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How much water do you mix with Lundberg wild rice?

Quick Answer

The recommended water to rice ratio when cooking Lundberg wild rice is 2:1. This means for every 1 cup of dry Lundberg wild rice, you should use 2 cups of water. However, the exact amount of water needed can vary based on personal preference and the cooking method. Many people find using a 2:1 ratio produces properly cooked wild rice that is not too mushy or too crunchy.

Detailed Answer

When cooking Lundberg wild rice, using the right ratio of water to rice is important to ensure the grains cook properly and achieve the desired texture. Here are some more details on the water to rice ratio for Lundberg wild rice:

  • The package instructions recommend using a 2:1 water to rice ratio. So for 1 cup of dry rice, use 2 cups of water.
  • This 2:1 ratio is a good starting point and works well for most people. However, the exact amount of water needed can vary based on personal taste.
  • Some people may prefer using a bit more water, around 2 1/4 cups water per 1 cup rice. This produces softer, more porous grains.
  • Others may want to use a bit less water, around 1 3/4 cups per 1 cup rice, for firmer grains with more chew.
  • The cooking method can also affect the amount of water needed. Boiling tends to require more water while steaming requires less.
  • So feel free to adjust the water amount up or down to find your perfect rice texture.

Here are some general guidelines for how much water to use with Lundberg wild rice:

Dry Lundberg Wild Rice Water
1 cup 2 cups
2 cups 4 cups
3 cups 6 cups
4 cups 8 cups

So in summary:

  • Start with a 2:1 water to rice ratio
  • Adjust water amount up or down to find your desired texture
  • Use more water for softer grains, less for firmer grains
  • Factor in cooking method, boiling needs more water than steaming

Taking the time to get the water amount just right is key to cooking delicious Lundberg wild rice with the perfect tender-to-chewy texture every time.

Tips for Cooking Lundberg Wild Rice

Here are some additional tips to help you cook Lundberg wild rice correctly:

  • Rinse the rice – Rinsing removes excess starch on the surface of the grains which can make the rice gummy. Place rice in a mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water for 30 seconds.
  • Combine rice and water – After rinsing, combine the rice and measured water in a saucepan. The ratio of 2:1 is a good starting point.
  • Soak before cooking – Let the rice soak for 30 minutes before cooking. This allows the grains to absorb water.
  • Bring to a boil – Heat the rice and water to a boil over high heat. Then reduce heat to low.
  • Simmer covered – Let the rice simmer for 35-45 minutes, keeping the pan covered.
  • Don’t stir – Avoid stirring the rice during cooking, this can make it gummy.
  • Check rice texture – After 35 minutes, taste a few grains to determine if they are cooked through. If not, continue simmering 10 minutes more.
  • Drain excess water – When the rice is cooked, drain off any excess water using a mesh strainer.

Following these steps will help you achieve properly cooked Lundberg wild rice with the right ratio of water. The 2:1 water ratio is a good place to start but feel free to adjust higher or lower based on your preferences.

How to Tell When Wild Rice is Done

Here are some ways to check if your wild rice is fully cooked:

  • Grain appearance – The grains should have split open slightly and appear a bit puffed up.
  • Texture – The rice should be tender but still have a satisfying chewy bite without being crunchy.
  • Taste – Sample a few grains, they should taste cooked through without hard centers. Flavor should be nutty and pleasant.
  • Time – Lundberg wild rice takes 35-45 minutes of simmering to become fully tender.
  • Rinse test – Rinse a spoonful of rice under cool water. It should remain intact without falling apart.
  • Squeeze test – Squeeze a grain between your fingers, it should be soft without hard or crunchy parts in the center.

