See a letter from Ellen about the donation campaign. Your help matters!

<-- revised 26July2012 -->
Back to where
you came from

Baked Rice and Pilaf

A handsome main or side dish, this method can also make a great breakfast rice pudding. It easily adapts for 25-40 people! To cook for a large group in a family kitchen, you have to shift some stove top foods to the oven. By cooking your rice or grain in the oven after a brief boil on the top of the stove, you free your stove top for all the other foods that need last minute attention.

Need a simple meal? Plan to add a soup or sauce in one crock pot and a peach cobbler in another, (or baking on the second shelf of the oven), make a salad, and you can prepare a great meal with very little fuss. A large covered turkey roaster pan works for a large amount, making the stove top to oven transition very easy.

All temperatures mentioned are for metal pans. Reduce heat 25 degrees for glass or ceramic casseroles.

Baked Rice in Milk
-- Basic Baked Grain Recipe --
4 to 6 people

3 cups milk (you can use other liquids)
When scalded, you can season by stirring in:
2 tablespoons green herbs, dried
OR 1/4 cup fresh chopped herbs or drained thawed chopped spinach
1 tablespoon dried vegetable concentrate bouillon (see note)
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2-4 tablespoons finely minced onion, raw or browned (optional)
1 clove minced garlic (optional)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
OR 1 teaspoon (6 threads) saffron (for yellow color)

1 1/2 cups long-grain rice (this is about 3/4 of a pound) little less than a pound)
You may substitute a few tablespoons of wild rice or sprouted wheat or rye for part of the rice, if you can get it.

Stir well, bring the pot or casserole to bubbling and boil covered five minutes on top of the stove for white rice, 8-10 minutes for brown rice, or other whole grain.

Standard oven

Place the tightly covered pot in a preheated oven and bake until tender.
The temperature of baking may vary with the use of the oven, you can bake from about 300 degrees (takes an hour or more) to 425 degrees (takes 25 minutes). At 350 degrees, it takes about 30 minutes. 

For electric roaster, see below. Use for 4-6 pounds dry rice.


Any whole grain may be substituted for rice in the recipe, with whole wheat increasing the cooking time, whole oats or cracked wheat (bulgar) lessening it, and millet, barley and rye about the same. You will also find that most grains except millet combine for excellent flavors and textures.

Plain Rice and Breakfast Rice Pudding variations:

For plain rice, omit the spices and vegetables and add about 1/2 t of salt added, may be used to prepare plain rice or cooked grains for other uses. 

Breakfast Rice Pudding variation:
1/4 C honey may be substituted for the seasonings to prepare a breakfast cereal. Stir in raisins or other dried fruit to taste.

Main Dish Variation:
If the casserole is to be used as a main dish, you need to increase and complement the rice protein:

for each 1 1/2 cups rice, add 1/2-1 C soy grits pre-soaked and increase milk to 3 1/2 cups.
Grated cheese or cottage cheese may be stirred in after cooking or spread on top for the last 10 minutes of baking (be sure to replace cover on the casserole after adding the cheese). 

Vegetable concentrate bouillon:
This is a dried or freeze-dried vegetable powder blend without salt which is sold under various names such as Garden Broth, Vita Broth, Super Broth, or Vegebroth. It is basically an instant concentrated soup stock.


This recipe can be increased up to six times in a single pan.

Increase the ingredients as necessary to give enough for the group, bake in a covered roasting pan or foil-covered enameled dish pan at the same temperature, cooking time increases by ABOUT 5 minutes per inch of depth above 2 inches to compensate for the quantity of the food.

Vegetable juices such as tomato juice, soup stock, or even water may be substituted for part of the milk. This will decrease the available protein in the dinner unless you beat 1-2 tablespoons of non-instant milk per cup into the liquid before cooking.

Vegetables such as green pepper, peas, cooked drained beans, corn, chopped tomatoes may be added to the dish before cooking, or cooked separately and stirred in before serving. Cook separately to maintain texture and bright color. There are several Spanish/ Mexican rice recipes on this site.

Bake rice in an electric roster

You can bake up to 6 pounds of dry rice in a standard electric roaster. For rice, roasters with side heating coils (Nesco, for example) do a better job with less risk of scorch than those with bottom coils (Hamilton Beach, Rival). Here is the conversion for an electric roaster:

Measure the dry rice. Assemble the related additions. Measure out your water, juice, broth.

Rinse or soak your rice as indicated, Basmati rice needs soaking (30 minutes) and old or brown rice also benefits from it. Drain well.

Meanwhile, preheat the electric roaster to 425 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 20 minutes. Add your rice to the roaster with water in appropriate ratios. Caution; short grain, converted, or pre-browned rice uses slightly less water than long grain raw. Follow the standard ratio of one part rice to 2 parts water if no directions are present. Add additional water if the rice is not completely covered with liquid- the liquid should cover by 1/2 to 1 inch.

Bring water/liquid and seasonings to a boil. Let rice boil, five minutes for white rice, 8 minutes for brown or other whole-grain rice. Uncover the roaster and stir the rice thoroughly. Re-cover the electric roaster and turn down the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Check on the rice after 30-35 minutes for white, 45 for brown. If not finished, cook five to ten minutes longer.
Cooking time in a full roaster increases by about 5 minutes per inch of depth above 2 inches to compensate for the quantity of the food.

It is simplest to cook any mixed veggies or peas you are add separately and stir them in at the end.

If rice is undercooked, add any needed boiling liquid, simmer five to ten more minutes, then shut off the heat and then also let the rice steam, still covered, for five to ten minutes.

If holding, turn to 160-180 and cover the surface of the rice with a clean, cotton dish towel to catch condensation

Fluff before serving.