How to Make Brown Rice Taste Good? [18 Ideas You Can Combine]

How to Make Brown Rice Better
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Brown rice is among the favorite whole grains there are due to its versatility and ability to blend in all of your favorite rice-based meals. It abounds in nutrients – vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. I especially like its interesting taste – nutty and a bit earthy. Also, the texture is chewy, and it’s more loose than creamy whatsoever. Therefore, you may not like eating it plain, but don’t worry, you can add a variety of simple ingredients to make it taste better!

My favorite addition to brown rice is pomegranate concentrate topped with chicken and pomegranate seeds. This Persian dish made me fall in love with brown rice and try all kinds of combos. Here’s the list for you to choose from!

What to Add to Brown Rice to Taste Good?

There are loads of additions to check out, whether you want to keep it simple or exotic. It goes from simple broth to coconut milk, and everything is delish! Just make sure you cook according to your taste.


Adding parmesan cheese is always a good idea! When you add parm at the end of cooking, not only do you boost the flavor, but add up to a creamy and silky texture. Simply sprinkling cheese over bland rice will immediately turn it into a delicacy – rich, nutty, and tangy.


Butter will enrich almost any dish, rice especially. It will change both taste and texture, though. Brown rice will turn into a rich, creamy, and soft dish. Whether you fry it directly on butter or add it while cooking, it will undoubtedly be delish!

This is my staple ingredient when making brown rice. No matter what else I add, I always add some butter, too. I just like the texture of the rice better with butter in it.


Cooking brown rice in bone broth will take your meal to a whole new level! You will practically infuse flavors into the grains, and it will become a rich and savory treat. What’s more, bouillon increases its nutritional value by adding up to protein count, collagen, and minerals. This is the path to turning a simple bowl of rice into a superfood!  


When you dice different vegetables in rice, you’re adding flavor, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Many nutritionists say that colorful food is healthy food – so add different veggies to get it all! Brown rice pairs with everything: carrots, broccoli, peas, sweet corn, beans, zucchini, peppers — anything you want, actually!

You can cook them or fry them separately, but by cooking them in one pot, you’ll get a vegetable broth base, too. So, there you have it: taste, crunch, and creaminess. 


Sauces are probably the easiest way to infuse many flavors in one step. Depending on the sauce you choose, you’ll get spiciness, sweetness, tanginess, and everything in between. Plus, you’ll be getting moist rice and versatile textures.

If you want a dash of Mexico – opt for salsa, but for a touch of Asian taste, go for soy sauce. You can spice things up with Tabasco, taco, or sweet chili sauce. Pesto, tahini, Japanese white sauce, oyster sauce, and so many more are all top-tier options!


General Tso’s Chicken with Fried Rice [Recipe]

Dried Fruits and Nuts

Adding dried fruits and nuts to rice will give you an Arabian experience. You’ll get a whole rhapsody of tastes and textures. Apricots, raisins, and cranberries will give you a sugary and tangy relish.

Don’t miss out on adding texture and healthy fats by crunching some roasted walnuts, almonds, or pecans. Choose what you like, but also what you have at hand.

How to Season Brown Rice to Taste Good?

Seasoning is the key to every dish. It can definitely make a dish go from bland to exquisite in a hot minute. Every taste bud is special, but here are some ideas to consider and pair with your brown rice.


You’ll never make a mistake with garlic! Even a tad of garlic will kick off the flavors with its umami-based relish. It won’t take over the taste because it becomes milder, buttery, and nutty when cooked. That makes it a perfect top pick to lift boring-tasted rice. 


Brown Rice with Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs give the needed aroma and make regular brown rice a totally different dish. If using dried herbs, toast them a bit to wake up the flavors. Brown rice can endure it all, from cool mint to woody rosemary.

Basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, and dill are all excellent options, but my favorite is definitely cilantro. They bring a dash of Mediterranean with a signature peppery taste and lingering notes of lemon and anise.  Saffron and jasmine are the fanciest additions to rice which add a floral and sweet taste to it.

Lemon or Lime

Drizzling your rice with lemon or limeit is one of the best things you can do. It will freshen up the whole meal with its sour and acidic flavor. It’s the finest for smashing earthy relish and heavy, pungent seasoning.


Vinegar is a superb option for two things: texture and taste. If you want fluffy rice, add it while cooking, but if you want acidic relish, sprinkle it before serving. It has a rather pungent aroma with a strong tang. Don’t skip it if you have a high-fat side dish to serve along, though.

Olive oil

Olive oil is the finest among all, and just a few drops of it make a real feast for the palate. It has a mild flavor, somewhat sweet and fruity. Extra virgin olive oil has a special taste, so no surprise it’s the best of all!

