Pantry staples don’t have to be boring. With a little creativity, you can turn a weekday meal into something special – using a variety of items from your pantry. Looking for simple ways to spice up grains for meals? Infusing them with sweet or savory flavors is one of the easiest methods to add an extra punch to your favorite Minute® Instant Rice varieties from a breakfast bowl to a side accompanying your chicken dinner. 

Making delicious tasting rice doesn’t require hours in the kitchen or elevated cooking skills, and we’ll show you how to take an ordinary rice dish and make it something that will wow you and your family. Whether you’re looking to make an authentic curry or coconut rice, or you’re simply looking for easy alternatives to upgrade your quick dinner or rice bowl, infusing your rice is the easy solution.

How to Cook Minute® Instant Rice?

Although different varieties of Minute® Instant White, Jasmine, Premium, Brown and Rice & Quinoa might vary in cook times from 5 to 10 minutes, just remember the ratio 1 to 1.  By this we mean 1 cup of rice/1 cup of water (or liquid) or for Rice & Quinoa 1 bag of grains/1 cup of water (or liquid).  If you double the amount of rice/grains simply double the amount of water.  Simple math! We’ll provide you with a few basic steps in order to try a basic flavorful infusion and later we’ll even give you a few combinations to try!

different rice varieties in many different bowls

Basic Cooking Steps Instant White, Jasmine and Premium Rice

  1. Boil water in a saucepan. 
  2. Add rice, stir, cover & remove from heat.
  3. Wait 5 minutes, or until water is absorbed, then fluff.

Basic Cooking Steps Instant Brown Rice and Rice & Quinoa

  1. Add water and rice or rice & grains to a saucepan.
  2. Boil water, reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until water is absorbed.
  3. Remove from heat.  Fluff with fork.

As you probably imagined, the flavorful infusions come into play with Step 1. Now, here are just a few ways you can infuse your rice:

  • Substitute different liquids for the water
    • Savory broths/stocks/bone broth: chicken, beef, turkey or vegetable – can replace the entire amount of water for the broths or use 1 part broth and 1 part water.  And don’t forget about the lower sodium options.
    • Fruit juices: apple, orange, grape, cranberry. Pineapple and coconut are some of our favorites
    • Non-dairy milks: like coconut, almond, oat and rice add a creamy texture and delicious flavor to the grains.
  • Zest up your liquid: add lemon or lime juice to the water/liquid or sprinkle in fresh herbs like chopped cilantro or basil.
  • Add dried or fresh herbs to the liquid when cooking 
  • Cook the grains by adding flavored oils (coconut oil, sesame oil, chili-infused and olive oil are some of our favorites) to the liquid.

Inspired Infusions

Try Thai

One common practice that people in Thailand and other Asian countries have traditionally been doing is to cook the grains in coconut milk for an added creamy texture.  What makes this idea truly tasty is the combination of coconut milk with aromatic and delicious spices like curry, cilantro, ginger or cumin to infuse the nutty, sweet coconut and savory spice flavors into the rice/quinoa. 

Add canned coconut milk to your grocery list and simply swap out the water for the milk when cooking your rice. Add a few spices like the ones mentioned before and serve with a quick chicken curry for dinner or simply top your coconut rice with fruit and a bit of honey for a filling, satisfying and simple breakfast.

Looking for a lighter version with the same amazing taste? Try coconut water instead of coconut milk.

Creamy Thai Soup with lime
Creamy Thai Soup

Go Veggie

Replacing the water with vegetable broth and chopped garlic is a great way to add a savory touch to your rice. And, vegetable broth will enhance the natural flavors of any added vegetables in a stir fry recipe with rice or fried rice dish. 

The combination of vegetable broth and garlic enhance the flavors in a way that will make your dinner feel like you’re dining out, but from the comfort of your own home!

Did you know rice and beans form a complete protein when served together? Cook your grains in veggie stock for this Cajun red beans and rice recipe – ideal for vegetarian and vegan meals!

Beef Teriyaki 

Did you know that many cooks use this trick when making broccoli beef to give the dish more flavor in every bite without needing to add a lot of extra ingredients? Combine beef broth and teriyaki sauce and swap out for water when preparing Minute®️ Instant Rice according to package directions.

Make sure to try this savory trick in your next Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry or a Teriyaki Mushroom Fried Rice to give your dish a delicious and hearty grain base packed with flavor.

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner

15 Minute Chicken and Rice Dinner
15 Minute Chicken and Rice Dinner

Chicken broth is also a great option for spicing up your plain white rice side dish. Using broth to cook your rice makes a classic comfort side dish and is perfect to use for your next batch of chicken and rice soup when you are feeling under the weather, or looking for a tastier chicken and rice casserole.

Don’t have broth or stock? Dissolve 1 chicken (or vegetable/beef) bouillon cube into the pot for each cup of boiling water. Try infusing Minute® Brown Rice with a cup of water, 1 chicken bouillon cube and some poultry seasoning for a memorable side dish.

To find more classic recipes, for example one of our Egg Fried Rice recipes, you can check our website. Our easy chicken and rice casserole is a must try!

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