It’s not every day that a frozen grocery item changes your life, but I can say with certainty that I am not the same person I was before I knew the wonders of Trader Joe’s frozen, microwavable rice. I didn’t know the stuff even existed until I joined the Kitchn team three years ago, and learned about Managing Editor Lauren Kodiak‘s favorite version: the organic brown rice. I tried it for myself and it’s become a staple in my cart now, too.
I’ve since become an evangelist and consider myself an expert on all things TJ’s frozen rice, which comes in four different varieties (Organic Jasmine, Brown, Organic Brown, and Rice Medley). Each box contains three 10-ounce bags of frozen rice and ranges in price from $2.99 to $4.49. Like Lauren Kodiak, my go-to is the Organic Brown Rice, which has this perfectly al dente texture once prepared.
It could not be simpler to make, saving me the 25+ minutes it takes to cook rice from scratch. On nights when I’m looking for a quick dinner assist, I simply remove a bag from the freezer and give it a zap in the microwave for three minutes. The rice steams in the bag and results in perfectly cooked rice with absolutely zero effort. (Just don’t forget to let it stand for a minute before opening the bag — it’s super hot!)
On any given week, TJ’s frozen rice makes an appearance in approximately 50 percent of my lunches and dinners. Because there are countless uses for this quick-cooking rice: I’ve added it to salads, used it as a base for DIY sushi bowls, eaten it with my signature doctored-up canned black beans, and even turned it into the easiest ever “risotto,” stirring in broth, frozen shrimp, frozen artichokes, and a LOT of Parmesan cheese. I honestly do not think I’m exaggerating when I say it’s the best find in the entire store.
Fun little story: I thought all my frozen rice dreams were dashed when I moved into an apartment last year with no space for a microwave, but you better believe I found a workaround! Turns out, you can also quickly cook this rice on the stovetop, sautéing in a drizzle of olive oil until defrosted.
How do you use Trader Joe’s frozen brown rice?