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Rice is a staple food for more than half of the world’s population (
Given the numerous types of rice, you have a lot of options to choose from. What’s more, you may want to consider the overall quality, taste, texture, nutrient content, and a lack of additives like preservatives (
To help you determine which to choose, Healthline evaluated the best brands of rice based on the following factors:
- overall quality
- a lack of additives, including preservatives and artificial ingredients
- taste and texture when cooked
- nutritional value
When comparing nutrients, keep in mind that 1/4 cup (about 45 grams) of uncooked rice yields 1/2–1 cup cooked (about 125–250 grams), depending on the variety of rice and cooking method.
Here are the 12 best brands of rice for 2021.
Unlike white rice, brown rice is considered a whole grain because it contains all parts of the grain — the bran, germ, and endosperm. Thus, it’s often higher in fiber, protein, and certain minerals like manganese and magnesium than white rice (
Lundberg Family Farms is a family-owned company that offers a wide variety of grains and grain products. Their organic long-grain brown rice is one of the best on the market, as it’s certified organic, certified gluten-free, and non-GMO verified.
It’s also free of any additives and contains only one ingredient — organic long-grain brown rice.
Once cooked, the rice has a firm, non-sticky texture and slightly nutty flavor that works well in a variety of dishes, including stir-fries, pilafs, and casseroles.
Just 1/4 cup (45 grams), uncooked, provides (7):
Although brown rice is considered healthier, white rice is more widely consumed around the world (
RiceSelect’s Organic White Texmati is one of the best white rice options, as it’s non-GMO verified, certified gluten-free, and organic. It’s also free of additives and preservatives.
Texmati is a unique strain described as an American-style basmati rice. Though not as aromatic as traditional basmati, its nutty, almost popcorn-like flavor goes well in a variety of dishes, such as curries and casseroles.
Only 1/4 cup (45 grams), uncooked, offers (8):
Basmati rice is known for its nutty flavor and slightly floral aroma. It’s commonly found in Indian and South Asian cuisine, including dishes such as biryani and rice pilaf.
Basmati has a needle-like shape and shouldn’t be as sticky as regular brown or white rice when cooked.
Pride of India is a family-owned company that offers a variety of grains, herbs, and spices from India.
While the company claims that all its products are grown organically and without GMOs, their extra long brown basmati rice is not non-GMO verified and hasn’t been certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Still, this product is one of the best basmati options since it’s aged for up to 2 years, resulting in a noticeable floral aroma and deeper flavor than many other basmati products.
One-fourth cup (49 grams), uncooked, provides (9):
Like basmati, jasmine rice is a long-grain rice. However, jasmine tends to be shorter than basmati and slightly stickier when cooked. It’s also known for its strong floral aroma and buttery flavor.
Lundberg Family Farms’ organic brown jasmine rice is higher in fiber than white jasmine rice but with the same great taste and texture you would expect (10, 11).
It’s also free of additives and certified organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free.
Only 1/4 cup (45 grams), uncooked, contains (10):
Despite being cooked and eaten like rice, wild rices are the seeds of aquatic grasses. Four species exist, three of which are found widely in the Great Lakes region of the United States (
Wild rice is known for its distinct dark coloring and earthy flavor. It’s considered a whole grain and is a good source of protein (
The North Bay Trading Company is a family-run business whose products undergo voluntary audits by the Global Food Safety Initiative. Their wild rice is harvested in Minnesota and contains wild rice as the only ingredient.
This product gets high reviews for its nutty, rich flavor and firm texture, making it a good option for soups, casseroles, and pilafs.
About 1/4 cup (48 grams), uncooked, offers (13):
Black rice, also known as forbidden or purple rice, gets its signature purple-black hue from anthocyanin — a pigment with potent antioxidant properties (
While similar to brown rice in its high fiber content and whole grain status, black rice is slightly higher in protein (
The online subscription-based retailer Thrive Market offers one of the best forbidden rice options. In addition to being certified organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO, its black rice is free of added ingredients and contains only Italian-grown black rice.
When cooked, black rice has a pleasant, bread-like aroma, nutty flavor, and fluffy texture. As a result, it works well in both savory and sweet dishes.
Just 1/4 cup (45 grams), uncooked, provides (18):
Like black rice, red rice gets its vibrant color from its anthocyanin content. It’s also considered a whole grain, making it a good source of fiber (
Lotus Foods is a rice company that’s committed to supporting small-scale farmers and sustainable rice growing methods. Its red rice is grown on family farms in Thailand and both certified organic and non-GMO.
