How To Meal Prep Rice Without It Getting Hard?

Meal prepping is a fantastic way to save time, money, and ensure you have healthy, delicious meals throughout the week. One of the most versatile and budget-friendly ingredients to include in your meal prep is rice.

However, one of the most common complaints when preparing rice in advance is that it tends to get hard and dry. So, how can you meal prep rice without it getting hard?

Well, in this blog post, we’ll explore some tips and tricks to keep your rice soft and fluffy, even after a few days. But, before we do, let’s go over exactly what causes rice to get hard, and what steps you can take to avoid it.

What Causes Rice To Get Hard?

Rice gets hard mainly due to the loss of moisture and changes in its starch structure during storage and reheating. Here are some factors that contribute to rice becoming hard:

  • Staling: Starch molecules in cooked rice undergo a process called retrogradation, where they gradually reorganize and crystallize over time. This leads to the rice becoming firmer and drier as the starch molecules form stronger bonds with each other.
  • Moisture Loss: When rice is exposed to air or stored in the refrigerator, it can lose moisture, causing it to dry out and become hard. The cold temperature of the fridge can also speed up the retrogradation process, further contributing to the rice’s hardness.
  • Improper Storage: Storing rice in a container that is not airtight or without proper cooling can lead to moisture loss and encourage the staling process. Additionally, storing rice for an extended period can result in it getting harder over time.
  • Inadequate Reheating: When reheating rice, not adding enough moisture or using high heat can cause the rice to become hard and dry. Proper reheating techniques, such as adding a splash of water and using gentle heat, can help maintain the rice’s soft texture.

To prevent rice from getting hard, it’s essential to cook, store, and reheat it correctly, following the tips provided in the previous blog post. By doing so, you can enjoy soft and fluffy rice even after meal prepping and storing it for later use.

How To Meal Prep Rice Without It Getting Hard?

1. Choose the Right Type of Rice

Different types of rice have different textures and properties, which can affect how they hold up during meal prep. For example, long-grain rice like Basmati or Jasmine tends to stay fluffy and separate, while short-grain rice like Arborio or sushi rice can become sticky and clump together.

When meal prepping, opt for long-grain varieties as they are less likely to get hard when reheated.

2. Rinse Your Rice Thoroughly

Before cooking your rice, make sure you rinse it thoroughly under cold water. This helps remove excess starch, which can cause the rice to become sticky and clump together.

Rinsing the rice also helps improve its texture, making it fluffier and less likely to get hard when stored.

3. Cook Your Rice Properly

Cooking your rice correctly is crucial to ensuring it stays soft and fluffy during meal prep. Follow these steps for perfectly cooked rice:

  • Use a 1:1 ratio of rice to water (e.g., 1 cup of rice to 1 cup of water).
  • Bring the water to a boil, then add the rice and stir once.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the rice simmer for 15-20 minutes (or according to the package instructions).
  • Once cooked, remove the pot from the heat and let it sit, covered, for 5-10 minutes to allow the rice to steam and fully absorb any remaining moisture.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork before storing it.

4. Store Your Rice

Proper storage is essential to keep your rice soft and fluffy. Make sure to let your rice cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container.

Use a shallow container rather than a deep one, as this will help the rice cool more quickly and evenly. Store the container in the refrigerator for up to five days.

5. Reheat Your Rice Correctly

As it a ready meal when it’s time to reheat your rice, there only one way to do this and that’s the microwave! However, it can often turn out dry when reheating it so to avoid this simple place the rice in a microwave-safe dish and sprinkle a few tablespoons of water over the top.

Cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid or damp paper towel, making sure to leave a small vent for steam to escape. Microwave on medium power for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the rice is heated through and soft.

Meal prep rice

Can You Prepare Rice The Night Before?

Many people swear by meal prepping as a way to stay healthy and on track with their diets. But, Is it safe to prepare it the night before and reheat it later? The answer is yes, you can meal prep rice ahead of time.

In fact, many chefs and professional meal prep companies do it all the time. Not only is it convenient, but reheating rice can actually improve the taste and texture of the grain, making it easier to digest.

Simply follow the same tips above and your rice will be completely fine to reheat the next day.

How Do You Keep Rice From Getting Hard In The Fridge?

When it comes to meal prep, it’s important to keep our dishes fresh and appetizing for as long as possible. However, one common issue is rice getting hard in the fridge. It can be frustrating to put in all that effort, only to find that your rice has turned into a brick the next day.

Luckily, there are ways to prevent this from happening. One trick is to use a rice cooker with a “keep warm” setting, as this will help the rice stay moist and fluffy. Or, you can simply add a bit of vinegar or oil to the rice before storing it in the fridge.

Another option is to freeze the rice in small portions, which can be easily reheated when needed. With these tips, you can enjoy delicious and perfectly cooked rice for your meal prep.

How Long Can Rice Stay In The Fridge For Meal Prep?

Cooked rice can stay in the fridge for 3 to 5 days, as long as it was stored in an airtight container. However, it’s important to note that rice can become tainted with bacteria if not stored properly or reheated at the correct temperature.

So, if you’re meal prepping rice, be sure to cool it down and store it in an airtight container, before placing it in the fridge. This will help maximise its self life so to speak!

Can You Preserve Meal Prep Rice Without Refrigeration?

It’s always recommended to store cooked rice in the refrigerator to ensure its lasts. If you end up leaving cooked rice at room temperature for an extended periods of time this can lead to bacterial growth and mold formation due to the moisture content in the rice.

If you don’t have access to fridge it’s best to consume the rice within a few hours to minimize the rish of your rice going off.


So there you have it, just remember, proper cooking, storage, and reheating are crucial to ensure that your meal prepped rice stays soft, fresh, and safe to eat. Always choose the right type of rice, and also don’t forget to chuck in some cooked vegetables just to up the flavour and give it a healthy boost.

By following the guidelines in this article you can enjoy your delicious cooked rice throughout the week, without the worry of it getting hard making your meal prep process more efficient and enjoyable.

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