5 BEST White Rice Substitutes in Recipes

White rice has graced the table of countless cultures for centuries, and its usefulness as a dietary staple is difficult to overstate.

Those looking for a low-fat, relatively simple carbohydrate solution can find themselves flocking straight toward this dependable grain.

But what elements make white rice uniquely delicious?

How can we achieve the perfect result when cooking it, and more importantly, what are the best potential substitutes when white rice isn’t available?

Let’s embark on an exploration to discover the answers.

So, why not skip the messiness of trial and error and start crafting excellent meals using white rice from minute one?

What is White Rice?

White rice is commonly used in many recipes.

It is a staple ingredient in most cuisines and is found in any grocery store.

This long-grain rice is light and fluffy, with a slightly nutty flavor.

White rice has a delicate texture, making it a great choice for side dishes, casseroles, or as a bed for stews and curries.

It’s also the base of certain sushi roll recipes, providing an easy foundation for your favorite seafood fillings.

To bring out its subtle flavor and retain its fluffy consistency, it’s best to cook white rice with twice the amount of water by volume – such as two cups of water for each cup of white rice.

Boil the mixture on medium heat until you see small holes appear on the top of the pot from steam, then reduce heat to low and give it 10-15 more minutes to finish cooking before removing it from heat.

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5 BEST White Rice Substitutes in Recipes

If you’re looking to add variety and nutrition to your meals, you may want to consider swapping out white rice for some of these healthier alternatives.

Here are five great options for substituting white rice in recipes:

1 – Brown Rice

Brown rice is an excellent way to add whole-grain nutrition and a nuttier flavor to your favorite dishes.

It has a slightly chewy texture and nutty flavor, which makes it a great complement to hearty entrees that feature vegetables, beans, and proteins like chicken or shrimp.

Brown rice is easy to use—just substitute it for white rice in any recipe.

Used as a side dish or as part of the main course, brown rice can become an attractive and tasty part of any meal.

For those looking for an alternative to white rice, this may be just what you’re looking for.

2 – Quinoa

Quinoa is a nutritious and versatile grain for any type of meal.

This ancient grain has been around for centuries but remains a popular choice among health-conscious home cooks who want to give their meals a nutritional boost.

Characterized by its small oval shape and light, fluffy texture, quinoa is often used as a substitute for white rice – you can cook it the same way you would regular rice with just an extra step of rinsing before adding it to your dish.

Quinoa is relatively mild on its own, taking on the flavor profiles of ingredients paired with it, such as cumin, garlic, or fresh herbs like parsley and cilantro.

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With so many different possibilities when preparing this grain dish, you’ll never get bored.

3 – Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower rice is a welcome addition to the grains world.

It’s an easy way to add more vegetables to your diet and make almost any meal healthier.

Cauliflower rice has a finer texture than other kinds of rice due to its versatility in being shredded, blended, or flaked.

The taste is mild and slightly nutty, making it an excellent substitute for white rice in stir-fries, casseroles, tacos, and even curries.

If you’ve never tried it before, give it a go, as cauliflower rice can easily be steamed or microwaved in just minutes, along with some herbs and spices of your choice.

You won’t be disappointed.

4 – Barley

Barley is a tasty, chewy grain that can be used in a number of dishes.

It has a mild flavor similar to nuts and popcorn but with an earthy aftertaste.

In terms of texture, barley is both crunchy and chewy due to its hulled kernels, which are much chewier than those of other grains.

Barley can be used to replace white rice in dishes, providing an interesting and nutty-tasting alternative that pairs especially well with fish or roasted vegetables.

The grain also pairs well with other grains when cooked together in pilafs or salads.

It’s important to note that although barley typically cooks similarly to white rice, it may require longer cooling times for the flavors to develop fully.

5 – Freekeh

Freekeh is a delicious, Middle Eastern super grain that’s becoming increasingly popular on the global culinary scene.

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It’s made from grains of green wheat that are fire-roasted, then sun-dried and coarsely cracked so only the inner kernel is exposed.

This process gives it a nutty, smoky flavor with a slightly chewy texture to match.

Freekeh makes an excellent substitute for white rice in any dish, as it’s low calorie and high in protein and fiber.

To cook it, all you have to do is pour some boiling water over it, simmer it for 10 to 15 minutes until tender, and then fluff the Freekeh before serving warm.


In conclusion, there are many alternatives to white rice that you can use in your cooking.

Brown rice is a nutritious and widely available option that could be used as a substitute for white rice.

Quinoa, cauliflower rice, barley, and freekeh are all other delicious options that offer different tastes, textures, and nutritional benefits.

No matter which one you choose, you can be sure to give your meal an exciting twist and make it more nutritious.

With so many options available, you’re sure to find a white rice substitute that fits your needs.

5 BEST White Rice Substitutes in Recipes

5 BEST White Rice Substitutes in Recipes

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 – Brown Rice
  • 2 – Quinoa
  • 3 – Cauliflower Rice
  • 4 – Barley
  • 5 – Freekeh


  1. Choose a preferred substitute from the provided list.
  2. Follow the cooking instructions for the selected substitute.
  3. Use the correct proportion of ingredients when preparing the substitute.

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