Tips For Making Great Stovetop Rice

To be honest, I don’t consider myself a seasoned professional at making rice. Growing up in the Amish and then Mennonite community, our diet was more of a meat and potatoes diet with lots of casseroles, mashed potatoes, soups and more. When I went over to the Middle East for several years as an aide worker/missionary, I had the privilege learn how to make some of the Middle Eastern dishes. My friends also shared some of their tips for making rice on the stovetop that is both well flavored and nicely textured. I hope you can find these tips useful in your own kitchen, and be sure to check out some of my other Middle Eastern recipes such as Middle Eastern Chicken and rice, Iraqi Naan bread, or Moroccan chicken and couscous.

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Tips for making great rice on the stovetop.

Tips For Making Great Stovetop Rice

When made right, stovetop rice is a delicious and flavorful side all in itself! This stovetop rice is perfect for many dishes and casseroles, but is also delicious on its own.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4


  • Large sauce pan (linked below)
  • Sieve (linked below)
  • measuring cups (linked below)


  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup dry white rice long grain *see note
  • 2 3/4 cups chicken or beef broth *see note
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Place the rice in a large sieve and rinse well with water. Allow to drain.
  • Add a thin layer of olive oil into the bottom of a 2-3 quart sauce pan. Add the rice and toast over medium heat, stirring frequently to keep the rice from burning. Toast for several minutes, or until the rice has a nutty aroma and is opaque/lightly browned.
  • Add the broth of your choice and salt, then bring the rice to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat, then cover and allow the rice to simmer for an additional 20-25 minutes until all the water has evaporated and the rice is soft.
  • Allow the rice to rest for 5-10 minutes, then fluff with a fork and serve, or add to casseroles, soups, etc.


I prefer to use Basmati or Jasmine rice. 
Salt is added for flavor, but can be reduced if you need to watch your sodium intake. 
For a stickier rice, you can add an extra 1/4 cup of broth to the rice. 
Additional notes and step by step photos below. 
Keyword Rice, Middle eastern, stovetop, tips, how to recipe
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Equipment needed for this Middle Eastern style stovetop rice:

  • Saucepan I prefer to use a saucepan with plenty of space for the rice and broth to cook in, I usually go for either a 2 or 3 quart sauce pan.
  • Sieve A fine mesh sieve is needed to rinse the rice. *More notes on why you should rinse your rice before cooking below.
  • Measuring cups I prefer to use stainless steel measuring cups to measure out the liquid, then I place it into a measuring cup with a pour spout, to ensure I don’t have more than 2 3/4 cups of liquid. Note* Pyrex glass measuring cups (wet) tend to measure a little heavier than stainless steel measuring cups (dry).

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Step 1: Rinse the rice under cold tap water, then allow to drain.


Rinsing the rice in water before cooking, removes the excess starch from the rice grains. This also helps to avoid clumping in the rice and leaves you with a fluffier texture in the end.

Step 2: Toast the rice in olive oil over medium heat until opaque (no longer see through) and has somewhat of a nutty aroma.


Toasting the rice in olive oil, before cooking it in broth, adds to the flavor of the rice, but also keeps the final product from being clumpy.

Step 3: Add broth to the rice and then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the rice is cooked through and the water has evaporated.


Although you could simply add water to cook the rice, adding broth or even a bouillon cube really adds flavor and depth to the rice, or any dish that the rice is added to.

Avoid overcooking the rice, to keep it from breaking up into bits and turning into a clumpy/mushy texture. As soon as the water is evaporated from the rice, remove from the heat and allow to rest before fluffing with a fork.

Step 4: Once the rice is fully cooked, fluff with a fork and serve or add to your favorite dishes/casseroles.

You may enjoy this list of casseroles and dishes using rice:

Feel free to pin this recipe for later!

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