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Instant Pot Brown Basmati Rice

Instant Pot Brown Basmati Rice is so easy, there’s no soaking required, and it comes out perfectly cooked every time!

Say good-bye to mushy, sticky rice and say hello to light and fluffy brown basmati rice that you can serve as a side dish or use in any recipe that calls for cooked rice!

Basmati is, hands down, my most favorite type of rice.

Grown mostly in India and Pakistan, it’s a long-grain rice that has a nuttier flavor and aroma than traditional rice (in fact, “basmati” loosely translates to “fragrant” in Hindi).

And besides being delicious, I’ve always found it to be the best rice for consistently cooking up beautifully with nicely separated grains.

White rice is usually my go-to, mostly because brown rice takes longer to cook. But the last time I went shopping, I accidentally grabbed a bag of brown basmati rice instead of white (and I’m so glad I did!).

In contrast to white rice, brown rice is actually considered a whole grain because only the outer husk is removed, leaving all 3 parts of the kernel intact: the germ, bran and endosperm (white rice has had the germ and bran removed).

Because it is less processed, brown rice retains more nutrients and fiber. It also has a chewier texture than white rice and is not quite as starchy.

There is some debate on whether brown rice is actually better for you than white rice, so I encourage you to do your own research on the pros and cons of both if you’re interested in that.

I’ve been wanting to add in some brown rice to my menus here and there for some variety, so I decided to use my Instant Pot to cook it up (my favorite hands-off way for cooking rice).

It was super easy, cooked to perfection, and so good!

brown basmati rice in a white bowl with a spoonful being taken out and an Instant Pot in the background

Ingredients You Need:

Note: Ingredient amounts are in the recipe card below.

  • Brown basmati rice
  • Water
  • Salt (optional)
  • Butter (optional)

Special Equipment Needed:

  • Instant Pot (I use a 6-quart)

Note: The above video is just a brief overview of the steps. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full printable recipe with detailed instructions.

Recipe Tips & Tidbits:

  • I used a 6-quart Instant Pot for this recipe. I am pretty certain that it would also work in a 3-quart Instant Pot (although I don’t own one and haven’t tested it myself).
    • For an 8-quart Instant Pot, you would need to double the recipe since it requires more liquid to come to pressure (a minimum of 2 cups according to Instant Pot). Double all of the ingredients but keep the same 22-minute cooking time.
  • Don’t skip the step of rinsing the rice! This removes any extra starch that is on the outside of the rice that could otherwise make your rice sticky and gummy.
  • The butter and salt are optional, but I think they make the rice extra delicious (plus, the butter helps keep foam from building up in the Instant Pot and helps keeps those grains nicely separated).
    • You could use oil instead of butter (any neutral-tasting oil would work fine).
  • Different brands of rice may cook differently (I get mine at Aldi), not to mention that we all have our own preferences as to how we like our rice. As written, this recipe will give you a tender but very slightly al dente rice.
    • If you’d like your rice a little softer, try adding up to another ¼ cup of water.
    • If you’d like your rice a little firmer, try reducing the water by up to ¼ cup.
  • This recipe won’t work for white basmati rice.
  • Did you know that, because of its oil content, uncooked brown rice doesn’t last as long as white rice? You’ll need to use it up much quicker, and you might want to consider storing it in the fridge or freezer for a longer shelf-life.
a bowl of brown basmati rice in from of an Instant Pot with a spoon in front of the bowl

Make-Ahead, Storage and Freezing:

  • Make-Ahead: You can make this rice hours or days ahead of time. Allow it to cool and then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it (up to 3 to 4 days).
  • Storage: Store leftover rice (cooled) in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days (if you made it ahead of time, you will need to take that time into consideration).
  • Freezing: Once cooled, place the rice in a freezer bag (or bags), remove as much air as possible, seal and freeze. For best quality, use within 2 to 3 months.
    • I recommend dividing the rice into serving-size portions or amounts that you would need for a recipe before freezing, so all you need to do is pull out one bag that has exactly what you need.
    • Thaw rice in the refrigerator, then reheat in the microwave or on the stove (you might want to add a little water while reheating if the rice seems a little dry).
brown basmati rice in a white bowl with a spoon on the side

Serve this rice a side dish with just about any meal, or use it when a recipe calls for some cooked rice.

It would go great with dishes like my Coconut Chickpea Curry With Spinach, Chinese Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry, Chinese Pepper Steak Stir-Fry, Country Captain Chicken, and even in my Saucy Stuffed Bell Peppers and Black Bean and Rice Burritos.

I hope you try this Instant Pot Brown Basmati Rice recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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Other Rice Recipes You Might Like…

If you make this recipe, I’d love to know how it went! Please leave a star rating and comment below. Thanks!

brown basmati rice in an Instant Pot with a spoon

Instant Pot Brown Basmati Rice

Instant Pot Brown Basmati Rice is so easy, there's no soaking required, and it comes out perfectly cooked every time!
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Natural Pressure Release: 10 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 (about ¾ cup each; recipe makes about 3 cups total)
Estimated Calories: 183

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • cups cold water
  • ½ teaspoon salt, optional
  • 1 tablespoon butter, optional

Special Equipment

  • Instant Pot (I use a 6-quart pot)

Instructions

  • Rinse the rice in a fine mesh sieve/strainer under cold running water until the water runs clear (about 2 to 3 minutes).
    Don't skip this step! This removes any extra starch that is on the outside of the rice that could otherwise make your rice sticky and gummy.
  • Place the rice in the Instant Pot.
  • Add the water, salt (if using) and butter or oil (if using); stir briefly to combine, making sure that all of the rice is covered by water when you are finished.
  • Put the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the steam release valve to SEALING.
  • Cook at HIGH pressure for 22 minutes.
    It will take the Instant Pot 7 to 10 minutes to come up to pressure before the timer will start counting down the 22 minutes.
  • When the cooking time is finished, turn off the Instant Pot and allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes; then quick-release any remaining pressure.
  • Open the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Enjoy!

Notes

  • If you have an 8-quart Instant Pot, you’ll need to double the recipe since it requires more liquid (a minimum of 2 cups) to come to pressure. Double all of the ingredients but keep the same 22-minute cooking time.
  • You could use oil instead of butter (any neutral-tasting oil would work fine).
  • Different brands of rice may cook differently, not to mention that we all have our own preferences as to how we like our rice. As written, this recipe will give you a tender but very slightly al dente rice.
    • If you’d like your rice a little softer, try adding up to another ¼ cup of water.
    • If you’d like your rice a little firmer, try reducing the water by up to ¼ cup.
  • Store leftover cooled rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. Freeze for longer-term storage up to 2 to 3 months.
  • Estimated calories shown include butter and salt.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!
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