How Much Rice to Cook and Serve Per Person? (+Charts)

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If you want to prevent food waste, it’s important to properly estimate the size of each portion you serve.

So how much uncooked rice do you need to cook per person?

Well, the answer to this question will depend on the way you’re incorporating rice into your meals.

If it’s used as a side dish, you’ll need 1/6 cup of uncooked rice per person, while for main dishes you’ll need 1/3 cup.

However, there are several factors that can affect these measurements.

Keep reading if you want to find out the serving size of both cooked and uncooked rice.

How much cooked rice to serve per person?

When you’re preparing a meal for a large crowd, it’s easy to over or underestimate the amount of rice you need to cook.

This can lead to a variety of unpleasant scenarios, the best of which is ending up with leftovers.

And since leftovers take fridge space and often get uneaten, it’s better to cook only as much rice as you need.

So how much rice do you actually need to cook per person?

The standard serving size for cooked rice when it’s used as a main dish is 1 cup per person or around 155 grams. If you’re serving rice as a side dish then you’ll generally need 1/2 cup per person. In the next sections of this article, I will help you calculate how much uncooked rice you need to cook per person.

Also note that, the amount you’d want to serve per person may vary depending on the other side dishes you’re serving.

If, for instance, you serve rice with meat or vegetables, you can increase the amount from 1/2 cup to 1 cup per person.

This rule also applies if your guests are particularly fond of rice or they just have a larger appetite.

I personally love rice so half a cup is never enough to satiate my hunger.

However, there are plenty of people who try to restrict their carb intake and view such an amount as too much.

How much cooked rice does a cup of dry rice yield?

Once you know how much cooked rice you’ll need per person, you’ll have to find out the exact amount of dry rice you’ll need.

And this can be somewhat challenging since each rice variety yields a different amount of cooked rice.

Due to this, I decided to summarize the most popular varieties of rice and their yield in a table which you’ll see below.

If the numbers in grams in the chart seem off at first glance, it’s because rice behaves very interestingly when cooked.

On average, uncooked rice will increase about 2.6 to 3 times in weight and 3 times in volume when cooked. Cups are a measurement of volume and grams are a measurement of weight.

The general rule of thumb after doing some math becomes that 1 cup of uncooked rice weighs in at around 180 grams and yields 3 cups of cooked rice. Each cup of cooked rice will weigh about 155 grams or around 470 grams in total for the three.

Here’s the amount of cooked rice different varieties of uncooked rice yield per cup:

a chart showing how much cooked rice one cup of uncooked rice yields

Bear in mind that the amount of time you’ll need to cook each variety will also differ.

Standard white rice typically takes about 20 minutes to cook perfectly, whereas risotto rice needs slightly more time and is done in about 30 minutes.

For brown rice you’ll need even more time which in some cases might exceed 45 minutes.

How much uncooked rice to cook for a serving size per person?

To make matters even more simple, I’ve made a chart with the exact amount of raw rice you’ll need for one person, 2, 4 and 6 people.

Here’s how much uncooked rice you’ll need per person when rice is the main dish:

a table showing how much uncooked rice to cook per person as a main dish

And here’s how much uncooked rice you’ll need when rice is served as a side dish:

a table showing how much uncooked rice to cook per person as a side dish

How to estimate the serving size of rice without a scale?

Now that you’ve established how much rice you need to cook, it’s time to find how to divide it into portions.

The easiest way to do this is by using measuring cups or a kitchen scale.

If however, you don’t have these utensils on hand, you can estimate the serving size of rice by eye.

A cup of cooked rice typically equals a closed fist, whereas half a cup is obviously about half of that.

This might not be the most accurate estimate you can use, but it’s definitely practical when you can’t use a scale.

And if you want to use the data from the charts above and adjust the amounts visually, here’s what 100 grams of cooked white rice (2/3 cup) look like in a regular large plate:

what 100 grams of cooked white rice looks like as a side dish in a regular large plate

How to repurpose leftover rice?

As practical as serving sizes can be, you might still end up with a bunch of leftover rice.

The best thing to do in such cases is to store the leftover rice in an airtight container and put it in the fridge.

Unfortunately, plain leftover rice can be quite a boring meal to say the least.

So if you want to put your leftover rice to good use, you’ll need to repurpose it first.

Here’s how you can do that:

  • Turn it into congee. Congee is a traditional Chinese rice porridge that can be made with both sweet and savory ingredients. It’s an extremely hearty meal that’s perfect for the fall and winter. To make congee, you’ll need to season the rice and cook it until it dissolves completely in the cooking liquid.
  • Make rice crackers. If you’re out of snacks, then making rice crackers is a great way to repurpose your leftover rice. Simply divide the rice into 3.5 oz (100g) portions, roll it with a pin and season with sesame seeds and salt. Once done, microwave each cracker for 3 minutes on both sides.
  • Cook some fried rice. One of the best ways to repurpose old rice is to cook some fried rice. In fact, fried rice is typically made with leftover rice since it has less moisture.
  • Turn it into pudding. Out of dessert? Then it’s to make some rice pudding! Rice pudding is quite easy to make and requires only a few simple ingredients. As long as you have milk, cinnamon and vanilla extract, you’ll be good to go.

My short recap

One of the biggest nightmares when you’re hosting a large party is to not have enough food for your guests.

Fortunately, once you know the serving size of each item in your menu, you can say goodbye to your worries.

And for cooked rice, this means one cup when it’s the main dish, and half a cup when it’s used as a side dish.

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