Best Rice For Gumbo: Parboiled, White Rice, & More

Best Rice for Gumbo

Gumbo is a classic dish that originated in Louisiana and is beloved for its rich flavors and hearty ingredients. But did you know that the type of rice you use can make a big difference in the overall taste and texture of your gumbo? In this article, we’ll dive into the world of rice and explore the best options for enhancing your gumbo recipes.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the right rice can elevate your gumbo to new heights.
  • White rice is a classic and versatile choice for gumbo.
  • Parboiled rice adds texture while still absorbing the flavors of the gumbo broth.
  • Aromatic rice varieties like jasmine rice and basmati rice enhance the overall taste of the dish.
  • Specialty rice varieties like wild ricered riceblack rice, and camargue rice bring unique flavors and colors to your gumbo recipes.

Understanding Different Rice Varieties

When it comes to choosing the best rice for gumbo, there are several rice varieties available. Each variety has its own unique flavortexture, and cooking properties. Here are some of the most common rice varieties used in gumbo:

Rice VarietiesDescription
White RiceA neutral-flavored rice with a fluffy texture that absorbs gumbo flavors well.
Medium Grain RiceA slightly sticky and moist rice that holds together well in gumbo dishes.
Jasmine RiceA fragrant rice with a slightly sweet aroma that adds delicate flavor to gumbo.
Basmati RiceAn aromatic rice with a nutty flavor that pairs well with spicy gumbo recipes.
Wild RiceA nutty and chewy rice that adds a unique texture to gumbo dishes.
Red RiceA flavorful and nutty rice with a vibrant red color that enhances gumbo appearance.
Black RiceA slightly sweet and nutty rice with a black hue that adds richness to gumbo recipes.
Camargue RiceA short-grain rice with a nutty flavor and brownish color that adds texture and depth to gumbo.
Parboiled RiceA rice type that has been partially cooked before processing, resulting in firmer and less sticky grains that are perfect for gumbo.
Brown RiceA whole grain rice with a nutty flavor and a chewy texture that adds a healthy twist to gumbo.

Whether you prefer the neutral flavor of white rice or the nutty aroma of brown rice, each variety can add its unique touch to your gumbo recipes.

White Rice for Gumbo: Classic and Versatile

If you’re looking for a versatile rice option that complements the rich flavors of gumbo, look no further than white rice. Whether you prefer parboiled ricemedium grain rice, or fragrant jasmine rice, white rice is a popular and classic choice for gumbo due to its neutral flavor and ability to absorb the flavors of the gumbo broth.

When cooking white rice for gumbo, it’s important to use the right proportion of water to rice to ensure perfectly cooked rice every time. For every cup of white rice, add 1.5 cups of water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 18-20 minutes until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.

Rice VarietyTextureFlavor
Parboiled RiceFirmer and less sticky when cookedNeutral flavor that complements gumbo
Medium Grain RiceShorter, plump grains that stick together when cookedNeutral flavor that complements gumbo
Jasmine RiceSoft, slightly sticky grains that separate easilyAromatic with a slightly sweet flavor

If you’re not sure which type of white rice to use for your gumbo, consider trying out different varieties to find the one that best suits your taste and preferences. And don’t be afraid to mix it up by combining different types of rice for added texture and flavor!

Parboiled Rice for Enhanced Texture

When it comes to gumbo, the right rice can make all the difference. While white rice is a classic option, parboiled rice is a great choice for those who prefer a firmer texture. In this section, we’ll explore how parboiled rice adds a unique texture to gumbo, making it a favorite among gumbo enthusiasts.

What is Parboiled Rice?

Parboiled rice is partially cooked before being processed, which gives it its distinct texture. The process involves steaming the rice under high pressure, which allows the rice grains to absorb more nutrients from the bran layer. After being steamed, the rice is dried and then milled to remove the outer layer, resulting in firmer, less sticky grains than traditional white rice.

The Benefits of Parboiled Rice in Gumbo

The unique texture of parboiled rice makes it an excellent choice for gumbo. When added to the rich broth, parboiled rice absorbs the flavors of the gumbo while maintaining its distinct texture. This means that every bite of gumbo with parboiled rice has a satisfying crunch and chew that complements the tender meat and vegetables in the dish.

