Learn how to make fluffy white rice that’s never sticky! All you need are 4 pantry staple ingredients to take your rice from basic to amazing without a rice cooker. Let’s show you how to make the best white rice!

A gold fork is scooping a forkful of fluffy white rice from a plate. On the plate in back of the rice is a piece of grilled chicken and steamed broccoli.

Fluffy white rice is my daughter’s hands-down absolute favorite side dish so I’ve been making potfuls of it at least once a week for the past 6 years. Gotta keep the kid happy, right? lol!

And what I’ve found from cooking all of this rice is that cooking white rice is so easy, but sometimes, it can also go so wrong so fast. Most of us have been taught to cook rice in a bath of water and then to drain the water off before serving the rice.

I’m begging you, please stop doing this! You’re not giving rice its full potential to be a great side dish and instead, it’s just turning out as a boring starch side dish.

When I showed my mom – who’s been making rice for around 60 years – this super easy method to cook rice, I think I blew her mind. She completely flipped out over the fact that you don’t have to drain the rice before serving it!

A wooden spoon is scooping some fluffy white rice from a white serving bowl.

So, if you want flavorful fluffy rice every single time you make it (and without a rice cooker!), there are 3 things you’re going to want to pay attention to:

  • Excess starch
  • Water ratio to uncooked rice
  • Resting time

Ingredients

Let’s first start with the ingredients you’ll need to make this rice recipe. In short, this white rice recipe has 4 basic ingredients to go with a cooking method that turns cooking rice on its end.

Ingredients for this fluffy white rice recipe are laid out in bowls on a white marble counter. There is a blue and white kitchen towel next to the bowls.

Here’s what you’ll need to make the best white rice every time! I bet you already have everything you need in the pantry. Be sure to keep scrolling down to the printable recipe card below for the full list of Ingredients!

  • Long grain white rice, like basmati rice or jasmine rice
  • Unsalted butter
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Chicken broth or stock
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

You’ll also need a colander with small holes or a fine mesh strainer (check out my all-time favorite strainer below the recipe card!) to rinse off all the extra starch on the outside of the rice! If you skip this step, you’ll end up with super sticky rice.

The fluffy white rice is served on a plate with a piece of grilled chicken and steamed broccoli.

How to Make Perfect Rice

Here are steps and some of my best tips and tricks to make the perfect fluffy white rice at home. Remember, you’ll find the full list of Instructions in the printable recipe card below!

STEP 1: First, rinse the white rice in a fine mesh strainer under cool running water until the water runs clear. Drain the rice completely. This will rinse much of the starch off the rice, which will prevent the rice from becoming sticky when it cooks.

The uncooked rice is being rinsed in a small fine mesh strainer over a clear glass bowl.

STEP 2: Then, sauté the uncooked rice in melted butter and olive oil for a few minutes until the ends of the grains start to look translucent and dry. Toasting the rice in this step will add lots of flavor!

The uncooked rice is being sautéed in melted butter and olive in a saucepan.

STEP 3: Now, add the chicken broth to the saucepan. Be careful because it will splatter as you pour it in!

STEP 4: Add some salt and pepper and bring the broth to a boil. Cook the rice over low until all the broth is absorbed.

Chicken broth, salt, and pepper have been added to the saucepan for the rice to cook in.

STEP 5: Uncover the pot, quickly drape a clean kitchen towel over the pan, and then the pot cover to let the rice rest. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving, and you’re done!

What Makes this Perfect White Rice?

The perfect white rice recipe is all about the texture of the rice. And what makes this the best rice is its foolproof method of rinsing the uncooked rice under cold water before cooking it.

That’s right! By rinsing the rice, you’ll be rinsing the excess starch off the rice, which is what yields sticky rice. With less starch for the rice to cook in, you’ll be left with fluffy rice grains that won’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

A wooden spoon is scooping some fluffy white rice from the saucepan.

What is the Ratio of Water to Rice?

Since there’s only a few ingredients needed for this rice recipe, the ratio of white rice to liquid is important here. Too little liquid and it’s undercooked and crunchy. Too much and you’ve got wet and mushy rice.

Once you learn the ratio for how to cook white rice, you’ll be unstoppable!

Usually, the basic ratio of water to rice is 2:1, or 2 cups or water for every 1 cup of rice.

However, to really make perfect white rice, you need less liquid than you’re used to using. An exact 2:1 ratio of liquid to uncooked rice will always yield wet rice.

A hand is pouring chicken broth into the saucepan to cook the rice.

