When we think about easy ways to get dinner on the table, we often think about our Crockpot or, more recently, the trendy Instant Pot. I love the ability to set up my slow-cooker and let it do the work of getting dinner ready, but more often than not it’s just the meat or main. I still need to prepare a starch like noodles or rice right before dinner.
Enter this Pro Tip — Freeze Your Rice
I have a large rice cooker that I use to make about 20 cups of rice at a time. (That 10 pound bag of organic brown rice from Costco comes in handy here!) You could use a slow-cooker, an Instant Pot, or a regular pot in the oven to make a large amount of rice, too.
Cook the rice per the instructions. Open the lid to release steam, use a fork to fluff, and give it a few minutes to cool down just a touch.
While the rice is cooling, find two rimmed baking sheets. Rinse both sheets off. Shake off the excess water, but do not dry. (This extra water will help to keep the rice from sticking to the metal.) Spoon the rice onto the prepared pans and set a timer for 15 minutes to cool.
Use your favorite freezer bags to portion out the rice. For our family of two adults and one kid (who eats), I usually divide into three or four cup portions. This gives us enough for one meal for all and leftovers for one. Place the sealed bags in the fridge to cool completely. Freeze any rice you won’t use in a couple of days. Brown rice lasts for a couple of months in the freezer.
When ready to cook, take a bag straight from the freezer and pour the rice into a microwave-safe bowl. (Sometimes I have to cut the bag off of the frozen block, but I’m weird about plastic in the microwave. Better hassled and safe, then sorry!) Cook in two-minute increments until it is at the desired temperature.