Whip Up Perfect Microwave Brown Rice in Just 30 Minutes

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Are you a fan of brown rice but dread the long cooking time? Look no further than microwave brown rice! Brown rice is a highly nutritious grain that has been minimally processed, retaining its fiber and nutrient content. But some people may wonder, “Can you cook brown rice in the microwave?” The answer is a resounding yes!

Microwaving brown rice not only cuts down on cooking time but also preserves its health benefits. In this article, we will explore the benefits of brown rice and how microwaving it can save you time and effort in the kitchen.

Let’s dive into the world of microwave brown rice and discover how it can revolutionize your cooking routine!

How much water to cook brown rice in microwave?

When it comes to microwaving brown rice, one of the most common questions is, “How much water do I need?” The answer is simple: for every cup of brown rice, you will need 2 cups of water. 

This will ensure that the rice cooks evenly and becomes fluffy and tender. Remember, measuring the water correctly is crucial to achieving perfect brown rice in the microwave.

A handy tip to measure the amount of water and rice before cooking is to use your finger as a guide.

  • First, add the desired amount of rice to your microwave-safe bowl or rice cooker. 
  • Then, place your finger vertically into the bowl, resting it on top of the rice. Add enough water so that it reaches the first joint of your finger (about 1 inch or 2.5 cm). 

This will ensure that you have the correct ratio of rice to water for perfectly cooked brown rice.

How much water to cook brown rice in microwave

How long do you microwave brown rice?

The cooking time for microwaving brown rice can vary depending on the wattage of your microwave and the amount of rice you are cooking. However, as a general rule of thumb, it usually takes around 30 minutes to cook brown rice in the microwave.

  • Microwave Wholegrain Rice: 30 minutes
  • Long Grain Brown Rice Microwave: 30 minutes 
  • Brown Basmati Rice Microwave: 35-40 minutes, due to its longer grain and tougher outer layer

Remember to check the rice halfway through cooking and give it a stir to ensure even cooking. 

And if you’re unsure about the optimal cooking time for a specific type of brown rice, be sure to consult the package instructions or do a quick online search. 

How to microwave brown rice?

Microwaving brown rice is a quick and easy way to prepare a delicious and nutritious side dish. Here’s how to microwave brown rice for a family of four:


  • 2 cups of brown rice
  • 4 cups of water
  • Salt (optional)

Cooking brown rice in microwave

Cooking brown rice in microwave 1024x1024
Cooking brown rice in microwave
  1. Rinse the brown rice in a fine mesh strainer and drain well.
  2. Add the rice to a large microwave-safe bowl and pour in the water.
  3. If desired, add a pinch of salt to the water for flavor.
  4. Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap, leaving a small vent to allow steam to escape.
  5. Microwave the brown rice on high power for 10 minutes, and then lower the power to 50% and continue microwaving for another 20 minutes.
  6. Carefully remove the bowl from the microwave and fluff the rice with a fork.

Note: There’s no need to drain the water from the rice after cooking. Simply fluff the rice with a fork and it will absorb any excess liquid.

Cooking brown rice in microwave rice cooker

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Get microwave rice cooker here

  1. Add the rice and water to the microwave rice cooker and stir in a pinch of salt, if desired.
  2. Place the lid on the rice cooker and microwave on high for 10 minutes.
  3. Reduce the power to 50% and microwave for another 30-35 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
  4. Carefully remove the rice cooker from the microwave and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the rice to steam and fluff up.
  5. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve hot.

Brown rice nutrition facts and origin

Brown rice is a nutritious whole grain that has been enjoyed for centuries. Here’s a look at the nutrition facts and origin of brown rice, as well as the health benefits of microwaving it:

How many calories in microwave brown rice?

Serving Size: 1 cup cooked brown rice (195 g)Amount Per Serving
Total Fat1.8 g
Saturated Fat0.4 g
Cholesterol0 mg
Sodium10 mg
Total Carbohydrates45.8 g
Dietary Fiber3.5 g
Sugars0.7 g
Protein5 g

Where is brown rice from?

Brown rice originated in Asia, specifically in the regions of China, India, and Southeast Asia. It has been a staple food in these regions for thousands of years and has since spread to other parts of the world.

Is microwave brown rice healthy?

Microwave brown rice is a healthy and nutritious food that offers many health benefits, including:

  • High in fiber: Brown rice is a good source of fiber, which can aid digestion and promote feelings of fullness.
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals: Brown rice contains important vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins, magnesium, and phosphorus.
  • May reduce the risk of chronic diseases: Eating brown rice may help lower the risk of certain chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
  • May promote weight loss: Brown rice is a low-calorie, filling food that may help with weight loss when included as part of a healthy diet.
  • Gluten-free: Brown rice is naturally gluten-free, making it a great option for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Instant brown rice microwave instructions

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to enjoy brown rice, microwave brown rice packets are a convenient option. Here are the microwave instructions for some popular brands:

Trader Joe’s Microwave Rice Instructions

Trader Joes Microwave Rice
Trader Joe’s Microwave Rice
  1. Tear open the top of the microwave brown rice packet.
  2. Place the packet in the microwave and heat on high for 90 seconds.
  3. Carefully remove the packet from the microwave and let it sit for 1 minute.
  4. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve hot.

Uncle Ben’s Ready Brown Rice Microwave Instructions

Uncle Bens Ready Brown Rice Microwave 1024x1024

  1. Combine the rice, water, and butter (if desired) in a microwave-safe glass bowl.
  2. Cover the bowl tightly with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap and microwave on high for 90 seconds.
  3. Reduce the power to 50% and microwave for an additional 12-17 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove the bowl from the microwave and let it sit covered for 5 minutes or until the water is absorbed.

