Sometimes side dishes are the best part of the meal, and this Toasted Brown Rice with Mushrooms & Thyme recipe definitely falls into that category!
This brown rice with mushrooms will always be one of my favorite side dishes. As much as we love experimenting with different grains, such as quinoa, farro and barley, our go-to whole grain remains brown rice.
Some of our favorite dinner recipes are healthy brown rice recipes, such as Southwestern Turkey Rice Casserole and Chicken and Rice Soup (Instant Pot). And its hearty, nutty flavor lends itself well to rice pilaf with orzo, a side dish that complements almost any meal.
If I had my choice, I'd cook brown rice with mushrooms every single time. But as the lone wolf mushroom lover of the house, my only option is to satisfy that whim when guests are coming for dinner or when I'm on my own for lunch.
Turning brown rice from a neutral side dish to something that could steal the spotlight is as easy as sautéing the rice with vegetables and fresh herbs, and cooking in a water/broth mixture. A big helping of caramelized mushrooms doesn't hurt either!
WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS TOASTED BROWN RICE WITH MUSHROOMS:
These are the main components for this recipe (including affiliate links)…
- Brown rice: See section below for a more thorough discussion.
- Mushrooms: While the ingredients list for this recipe calls for crimini mushrooms, feel free to use whatever you have on hand. Regular button mushrooms work, those these are typically my last choice since I find that other varieties of mushrooms have more flavor. If I have them on hand, I’d choose shiitake mushrooms every day of the week because of their wonderful meaty texture and rich flavor. Choose what works for you.
- Vegetable broth: Use homemade if you have it. If not, a good quality store-bought veggie broth, like this one (affiliate link), will do the trick.
- Herbs: The recipe calls for fresh thyme, but feel free to use dried thyme if that’s what you have. The general rule is to use one-third the amount of the dried herb. In the case of this recipe, that would be 1 teaspoon of dried thyme.
- Flavor base: Chopped yellow onions and minced garlic, sautéed in olive oil, provides plenty of flavor as the base of this easy brown rice recipe.
What kind of rice should I use?
This recipe is very forgiving, so you could use virtually any type of brown rice. The cooking time often varies slightly, so be sure to follow the package directions. (Affiliate link included.)
- Basmati: Brown basmati rice is the one I cook with most often. If you have ever been to an Indian restaurant, basmati is what was likely served. It’s a wonderful accompaniment to curries. It has a mild nutty flavor and the grains distinctly separate in comparison to short grain varieties.
- Jasmine: Another favorite of mine, jasmine rice is the rice used predominantly in Thai cooking. It has a nice firm texture and a lovely nutty taste.
- Short grain: I typically save short grain brown rice for risotto or similar dishes. When cooked, it becomes quite soft and creamy.
- Long grain: If I don’t have basmati or jasmine rice on hand, long grain brown rice would be my next choice for this side dish recipe. It tends to be very firm and I actually prefer the softer texture of the other varieties. But if you really don’t enjoy any sort of soft texture to your rice, this one’s for you!
What to serve with this mushroom brown rice recipe:
This rice side dish is really versatile and pairs well with most chicken, seafood and pork recipe. Here are a few favorites...
Grilled Ahi Tuna with Soy Ginger Sauce
Easy Turkey Cutlets in White Wine Sauce
Oven Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Glaze
Shrimp in Red Sauce
Toasted Brown Rice with Mushrooms & Thyme Recipe
- 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil divided
- ½ yellow onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup brown rice (I prefer basmati)
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 8 ounces crimini mushrooms sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 3 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- Heat ½ teaspoon olive oil in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
- Stir in the vegetable broth and water. Bring to a boil, cover saucepan and reduce heat to low.
- Cook until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 35 minutes.*
- Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. dd the mushrooms and cook until starting to brown, about 4 minutes.
- Stir in the thyme and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the mushrooms, parsley, salt and pepper to the rice, and stir to combine. Serve.
Other brown rice recipes:
Greek Turkey, Rice & Feta Casserole
Easy Cilantro Lime Brown Rice
Chicken and Rice Soup (Instant Pot)
This post was originally published on March 27, 2015 and updated on October 14, 2019.
Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Beautiful pics and great recipe as always, Dara! I love brown rice and mushrooms, too. Sorry for the lapse in between comments, but "ya know" -- especially these days. Hope you and your family are doing well "up North!"
Me and my fiancé loved this recipe, thank you!!
That's great to hear, Natalie! Thank you for commenting.
This recipe was not a hit at our house. It's possible that it had to do with the rice we used, which was Trader Joe's basmati brown rice. That rice might be treated in a manner to make it faster cooking. Both the texture and the flavor were problematic. I added a bit of parmesean cheese at the end to try to round out the flavors some, but it wasn't enough to rescue this dish.
Hmm, I've used the TJ's brown basmati rice and haven't had any issues, though I typically rinse it before using. Could you tell me more specifically what the texture and flavor problems were?
This is so tasty. My only issue was it taking 3X the amount of liquid. What did I do wrong?
Made this tonight to spruce up some brown rice and it was fabulous. Thank you. However, I used some homemade organic chicken broth and used that instead of the veggie broth. Worked just as well. Forgot to take a picture before it was all gone but it looked just like yours.
So great to hear, Norma!
One of my favorite side dishes. I have been making it for ages. Makes me feel homey cuz my mom used to cook it when I was a child. I like that it goes with just about any meal. Hearty, comforting, and super healthy. My whole family loves it. I prefer to toss the rice with some chopped broccoli before serving and garnish the dish with fresh chopped parsley. My kids love to eat it with a pita bread and say it tastes sooo good. I think I’m gonna make it over the weekend again. Highly recommend everyone to try it.
BTW, Dara do you have any tips on reheating rice the second day to stop it drying out and keep it soft and fluffy?
Being Asian who consumes rice almost daily, I sprinkle (or spray) leftover rice with a bit of water, cover with damp paper towel & microwave for 1-2 mins. depending on qty.
This recipe is so delicious. I really liked the way the flavors came together. As with most recipes, the leftovers had more flavor the next day. It's also nice to have rinsing the rice elimanated by toasting it first. It freezes well, too. Thanks so much for a definite keeper.
Katie @ Old World Taste
This sounds pretty good! I have some thyme growing in my garden so always looking for recipes that use fresh thyme. With leftover brown rice, I like to make a brown rice pudding for breakfast. Sweet and creamy and also healthy!
Sarah Walker Caron (Sarah's Cucina Bella)
This looks incredible -- just like the kind of dish my kids and I would love. We are huge mushroom fans, and the creaminess of this has me drooling.
Angie | Big Bear's Wife
I love mushrooms and I probably love them more than anyone in my family! And um, yes, sometimes side dishes are what I'm looking forward too, the main dish is just there because haha. I'm craving this so bad right now!
I know this is going to sound so silly but that photo of the raw sliced mushrooms is so pretty! Who knew fungi could look so good 😉 Love this dish too. It's hearty enough to be filling but perfect for my non-meat eating family members.