How to Make Basic White Rice

White rice
Maximilian Stock Ltd./Photographer's Choice/Getty Images
  • 25 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 6 (1/2-cup) servings rice
Ratings (124)

You don't need a rice cooker to make rice. Use this recipe to make basic white rice with a saucepan and it will come out perfectly every time if you follow the instructions.

Just remember this ratio—2 cups of water for every 1 cup of uncooked rice equals 3 cups of cooked rice.

Plain white rice is a blank canvas to which you can add countless ingredients. See the variation suggestions below.

What You'll Need

  • 1 cup uncooked white rice, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

How to Make It

  1. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Drain in a colander and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add the salt, stir, and then add the rinsed and drained rice. Stir with a fork.
  3. Reduce the heat, cover the rice, and let it simmer for 20 minutes, checking after 15 minutes to see if all the water has evaporated. If it has, the rice is ready. If not, replace the lid and let the rice simmer an additional 5 minutes. 
  1. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and turn out into a serving dish. Alternatively, add 1 tablespoon butter to the rice in the pot, add chopped parsley or another herb, stir, and then turn out into a serving dish.


  • Use stock instead of water.
  • Add 1 tablespoon butter or oil to the water when it comes to a boil.
  • Add chopped parsley or chopped fresh herbs to the cooked rice while still in the saucepan.
  • Top the cooked rice in the serving dish with finely chopped green onions or chopped chives.
  • Add frozen peas to the cooked rice while still in the saucepan and let the residual heat from the rice thaw the peas.

You Also Might Like

These recipes are all variations of the basic white rice recipe above:

Here are recipes for cooking different types of rice and with different techniques:

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 117
Total Fat 0 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Unsaturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 3 mg
Carbohydrates 26 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Protein 2 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)