90 Second Brown Rice Microwave Instructions

90 Second Brown Rice

  1. Squeeze the sides of the microwave brown rice packet to separate the rice.
  2. Tear open the top of the packet to vent.
  3. Microwave on high for 90 seconds.
  4. Let the rice sit in the microwave for 1 minute.
  5. Carefully remove the packet from the microwave and fluff the rice with a fork.
  6. Serve hot.

Minute Brown Rice Microwave Instructions

Minute Brown Rice 1024x1024

  1. Start by placing the desired amount of water and rice in a microwave-safe bowl. You can also add a little oil for extra flavor, if desired.
  2. Microwave the rice on high for 5 minutes.
  3. Carefully remove the bowl from the microwave and let it sit for a few minutes to allow the water to absorb.

Be sure to follow the specific instructions on the packaging of your microwave brown rice packets for best results.

Mini tips

Brown rice can be used as a substitute ingredient in various dishes, including Com Do, Vietnamese fried rice, and Com Tam. These dishes traditionally use white rice, but opting for brown rice adds a healthier twist without compromising flavor.

  • Com Do, a popular Vietnamese rice dish, can be prepared using brown rice to provide a nuttier and slightly chewy texture.
  • Vietnamese fried rice, a delicious stir-fried rice dish, can be enhanced with the earthy flavor of brown rice, giving it a wholesome and hearty appeal.
  • Com Tam, a flavorful Vietnamese broken rice dish, can be elevated by using brown rice, adding a subtle richness and enhancing the overall taste experience.

Incorporating brown rice into these dishes not only increases their nutritional value but also contributes to a more diverse and wholesome culinary experience.

Microwave brown rice cooking FAQs

Can you reheat brown rice in the microwave?

Yes, you can reheat brown rice in the microwave. 

How long to reheat brown rice in microwave?

Microwave cooked brown rice on high for 1-2 minutes or until heated through. To prevent the rice from drying out, add a splash of water to the rice before reheating and cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap.

How many calories in uncle ben’s brown rice microwave?

One serving (1 cup) of Uncle Ben’s Brown Rice Microwave contains 240 calories.

How to season microwave brown rice?

Microwave brown rice can be seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices such as garlic, onion powder, cumin, or cilantro. You can also add a splash of soy sauce, lime juice, or sesame oil for added flavor. Experiment with different seasonings to find your favorite combination.

Is microwave rice the same as boiled rice?

Microwave rice and boiled rice are both methods of cooking rice, but they are not the same. 

Microwave rice is pre-cooked and dehydrated before being packaged, while boiled rice is cooked from raw grains on the stovetop. 

Microwave rice is typically faster and more convenient to prepare, but boiled rice can have a better texture and flavor. 

Additionally, boiled rice allows for more control over the cooking process, including the amount of water used and the cooking time.

Why is brown rice mushy?

Brown rice can become mushy if it is overcooked or if there is too much water used during the cooking process. Brown rice contains more fiber than white rice, which can cause it to cook more slowly and absorb more liquid. This can result in a gummy or mushy texture if the rice is not cooked properly.

To avoid this, it is important to follow the recommended cooking instructions for the type of brown rice being used and to measure the water carefully. Using a rice cooker or microwave rice cooker can also help ensure that the rice is cooked properly and does not become mushy.

Can you microwave brown rice and quinoa?

Yes, you can microwave brown rice and quinoa together.

Combine 1 cup of brown rice, 1/2 cup of quinoa, and 2 1/2 cups of water in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave on high for 10 minutes, then reduce the power to 50% and microwave for another 15-20 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed and the grains are tender. Let the dish sit for 5 minutes, then fluff the grains with a fork and serve.

Can you microwave brown rice without water?

No, you need water to cook brown rice in the microwave.

How do you store leftover microwave brown rice?

Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Does microwave brown rice taste the same as stovetop brown rice?

Microwave brown rice can have a slightly different texture than stovetop brown rice, but the taste should be similar if cooked correctly.

Can you freeze microwave brown rice?

Yes, you can freeze microwave brown rice for up to 6 months.

How much brown rice should you cook per person?

About 1/2 to 3/4 cup of uncooked brown rice per person is recommended. To know more detail, you should read our “how much rice per person” blog.

Is microwave brown rice gluten-free?

Yes, brown rice is naturally gluten-free and microwave brown rice should be as well, unless it has been cross-contaminated with gluten.

What to serve with brown rice?

In daily meals, Vietnamese people often eat brown rice (gạo lứt) with a variety of dishes, such as stir-fried vegetables, grilled or steamed meats, tofu dishes, and soups. 

Some popular dishes to serve with brown rice include stir-fried beef with vegetables (bò xào rau cải), lemongrass chicken (gà xào sả ớt), tofu and mushroom stir-fry (đậu hũ xào nấm), and pork rib soup (canh sườn). 

Brown rice can also be enjoyed as a simple side dish with a drizzle of soy sauce or a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.

Try this!


Microwave brown rice is a convenient and nutritious option for those looking to add more whole grains to their diet. With the right cooking instructions and portion control, microwave brown rice can be a healthy addition to a balanced meal. Whether enjoyed on its own or as a base for a variety of dishes, microwave brown rice is a versatile and delicious ingredient. So why not give it a try and see how it can fit into your healthy eating routine?

Alex Au Yeung
Alex Au Yeung

With a passion for food and travel, Alex Au Yeung shares his culinary experiences and recommendations with his readers. Through his writing, he aims to showcase the rich and diverse flavors of Vietnamese and Asian cuisine to a wider audience.