Perfect Every Time Oven-Baked Rice

Say goodbye to crusty pots and crunchy or mushy rice! Here’s my perfect oven-baked rice — no rice cooker needed!

bowl of oven-baked rice

Everyone has that food that they cannot make if their life depended on it. Mine pretty much was rice (and kreplach, but we won’t go there…). I used to dread making rice or any similar grain side and would avoid it whenever possible. I hated standing over the stove and babysitting it. Too much water, not enough water; overmixing, undermixing. Such a simple food caused me so much stress. 

So I rarely made it. Pepper steak for supper? I served it with noodles. Mini meatballs? Served it with noodles. Wanted to make sushi salad? Oh well, skipped that, even though I would have loved to have it on my menu. 

My mother-in-law was always raving about her rice cooker. She insisted it was the best thing since sliced bread. Dump the rice in with water, plug it in and forget about it! But a) I refused to spend money on yet another kitchen gadget and b) I had zero space for yet another kitchen gadget! 

And then came the most memorable aha moment in my cooking history: I discovered that you can make rice in the oven! So cool! No more sticky pots! No more over/undercooked rice! 

It was a literal game changer.

I have now been happily making oven-baked rice for years. I make all kinds of rice this way — brown rice, jasmine, white rice, short grain. 

The trick is taking it out when there is still a small amount of liquid on the bottom of the pan. I fluff the rice, cover it again, and as it cools the rest of the liquid is absorbed. I play around with the baking time if need be. If I take it out and it’s very liquidy or still a little crunchy, I will stick it back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes and that usually does the trick.

Here’s my general guide: for white rice, I use a 1:2 ratio (1 cup rice to 2 cups water).

For brown and whole grain rice, I still do 1:2 but then I add a little more water (I will overflow the cup). 

How much to make? For my family of six, I find that 1½ cups rice to 3 cups water is the perfect amount. 

If I am leaving the rice plain, once it’s done baking I will toss it with a little bit of oil so the rice doesn’t stick. If I’m adding something that contains oil like roasted veggies or fried pastrami or sausage, I won’t bother with the oil. 

If I am adding something to the rice, I don’t bake it all together. I find that makes the additives get soggy. Instead, I toss it together once the rice is ready, right before serving.

I like to make my oven-baked rice directly in an oven-to-table dish so as soon as it’s ready I can add any extras, mix it, and my dish is ready to be served. 

Wondering how healthy rice really is for you? In this article, there’s a clear breakdown of the myths and truths about rice and the wonderful benefits of including whole grains such as brown rice in your daily diet. 

This rice freezes very well. 

Now that you know my favorite rice shortcut, make this dish using my oven-bake method!

oven-baked rice

Perfect Every Time Oven-Baked Rice

The best rice ever — no rice cooker needed!
Print Recipe


  • 1 cup rice (any kind)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tsp oil (optional)
  • Optional add-ins of your choice, (sauteed veggies, grilled sausage, fried pastrami, etc.)


  • Preheat oven to 350℉.
  • Place rice and water in a 9×13 and cover tightly.
  • Bake for 40 minutes.
  • Remove from oven. If the rice is fully cooked and there is only a little bit of liquid left, fluff with a fork and cover the pan again. The steaming process will allow it to absorb remaining liquid.
  • If the rice is still crunchy and there’s a lot of liquid at the bottom of the pan, return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes and then check again. Repeat until rice is fully cooked.
  • If you are serving the rice plain, toss with 2 teaspoons oil before serving. If you are adding anything (veggies, sausage, etc.), add and mix before serving.


Freezes well. (No, that’s not a mistake. Yes, you can freeze rice!)

Recipe by Faigy Murray |

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