In this guide, you'll learn all the tips and tricks you need to cook parboiled rice in the Instant Pot. Using an electric pressure cooker, aka Instant Pot, is such an easy way to get perfect results. You'll get fluffy rice every time!
What is Parboiled Rice?
When any type of rice is harvested, the first thing that happens is its inedible husk layer is removed. This leaves the rice grain covered in a bran layer and is what we know as whole-grain brown rice. If the bran layer is also removed, it becomes white rice. So where does parboiled rice come in?
Parboiled rice is created when the rice grains have been partially boiled in their inedible hull or husk. After boiling, the hull and bran layer are removed and the rice can be dried and stored for later. This was originally done to make it easier to remove the husk of the rice before eating it.
Rice is still parboiled today because it has been discovered that boiling the rice in the outer husk helps preserve many of the vitamins and nutrients that are lost when the outer layers are removed. It also results in very soft and fluffy, separate grains of rice that aren't sticky at all. Basically, it's like getting the nutritional benefits of brown rice, but with the taste and texture of white rice. Sign me up!
If you'd like to know even more about parboiled rice, check out "Everything you need to know about parboiled rice."
If you know me and my blog, you'll know I love shopping in the bulk bins of the grocery store (because it's cheaper and better for the environment). You'll most likely be able to find parboiled rice in the bulk bins. Sometimes it's listed as "converted rice" but it is the same thing. I recommend looking for it there.
Now that we know what parboiled rice is, let's learn how to cook it! Just like all varieties of rice, there are many ways to prepare this type of grain, such as using a rice cooker, microwave oven, or cooking it on the stove. This guide focuses on the very easiest way to cook parboiled rice: in the Instant Pot.
There are two reasons why using an Instant Pot is one of my favorite ways to cook parboiled rice. First, you can make a bigger batch than you can in a typical rice cooker. So if you are cooking for a lot of people, or want to do advanced meal prep, the Instant Pot is the way to go!
Second, it's a "set and forget" method. This means you can throw everything in the Instant Pot, push a few buttons, and walk away. No need to worry about anything boiling over or burning (I'm looking at you, stovetop method 😒)! The Instant Pot will even keep your rice warm for you if it finishes before you're ready to eat it.
Alright! Let's get cooking!
All you need for this easy recipe is just two ingredients!
- parboiled rice
- pinch of salt (optional)
I purposely left this recipe very plain so that you can use your converted rice as a side dish to basically any of your favorite recipes. Check out the substitution section if you'd like some ideas on how to add more flavor to your rice.
Start by rinsing your parboiled rice with cool, clean water. This removes any extra dust or starch that has built up in storage.
Next, add 2 cups of water and 2 cups of rice to the bowl of your Instant Pot.
Place the lid on the pressure cooker and turn it, making sure it seals properly. Using the high-pressure cooking setting, cook for 7 minutes. When the high-pressure cooking is done, allow it to do a natural pressure release for 15 minutes.
Once the natural release is over, press the steam release valve to release any remaining pressure. Carefully remove the lid, watching out for steam. Fluff rice and serve!
Here are some ideas on how to jazz up your rice.
- Broth - instead of water, you can use chicken, beef, or vegetable broth to add more flavor.
- Spices - you can add a bit of spice, such as garlic or cumin, to the water at the beginning as well. Make sure the spices complement the dish you are serving the rice with.
- Salt, Pepper, and Butter- Once your converted rice is done cooking, adding a tablespoon of butter and a little salt and pepper makes it taste AMAZING! You could use olive oil instead of butter.
- Soy Sauce- drizzle a little on top of your cooked rice for an Asian flavor.
You're going to need an electric pressure cooker to prepare this rice. The Instant Pot brand is very popular and reliable, but you can use any brand for this recipe. I have only made it in a 6-quart instant pot, but you can use bigger or smaller, just make sure you don't fill the bowl over the max line indicated on the inner bowl of the Instant Pot.
Looking for a new Instant Pot? Here are some popular choices:
I also recommend using a fine mesh strainer to rinse your uncooked rice. It's great that the holes are too small to let the rice grains slip through. Also, if you are purchasing a new one, buy a metal one if you can! Whenever I've had plastic mesh strainers, they always tear or melt in the dishwasher.
Any leftover parboiled rice should be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. The longer it is stored, the more dried out the grains will become, so I recommend reusing them as soon as possible.
The simplest way to reheat your rice is in the microwave. You'll want to use a microwave-safe container that has a lid. Add the rice and break up any large chunks of rice with a fork. Add a few sprinkles of water to help create steam and rehydrate the grains.
Cover the container and microwave for 1 minute. Remove the lid, (watch out for steam) and test the grains. If they are still cold or dry repeat until you're satisfied.
Compared to traditional white rice, parboiled rice has fewer calories and carbs, while also having protein. It is also a better source of fiber. Studies also show that parboiled rice has a lower impact on blood sugar levels than both white and brown rice. This makes it a great choice for people with diabetes.
Check out the full nutrition label below:
- It's helpful to know that 1 cup of uncooked rice makes about 2 cups of cooked rice.
- This recipe works for long-grain, medium-grain, and short-grain parboiled rice.
- You can make more or less than 2 cups of parboiled rice in your rice cooker. Just keep the water ratio of 1:1 the same.
- For best results, I wouldn't recommend making less than 1 cup of rice in your instant pot because it just doesn't provide enough water for your instant pot to work with. If you want less rice, consider using the stove or a rice cooker.
- While the Instant Pot does have a nice, "keep warm" feature, you won't want to use it to keep your rice warm longer than a couple of hours. The longer short-grain rice sits, the more sticky it will become. After several hours you will have a gelatinous blob that will not be that appetizing to eat!
1:1, or in other words, 1 cup of water to every cup of rice.
It takes about 30 minutes to make perfect rice in the Instant Pot. Cook times can vary, however, between different models and cooking conditions.
The purpose of soaking any type of grain (or bean) before cooking is to speed up the cooking time. So you could soak converted rice ahead of cooking, but since it already has a pretty quick cooking time, you don't need to.
Looking for other rice recipes like this? Try these:
You can use your parboiled rice in so many ways, like in soups, salads, pilafs, or as a simple side. These are my favorite recipes to serve with rice.
Thank you for checking out this guide. I hope it was helpful to you. If you enjoyed it, please leave a star rating on the recipe card! It helps me out a lot!
Instant Pot Parboiled Rice
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups parboiled rice
- Start by rinsing your parboiled rice with cool, clean water. This removes any extra dust or starch that has built up in storage.
- Next, add 2 cups of water and 2 cups of rice to the bowl of your Instant Pot.
- Place the lid on the pressure cooker and turn it, making sure it seals properly. Using the high-pressure cooking setting, cook for 7 minutes. When the high-pressure cooking is done, allow it to do a natural pressure release for 15 minutes.
- Once the natural release is over, press the steam release valve to release any remaining pressure. Carefully remove the lid, watching out for steam. Fluff rice and serve!