How to Freeze Brown Rice

What’s significant about five bags of cooked brown rice? It can save you 180 minutes of your precious time. Each bag of healthy brown rice takes 45 minutes to cook. If you cook two pounds all at once in the same big pot, cool and bag it for later, you’ll have a 45 minute head start on your dinner. In fact, you can have meals on the table in about 15-minutes if you’ve thawed your bags of rice ahead of time. That’s why it’s so important to have a weekly menu plan in place each week with freezer cooking. You can thaw items the night before by grabbing a bag or two from the freezer and tossing them straight into your thawing box in the refrigerator. This is second nature to me, just as putting away the leftovers. Once you get the hang of the freezer inventory (knowing what’s in your freezer) and taking time to menu plan from the inventory and then thawing according to the menu plan, it will be a snap to create fabulous freezer meals for your family.

So what do I do with five freezer bags of brown rice? We enjoy

Red Beans and Brown Rice (Beans also frozen)

Brown fried rice (a healthier version of white fried rice)

Asian Sesame Honey chicken over brown rice

Southwest Freezer Wraps


I use my quart size bag of thawed brown rice for any recipe calling for rice;)

Here’s some tips for bagging and freezing brown rice:

  • Don’t add more liquid than necessary; only the minimum amount directed
  • Don’t stir it while it’s cooking; only fluff at the end.
  • Simmer covered the full amount of time with broth or two tablespoons of oil (olive or canola)
  • Cool completely before bagging. (Two hours room temperature and overnight in the fridge is best)
  • Fill quart size freezer bags using a measuring cup and large glass mug or measuring cup to support. (I bag two cups)
  • Label, date and freeze flat
  • Thaw 24 hours to 48 hours
  • Add a tablespoon or two of water and reheat in a microwave safe dish with lid on 70% power for about five minutes or until hot.
What are your favorite meals using rice?

11 thoughts on “How to Freeze Brown Rice

  1. Shonda

    I love this. I make brown rice all the time, but I need to get more in the habit of menu planning from the freezer. Will be visiting your site lots. Love your recipes!

  2. Cheryl Roberts

    When I make brown rice, I put a bunch of water in a pot. Bring to a boil. (add salt if you want) Throw in rice – as much as you want, so long as you have plenty of water. Cook in slow boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Drain. Put back in pot with lid on to keep warm. Use what you want & freeze the rest!!

    1. admin

      Yes, I used to do with white rice. An idea to adapt them to brown at a later point is to start mixing the two a little at a time and gradually working up to brown over time, though this would take a little work making two separate batches, but you could always freeze. Also, try different brands of brown and the way you cook. It never hurts.

  3. Erin OBryan

    Thank you for not saying reheat in freezer bag I keep reading this on sites and it makes me cringe. Ziplocs are not meant to be cooked in and actually it releases chemicals into the food. Thank you I’m off to look at recipes.

    1. admin

      Erin, anything heated in plastic scares me, too. Who knows what the future tests will show. I’m playing it safe by heating in glass.

    1. admin

      You can do either. It helps keep the rice from clumping together. I only cook brown rice about 30 minutes or right at tender, not the full 45, tends to get mushy.

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