How To Make Instant Rice Taste Good When You Need Dinner In A Hurry

When you order it with your Mexican or Indian food, rice tastes pretty delicious — but sadly, when you whip up a batch at home, it somehow never tastes as decadent. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to make instant rice taste good that don’t require a ton of time or cooking skills. Your go-to grain just got a whole lot better.

As a staple food in so many different cultures, rice is a versatile and nutritious option, whether you are in need of a dorm-friendly food or an easy meal for one. Pair a bowl of rice with a simple stir-fry recipe, or eat it on its own. With brown rice or white, your dinner plans just got a whole lot easier — but no less savory, spicy, and all-around tasty.

Don’t feel like you need to rely on frozen meals and takeout when you’re in a hurry — this starch can be cooked and made even more delicious in just 15 minutes. All you need is a well-stocked pantry, a solid spice rack, and a little bit of creativity to turn your pot of rice from sad to rad. No need to stress about dinnertime — just throw a pot on the stovetop, and get cooking.

1. Add Herbs

A little oil, salt, and some oregano, basil, or rosemary can add instant oomph to a boring bowl of rice. Fresh or dried herbs are perfectly easy add-ins.

2. Cook It In Broth

Instead of filling your pot with water, use vegetable or chicken broth for a rich-tasting bowl of rice.

3. Add Cilantro And Lime

Want to create a Chipotle-inspired burrito bowl? Chop up some cilantro, and add a dash of lime juice to a pot of brown or white rice.

4. Drizzle On Soy Sauce

For an Asian-inspired bowl of rice, drizzle in just a little bit of soy sauce, and add a dash of ginger and garlic powder for some extra zing. The result will be similar to fried rice, only it's slightly better for you.

5. Sprinkle On Furikake

This seaweed mixture is a classic Japanese rice topping, made with sesame seeds, seaweed, sugar, salt, and fish. Grab some at an Asian grocery store.

6. Mix In Salsa

In a rush? Make an instant burrito bowl by stirring in a bit of salsa with your rice. Top with avocado slices for some extra creaminess.

7. Add Beans

Rice and beans are a classic that we'll never tire of. Mix in some black beans with your pot of rice, and add a dash or two of hot sauce for some heat.

8. Put An Egg On It

As far as we see it, practically everything is better with an egg on top of it. Bonus: mixing a yolky fried egg with steamed veggies and rice is pretty similar to Korean bibimbap.

9. Put It In Soup

If you have some extra rice or want a heartier meal, skip the noodles, and add this grain to a pot of broth and veggies to make a healthy soup.

10. Fry It

A little sesame oil, garlic, and soy sauce go a long way. Just heat up some oil in a sauté pan, and prepare your rice like your favorite takeout dish.

Image: Steven Depolo ,Ruocaled, I Believe I Can Fry, Didriks, Jennifer , Karen , Rooey202, Liza Lagman Sperl /Flickr