Freezing meals is convenient, time saving and perfect for having dinner ready and on the table quickly. But, if you’ve ever wondered about your favorite rice meals — yes, you can freeze rice too! Freezing is also great to store leftovers or if you realize you’ve made just a bit too much rice for your recipe and don’t want to toss it out. 

At Minute® Rice, we’re here to help you get more quality and homemade meals without the hassle. We’ll show you just how easy it is to store those leftover grains and give you some simple recipe ideas to use it up after.

What Kinds of Rice Can I Freeze? 

This works for all kinds of rice grains such as traditional white rice, aromatic rice like jasmine and even whole grain brown rice or a combination like Minute® Rice & Quinoa made with a blend of brown rice, red rice, wild rice and quinoa! 

And, did you know that our Ready to Serve Rice is individually portioned and is perfect for enjoying in quick weekday meals? All you need to do is heat it up in just 60-90 seconds. So, there is no need to freeze it, it’s already a quick and convenient meal option.

zesty-chicken-and-rice-skillet-with-bell-peppers-and-instant-rice
Try this Zesty Chicken and Rice Skillet – save some time by making ahead, freezing and saving for later!

How to Freeze Plain Rice 

Rice can be frozen both cooked and uncooked. Freezing rice uncooked helps to prolong its shelf life so it will keep for longer, especially for brown rice on account of the small amount of natural oils in its kernels! So, we’ll show you how to freeze both cooked and uncooked rice. 

Freezing Uncooked Rice

  1. Place uncooked rice in a labeled freezer bag.
  2. Remove as much air as possible.
  3. Store it flat for more space.
  4. Cook as normal – there is no need to defrost before using.

Freezing cooked rice is perfectly ready to go for recipes like stuffed peppers, skillet dishes, rice pilafs, rice salads, quick side dishes and much more! If you’re planning on freezing rice cooked without extra ingredients added in such as vegetables or proteins, follow these 3 simple steps: 

Freezing Cooked Rice

  1. Cook rice, cool and store in a labeled freezer bag.
  2. Remove as much air as possible.
  3. Store it flat to ensure a faster defrost later on.
shrimp-jambalaya-recipe-with-instant-white-rice-ham-and-green-peppers
Enjoy Cajun flavors for dinner by defrosting that Shrimp Jambalaya in your freezer!

Storage Tips

  • Write the date and amount of rice on the bag – for storing food safely, it is important that you remember when you froze it! Remember to eat first what has been stored for longer periods of time.
  • Cooked rice that is frozen stays good for up to one month.

Sounds simple, right? And, when you’re ready to enjoy, defrost in the fridge, microwave or on your countertop until your rice is thawed or warmed. 

Recipes Using Defrosted Rice

The best part about having your rice stored in the freezer is that when you take it out, you can use it anywhere else your freshly cooked rice can be used

Rice Bed 

Make it a quick rice bed for any meal like a few of these chicken, beef or pork recipe ideas.

crispy-ground-pork-with-brown-rice-fresh-herbs-and-cucumber
Crispy Ground Pork Served Over Defrosted Brown Rice

Hearty Rice Salad 

Toss it into a rice salad side dish for a quick lunch or dinner like this Pomegranate and Arugula Rice Salad

Creamy Rice Soup

You can also stir it into your favorite soups like this Broccoli and Cheese Rice Soup.

How To Freeze a Rice Meal

If you want to get even more ahead of the game and freeze an entire meal, you can do that too! Prep your meals in advance and freeze for later on. 

Rice Skillets

one-pot-rice-shakshuka-with-tomatoes-and-eggs-topped-with-fresh-parsley
Freezer Friendly One Pot Shakshuka – remember to freeze without the eggs!

These Rice Skillets are all cooked in under 30 minutes and frozen for quick weeknight meals. Make with different proteins like shrimp, chicken or eggs. 

How to Freeze

Cook according to instructions and store in individual containers for easier meal prep, in larger containers if you prefer to batch cook or freezer bags. Freeze for up to a month and defrost in the fridge, microwave or on your countertop. 

Casseroles 

Casseroles and oven-baked dishes can be game-changers for busy weeknight dinners! Try it out with this delicious Squash, Zucchini and Rice Casserole. We suggest preparing and freezing before placing in the oven to cook to save time.

How to Freeze

Prepare according to instructions without baking in the oven. Place in the oven directly from the freezer and cook according to instructions. Some additional cook time may be required, simply heat until vegetables are cooked through and rice is warm.

Squash, Zucchini and Rice Casserole
Try Cooking this Rice Casserole with Squash and Zucchini and Freezing for Later

Meatballs 

Having meatballs prepared in your freezer is an excellent protein-packed meal to have on hand for a quick dinner or appetizer. In fact, they even make for a great ready made dish to share for a get-together or Game Day Snack. And, making them with rice, like these Porcupine Meatballs, helps to give each one a hearty touch! Make a double batch and store in your freezer to always have some on hand for meals and snacks.

How to Freeze

Cook meatballs according to instructions and store in individual containers for easier meal prep, in larger containers or freezer bags. Freeze for up to a month and defrost in the fridge, microwave or on your countertop. 

There are many ways to make great meals easier! Take a look at more of our Quick Tips to learn how you can increase flavor without the hassle and enjoy quality meals with the help of Minute® Rice and Quinoa.