Can You Freeze Cooked Rice?

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can you freeze cooked rice

So often we have leftover rice after a meal that ends up being thrown out. Instead of wasting this food, freeze it so you can save yourself on future meal prep.

Yes, you can definitely freeze cooked rice. Whether you have a lot of rice leftover or you just want to get ahead on your weekly meal planning, having rice in your freezer is a real time saver.

To freeze rice, simply place it in an airtight container, such as a freezer bag.

Label and date your rice and store for up to one month in your freezer.

Then, in the future when you need rice to complete your meal, simply take it out, thaw it, and enjoy it.

Effects of freezing cooked rice


One of the reasons freezing rice works great is because the taste isn’t altered.

You can expect the same great taste of rice, even once it has been frozen.


Reheated rice can become a bit dry. If you reheat the rice in the microwave, be sure to cover the container with a plate.

This will keep as much moisture in as possible, maintaining the fluffy texture you want in your rice.

If you are worried about dry rice, you can also add a bit of water to your container when reheating your rice.

This will be absorbed by the rice, ensuring a fluffy texture.


You can expect your rice to look the same, whether it is fresh or has been frozen. White rice will be white while brown rice will be brown.

If you see any black or green specs on your rice, this is a sign that the rice is not safe to eat and you should throw it away immediately.


Rice should be firm yet fluffy and definitely not crunchy. Frozen cooked rice should retain the same tenderness that you cooked it at.

If you are making a big batch of rice on its own to be portioned and frozen, you can always slightly undercook your rice.

Then, if you plan on microwaving your rice to thaw it, add a bit of water to it.

This way your rice won’t taste overcooked.

Other ways to store cooked rice

other ways to store cooked rice


You can store leftover rice in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. Place it in an airtight container.

Be sure to check your rice for any black or green spots, and give it a quick smell before using.

Room Temperature

Rice should sit at room temperature for no more than 2 hours. Any more and it will be exposed to too much bacteria that can quickly spoil your food.

If you live in a hotter climate, err on the side of caution and don’t leave it out for more than 30 minutes.

Rice Cooker (warm)

If you have cooked your rice in a rice cooker, you can use the warm function to store your rice. It can sit there for up to 12 hours.

Related Content: How long does rice last in the fridge? Is it different for different kinds of rice?

Where to put cooked rice for freezing

Glass Container

Glass containers are a great place to store rice that will eventually be reheated. This is because the glass should be microwave safe.

Simply place a portion of rice in your glass container, then label and date it.

Once you need your rice, just take the lid off and pop it in the microwave to reheat.

Zip lock

Freezer safe zip lock bags are a great idea if you have a large amount of rice but want to place it into smaller portions.

Smaller portions mean you can take out one bag at a time and have everything prepared for future meals.

How to thaw frozen cooked rice

how to thaw frozen cooked rice


The easiest way to thaw frozen cooked rice is by using the microwave.

Your rice should be in a microwave-safe container. Place a plate on top of the bowl to trap as much steam as possible but don’t make it airtight.

Cook for 1 minute. Open the microwave and fluff your rice, checking to see if it is ready.

Continue cooking for 1 minute at a time until the rice is hot.  


If you think of it, you can place your frozen rice in the fridge where it will thaw overnight.

Then, before you want to eat it, pop it in the microwave for about 1 minute to heat it up.

Pot of water

If your cooked rice has been stored in an airtight freezer bag, this is the best method. Place the bag of rice in a large pot of cold water.

Water should completely cover your bag for even thawing.

You want to use cold water and not hot water to limit the exposure to bacteria.

This method will take about 20 to 30 minutes.

Related Questions

Can cooked rice be frozen safely?

Yes, cooked rice can be safely frozen. Like most cooked food you put in the freezer, be sure to store it properly.

It needs to be placed in an airtight container. Always remember to label and date your freezer food.

How long can you freeze cooked rice?

Cooked rice can be frozen for up to 1 month, as long as it is packaged correctly.

You can freeze it for longer but you run the risk of freezer burn and the rice not tasting as good.

Can I freeze leftover cooked rice?

Yes, you can definitely put cooked rice in the freezer. Instead of throwing out leftover rice, you can store it in the freezer for up to 1 month.

How many times can you reheat rice?

Every time you reheat rice, it loses moisture. While you should add a bit of water anyways to reheat frozen rice, it’s best to only reheat it once.

This will ensure the best possible taste and texture.

How long can you eat rice after cooking?

Cooked rice can be eaten for 2 to 3 days, as long as it is stored properly.


Even though rice is a relatively cheap food staple, it is still a good idea to freeze leftovers and not waste it.

Furthermore, if you are wanting to meal plan, cooking your rice and freezing it ahead of time will save you precious minutes after a long, hard day at work.

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