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Can You Freeze Cooked Brown Rice?

Q. I enjoy eating a lot of rice based dishes, but I hate the time it takes to cook rice. Plus, most of my family really likes white rice and I only eat brown rice. I would like to have some rice on hand for whenever I feel like it, without having to make a whole batch each time. A friend suggested I just make a batch of brown rice and then freeze it. I’m considering it, but I’m worried that it will just all clump together and be a big lumpy mess. Can you freeze cooked brown rice?

Can you freeze cooked brown rice?
Can you freeze cooked brown rice?

A. Yes, you can freeze cooked brown rice. Freezing cooked rice is an excellent way to have rice on hand whenever you need, without having to cook up a batch from scratch. It can help cut food prep time in half, and is perfect for someone like you who only wants to eat a small amount of it at a time. I suggest you freeze it in single serving sizes to make it even more convenient for you at meal time.

How to freeze cooked brown rice?

To freeze cooked brown rice, start with freshly made rice. Rice does contain moisture once cooked, so if it’s been sitting around for a while or hasn’t been properly refrigerated it could start to go mouldy. Make sure the rice is completely cool and there is no steam coming off it.

Scoop single serving sizes of cooked brown rice into freezer bags. Carefully flatten the rice in the bags, being careful not to squish the rice or mush it together. Seal the bags, then label and date them. Store bags in the freezer until needed.

To use frozen cooked brown rice, it is recommended to use the rice directly from frozen. Thawing the rice first can cause it to expand due to the water content, making the rice mushy and sticky. Instead, add the rice directly to the recipe and allow it to thaw while cooking. Placing the rice in near the last stages of the recipe means less exposure to added moisture, and should help maintain the consistency of the rice. Frozen, cooked brown rice can be added to soups, stir fries, casseroles, and even used to make rice pudding.

Previously frozen cooked brown rice should be consumed within two days of thawing for best results. It is not recommended to refreeze previously frozen cooked brown rice.

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