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Learn how to make Instant Pot Brown Rice that turns out fluffy and flavorful every time! This is a staple side dish at our house that we serve almost on a weekly basis!
Instant Pot Brown Rice
Rice tends to be the side dish of choice at our house for a lot of meals. And while write rice is delicious (and my youngest claims it is her favorite food), I really love brown rice. Not only is it better for you, but I really like the nutty flavor it has.
It takes longer to cook brown rice on the stovetop than regular white rice though, (almost a full hour!) so for a long time we didn't eat brown rice all that much. Until I got an electric pressure cooker and learned how to make instant pot brown rice.
Now we enjoy brown rice on a regular basis! I love that I can make a big batch of it on Monday and use it for a number of different meals throughout the week.
I am not one of those people that makes everything in the Instant Pot, but for somethings like brown rice, I'm totally loyal.
How to Make Instant Pot Brown Rice
To make instant pot brown rice, just combine rinsed brown rice with water, salt, a little chicken bouillon, and a tablespoon of butter in your instant pot.
Lock the lid in place and make sure the pressure release valve is set to seal. Then cook on high manual pressure for 22 minutes, followed by a 10 minute natural release (meaning, once the timer beeps, don't do anything for 10 minutes).
Carefully release any remaining pressure manually, then remove the lid and fluffy the rice with a fork before serving.
This recipe is super basic because rice is such a staple food, but I have one little trick that keeps the recipe easy and gives us flavorful rice at the same time.
I always use water with a little Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base to make instant pot brown rice. I tend to buy cartons of chicken broth that are larger than what I would use to make a batch of instant pot brown rice, which would leave me looking for ways to use up the leftover broth before it spoils.
Using chicken bouillon and water gives me just the right amount of chicken broth and wonderful flavor to keep my brown rice from being boring and bland.
There is even a Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base that you could use if you want to keep your Instant Pot brown rice vegetarian or vegan.
Do you have to rinse brown rice first?
Technically, no, you don't have to rinse your brown rice before cooking it, but I highly recommend it.
Rinsing rice before cooking removes some of the starch that can cause the rice to turn out gummy. And I personally like a little more definition between the rice grains, which you only get by straining it.
The easiest way to rinse rice is by putting it in a fine mesh strainer and running cold water over it for a minute or two.
If you don't have a fine mesh strainer, you could always line a regular colander with cheesecloth or a coffee filter to keep the rice grains from falling through.
Can you freeze Instant Pot Brown Rice?
Yes, you can absolutely freeze cooked brown rice! The best way I've found to do this is to let it cool completely first, then place it in quart-size freezer-safe ziploc bags and stick them in the fridge where it will keep for up to 3 months.
When you are ready to use the rice, you don't even need to thaw first. Just transfer the frozen, cooked rice to a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave covered with a damp paper towel until hot.
Tips for Making the Best Brown Rice
- I've already said this, but be sure to really rinse the rice. It prevents the individual grains from sticking to each other too much and getting gummy.
- You can add even more flavor to your brown rice by toasting it for a couple of minutes in a little bit of oil in the Instant Pot using the saute feature before adding the water and proceeding with the recipe as directed. You could also add your favorite herbs and spices or saute half of a chopped yellow onion to add to the rice before cooking it for even more flavor interest. I tend to keep our rice simple since I usually pair it with something else like a protein in a sauce, but if you want it more as a stand-alone side, definitely give one of these approaches a try!
Some of our favorite things to serve with brown rice
Brown rice can be used in so many ways, from using it to fill out burritos or add some substance to a salad, to being in the perfect tummy-filling side dish with a protein-centric main dish. Here are some of our favorite recipes we serve Instant Pot brown rice with.
- Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas in 30 Minutes (we skip the tortillas and just make fajita rice bowls - so good!)
- Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken Skewers
- Crispy Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Thighs
- Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi-Mahi
- Grilled Soy Brown Sugar Salmon in Foil
- The BEST Homemade Swedish Meatballs
More Rice & Bean Side Dish Staples
- Easy Rice Pilaf with Orzo Pasta
- Homemade Mexican Rice (aka Spanish Rice)
- Instant Pot Refried Beans
- Best Baked Beans Recipe
- Charro Beans (Frijoles Charros)
- Cafe Rio Black Beans & Cilantro Lime Rice
- Brazilian Black Beans Without A Pressure Cooker
- Brazilian White Rice
Instant Pot Brown Rice
- 2 cups brown rice
- 2 ½ cups water
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 2 teaspoons better than bouillon chicken base optional
- Rinse the rice with a fine mesh strainer using cold water to remove some of the starch. It really does help the rice to be less gummy.
- Add the rice, water or broth, salt, and butter to the instant pot, then seal with the lid and make sure the pressure release valve is set to seal.
- Cook on HIGH pressure (manual) for 22 minutes, then allow the Instant Pot to do a 10 minute natural release.
- Manually vent any remaining pressure, then remove the lid and fluff the brown rice with a fork.
- Serve warm.
- You can easily double this recipe without adjusting the cooking time. I made this in a 6-quart Instant Pot and had plenty of room for more.
- Storing and Freezing: Leftover rice will keep in the fridge for up to 7 days or can even be frozen for up to 3 months. To reheat, transfer the frozen rice to a bowl without thawing and heat in the microwave with a damp towel over the bowl.