Learn how to freeze rice and save time having it on hand. Whether you have leftover rice or want to cook it in advance, you can easily freeze it and ready to be used!
Why This Method Works
When I learned a few years ago that I can freeze and reheat cooked rice, it was a game changer for me. I use rice quite often and it's a time-saver to be able to pull out a bag from the freezer and have cooked rice! If you are a busy person like me, you know those time-saving tips always count.
Now, I always cook double the amount I need and freeze half. Whether you cook it on the stove or use the Instant Pot or a rice cooker, you can easily freeze any leftovers for later.
I add frozen rice to taco casseroles, chicken and rice soup, make chicken fried rice or serve it as a side dish with my teriyaki chicken bowls.
What You'll Need:
- cooked rice
- freezer bags or containers with lid
How to freeze rice?
- Cook rice using our stovetop or Instant Pot method.
- Spread rice while still hot on a large plate or baking sheet.
- Cool it completely.
- Place cooled rice in freezer bags, label them, and place them in the freezer.
How long can you freeze rice?
You can freeze cooked rice for up to 2 months, in freezer-safe containers or bags. After a couple of months, the rice tends to dry out and lose its soft texture. Always label freezer bags so you know when the rice was frozen.
How to reheat frozen rice?
- If you need the rice as a side dish, you can thaw it in the fridge or do a speed-thaw by placing the bag with frozen rice in a shallow bowl with water. You can also break the rice into chunks, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and reheat it in the microwave. Cover the top of the dish with a paper towel so the rice remains moist.
- If you are adding rice to a soup, casserole, etc. break it into smaller pieces and add it to the dish while it's still simmering. The heat of the dish will reheat it right out!
- Divide rice into portions you use for one meal. That way you thaw what you need.
- Flatten the rice once in a freezer bag. It's easier to store it this way and it thaws faster.
- If you have any leftover rice, freeze it. That way, if you don't use it within a couple of days, it won't go bad!
- Place the rice in freezer bags while it's still moist. It will keep it and won't dry out. As soon as it's cooled, place it in containers and pop into the freezer.
If you are adding frozen rice to soup, curry, casserole, etc, you can add it while still frozen. Break it into smaller pieces instead of adding it in a big piece so it thaws in the heat of the dish faster.
In my experience, reheating rice in a pot or skillet on the stove can lead to it sticking to the bottom. Even if you add water. It's best to use the microwave.
I use long-grain white rice, brown, basmati, or jasmine. Quinoa or couscous works too!
More cooking basics:
If you like this recipe and make it, let me know in the comments below! Don't forget to rate it if you enjoyed it!
How to Freeze Rice
- 3 cups cooked rice
- 3 tablespoons water for reheating
- Cook rice using our stovetop or Instant Pot method. I cooked 1 cup of rice and got 3 cups of cooked rice.
- Spread rice while still hot on a large plate or baking sheet. Don't spread it too thin or it will loose the moisture.
- Cool it just until it's room temperature to the touch. It should still be moist.
- Place cooled rice in freezer bags, label with name and date, and place in the freezer.
- Freeze rice for up to 2 months.
- To reheat, break the frozen rice into smaller pieces and place in a bowl or a plate. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water, cover the dish with a paper towel and microwave for 30 to 50 seconds. Each microwave is different so you need to check the rice once in a while.
- If you are using the rice for soup or a casserole, add still frozen rice at the end of cooking, while the dish is still simmering. The heat of the dish will thaw the rice right out!
- Divide rice into portions before freezing. That way you an thaw exactly as much as you need.
- Flatten freezer bags once you fill them with rice. They are easier to store that way and thaw quicker too!
- Please note, that the nutrition value can vary depending on what product you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.
Did you make this recipe? Let me know!