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Back to Basics: Baked White Rice

As my husband would say: Well, I’ll be dipped in buttermilk.

I was all set to write this post about the wonder that is baked white rice, how effortless and foolproof it is, how convenient it is to slide a casserole dish into the oven beside the stew simmering in its Dutch oven, but it started to feel a bit familiar.

Turns out, I’ve already blogged about baked white rice. It was part of a post on cooking a whole chicken on the stovetop so I didn’t go into great detail, but the recipe’s there for all to see. So today, all I’ll tell you is that I’ve modified my method slightly, bowing to both Weight Watchers constraints and the cookbook chapter I’m writing this month, Big Batch Cooking.

Yesterday I tested a recipe for Korean Beef Stew, which pretty much screams for white rice. But the stew itself was a WW points-buster (10 points per serving, people! I get 23 points a day, total) so using additional fat in the rice was asking for trouble. I baked the rice just the same, but this time it went straight into the casserole dish, no browning in oil. Because I wanted the taste to be clean, nothing to fight with the stew’s sauce, I used water instead of broth. And because I was making a buttload of stew (seriously, it feels like that stew, savory and scrumptious as it was, went straight to my butt), I decided to make a buttload of rice too. Two cups of basmati rice yielded six cups cooked—enough to refrigerate for Whaddya Got Fried Rice tonight, and to freeze in three one-cup portions. Not bad, not bad at all.

Super-Basic, Big-Batch Baked White Rice
Serves 12
Weight Watchers members: This is 2 points per 1/2 cup serving

2 cups long-grain white rice (I used basmati, well-rinsed)
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups boiling water

Preheat the oven to 350°, and coat a casserole dish (one with a cover) with nonstick spray. When the oven is up to heat, combine the rice, salt, and boiling water in the casserole, cover, and slide it in. Bake for 25 minutes, then take a quick peek—if you still see quite a bit of water, put it back in for 5 more minutes. If it’s mostly absorbed, put that cover back on and let it sit on the counter for 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

See, I told you it was basic.

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Amy

    Hi Debbie! Two questions for you from a die-hard rice lover …

    First, does this taste different than rice that is simmered on the stove?

    Second, is the ration of cooked to uncooked rice in this recipe different than if you make it on the stove? 6 cups cooked to 2 cups uncooked seems amazing! But then again, I never measure my cooked rice, so who knows what my yield has been …

    Wondering if I should become a baked rice convert myself …


  2. debbie koenig

    Hi Amy! Two good questions…

    1. To me, it's fluffier. It's not the flavor that's different, it's the texture.

    2. As for the yield, I was shocked at how much rice I got as well! Until WW I wasn't in the habit of measuring. But it turns out that, in most cases, 1 cup of uncooked long-grained rice yields 3 cups cooked.

  3. jeanneeatsworld

    Great method! I will have to try it sometime.

    Will you still post the Korean beef recipe? I am obsessing over Korean food lately…

  4. debbie koenig

    Jeanne, it's for the cookbook so I can't post it here. But I'll send it to you if you like.

  5. Sarah

    Can you use this method with brown rice?

  6. DailyChef

    Very interesting! I've always just used a rice cooker myself, so will give this a try.

  7. Amy

    Thanks! I'm going to have to try it next time … mmm, rice. Oh carbs, I love you so. (Also drooling over the Korean BBQ recipe you mention, but I can wait for the book …)

  8. marthaandme

    Terrific! Will it work with brown rice?

  9. debbie koenig

    Martha: See my comment a couple spots above yours–it's got brown rice instrux 🙂

    1. Debbie Koenig

      Thanks, D! I believe I have a baked brown rice recipe of my own, somewhere on this very blog.

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