Brown rice is one of my favorite staple grains. It’s nutritious, flavorful, and pairs well with a huge array of things. But the one big downside of cooking with rice is that it can take a really long time to prepare from scratch (and it can be super easy to muck up if you don’t get the technique exactly right).
Luckily, there are some decent precooked rice options on the market, like this frozen Organic Brown Rice from Trader Joe’s. This rice comes in a box of three 10-oz rice packages that can be prepared either in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stovetop. Each box is just $2.99. The rice is entirely precooked and simply needs to be reheated and rehydrated prior to serving.
Up until 2022, Trader Joe’s also carried a non-organic version of their frozen brown rice. However, that version has since been discontinued. As of February 2023, the only frozen brown rice sold at Trader Joe’s is organic and looks like the product pictured above.
If you’re looking for other types of rice in the TJ’s frozen section, you can also find a frozen Organic Jasmine Rice for $3.49, as well as a frozen Rice Medley for $3.99, which combines brown rice, red rice, and black barley.
Ingredients & Nutrition
TJ’s isn’t pulling any punches when it comes to their frozen Organic Brown Rice. This stuff contains just one ingredient–cooked organic brown rice.
Each box contains three individually wrapped packages of rice, and each package accounts for two servings. This means that each box contains six servings. Once it’s rehydrated, each individual rice package yields about two full cups of cooked rice.
As far as nutrition goes, each serving of rice (1 cup) contains 200 calories from 1.5 grams of fat, 43 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of protein. You also get a little bit of calcium, iron, and potassium in each serving.
Brown rice is an extremely healthy food, containing almost no fat and zero sugar, cholesterol, or sodium. It’s considered a healthy whole grain and is eaten by many people as a daily or weekly staple in a healthy diet.
Brown rice is naturally gluten free.
TJ’s Organic Brown Rice is also considered “pareve” which means that it does not contain meat or dairy and abides by kosher dietary rules.
According to the box, there are two ways to prepare this rice–in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Here’s what the bag looks like when you first take it out of the box…
The side with the red stripes is the side you want facing upwards when you prepare the rice in the microwave (keep reading for detailed instructions).
In The Microwave
If you’d like to prepare your rice in the microwave, follow these steps:
- Remove one rice pouch from the box and place it directly into the microwave with the bag’s seam facing upward. (Do not open or pierce the plastic bag.)
- Microwave on high for about 3 minutes.
- Let sit for a few seconds to allow the steam inside the bag to subside.
- Tear or cut open the pouch and use the rice however you wish.
According to this little blurb on the box, this rice does not require any added water. This may be true when preparing it in the microwave, but I had to adjust the instructions a bit when preparing it on the stove.
On The Stovetop
I’m wary of heating anything up inside of a plastic container, so I decided to cook my rice on the stovetop instead.
Following the box’s instructions, I emptied the contents of one bag into a sauce pan, covered it, and let it heat over a medium temperature.
One side of the box does say to add water if needed, but elsewhere it says that it shouldn’t require any added water. So, for the first few minutes, I just let it do its thing.
It quickly became clear, though, that this stuff was going to need a little help.
I ended up adding about a ½ cup of water to the pot over the course of about 15 minutes as the rice heated and softened. If I hadn’t added any liquid, the rice would have ended up sticking and burning to the bottom of the pan as it was very dry.
I also found the rice to be very clumpy. Even with frequent stirring, it took quite a while to thaw and take on the texture that I was expecting.
In the end though, it all worked out. After about 15 minutes, the rice was fully rehydrated and heated, and looked like a normal pot of brown rice.
TJ’s Frozen Brown Rice Recipes
Before I get into my review, I want to offer some ideas of what to do with your TJ’s Organic Brown Rice once it’s cooked.
Brown rice is truly one of the most versatile foods on the planet, included in everything from stews to Asian-inspired dishes to risotto, jambalaya, and more.
Check out this amazing list of top-rated recipes all calling for brown rice…
- Here’s a recipe for Chicken & Brown Rice Soup from The Dizzy Cook
- Here’s one for Fried Brown Rice from The Woks of Life
- Check out this recipe for Brown Rice Jambalaya from That Girl Cooks Healthy
- And finally, Brown Rice Risotto with Mushrooms and Fresh Oregano from Cookie + Kate
My Honest Review
Once my brown rice was all ready to go, it looked just like a pot of rice I cooked from scratch.
A difference I noticed right away, though, is that it wasn’t quite as fragrant as from-scratch rice. I’m used to brown rice having a fairly distinct aroma (rich, almost nutty), but this stuff didn’t seem to have much of a smell. (Pro tip: the less of an aroma a food has, the less fresh it’s likely to be.)
I added my entire pot of rice to an even bigger pot of lentil and vegetable soup I was in the process of making, which ended up being a great choice. The rice added substance and texture, and the amount was just right.
Here are the positive things I have to say about this rice…
- It’s quick and easy to make (despite it being kind of a funky process on the stove)
- It has a nice, soft texture and feels just like fresh-cooked rice
- It’s organic (always a bonus)
And the things I don’t like…
- For some reason, this rice just doesn’t have much aroma or flavor
- I personally don’t like the individually wrapped plastic packages (seems like a waste of plastic overall)
- Honestly, the price (I can get a better deal buying regular dry brown rice in a bag)
Even though this rice seems like it was relatively fresh when it was frozen (old rice tends to get brittle and mushy as it ages), I just didn’t get much flavor from this stuff. But maybe I’m just a brown rice snob.
Overall, I probably wouldn’t buy this rice again because I prefer making my rice from scratch and I find that the added time commitment is worth actually being able to taste the food.
That said, for anyone who’s needing a quick alternative to making a pot of brown rice from scratch, I’d say this is a decent route to take. It’s quick, easy, healthy, and fairly affordable.