Cheesy brown rice is a delicious side dish that’s family-friendly, easy to make, and a great way to eat more whole grains.
Brown rice is a big-time staple at our dinner time.
Recently, I also started making Instant Pot brown rice, which is especially helpful if you need a big batch or want some extra to have on hand for future meals.
And I promise, it’s not nearly as intimidating as people think it is to make really good brown rice. And it only takes a little while longer than white rice.
Plus it’s got tons more flavor and way more health benefits. That’s a win-win.
So today I’m excited to share this cheesy brown rice.
My daughter, who is now 9, always wants some cheese on top of her rice if I make it plain. Even when we’re having Asian-style dishes and I tell her the cheese doesn’t really go. 🤷♀️
So this dish was inspired by her. Cheesy rice for the whole family!
It’s so easy, too. You just make your rice like you normally would, then stir in the cheese and seasonings at the very end.
And the cheese gets so gloriously melty among all those tender, fluffy grains of rice.
Yum! It makes such a great family-friendly side dish.
OK, let’s get to cooking.
I’ve got some notes and substitutions coming up on how to make cheesy brown rice. Just tryin’ to be helpful.
If you want to jump on down to the recipe, simply scroll right on through the rest of the text. The recipe card is near the bottom of the page, above the comments section.
- Rice: Long-grain brown rice is our standard for this. You could also substitute white rice, just follow the package instructions for cooking it.
- Cheese: Cheddar is a stand-by favorite cheese in our house, and that's sharp white cheddar in these photos. Or you could use a different cheese or a mix of cheeses. Monterey Jack, a Mexican blend or even an Italian blend of cheese would be good here.
- Broth: Bump up the flavor by using low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth instead of water to cook the chicken.
Want some veggies in your rice? You know I support that.
As written, the recipe serves 4. You can certainly double the recipe if you’ve got more mouths to feed or you want some extra.
Speaking of extra, let’s tackle how to handle leftovers.
How to store leftovers:
- The rice, once cooled, can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
- Cooked rice also can be frozen. Place in a freezer safe container or plastic bag (that’s been labelled and dated) and freeze for up to 5 months.
And here’s how to get it ready to serve again.
How to reheat leftover cheesy rice:
– Place the desired quantity of rice in a microwave-safe container, sprinkled with a bit of water and covered with a damp paper towel. This helps prevent the rice from drying out as it reheats.
– Microwave on high for 40 seconds, then stir and add an additional 15 to 30 seconds as needed until heated through. (The total time will depend on how much rice you are reheating at a time.)
Finally, while this rice is certainly plenty tasty all on its own, you could add some flavor with various toppings if you’d like.
Here’s a few ideas to get you thinking.
- Chopped fresh chives
- Chopped fresh parsley
- Cooked, crumbled bacon
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- A pat of butter
- Hot sauce for a kick
Mix and match your favorites or come up with your own new topping ideas.
And if you’re looking for something to serve this with, it’d be great alongside tacos or fajitas or with my southwest chicken skillet.
Or add your favorite grilled or roasted meat and a veggie side. 👍
So there you go!
I hope cheesy brown rice makes it onto your menu plans soon. I think it’ll be a family favorite.
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese (see notes)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- Cook the brown rice according to the package instructions. (Or see my tips on making perfect brown rice.)
- Once cooked, stir in the cheese, salt, pepper and garlic powder, mixing well.
- Season to taste with extra salt and pepper, serve hot and enjoy!
Rice: Long-grain brown rice is our standard for this. You could also substitute white rice, just follow the package instructions for cooking it.
Cheese: White cheddar is a stand-by favorite in our house, but you could use a different cheese or a mix of cheeses. Monterey Jack, a Mexican blend or even an Italian blend of cheese would be good here.
Broth: Substitute low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth for water to cook the rice for added flavor.
Toppings: Optional toppings include chopped fresh chives, chopped fresh parsley, crumbled bacon, Parmesan cheese, pat of butter, hot sauce, etc.
Leftovers: Leftover rice, once cooled, can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. Or freeze for up to 4-5 months in a freezer safe bag or container (be sure to label and date it!)
How to reheat: Reheat in individual portions in the microwave (adding a splash of water and covering with a wet paper towel to prevent it from drying out) for 45 seconds, stirring and adding additional time if needed.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 226Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 409mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 11g