have found the lid alone doesn’t give a tight enough seal. It’s also good to throw some chicken and/or vegetable bouillon in there too.

  5. abby says

    I don’t bother with boiling the water or butter – 2.5 c water and 1.5 c rice and a little salt – 70 minutes and done perfectly every time!

  6. Karen says

    Going to try this immediately. Thanks Jillie! I love brown rice, but also have the time factor problem. I’ve resorted to trying the “instant” kind, but dislike the texture/taste.

  7. Kathy S says

    When I make brown rice I cook a large batch then freeze in portions appropriate for one family meal. Thaw in the microwave. The flavor and texture are not altered at all by freezing and it does not take any longer to cook a large batch than a small one.

    • says

      That’s what I do Kathy. I have always made brown rice or beans in large pots, then freeze. I found some plastic Ball jars with screw top lids in the canning section that were made for the freezer.

    • courtneyd says

      i cook a huge bag of rice on sunday, when i do my mean planning for the week. and freeze it aswell.
      i cook the rice slightly “al dente” and after its thaw, i pop it in the steamer for a few minutes. or ill throw it in a pot with just a bit of water or broth and heat it on the stove.

  8. Carol says

    Rice also freezes well, so bag it up in ziplocks, freeze flat, and it’s ready for your next casserole.