How to Make Basic White Rice

Basic White Rice
The Spruce
  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 6 (1/2-cup) servings rice
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
205 Calories
0g Fat
45g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 (1/2-cup) servings rice
Amount per serving
Calories 205
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1078mg 47%
Total Carbohydrate 45g 16%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 31mg 2%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 56mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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—two cups of water for every one cup of uncooked rice equals three cups of cooked rice.

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


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  • 1 cup white rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • (Optional) 1 tablespoon


  • (Optional) 1 tablespoon

    chopped parsley

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    How to Make Basic White Rice - ingredients
    The Spruce 
  2. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Drain in a colander and set aside.

    How to Make Basic White Rice
    The Spruce
  3. 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.

    How to Make Basic White Rice
    The Spruce
  4. 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 five minutes. 

    How to Make Basic White Rice
    The Spruce
  5. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and turn out into a serving dish. Alternatively, add one tablespoon butter to the rice in the pot, add chopped parsley or another herb, stir, and then turn out into a serving dish.

    How to Make Basic White Rice
    The Spruce
  6. Serve and enjoy!

    Recipe Variations

    • Use stock instead of water.
    • Add one 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.

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