Knowing How to Cook White Rice so it comes out perfectly tender and fluffy couldn’t be easier! The process depends on two simple things—understanding the right ratio of water to rice and rinsing the rice before cooking. This easy recipe gives you the best rice with an ideal texture every time.

A wooden spoon stirs cooked white rice in a pot.

Perfect White Rice Recipe

If there’s one perfect side dish…it’s white rice.

But so many people opt for instant rice, which never has that fluffy, chewy texture. If you’re hesitant to make rice on the stovetop, you’re not alone.

It can be a little challenging to get that perfect rice at home. But finding the right ratio of water to rice and following a few simple tricks and techniques ensures PERFECT rice. Every time.

Many believe a straightforward 2:1 water-to-rice ratio is where it’s at. I’m telling you now, it’s not. You often end up with mushy rice. A little less water is the answer.

This foolproof method makes dinner prep a breeze, and you don’t need fancy rice cookers.

(In a hurry? Check out this Instant Pot White Rice recipe.)

White rice, water, oil, and salt are the ingredients for this dish.

Ingredients

The simple ingredients you need to make this fluffy white rice recipe include:

  • White rice. Walking down the rice aisle yields so many options. For this recipe, look for a white, long-grain rice. White rice is refined, so it doesn’t have as much fiber as other options. But it has the perfect texture. 
  • Optional ingredients. Butter or olive oil can be added for some extra flavor.

How to Cook White Rice on the Stove

Below are the simple steps to make this easy white rice recipe:

Rinse the Rice

Before you cook white rice, you need to rinse it. This is an essential step when cooking any type of rice. Rinsing removes any excess starch which will cause the rice to be clumpy after cooking.

Pour the rice into a fine mesh strainer and run cold water over it for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the water runs clear.

Rice is rinsed in the sink before cooking.

White Rice to Water Ratio

For the stovetop, you need 1 ⅔-cups of water for every cup of uncooked white rice.

For the Instant Pot, you need 1 to 1¼-cups water for every cup of uncooked white rice.

It might not seem like it, but this ratio is super important. If you have too much water, you might end up with clumpy or mushy rice. However, too little water and the rice will be hard.

And, as you can tell from the differences above, how much water you need also depends on the cooking method. 

Add to Pot

Pour the rice and water into a medium-sized saucepan or pot. This is the time to add the oil too, if you’re using it. Let the ingredients come to a rapid boil over high heat.

There should be foam at the top of the water along with rolling bubbles.

Rice, water, oil, and salt are added to a pot to cook.

How Long to Cook White Rice?

After the water is at a full boil, turn the heat to medium-low, then cover the pot with a lid. White rice needs to simmer for 12 minutes.

Before you remove the lid, move the pot away from the heat and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

Use a fork to fluff the rice, and then serve.

A wooden spoon stirs cooked rice in a pot.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to store: White rice that has been cooked will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 to 5 days.
  • How to freeze: You can freeze leftover rice in a freezer-safe bag or storage container for up to 4 to 6 months. For ease of use, place individual servings in bags before freezing.
  • How to reheat: The best way to warm up leftover rice is in the microwave. Be sure to add a few tablespoons of water to help fluff it back up. Warm it 30 seconds at a time, stirring between, until soft and heated through.

Is white rice healthy?

Generally, white rice is considered a healthy side dish. However, it doesn’t have as many nutrients as whole-grain rice varieties, but it is good in moderation.

Is white rice gluten-free?

White rice is gluten-free! However, be sure to read the nutrition label to make sure it wasn’t made in a facility that processes gluten.

A spoon scoops white rice out of a glass bowl.

How to season white rice?

To season white rice, simply add salt or choose a variety of herbs. You can season white rice in so many ways—the options are literally endless.

How long does white rice last in the fridge?

White rice should last in the fridge for up to 4 to 5 days. Be sure to let it cool completely first. When you reheat it, add a little bit of water.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Adjust the amount. If your rice doesn’t quite turn out, you might need to change the amount of water you use, especially in a pressure cooker.
  • Rinse well. Place the rice in a strainer and hold it under running water until it runs clear.
  • Amp it up. Add some seasonings or herbs to change the flavor of the rice.
  • Be patient. Do not remove the lid until it has rested for 10 minutes.
  • Fluff well. A fork is perfect for stirring up the delicious rice before cooking.
General Tso's Chicken is in a white bowl with cooked white rice.

What to Serve with White Rice

White rice is incredibly versatile and goes with so many dishes.

Try it with Asian dishes, like General Tso’s Chicken, Instant Pot Hawaiian Chicken, or Instant Pot Orange Chicken.

Or, use it in fried rice like Shrimp Fried Rice or Chicken Fried Rice.

It’s delicious with Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry or Beef Stir Fry.

More Easy Rice Recipes

When you know how to cook different varieties of rice, you’ll be ready to make healthy and satisfying dinners year-round.

Learn How to Cook Wild RiceHow to Cook Basmati RiceHow to Cook Sushi Rice, and How to Cook Jasmine Rice.

You can also cook up authentic favorites like Mediterranean RiceMexican Rice, Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya, Instant Pot Jambalaya or Cajun Dirty Rice.

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5 from 3 votes

How to Cook White Rice

Knowing How to Cook White Rice so it comes out perfectly tender and fluffy couldn't be easier! The process depends on two simple things—understanding the right ratio of water to rice and rinsing the rice before cooking.
A wooden spoon stirs cooked white rice in a pot.
Yield 6 servings
Prep 2 minutes
Cook 23 minutes
Total 25 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup white rice long grain
  • 1 ⅔ cup water or broth
  • ½ tsp. salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. butter or oil, optional

Instructions 

  • Rinse Rice: Add the rice to a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cool running water for 1-2 minutes, or until it runs clear.
    1 cup white rice
  • Add to Pot: Add all ingredients to a medium-sized saucepan or pot over high heat. Bring everything to a rapid boil- you want to see it foaming on the top and actively bubbling.
    1 ⅔ cup water, ½ tsp. salt, 1 Tbsp. butter
  • Cover, Cook, and Rest: Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot with a lid, and cook for 12 minutes. Remove the rice from the heat and let sit for 5-10 minutes before taking off the lid. Fluff the rice using a fork and serve!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 3 votes

Notes

*A serving size equals ½ cup cooked rice. (1 cup uncooked rice will yield ~3 cups cooked.)

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to store: White rice that has been cooked will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 to 5 days.
  • How to freeze: You can freeze leftover rice in a freezer-safe bag or storage container for up to 4 to 6 months. For ease of use, place individual servings in bags before freezing.
  • How to reheat: The best way to warm up leftover rice is the microwave. Be sure to add a few tablespoons of water to help rehydrate it. Warm it 30 seconds at a time, stirring between, until soft and heated through.

Nutrition

Calories: 130kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 180mg, Potassium: 36mg, Fiber: 0.4g, Sugar: 0.04g, Vitamin A: 62IU, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 0.2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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