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Rice on sheet pan with text overlay of post title.
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5 from 2 votes

How to Freeze and Reheat Rice Perfectly Every Time

A simple, straightforward guide to freezing and reheating rice so that it turns out moist, fluffy, and delicious every time! This is a fantastic option for an easy weeknight side, prepping meals ahead, or serving a crowd.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Reheat Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Chinese, Latin, Mexican
Servings: 1 person for every ½ cup of cooked rice
Calories: 154kcal

Ingredients

  • Cooked rice - Any rice recipe in any amount

Instructions

How to Freeze Rice

  • Make rice as directed. Leave off any fresh ingredients normally added before serving (i.e. lime juice, shredded coconut, green onions, etc.). Finished rice will look moist but be very flat in the pot.
  • Use a fork to fluff the cooked rice. Scrape the tines across the surface of the rice, starting shallow and moving deeper as you go until all the rice is evenly fluffed.
  • Spread the rice into an even layer on a baking sheet, keeping it fluffed with the fork as you go (don’t press or smash the rice onto the pan). If the rice layer is thicker than your baking sheet, spread it onto additional sheets for thinner layers. Allow to cool on the counter or in the fridge until it has reached room temperature. Don’t rush this step - cooling it thoroughly maintains it’s fluffy texture and prevents it from becoming one giant clump in the freezer.
  • Scoop the rice into a ziptop bag, squeezing out as much extra air as possible (you could also store in an airtight container or disposable baking pan). Gently pat the rice until the bag lays flat. Freeze flat on a baking sheet until frozen solid (this makes the rice easy to stack or store in tight spots in the freezer).
  • Frozen rice keeps well for 1-2 months.

How to Reheat Rice

  • Place frozen rice in a baking pan. Sprinkle lightly with water (no more than ½ tablespoon per cup of rice). Cover with tinfoil and bake at 300°F for 30-40 minutes or, if you have allowed it to partially thaw, at 300°F for 20-30 minutes.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork again. If needed, top with fresh ingredients (i.e. lime juice, cilantro, shredded coconut, green onions, etc).
  • Serve rice very soon after reheating to avoid it drying out.

Notes

Tips & Tricks
  • Make sure to thoroughly fluff the rice with a fork before freezing. Do not use a mixing spoon since spoons tend to squish and mash rice. 
  • Avoid overcrowding the sheet pan. The layer of rice should not rise above the rim of the sheet pan. If it does, use additional pans for thinner layers.
  • Do not freeze the rice until it is room temperature. Warm rice sticks and becomes clumpy, but cool rice will maintain it’s fluffy texture. 
  • Never reheat rice uncovered. Keeping it covered with tinfoil traps the moisture and prevents the rice from drying out. 
  • If serving a crowd, freeze the rice in a disposable baking pan. You can pull it straight from the freezer, bake it, and serve it all in the same pan.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 154kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Iron: 2mg