Oven-Baked Brown Rice

For anyone who's had trouble cooking brown rice, or wondered how to cook brown rice, this is your lucky day! First, there's this recipe for brown rice, my favorite, which cooks the rice in the oven and turns out moist, nutty kernels of rice, oh! so! good!
Then there's another way to cook brown rice, on the stove, also very good and slightly faster, see Perfect Stovetop Brown Rice from A Veggie Venture, my food blog.

Oven-Baked Brown Rice, how to cook brown rice in the oven

Think of brown rice as the emperor with his clothes on.

You see, brown rice isn’t its own variety of rice, as is often thought. Instead, every variety of rice starts off brown because brown rice is just unmilled rice, rice with all its ‘clothing’ layers still intact.

Once those ‘clothes’ are polished away, inside every grain of brown rice is a white, starchy and yes, naked, kernel stripped of flavor, fiber and nutrition.

I’ve loved brown rice for the longest time but had trouble getting it to cook consistently on the stove-top. Now that I’ve learned how to bake brown rice in the oven, it’s welcome at the table, in all its fully clothed goodness.

ALANNA's TIPS A mix of brown and wild rice is my favorite because it looks as good as it tastes. Plus, brown rice is cheap and wild rice is pricey so a blend helps stretch the food budget. Water boils more quickly with something to adhere to, in this case, just a small dab of fat. If the oven’s not fully preheated when the rice is prepped, pop it in anyway. Just increase the oven time by the remaining number of minutes. To prevent food poisoning, all varieties of cooked rice should be served and refrigerated promptly.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Send your own favorite rice recipe to recipes@kitchen-parade.com. If you like these Kitchen Parade recipes, consider a free e-mail subscription. Once or twice a week when a new recipe is published, you'll be notified via e-mail. How to print a recipe on Kitchen Parade. If you like Kitchen Parade, forward this recipe to a friend who might too!


So good, make it every week
Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 1-1/4 hours
Makes 4 cups
  • 2-1/3 cups water (or chicken broth or even beer)
  • 2 teaspoons butter (or bacon fat for more flavor or olive oil)
  • 1 cup brown rice, any variety
  • 1/2 cup wild rice (or another 1/2 cup brown rice, see ALANNA’s TIPS)
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt

Set oven to 375F. Bring liquid and butter (see TIPS) to a boil in the microwave.

Meanwhile, in an 8x8 glass baking dish (or equivalent size round glass baking dish), stir together brown rice and wild rice. Sprinkle with salt. Pour hot liquid over rice and gently stir, distributing rice evenly throughout dish. Cover tightly with a double layer of foil (or the glass top for a baking dish). Bake for 60 minutes (see TIPS).

Remove from oven. Fluff rice with a fork, then cover lightly with a paper towel and let rest for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff again, let rest another 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE (How many calories in brown rice? How many Weight Watchers points in brown rice?) Per half cup: 137 Calories; 3g Protein; 2g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 27g Carb; 1g Fiber; 150mg Sodium; 3mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 2 points
Today’s recipe is adapted from Cook's Illustrated, a great magazine for cooks who want to understand the ‘how’s’ and ‘why’s’ of cooking. In 2006, Cook's Illustrated gave me permission to publish the original version of their technique for cooking brown rice, see Foolproof Oven-Baked Brown Rice. Since then, I've made it week in and week out, adapting it to my own taste and technique.

Delicious with Oven-Baked Brown Rice

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I am definitely making this! (And I just made turkey and wild rice soup with cabbage this week!) Yum.
Alanna, I've had trouble with brown rice on the stovetop AND in my rice cooker. I'm going to give this version a whirl -- I'd love to have it more readily available in my fridge at all times, because I know I'd just toss it into salads and soups and casseroles and even just eat it straight up. Yum!
Very pretty, with all the right flavor extras. Lately I've discovered brown rice + pearled barley, which seems to make them both better. I wonder why some people have trouble with stovetop rice? Is it one of those DNA things?
I've never made brown rice...but need to try it someime soon I guess:) yours looks tempting!
You can get food poisoning from rice?!?!?!?
I get brown basmati (the only kind of brown I can get) which I absolutly love.. and it cooks in 20 minutes!
I made the rice for dinner tonight, but instead of just brown rice, I included barley, red rice, and millet, in addition to the brown basmati. So stinking good!!!
I have a similar recipe for curried rice using white rice. So I think I will try your variation asap. My recipe calls for a diced onion, and half Tablespoon (or more) curry powder. It also calls for the water to be boiling when you measure it. Make sure you pour and stir it carefully so you don't burn yourself.I might be able to get my daughter to eat brown rice prepared this way. Thanks
So I just HAD to say thanks for this recipe! I came upon the rice pancake recipe with the link to this recipe and am soooo glad I found it. I have always had a hard time getting the time vs water and rice mixture right for brown rice. This recipe came out PERFECT! The kids LOVE it. Now we mix in roasted veggies after baking and have such a delicious meal! Thanks so very much!!
I followed the recipe to a t, and although it turned out better than when I cook it on a stove top. It was really dried out and half of it was stuck to the bottom of the bakeware dish. I don't think my stove is too hot, normally I'm able to follow bake times with no problem. What am I doing wrong?
Anonymous ~ Wow, I'm not sure, I make this so often, others do too (click through to the Foolproof recipe on A Veggie Venture) and its source is Cooks Illustrated. Let me think through possibilities -- (sorry, some may sound like you don't know what you're doing but I'm just checking), did you happen to use an instant rice? is it possible that the liquid was a cup or even 1/3 cup short? could the foil or lid not have been tight onto the baking dish? These are the things that come to mind that would result in such extreme dryness.

So sorry that the rice didn't work out for you, I hope you'll try again. It's so worth being able to count on, I made another dish just last night!
I've been doing Alton Brown's baked brown rice for several years and it comes out perfect every time
Anonymous ~ Just checked the Alton Brown recipe, it's very much the same! My own variation is the addition of wild rice, one of my favorite foods. Natural, for a Minnesotan!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna