Freezing cooked rice in serving-size portions is an easy way to have an almost-instant side dish, and is nearly as good as freshly cooked. It’s an especially handy do-ahead for brown rice, which takes around 45 minutes to cook. Portion cooked rice (either plain or simple pilafs work equally well) into single serving-size Ziploc-type freezer bags and freeze. The rice can go straight from freezer to microwave and be ready in a few minutes, or thawed in the refrigerator and incorporated into other dishes.

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