Can you freeze cooked rice?

Can you freeze cooked rice? Rice is a very important staple food for very many people. We all know that cooking it takes time. That’s especially true when it comes to brown rice. Cooking it might take even an hour. Is there a possibility to cook rice in larger quantities and then freeze it for later use? Fortunately for busy (or lazy) people, there is. You can freeze cooked rice and I’ll discuss how you can do it to get the best possible results.

Freezing cooked rice

The procedure of freezing cooked rice is pretty simple. Firstly, you need to cook the rice and cool it a little (so it’s not super hot). Now it’s time to wrap the cooked rice. Please remember that this step should be taken while rice is still warm, that ensures that all necessary moisture stays inside the bag. So divide all your cooked rice into several portions. The size of a portion doesn’t really matter if you’ll follow my guidelines, because you’ll be able to easily get as much rice as you need at a time. Now transfer the rice into a freezer bag and form a flat layer with it. Release as much air as you can while flattening rice in the bag. Now you can leave your cooked rice to cool down entirely. If you’re not sure whether rice is perfectly safe in its freezer bag, you can double-bag it.

Cooked rice
Image used under Creative Commons from Alpha

You might wonder: why you needed to form a flat layer with rice? I think it’s pretty difficult to predict how much rice you’ll need while preparing your meal. If you’ve frozen rice accordingly to the given guidelines, you can smack the frozen rice on the counter and some of it will break off. This way you can get as much rice as you need at a time.

Thawing frozen cooked rice

Since you’ve frozen cooked rice mainly because you wanted to save some time and to be able to have cooked rice ready within a few minutes, you probably want to defrost it quickly. The easiest way to thaw rice is to use a microwave. If you’ve wrapped the rice while it was still warm, your frozen rice has enough moisture and you can thaw it without any additional water.

Additional information regarding cooking and thawing rice

Firstly, after cooking rice and wrapping it into a freezer bag (whichever works best for you) you should cool the rice down possibly fast. Then you should put it for some time into the fridge and to the freezer then. When it comes to reheating rice, you should do this only once. If you’ve reheated some rice and you haven’t eaten all of it, discard the rest of it. If you’ll decide to reheat it once again, you might suffer from food poisoning after eating it. One more thing about reheating rice – do it thoroughly.


As you can see, you can freeze cooked rice and many people do it with satisfactory results. There are, however, some important issues that you should consider while freezing and defrosting rice.