When you drizzle that oil over the rice, you need nothing more than salt, and it will still be rich in flavor. Peppery, herbal, spicy, and pungent – one drop has it all!


The spice scale that goes fine with brown rice is, modestly said, wide. You can take a walk through the continents and cultures by choosing the right spice blend! Besides statements: salt and ground black pepper, chili flakes are no-skip if you want it hot! 

Indians probably make the best spicy rice, so there’s no surprise it pairs wonderfully with earthy, bitter, and warm spices. The best of the best are curry blend, turmeric, cumin, and garam masala! I adore the fragrant and flavorful layers of rice.

How to Cook Brown Rice to Taste Good?

The first step for making amazingly delish rice is soaking. The best way to do it is to submerge it in water overnight. This way, you’ll get softer rice with all the nutrients absorbed as soaking increases it.    

Stir Frying 

Add veggies season well or stir fry to make brown rice better

Stir-frying is a first-class finishing touch to give the rice a whole new dimension. This is a superb option for one-pot meals, as it’s the best to blend all the flavors together! Just cook the rice al-dente and fry it along with quality oil, vegetables, herbs, and meat.  

Rice prepared like this will be both crispy and soft. Drizzle it with some hot sauce and top it with egg, and you’ll get a reminiscence of Asian cuisine. 

Toasting and Simmering

Toasting is a secret step to prepare rice perfectly. It’s a simple step that gives your ordinary rice a whole new aspect. You’ll get somewhat of a smoky flavor, loose grains, and a bit of crunch.

Just fry it in a splash of oil with mixing occasionally, then add liquid when it becomes darker in color. Pour water or broth bit by bit and simmer it lightly till aromatic and soft. This is the best way of cooking to control the addition of herbs and spices.

Slow Cooking 

Slow cooking is a chief option when cooking a larger batch of rice for family gatherings or meal prep. You really need 0 skill here, just a few minutes to assemble it all and simply forget about it. Just put the rice in, along with water or broth, seasonings, and some butter. 

It should take about 2 ½ hours, depending on the amount of rice you’re cooking. It will be buttery, flavorful, and perfectly cooked with no effort at all! For me, there’s really nothing better than this!

Rice Cooker

A rice cooker is certainly a handy kitchen gadget that gives you perfectly cooked rice every time. Brown rice requires about an hour of cooking time and a double dose of water to it. This way, your rice will be tender and fluffy, just season it at the end according to your taste.

Instant Pot

Cooking rice in an instant pot is obviously the fastest option, and it takes no more than 20 minutes! The trick is an equal amount of rice and water – 1 cup of rice to 1 cup of water. It cooks under high pressure, so it will, doubtlessly, be ready – chewy and delish. 

Oven Baking

Your casserole dish has just found one more job to do! Oven-baked rice is something you have to try, as it turns incredibly tender and loose. It takes approximately an hour, but you only need to mix it all: rice, liquid, seasoning, and butter – cover it, and that’s all!

If you want to go a step further and make a complete meal in one baking dish, just add chicken drums, plus roughly chopped carrots and onions. This means that you’ll be cooking the rice in bouillon for the richest flavors. You can also crisp it up by removing the lid at the end of baking.

Lime Cilantro Garlic Brown Rice

Lime Cilantro Garlic Brown Rice Improved

Author: Laura Bais
Fresh and tasty, this brown rice recipe is sure to become your go-to! If your brown rice needs a little improvement, this one's for you! 🧄☘️🍋
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 2 servings
Calories 411 kcal


  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 3 cloves Garlic (Minced)
  • 1 cup Brown Rice (Uncooked)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • cup Water
  • 1 Lime (You'll need both the juice and zest.)
  • ½ cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro


  • Heat the butter in a skillet, and add garlic.
  • Cook for 2 minutes, and then add the rice and salt.
  • Put the heat on low, and cook with stirring for 5 minutes so the rice doesn't stick to the bottom.
  • Add in the water, the lime zest, and half the amount of the lime juice, put the lid on, and wait for it to boil. Put the heat on medium.
  • When it starts boiling, turn the heat to low, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Since the rice shouldn't be sticky, add more water if needed.
  • Serve it with the rest of the lime juice and chopped cilantro and enjoy!


Serving: 1servingCalories: 411kcalCarbohydrates: 77gProtein: 8gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 1222mgPotassium: 309mgFiber: 4gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 192IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 58mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Brown Rice Improved, How to Make Brown Rice Better, Improved Brown Rice, Improved Brown Rice Recipe, Lime Cilantro Garlic Brown Rice Improved