Waiting the full simmering time is the best way to ensure Lundberg wild rice grains are completely cooked. But using the visual and texture clues above can help you double check. Perfectly cooked wild rice will be fluffy, tender, and chewy but not mushy.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

It’s easy to end up with undercooked or mushy rice if you make some common mistakes. Here are some wild rice cooking errors to avoid:

  • Not using enough water – Without sufficient water, the rice will be crunchy and hard. Follow the 2:1 ratio as a starting point.
  • Using too much water – Excess water will cause the grains to become mushy and lose their shape. Stick close to the recommended amount.
  • Not soaking before cooking – Skipping the soaking step prevents the grains from fully absorbing liquid and hydrating.
  • Cooking at too high heat – High heat can make the rice porridge-like. Maintain a low simmer.
  • Overcooking – Cooking longer than needed turns the rice to mush. Follow package time and test doneness.
  • Stirring while cooking – Stirring releases starch and makes rice gluey. Leave undisturbed during simmering.
  • Not draining excess water – Draining ensures rice isn’t wet or soggy. Use a mesh strainer after cooking.

Avoiding these common mistakes will give you fluffy, evenly cooked Lundberg wild rice every time. Focus on the 2:1 water ratio, proper soaking and simmering, and draining excess water.

How to Store Cooked Wild Rice

Cooked wild rice keeps well in the refrigerator or freezer, allowing you to make a batch ahead of time. Here are some tips for storing cooked wild rice:

  • Refrigerate – Place cooled rice in an airtight container. Keeps 3-5 days in the fridge.
  • Freeze – Transfer rice to freezer bags or airtight containers. Label and freeze up to 3 months.
  • Reheat – To reheat, add a few tablespoons of water and warm on the stove over low or in the microwave.
  • Avoid moisture – Wet or damp rice will spoil quickly. Spread out to dry before storing and keep rice dry in fridge.
  • Use promptly – When reheating previously frozen rice, use within a day or two for best quality.
  • Check for issues – Avoid eating rice that smells bad, is moldy, or looks slimy when thawed.

With proper refrigeration and freezing, cooked wild rice keeps well for use throughout the week. Rehydrate with a bit of water before serving reheated rice.

Does Wild Rice Expand When Cooked?

Yes, wild rice significantly expands in size when cooked. Here’s how the volume changes:

  • 1 cup dry wild rice makes around 3 to 4 cups cooked.
  • The grains triple or quadruple in size as they absorb water and split open.
  • Brown rice doubles in size when cooked, but wild rice expands more.
  • Longer simmering times lead to more expansion as grains further absorb liquid.
  • The expansion happens gradually during soaking and cooking.
  • Cooking methods that use more water, like boiling, cause more expansion.

To account for expansion, use a pot with triple the volume of the dry rice. Avoid crowding so the grains can swell up freely as they hydrate and cook. The significant increase in volume is part of what gives cooked wild rice its unique texture.

Substituting Brown Rice for Wild Rice

Brown and wild rice have quite different flavors and textures. But in a pinch, you can substitute brown rice:

  • Use 1 1/4 cups brown rice for every 1 cup wild rice called for. Adjust any seasonings to complement the milder brown rice.
  • Add the brown rice to dishes at the beginning of cooking so it has time to become tender.
  • Consider mixing some brown and wild rice together. Use 3/4 cup wild rice + 1/2 cup brown rice as a 1 cup substitute.
  • Rinse both rices well before cooking to remove excess starch.
  • Expect a shorter cooking time, about 25-40 minutes for brown rice.
  • Check frequently for doneness and stop cooking when rice is tender.

While it won’t mimic the exact wild rice flavor and texture, brown rice can work in a pinch. Adjust cook times and seasonings to complement its milder taste.


Getting the right water to rice ratio is vital when cooking Lundberg wild rice. While the package instructions recommend 2 cups water per 1 cup rice, feel free to adjust up or down to find your perfect rice texture. Properly cooked wild rice will triple in size, become fluffy and tender, and have a satisfying chewy bite. Avoid under or overcooking by following soak times and testing doneness. With the right techniques, you can enjoy delicious al dente wild rice every time.