I prefer brown rice over white rice. But brown rice takes at least 45 minutes to cook, and white rice can be cooked in about 15 minutes. And I don’t always have those extra 30 minutes to get dinner on the table. So when I do have time, I cook up a big batch of brown rice and pop it in the freezer!
Bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 cup of uncooked brown rice.
Give it a good stir, cover, and turn the heat down to simmer. Cook the rice for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. The more you leave the lid on, the more steam will stay inside the pot, and the more moist your rice will be.
When all the water is absorbed, but the rice is still nice and moist, turn off the heat. I usually let the rice cool in the same pot for 30 minutes or so before I get it ready for the freezer.
Prepping your rice for freezing is super easy – all you need is a cupcake tin! Just fill each cupcake spot with cooked rice. Each cupcake spot holds a little less than a half cup of rice. I press the rice down into the tin a little to get it nice and packed.
Then all you have to do is pop the cupcake tin into the freezer. I don’t usually cover the rice, but you can loosely cover the tin with plastic wrap if you prefer.
Freeze the rice in the muffin tin overnight. The next morning, set the tin out on the counter for 15-30 minutes. The outside edges of the rice will thaw a little bit so you can take the rice balls out of the cupcake tin, but the rice balls will stay solid.
Grab the top of each rice ball and give it a little twist (I usually have to dig in with my fingernails a little bit). If the rice has thawed too much, it will fall apart instead of coming out in a nice ball like this. All you need to do it toss the cupcake tin back into the freezer for 20 minutes or so.
Put the rice balls into a zip-top freezer bag, and label with the date and contents.
Now when you want some brown rice with dinner, it’s as easy as opening the freezer! Pull out as many servings as you need, and stash the rest back in the freezer for next time. I put the frozen rice in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave it for 45-60 seconds. It heats up great, and tastes like it’s freshly cooked!
This is the perfect way to top off a crockpot meal of sweet and sour beef or hearty meatball stew. (Need more crockpot ideas? Check out Crockpot Week with my friend Cris at Goodeness Gracious!)
What’s in your freezer (or your crockpot) to make dinner easier?