Instant pot brown rice is foolproof and easy. It requires less than 5 minutes of preparation and you will end up with delicious and fluffy brown rice every time.
Now that we are working on instant pot recipes, I like to show you how to make simple and basic instant pot recipes such as instant pot hard boiled eggs, instant pot white rice, and instant pot yogurt recipe in addition to full meals like Italian sausage pasta. Today I'm going to share one of my favorite instant pot recipes with you that I use very often for meal prepping: Instant pot brown rice. Make sure to read through the post for complete tutorial and step-by-step recipe.
Brown rice vs white rice
Growing up in a Persian family, white rice was always a staple in our home. We had a rice cooker that we would use from time to time but my mom usually made the rice in a pot. However, I had never heard of brown rice until I moved to the US and once I tried it, I understood why it is so popular here. It's more nutrient and contains more fiber compared to white rice.
Brown rice is a delicious side for so many dishes such as grilled chicken or fish and it's so easy to make in your instant pot. If you own an instant pot and want to start making some basic recipes with it, this pressure cooker brown rice recipe should be on your list because it comes out perfect every time!
One thing you should know is that brown rice and white rice are the same grain. However, white rice has been processed which means the two layers of bran and germ are removed. These two layers consist fiber and vitamin D. Brown rice is not as processed and therefore consists bran and germ so technically it's more nutritious than white rice. You can read more about brown rice vs white rice on nutritious life.
Why this recipe works
Brown rice can take a long time to cook and it doesn't come out perfect every time. However, making brown rice in instant pot is a breeze. There are a few good reasons for cooking brown rice in instant pot:
- It's a fool-proof, hands off method which means no rice baby sitting is needed.
- All you need to do is to put everything in the IP and set the timer.
- Brown rice cooks faster if using an instant pot instead of stove top method.
- It comes out fluffy and perfectly cooked every time.
I suggest this Instant Pot if you don't have one (affiliate). Instant pots come with different capacities and with different programs.
How to make brown rice in instant pot
Rinse the rice three to five times to get rid of excess starch. Place the rice in the instant pot and add in olive oil and water. I always use 2 ½ cup liquid for 2 cups brown rice when cooking with the instant pot. For more flavor, use vegetable or chicken stock instead of water to make brown rice in your instant pot. Secure the lid and make sure the knob is on "seal".
Press the "pressure cook" button. Set it on "high" and set the timer for 24 minutes. Once the cooking time is finished, let the instant pot release the pressure naturally and then remove the lid. Fluff the brown rice using a fork and serve with your favorite main dish. You can use the exact same method to make brown basmati rice in instant pot.
Frozen cooked brown rice is great for meal prep because you can easily heat it without thawing and add it to your meals. To freeze cooked brown rice, let it cool completely and then measure one cup and put it in a ziploc freezer bag. Spread the rice into a layer and freeze for up to 2 months.
To heat, take the block of rice out of the bag and microwave it or place it in a pan: it will heat pretty quickly.
Since brown rice is not processed, it has plain, earthly taste that is the perfect base for many flavors. Here are some suggestions to make this brown rice recipe more flavorful:
- Cook brown rice with vegetable broth or chicken broth.
- Add minced garlic and ginger to rice while cooking.
- Add herbs such as cilantro and parsley after cooking.
- Drizzle with fresh lemon juice.
Brown rice makes a delicious side dish to many different main dishes such as saffron chicken, Mediterranean chicken or quick Korean beef. You can make a rice bowl using cooked brown rice and some kind of protein such as baked salmon, chicken kabobs or beef shish kabobs.
Frequently asked questions
Rice, specifically brown rice is a great option for your meal preps. You can make a big batch of this instant pot brown rice during the weekend and measure it into meal prep containers. Make your favorite protein (chicken or beef, I'm not a fan of seafood for meal prep) and refrigerate to have food ready during the week. If you'd like to serve your meal prep brown rice with shrimp or fish, it's best to cook the seafood fresh and serve it with heated brown rice.
While some suggest it's not necessary to rinse brown rice before cooking, I strongly advise you to take a couple of minutes and rinse that rice before adding it to the instant pot. Rinsing brown rice will removed some of the outer starch which will make your rice less gummy.
Water to rice ratio is an important thing to know when using your instant pot to cook basically anything since the IP uses that water to cook the food; however, you don't want your food to have excess water. So coming up with the right ratio is probably the most crucial step of this easy brown rice recipe.
I always use 2 cups of brown rice and 2.5 cups liquid which is usually half water and half stock. It's the perfect ratio which gives you fluffy brown rice that's nicely cooked and isn't mushy at all.
Instant Pot Brown Rice Recipe
- 2 cups brown rice rinsed
- 2.5 cups water see notes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Place brown rice, water and olive oil in the instant pot.
- Secure the lid and make sure the knob is on "seal".
- Press "pressure cook" (manual) and set it on "high". Set the timer for 24 minutes.
- Wait for the brown rice to cook in the instant pot. Let the pressure release naturally.
- Open the lid and fluff the rice using a fork.
- For more flavor, use chicken or vegetable stock instead of water. Also, you can add herbs such as cilantro and parsley right before serving.
- You can make a big batch of this instant pot brown rice during the weekend and measure it into meal prep containers. Make your favorite protein (chicken or beef, I'm not a fan of seafood for meal prep) and refrigerate to have food ready during the week.