Coming home exhausted after a long day sometimes makes cooking even a seemingly simple staple such as rice seem daunting. Thankfully, there are options for cooking rice quickly, allowing you to take it out of the pantry and get it on the table as soon as possible.

The fastest way to cook rice is to utilize new innovations in cooking gadgets, such as an Instant Pot, or try an alternate technique: Instead of cooking rice on the stove, try using the same rice to water ratio and use a microwave.

Cooking Rice in an Instant Pot

The Instant Pot is a hit these days for its ability to make meals quickly, efficiently and virtually foolproof, including fluffy rice. Try these tips on how to cook rice quickly in an Instant Pot to get perfect rice with minimal effort.

Measure out dry rice and set it aside. Measure out the same amount of water and then add it to the Instant Pot’s inner pot. Rinse the rice and then add the wet rice to the water already within the inner pot. Never fill the inner pot over the halfway mark when cooking rice. Place the inner pot into the cooker base, plug in the Instant Pot, close the lid and set the steam release to the “seal” position.

The “rice” smart program automatically sets the time for white or parboiled rice only. For other types of rice, use the “manual” or “pressure cook” smart program on high and use "+" and "–" to set the correct time depending on preferences and any special issues, such as high elevation or a large amount of rice. Turn “keep warm” off. Do a natural release method to release pressure from the Instant Pot cooker. When the float valve has dropped, open and then fluff, serve and enjoy perfect rice.

Fastest Way to Cook Rice: In the Microwave

The microwave can be a lifesaver for those looking to make rice quickly. Using a rice cooker or boiling rice on the stove top can take up to 25 minutes. Cooking rice in the microwave can reduce that time significantly, typically taking 10 to 12 minutes depending on the serving size and microwave wattage.

Making rice in the microwave means ditching the time spent babysitting the stove, waiting for water to boil and tending to the pot. The microwave is also extra convenient, making cleanup even easier because you can cook, serve and eat rice out of the same container without adding extra pots and dishes to the mix.

Choose Chickpea Rice

Sometimes, the quickest-cooking rice can be one that’s nontraditional. According to Leigh Hamp, director of product at Banza, chickpea rice can be made on the stove top in mere minutes.

“Banza chickpea rice cooks within five minutes. Given the starch produced from the chickpeas, we do not recommend using a rice cooker for Banza rice,” explains Hamp.

Here is a recipe for this rice alternative that cooks in a flash and tastes virtually the same as standard rice.

Banza Chickpea Rice

Total Time: 8 minutes | Prep Time: 2 minutes | Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups salted water

  • 1 box Banza chickpea rice

Directions:

  1. In a small pot, bring 6 cups of salted water to a rolling boil.

  2. Reduce heat to a simmer and add Banza chickpea rice.

  3. Cook for approximately 5 to 6 minutes (or less time if you like it al dente).

  4. Using a fine mesh strainer, drain and rinse.

  5. Return to pot, fluff with a fork and enjoy. 

Incorporate these ideas and tools to get a fluffy, steaming bowl of rice ready to pair with any dish in practically no time.

About the Author

Crystal Fenton

Crystal is a certified yoga instructor and freelance writer, covering wellness, health, lifestyle, beauty and fitness.