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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 in a wooden bowl.
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Perfect Cooked Rice on the Stove

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.

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 become 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 Sundays or Mondays and use it for different meals throughout the week. It’s perfect for meal prep!

What You’ll Need for Fluffy Rice

Making homemade rice on the stove is simple! These pantry staple ingredients are perfect to always have on hand so that rice can be a side dish when needed. Grab your pot, rice, and water to get the best fluffy rice made!

Rinsing rice under cold water.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • White long-grain rice: Jasmine rice is always a favorite but any type of rice will work for this rice recipe. It is best to have it long-grained but there are medium-grain rice and short-grain rice to choose from too.
  • Butter: This will soften the rice and add a little bit of sweet flavor.
  • Salt: Sprinkle the salt in the water to help bring it to a boil as well as balance out the butter and flavoring to the rice.
  • Water: This gives the rice moisture and fluffs rice up once cooked.
  • Saucepan with lid: Dutch ovens are best for this rice recipe but you can use any type of saucepan that is insulated.
  • Fork for fluffing: A simple technique that helps boost and fluff the rice when it is hot.
  • Wooden spoon: I like to use a wooden spoon since they are soft and usually doesn’t scratch the bottom of the pan. They are also nice to set on the edge or ledge of a pot or pan because they won’t heat up since they are insulated.

How to Make Rice on the Stove

Skip the rice cooker and make your favorite white rice on the stovetop! You just need a few ingredients and tools to make this delicious rice. This is a simple method that ends with fluffy, moist rice every time!

The process of making rice on the stove.
  1. Rinse. Place the rice under water for a period of time to rinse it clean.
  2. Boil water and salt. Place water and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. Simmer. Add the rice and butter to the boiling water and only stir once. Don’t over-stir. Cover the pot with a lid and turn the heat to low. Simmer for 18-20 minutes. Do not remove the lid while it’s cooking.
  4. Remove the lid, then fluff. Remove the lid and let the water evaporate for a few minutes you do not need to drain. Gently fluff with a fork just before serving. Salt and pepper, to taste.

TIP: For another easy method, learn how to cook rice in the Instant Pot. The rice gets just as fluffy as it does on the stove, with hardly any work required!

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 its shape and doesn’t get mushy.

Rice in a blue saucepan with a wooden spoon.

5 star review

“Turned out perfect”

-Diana

Seasonings

There are plenty of ways to season white rice! Make it classic, add in protein, or make it light and tasty. Below are a few of my favorite ways to create white rice!

  • Salt and pepper: Keep it simple and add 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 mixed together.
  • Fresh herbs: Add in thyme, oregano, or basil for a savory rice flavor.
Up close photo of rice in a dutch oven with a wooden spoon stirring it.

Recipe FAQs

What are the steps for cooking rice?

Follow the instructions below for the most accurate way to cook rice. Start with rinsing your rice, add water with your rice, boil water, simmer with a lid, then fluff the rice to serve! It sounds simple in steps and that’s because it is!

Should you rinse the rice 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.

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 excess 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 much water do I need for 1 cup of rice?

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

A bowl of white rice.

Do you love rice with your dinner?! Try this one-pot burrito bowl, classic chicken and rice casserole, or this chicken broccoli and rice for your next dinner idea!

Favorite Ways to Use it

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how to cook rice

How to Make White Rice

5 from 3 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
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

Ingredients 

  • 1 ¾ cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup white long grain rice , rinsed

Salt and Pepper, to taste

    Instructions

    • Place the water and salt in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.
    • 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. 

    Nutrition

    Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 3g | Sodium: 298mg | Potassium: 53mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 0.4mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: Chinese

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

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