Notably, this product is rich in several important minerals.
When cooked, this long-grain rice has a nutty flavor that works well with soups, salads, pilafs, and stir-fries.
One-fourth cup (50 grams), uncooked, contains (20):
|Manganese:||50% of the Daily Value (DV)|
|Phosphorus:||20% of the DV|
|Magnesium:||20% of the DV|
|Chromium:||20% of the DV|
|Iron:||6% of the DV|
|Selenium:||6% of the DV|
Sprouting, also known as germination, involves the prolonged soaking of grains or seeds to make them more nutritious and easier to digest (
Specifically, sprouting has been shown to increase the protein content of brown rice (
Sprouting also makes certain minerals easier to absorb by reducing levels of phytate — a plant compound that impairs your absorption of nutrients like zinc, calcium, and iron from grains and legumes (
Planet Rice’s sprouted brown rice is an ideal choice since it’s certified gluten-free, non-GMO verified, and free of additives.
This product is slightly softer and sweeter than regular brown rice.
Just 1/4 cup (45 grams), uncooked, provides (23):
“Sushi rice” refers to white short-grain Japanese rice or medium-grain California rice that becomes sticky after cooking. You may also see it labeled as Calrose rice.
Koshihikari is a popular cultivar of short-grain rice that originated in Japan but is also grown in Australia and the United States. It’s commonly used in sushi since it’s slightly sweet and has a sticky texture when cooked (
If you’re planning to make your own sushi rolls or poke bowls at home, Shirakiku’s Koshihikari is the best option.
Grown in California, this product gets great reviews for its stickiness and sweetness. While it isn’t non-GMO verified, it’s free of additives and preservatives.
Only 1/4 cup (45 grams), uncooked, contains (25):
Microwave-ready rice is a popular option for anyone looking for a quick and easy lunch or dinner.
However, some products are more processed than others. Choose those that are free of artificial colors, flavorings, preservatives, and added sugars.
In addition to their wide variety of stovetop rice products, Lundberg Family Farms offers a microwave-ready brown rice bowl that’s certified organic and non-GMO verified, and it only contains cooked long-grain brown rice.
You simply lift the flap on top and microwave it on high for 90 seconds.
Depending on your calorie and carb goals, one container may be enough for two meals.
One container provides 1 cup (210 grams) cooked rice and offers (26):
Tasty Bite’s organic brown rice is a fully cooked, microwavable option that’s widely available and reasonably priced.
Each microwavable packed makes enough for 2 servings and takes just 90 seconds to cook.
What’s more, it’s certified organic and non-GMO verified. While it contains sunflower oil, it’s free of preservatives and artificial flavors and colors. It’s also a good source of fiber and protein.
A single container, at 1 cup (140 grams) provides (27):
While tasty and convenient, boxed rice — also called pre-seasoned rice — is often packed with added ingredients like flavorings, colors, and preservatives.
These products may also be high in sodium, with some brands providing nearly half of your daily sodium allowance in just one serving (
Seeds of Change is an organic food company that specializes in pre-seasoned whole grain mixes.
Their quinoa and brown rice product uses just a handful of ingredients, including sunflower oil, sea salt, dried garlic, tapioca starch, onion powder, soy lecithin, parsley, and black pepper. While it’s not a low sodium option, it’s lower in salt than many competitors.
Notably, the addition of quinoa boosts its protein and nutrient content.
As it’s already seasoned, it makes for an easy side dish that you can cook on the stovetop or in the microwave.
One cooked serving — about 1 cup (142 grams) — provides (29):
When shopping for rice at the store, you should examine packages carefully. Keep an eye out for products with several broken grains of rice, as this may indicate that the product isn’t as fresh.
Moreover, opt for products that are free of additives and preservatives. In fact, unless you’re buying microwavable or pre-seasoned rice, the only ingredient should be rice.
If you’re concerned about pesticide residues, only choose products that are certified organic by the USDA.
It’s also important to consider the health benefits of brown versus white rice.
Brown rice is often higher in fiber and important nutrients, and switching from white to brown rice has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes (
When buying rice, you should keep an eye out for the overall quality and remember that most products shouldn’t have any added ingredients. In general, brown rice is considered healthier.
Rice is a versatile grain that’s enjoyed globally. Still, the multitude of varieties and options can be overwhelming.
When buying rice, choose brands like the ones above that are high in quality and contain no additives, preservatives, or unnecessary ingredients.
Finally, you should always opt for the product with the best flavor and texture for your recipe.