When weeknights get busy and hunger takes over, the last thing anyone wants to do is wait for rice to cook! Even though some varieties of rice (such as white rice) don't take too long to prepare, many types do (such as brown rice or wild rice
). Having rice prepared ahead of time makes getting dinner on the table so much easier and faster! Eliminating any hindrance to getting a healthy meal on the table is always a good thing, right? Cooking rice ahead of time is one of the ways we can make dinner prep a little less overwhelming. Of all the methods I've used, freezing rice in pre-measured amounts is the best way to keep it on hand and ready to use for whenever you need it. Rice doesn't store long in the fridge, so choosing the freezer is a great option for making the most of your time and effort. I love to cook a big pot of rice during my weekly food prep routine as it's quite simple to have it cooking while I cut veggies and cook meat. Then it only takes a few minutes to measure out and pop into the freezer. Knowing how to freeze rice helps me save SO MUCH time during the week! Frozen rice can be thawed and used as a side dish, in rice-based casseroles, and added to soup. In fact, if you're adding to soup or stew, just throw it in frozen and let it thaw in the simmering broth (just do so near the end of the cooking time).
How to Freeze Rice Step-by-Step
Freezing rice for all of your meal prep needs doesn't have to be difficult. Just follow these easy steps! 1.Cook rice.
As mentioned above, it's great to cook a big batch of rice whenever you are preparing food for the week. You might also like to consider doubling the rice when cooking up any meal that calls for it. 2. Cool rice.
It's important to cool rice before storing to avoid creating any excess moisture. Excess moisture may lead to the rice clumping and becoming gummy when thawing. If using ziplock type bags for storage, it's always important to only add cold food to the bags as heat may cause chemicals to leach from the bag into the food. To cook rice quickly, spread out on cookie sheet. 3. Add rice to storage containers.
Store rice in glass or plastic containers, ziplock bags, or silicone food storage bags. Choose the size of your container or bag in relation to the amount of rice you want to store. Don't overstuff the container, but leave room for the rice to expand slightly. If using a ziptop bag or silicone storage bag, squeeze out as much air as possible before closing. Label storage containers with an expiration date of approximately 3 months. You may also want to add the name of the type of rice cooked and amount. 4. Add containers to freezer.
Ziptop and silicone food storage bags can be laid flat and stacked to save room. Place bags on to a flat surface in the freezer, such as a thick piece of cardboard or cookie sheet, to prevent the bottom bag from freezing in a lumpy fashion. Once frozen, remove the cardboard or cookie sheet.
How Do I Reheat My Frozen Rice?
In most instances, it's best to reheat rice directly from the freezer rather than thawing out first. This helps prevent rice from becoming gummy or clumpy. Add directly to soups as they cook or to a warm skillet when making fried rice.
To reheat rice in the microwave: add frozen rice to a microwave-safe dish (I prefer a glass bowl). Sprinkle with a small amount of water and cover with parchment paper and heat in 1-minute increments until warmed through. Stir occasionally to ensure even heating.
To reheat rice on the stove top: add rice to a small saucepan and sprinkle with a little water. Cover and warm on low, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add more water as needed.
Steamer method: place frozen rice in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water. Cover with lid and leave to steam. This takes approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
Boiling water method: one method I've used to reheat and thaw frozen rice is to simply place the rice in a bowl, boil the kettle and pour the boiling water over the rice. Let rice sit for a few minutes to thaw and warm through, then strain the rice through a fine mesh sieve.
As you can see, cooking freezing, and reheating rice is pretty simple and a great way to make getting dinner on the table quick and easy!
Use Frozen Rice in these Recipes
Now that you know how to freeze rice, what recipes will you use it in?