Have. youever made a huge pot of rice and then wondered “can you freeze rice?” then you are in the right place. Today, I’m going to show you the easy step-by-step method of how to freeze rice for easier meal prepping and to pack in lunchboxes.
When I am meal prepping, I will often make a huge batch of rice and freeze it for various meals for the next week or two. Frozen rice is good for roughly 30 days, so if you had the time and the freezer space, you could even do it just once a month.
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How to Freeze Rice
It could not be simpler to freeze cooked rice. The freezing and thawing process happens in just four easy steps.
Step 1: Cook the Rice
Start by cooking the rice on the stovetop or in your rice cooker.
Step 2: Let the Rice Cool
Cool the rice in the fridge or in the pot it was cooked in. But do not skip this step! Freezing warm or hot rice will result in clumpy rice. Freezing after cooling helps the rice remain fluffy and delicious after thawing because the granules freeze separately.
Step 3: Portion and Freeze the Rice
Use freezer bags to portion out the rice. I’ve found that snack-size bags work great for single-serving portions and sandwich size freezer bags will hold a full meal.
Another option is to freeze rice portions in a silicone muffin pan (it will not work with metal pans) to get single servings and then place all of the frozen rice pucks into a larger freezer bag. This will allow you to get many servings in one bag.
When freezing rice in bags, use a straw to suck out as much excess air as you can from all the bags, and label the bag with the serving size and the date you froze the rice.
Step 4: Thaw and Reheat the Rice
You can place individual bags in the fridge to thaw overnight so that that they are ready to go in a lunchbox or a dinner the next day, but there are a few other rice thawing methods that I use other than the fridge.
Adding frozen rice to a recipe
When I want the rice to add in a dish like chicken and rice soup, I submerge a baggie of frozen rice in warm water and let it sit, refreshing the water a few times when it gets too cold. Then, add the rice to your recipe the way that you normally would.
Reheating frozen plain rice
If I just want hot rice, I put it in a microwave-safe container, add 1-2 Tablespoons of water to prevent dryness, and reheat it in the microwave, loosely covered. I cook it in 30-second increments, breaking apart and stirring between cooking, until hot.
For more tips on what to do with leftovers or extras designed to be eaten over several meals, check out these MOMables tips on How to Store and Use Up Leftovers.
How to Pack Rice for Lunch
Freezing individual portions of rice makes packing rice-based lunches even easier.
Simply reheat one of the packets of frozen rice in the microwave while you are packing lunch and prep a thermos while you wait.
Have you ever tried freezing rice? I’d love to hear about your experiences.