Learn how much rice to serve per person for your dinner or party. Serving size of rice is based on whether you plan to serve it as a main dish or a side dish.
As the end of the week approaches and you look in your fridge for some leftovers to eat before heading to the supermarket again, you’ll likely stumble upon rice. If you have too much of it left though, it might be a good time to ask yourself, how much is the right amount for me?
Depending on whether you consider rice a side or a main course, you want to calculate it using the following serving sizes: ½ cup of cooked rice if it’s a side, and 1 cup if it’s your main. From there, it’s easy to calculate how much rice you should really be making.
There’s a reason why it’s one of the four most important grains in the world. It’s been the foundation of many Asian cultures for centuries too. It’s cheap, it’s easy to cook, and it’s very filling. However, not all rice is made the same. There are healthier varieties than others.
Many people don’t consider white rice healthy. Although brown rice is certainly healthier, white rice is often enriched with iron and vitamin B so it's not exactly an empty carb. If you're thinking about nutritional value, brown rice is the way to go. It's packed with fiber, vitamins, and lots of minerals.
What Is A Serving Size Of Rice And What Does It Look Like?
Different kinds of rice cook differently, with some yielding slightly more or less. Regardless of the type, ½-1 cup of cooked rice per serving is a safe choice, but it also depends on what you're serving it with. If you're serving rice with lots of starchy vegetables like potatoes or peas, then sticking to ½ cup is the right way to go. However, who you're feeding is important to consider as well. Your friend with a large appetite might need a whole cup of rice even if it's a side.
While this may all seem very simple, things get a little complicated when you calculate the yield from uncooked to cooked rice. From uncooked rice to cooked, the yield is usually three times more.
Uncooked-To-Cooked Rice Conversions
Here's a list to help you calculate the yield per ½ cup of uncooked rice to cooked:
|Type of Rice (½ cup, uncooked)||Cooked|
|Jasmine rice||1 ½ cups|
|Basmati rice||1 ½ cups|
|Sticky rice||1 ½ cups|
|Wild rice||1 ½ cups|
|Brown rice||1 ½ cups|
|Instant white rice||1 cup|
|Short grain rice||1 cup|
|Medium grain rice||1 ½ cups|
|Long grain rice||1 ½ cups|
However, even if some of these varieties share the same serving size, they take different times to cook, so don't leave the pot alone for the same amount of time. Brown rice takes up to 40 minutes while instant rice only takes 5. Make sure to always read your package instructions and cook accordingly.
Serving Size Of Different Types Of Rice (Uncooked)
If you want to know how much of uncooked rice you will need per person, here's a list. Then just multiply it by many people are joining your dinner party:
|Type of Rice (Uncooked)||1 person||2 people||4 people||6 people|
|Jasmine rice||½ cup||1 cup||2 cups||3 cups|
|Wild rice||⅓ cup||⅔ cup||1 ⅓ cups||2 cups|
|Sticky rice||⅓ cup||⅔ cup||1 ⅓ cups||2 cups|
|Short grain rice||⅓ cup||⅔ cup||1 ⅓ cups||2 cups|
|Medium grain rice||⅓ cup||⅔ cup||1 ⅓ cups||2 cups|
|Long grain rice||⅓ cup||⅔ cup||1 ⅓ cups||2 cups|
|Instant white rice||½ cup||1 cup||2 cups||3 cups|
|Basmati rice||½ cup||1 cup||2 cups||3 cups|
|Brown Rice||¼ cup||½ cup||1 cup||1 ½ cups|
If you're serving it as a side, just halve the portion size.
So now that you've calculated how much of uncooked rice to add to the pot and it's all cooked, what does a portion actually look like on a plate? If you're hosting dinner, you might not want to bust out a measuring cup, so this is what a portion more or less looks like so you can eye-ball it:
- 1 cup: it looks like the size of a regular fist
- ½ cup: it looks like the size of a cupcake liner
If even after you've calculated all your portions, you end up with leftover rice, you can bring it to life in different ways so you don't end up eating steamed rice for the next 3-4 days. Here are a couple of ideas:
- Fried rice: all you need is soy sauce, eggs, and a couple of veggies in order to throw this together in less than 10 minutes.
- Sushi bake: add imitation crab meat and seasoning, then bake and enjoy.
- California Roll Sushi Bowls: You will absolutely love it! Tender imitation crab, sushi rice and your favorite veggies in this light, flavorful dish.
- Stir-fry: add some soy sauce, garlic, oyster sauce, and all your favorite veggies! That's it!
Hopefully these ideas will help you use up every bit of rice in your fridge. But remember– as long as you have rice, you have unlimited possibilities!
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