Cook fluffy brown rice in the Instant Pot with this easy step-by-step recipe. Perfect as a side dish, base for a main dish, and meal prep.
While brown rice normally takes about an hour to cook on the stovetop, the Instant Pot makes it easier than ever to get perfect results every single time - in half the time!
Qualities of perfectly cooked brown rice include:
- A little chewy
- Perfectly tender
Brown rice should not be mushy, sticky, crunchy, burnt, or soggy.
Use this hand-off method to set it and forget it until it’s done. Make a batch to use in meals as a side dish or base for the main dish.
Brown rice-to-water ratio
To make a batch of brown rice, the ratio between water and brown rice is very important to achieve a fluffy texture. I use this formula:
For 1 cup of brown rice, use 1 ¼ cup of water. Therefore, for 2 cups of brown rice, I use 2 ½ cups of water.
Pro-Tip: try using vegetable broth instead of water for added flavor.
What you'll need
To make the brown rice in your Instant Pot, you'll need the following:
How to cook brown rice in the Instant Pot
You can cook and enjoy brown rice in less than 35 minutes. Just follow these steps:
1. Rinse and drain rice: Rinse the brown rice in a mesh sieve under cool running water for a few minutes. Drain well.
2. Add ingredients to pressure cooker: Add the rinsed brown rice and water to the stainless-steel insert that's included with the Instant Pot
Pro tip: To add a deeper flavor to the rice, sautee the rice with 1 tablespoon of oil or butter before adding the water. Press the "Sautee" mode, add rice and oil, and stir for 3-5 minutes. Turn off and add water.
3. Pressure cook: Close the Instant Pot lid, set the valve on “sealing”, and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Once completed, wait 10 minutes to naturally release the pressure. Quick-release any remaining pressure and carefully remove the lid.
4. Fluff and serve: Using a fork, fluff the perfectly cooked brown rice. Serve immediately or cool down before storing for later.
Storing and reheating
To store: 7 days if stored in a sealed container in the fridge.
To freeze: Make a bigger batch of Instant Pot brown rice and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw before reheating.
Prepared brown rice can be used in many ways and make a tasty addition to meals throughout the week. Here are some ways to enjoy them:
- Pair with my Instant Pot Pinto Beans
- Serve as a side to Indian Chickpea Curry
- Enjoy it with Cauliflower Tikka Masala
- Use it in place of quinoa to make a Vegan Power Bowl
- Add it to your next stir-fry
Frequently asked questions
How do you quick-release pressure? Quick-release by carefully turning the steam valve to the “Venting” position (I do this with a long handle). Once the steam has completely escaped, the pin will down. Carefully open the Instant Pot lid.
Do you need to rinse the rice before cooking it? Yes, rinse under cool water to remove any unwanted debris.
How do I add more flavor? To add more flavor, add chopped fresh herbs, finely diced red onion, or freshly squeezed lemon juice. Or toss with massaged kale or other cooked veggies, including carrots, broccoli, or green peas. For a boost of protein, mix with chickpeas or pair with black beans.
What size Instant Pot did you use? I’ve tested this recipe on both my Instant Pot Duo Mini 3-Quart and Instant Pot DUO 6-Quart with great results. However, you may need to tweak how long you cook the brown rice based on preference, the size, model, and brand of your pressure cooker.
More Instant Pot recipes
- How to Cook Quinoa in the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup
- How to Cook Hard-Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
Did you make this Instant Pot brown rice recipe? Leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let us know how it turned out! Be sure to tag me on Real + Vibrant’s Instagram to show me what you made!
- 2 cups brown rice
- 2 ½ cups water
- Rinse rice under cold water in a fine-mesh strainer. Drain well.
- Pour rice and water into the stainless steel insert of the Instant Pot.
- Close the Instant Pot lid, set the valve on “sealing”, and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Once completed, turn off the Instant Pot and wait 10 minutes to naturally release the pressure. Quick-release any remaining pressure* and carefully remove the lid.
- Using a fork, fluff the cooked brown rice and serve.