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How to Cook Rice on the Stove

Learn how to cook white rice on the stove in under 30 minutes! You’ll have perfectly fluffy and tender rice every time!

Rice is one of those staple ingredients and is a great addition to any meal. We love to serve it with General Tso’s chicken, Hawaiian haystacks, parmesan ranch chicken, slow cooker honey chicken and BBQ meatballs.

white rice in a wooden bowl

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Cooking rice on the stove is one of those things that sounds intimidating, but I promise it’s not! After you try it once, it’ll becoming your go-to cooking method. The rice gets perfectly fluffy and tender and the flavor is great!

We love to add a tablespoon of butter with the salt at the beginning…it makes it taste so much better! I’ll often make a big batch on Sunday’s or Monday’s and use it for different meals throughout the week. It’s perfect for meal prep!

What you’ll need:

  • White long grain rice
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Saucepan with lid (I prefer a dutch oven)
  • Fork for fluffing
  • Wooden spoon

washing white rice in a strainer

Should you rinse it before cooking?

Yes, I would definitely recommend that you rinse the rice before cooking. Simply place it in a mesh strainer and rinse with cold water until it runs clear. This will remove the extra starch and prevent it from becoming too sticky.

What is the ratio of water to rice?

The standard ratio of water to rice is 2:1 (2 cups water, 1 cup rice). Although I personally prefer to use 1 3/4 cups water for every 1 cup rice. I’ve found that this ratio absorbs better and makes it less mushy.

how to cook rice on the stove

How to make rice on the stove

  1. Boil water and salt. Place water and salt in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  2. Simmer. Add the rice and butter to the boiling water and only stir once. Don’t over stir. Cover pot with a lid and turn heat to low. Simmer for 18-20 minutes. Do not remove the lid while it’s cooking.
  3. Remove lid, then fluff. Remove the lid and let the water evaporate for a few minutes. Gently fluff with a fork just before serving. Salt and pepper, to taste.

How do you keep it from sticking?

No one wants super sticky rice that’s glued to the bottom of the pan! One of my main tips to prevent this is to rinse the rice under cold water prior to cooking. This removes any extra starch, which is typically the culprit for the stickiness.

Also, make sure to cover the saucepan with a lid when simmering (and don’t remove it!). You want to keep the steam that is trapped in there to help it cook properly. This steaming process ensures that it will loosen from the bottom of the pan. The lower heat also keeps it from burning.

How to fluff with a fork

Just before serving, you’ll want to fluff the rice with a fork. This simply means that you’ll mix it around for about a minute, breaking up lumps and allowing any excess moisture to evaporate. The key here is to be gentle when fluffing, so that it holds it’s shape and doesn’t get mushy.

white rice with a wooden spoon


There are plenty of ways to season the white rice! Below are a few of my favorites.

  • Salt and pepper: Keep it simple and add in butter, salt and pepper. Classic and delicious!
  • Mexican rice: Chicken bouillon cubes, oil, onion, garlic, crushed tomatoes and cumin.
  • Cilantro lime rice: Garlic, butter, chicken broth, lime zest, lime juice, cilantro and sugar.
  • Rice pilaf: Onion, garlic, butter, chicken broth, salt and pepper.
  • Fried rice: Onion, garlic, butter, carrots, peas, soy sauce and eggs
  • Coconut rice: Coconut milk and toasted coconut

Favorite ways to use it:

how to cook rice

How to Make White Rice

5 from 1 vote
Learn how to cook white rice on the stove in under 30 minutes! You'll have perfectly fluffy and tender rice every time! 
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Servings: 4


  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup white long grain rice , rinsed

Salt and Pepper, to taste


    • Place the water and salt in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.
      rice cooking in a pot
    • Add the rice and butter to the boiling water and then stir once. Don't over stir. Cover the pot with a lid and turn the heat to low. Let simmer for 18-20 minutes. Do not remove the lid while it's cooking. 
    • Remove the lid and allow the water to evaporate for a few minutes. Just before serving, gently fluff the rice with a fork. Salt and pepper, to taste. 
      cooked rice in a pot

    Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 3g | Sodium: 298mg | Potassium: 53mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 0.4mg
    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: Chinese
    Author: Jamielyn Nye

    white rice in a wooden bowl

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