How To Make Minute Rice Taste Better: 10 Hacks To Boost Flavor

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Rice in a bowl on a wooden board with a text "how to make minute rice taste better"

Minute rice is pre-cooked and then dehydrated. It often has a mushy texture and lacks flavor. How do you make minute rice taste better?

A box of minute brown rice and white rice.

Make minute rice taste better by cooking it in broth to infuse flavor. Use it as a base for fried rice or stir-fry. Turn it into sweet rice pudding, or combine it with bacon and eggs. Here are ten easy ways to make minute rice taste more like regular rice. 

Brown rice spread on the cloth.

What Is Minute Rice?

Minute rice is rice that is cooked, dehydrated, and then packaged. It cooks in five minutes on the stove or microwave. Minute rice comes in both white and brown varieties. It contains no added ingredients and is naturally gluten-free.

White rice in a clear bowl.

What Is The Best Way To Make Minute Rice?

Minute rice is quick and easy to make; just follow the directions on the box. The basic steps are: 

  1. Boil water
  2. Add rice and stir
  3. Remove from the heat.
  4. Let it sit for five minutes, then fluff it with a fork.

You can also make minute rice in the microwave. Heat water and rice in a microwave-safe bowl. Let the rice sit for five minutes before fluffing with a fork.

Why Does Minute Rice Taste Different?

Minute rice tastes different from regular rice because it’s been partially cooked or parboiled. Minute rice can have a mushy texture or a bland flavor when reconstituted. 

What Can I Add To Minute Rice To Make It Taste Better?

If you’d like to enhance the flavor of your minute rice, try one of the following: 

Infuse Flavor

Add extra flavor to minute rice with these ideas.

Cook In Lemon Or Lime Juice

Replace some of the water with lemon or lime juice. Use this substitution ratio: Replace ¼ cup water with ¼ cup lemon or lime juice. If you need:

  • 1 cup water: use ¾ cup of water and ¼ cup of lemon or lime juice
  • 2 cups of water: use 1 ½ cups of water and ½ cup of lemon or lime juice. 
  • 3 cups of water: use 2 ¼ cups of water and ¾ cups of lemon or lime juice

Add Herbs

Add dried herbs with the cooking water or fresh herbs after cooking. Try these combinations:

  • Basil, chives, oregano, chili, and garlic
  • Chili, garlic, ginger, coriander, lemongrass, mint, oregano
  • Thyme, garlic, rosemary, and parsley

A good rule is to add ½ teaspoon of each herb and then taste-test. Adjust the seasonings from there. 

Cook In Broth Or Stock

Replace some or all of the water with veggie, chicken, or beef stock. Use your favorite brand or what you have in your pantry. 

Add Oil Or Butter

Whether you like butter, coconut, or olive oil, a splash of your favorite healthy fat will improve the taste of minute rice. Add a few pinches of salt, and you’ll instantly boost your side dish to the next level.

Create A Theme

Use minute rice to cook flavorful meals at home. I keep cooked, frozen meat in my freezer for busy nights. I pull it out, defrost it in the microwave, and add it to one of these dishes. 

Thai Curry 

Cook the rice in coconut milk instead of water. Then add curry powder, ginger, cumin, and cilantro. Use full-fat or light coconut milk, depending on your preference. Top with cooked meat for added protein.


Cook minute rice in chicken broth. Then, add canned tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, a small can of green chilis, and cooked chicken breast. Warm the ingredients in a saucepan and top with salsa. Serve!


Add cheese, bacon, and scrambled eggs, and you have a filling breakfast. For added flavor, stir cooked minute rice into bacon fat, and then add cooked bacon and eggs. Top with your favorite cheese. 

Make A New Dish

Create tasty combos with a base of minute rice. 

Make Fried Rice

Use minute rice to make an easy fried rice. Cook minute rice as directed, then sautee in a pan with sesame oil. Add your favorite veggies, meat, or eggs, and cook until warm. 

Make Beans And Rice

Combine cooked red beans and minute rice in a skillet for an ultra-quick meal. Add chili powder, cumin, garlic, and cajun seasoning. Add ready-to-eat sausage for even more flavor.

Make Rice Pudding

Rice pudding is a great way to use cooked rice. Add milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and other warming spices for a sweet treat. 

Thai-Inspired Minute Rice

This dish is creamy with a hint of spice. You’ll forget it’s made with minute rice! 

A box of minute white rice and a can of coconut milk.

Serves: 2


  • 1 cup minute rice (slightly rounded)
  • 1 can coconut milk, full-fat or light
  • 1 ¼ tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Cilantro (optional, for garnish)
  • Cooked chicken (optional)


  1. Bring coconut milk coconut milk to a boil in a medium saucepan.
Coconut milk boiling in a medium saucepan with a cup of white rice beside.
  1. Add curry powder, ginger, cumin, and salt. Whisk to break up clumps. 
Curry powder, ginger, cumin, and salt in a bowl.
Curry powder, ginger, cumin, and salt added to the boiling coconut milk.
  1. Add minute rice. 
Minute rice added to the pan.
  1. Bring back to a boil, stirring often. 
  2. Once boiling, remove from the heat. Let the pot sit for 8 minutes with the lid on. 
Minute rice boiling with the coconut milk.
  1. Remove the lid and stir. 
Cooked minute rice with coconut milk in a pan.
  1. Add cilantro or meat, and serve!
Cooked minute rice in a clear bowl.

Final Thoughts

Minute rice often has a soft texture and bland taste that may not appeal to everyone. But minute rice makes a quick addition to any meal. Make it more flavorful by adding broth, herbs, and veggies. 

Sarah Pearce Avatar


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