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...
Toasted Brown Rice with Mushrooms & Thyme Recipe
- 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:
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.