And I don’t know about you, but I don’t like mushy rice and I certainly don’t want to drain my rice before serving it. When you drain it, you wash its nutrients and flavor right down the sink drain.

So, for the best rice, you’ll cut the ratio down to 1.75:1 (liquid to rice). If you make 1 cup of uncooked rice, use 1 3/4 cups of liquid. Even this small reduction of 1/4 cup of liquid will make a huge difference in how your rice turns out!

Why Rest the Rice?

All rice cooking methods vary but for this recipe, you’ll want to cook the rice until all of the chicken broth absorbs and cooks off. You’ll be left with a pot of perfectly cooked rice and literally no water in the bottom of the pan.

Fluffy white rice is served on a plate with grilled chicken and steamed broccoli.

However, even though you can’t see any liquid, it’s still there, hiding among the grains.

So to absorb the extra moisture and ensure that rice fluffs up gorgeously, you’re going to let it rest, covered with a clean kitchen towel. The towel will absorb the extra moisture and allow the grains to fluff up perfectly with a fork.

What Can I Add to White Rice for Flavor?

You can make white rice for an easy side dish with just dry rice and cold water. Salt is highly recommended to bring out the natural flavor, too.

However, I always use chicken broth instead of water to make my rice. It adds a ton of flavor with basically no extra work! You’ll see in the photos here that my rice is light brown in color and that’s because the chicken broth tints the rice as it cooks.

Basmati rice is being sautéed until almost toasted in a saucepan with melted butter and olive oil.

The butter, olive oil, and pepper also give the rice an excellent boost of flavor, too.

Halving and Doubling this Recipe

If you want to make a smaller serving of rice, use just a half cup of rice. For this, you’ll need 3/4 cup of broth. Or, if you’re making enough rice to feed for an army, you’ll need 3 1/2 cups of broth for 2 cups of uncooked rice.

What to Serve with White Rice

No matter how much rice you make, sometimes you end up with leftover rice. But let’s not use our leftovers in boring ways! Let’s chat about some of my favorite recipes to make with either fresh or leftover rice!

Close up overhead photo of the fluffy white rice served on a plate with a piece of grilled chicken and steamed broccoli.

White rice is the best side dish because it goes with just about any type of protein. It’s one of my favorite sides to go with a simple Dutch oven roast chicken or lemon chicken thighs and some roasted veggies.

I’m always up for using my Instant Pot for a quick weeknight dinner and this Instant Pot honey garlic chicken is great with rice. The rice soaks up all that sticky garlic sauce, leaving you with an unforgettable and easy meal the whole family will love.

In my opinion, you always need rice for an Indian dinner night! Make dinnertime easier with this white rice recipe to  go under some simple slow cooker chicken tikka masala or this juicy and saucy Indian butter chicken.

Chicken Tikka Masala Meatballs served over fluffy white rice.

Got meatball fans in your house? These chicken tikka masala meatballs (photo is above) and these pesto chicken meatballs are both fantastic options to go with rice!

If you’re up for Chinese take-out, save the gas and make your own Asian-inspired dinner! This easy orange chicken with a side of this fluffy white rice tastes just like your favorite take-out with ingredients you trust.

A wooden spoon is scooping some fluffy white rice from a white serving bowl.

How to Make Fluffy White Rice

Yield: about 3 cups cooked rice
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes

Fluffy white rice might just be the most versatile side dish to go with all kinds of protein or to use as a base for burrito bowls and salmon bowls. But instead of making wet and mushy rice, let's make some perfect fluffy white rice instead! I show you how here and I know you'll never make rice a different way ever again after trying this rice cooking method.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white rice (like Basmati or Jasmine)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ¾ cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock (see Note #1 below)
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt (see Note #2 below)
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Rinse the rice in a fine mesh strainer under cold water until the liquid runs clear, about 1 minute. Drain the rice very well.
  2. Melt the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Dump the rice into the pan and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently until the ends of the grains just start to turn translucent and the rice looks a little dry.
  3. Take the pan off the heat and quickly pour the chicken broth into the pan. Be careful - it may splatter.
  4. Return the rice to the heat and stir in the salt and pepper. Bring the broth to a boil over high heat, cover, and reduce to low heat. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Take the pan off the heat, uncover and quickly place a clean kitchen towel over the top of the pan. Cover and let the rice rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Uncover the rice and fluff it up with a fork. Serve hot.

Notes

  1. For the liquid, you can use water, chicken broth, chicken stock, vegetable broth, or vegetable stock.
  2. Either table salt or Kosher salt can be used here. If using table salt, reduce the amount listed above by half.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 97Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 288mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g

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