Cooking Tips for Parboiled Rice

When cooking parboiled rice for gumbo, it’s essential to keep in mind that it requires slightly more water than traditional white rice. A good rule of thumb is to use two cups of water for every cup of parboiled rice. Bring the water to a boil, then add the rice and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and allow the rice to simmer for 18-20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender.

“Parboiled rice adds a satisfying chew to gumbo that takes the dish to the next level. It’s my go-to rice choice for gumbo every time!” – Gumbo enthusiast on an onlineboard

Aromatic Rice Varieties for Flavorful Gumbo

When it comes to adding flavor to your gumbo, aromatic rice varieties like jasmine rice and basmati rice are excellent options. These rice varieties are distinct in their fragrance and flavor and are known to enhance the overall taste of your dishes.

Jasmine rice, for example, has a subtle floral aroma and a slightly sweet flavor. Its delicate texture and fragrance make it a popular choice in Southeast Asian cuisine. Basmati rice, on the other hand, has a nutty flavor and a distinct aroma reminiscent of popcorn or roasted nuts. This long-grain rice is commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern dishes.

When added to gumbo, both jasmine and basmati rice bring a unique taste and aroma that pairs well with the rich flavors of the gumbo broth. These rice varieties can be used in combination with other rice varieties or on their own to add a robust and flavorful dimension to your gumbo recipes.

Exploring Specialty Rice Varieties

If you’re looking to add unique flavors and colors to your gumbo, specialty rice varieties can be an excellent choice. From nutty wild rice to vibrant camargue rice, these rice types bring a distinctive taste and visual appeal to your gumbo recipes.

Wild Rice

Wild rice is a unique, nutty-flavored rice that originates from indigenous North American communities. The long grains and dark color of wild rice make it an excellent option for visually stunning and flavorful gumbo recipes. It is also a fantastic source of protein and dietary fiber.

Red Rice

Red rice is a great option for those looking to add a pop of color to their gumbo. This rice has a reddish-brown color and a nutty flavor that complements the rich flavors of gumbo. It is also a great source of iron and antioxidants.

Black Rice

Black rice, also known as forbidden rice, is a prized rice variety with a deep, rich black color and a nutty flavor. This rice is a great source of iron, fiber, and antioxidants, making it not only a flavorful addition to gumbo but also a nutritious one.

Camargue Rice

Camargue rice is a unique rice variety that comes from the Camargue region in France. It is a red rice with a nutty flavor and a slightly chewy texture. Camargue rice is often used in risotto dishes but can also be an excellent addition to gumbo recipes, adding a distinct flavor and texture to the dish.

Experiment with different specialty rice varieties to find the perfect match for your gumbo recipe. The unique flavors and colors of these rice varieties are sure to elevate your gumbo experience to the next level.

Brown Rice as a Healthier Option

If you’re looking for a healthier option for your gumbo, brown rice is a fantastic choice. Unlike white rice, brown rice is a whole grain that contains more fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It’s also lower on the glycemic index, which means it won’t spike your blood sugar levels like white rice can.

Brown rice has a nutty flavor and a chewier texture than white rice, which can add a depth of flavor to your gumbo. It’s a versatile option that can easily replace white rice in any gumbo recipe.

To cook brown rice for your gumbo, simply add 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water to a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 40-45 minutes, or until tender. Brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice, but the flavor and nutritional benefits are worth the wait.

The Health Benefits of Brown Rice

The health benefits of brown rice go beyond its higher nutritional value. Research has shown that consuming whole grains like brown rice can reduce the risk of several chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.

Incorporating brown rice into your gumbo recipes is an easy way to promote better health without sacrificing flavor. So next time you’re making gumbo, consider reaching for the brown rice instead of the white.

Cooking Perfect Rice for Gumbo

Now that you have the right rice for your gumbo, let’s focus on cooking it to perfection. The following tips will help you achieve the perfect texture and flavor for your gumbo rice:

  1. Measure your rice: The first step to cooking great rice is to measure the right amount. A good rule of thumb is to use 1 cup of rice for every 2 cups of water.
  2. Rinse your rice: Before cooking, rinse your rice thoroughly in cold water to remove any excess starch. This will help prevent the rice from clumping together when cooked.
  3. Use the right ratio of water to rice: The ideal ratio of water to rice is 2:1. This means 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice.
  4. Bring water to a boil: Add the water and rice to a pot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Be sure to stir the rice occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  5. Reduce heat to a simmer: Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. Allow the rice to cook for 18-20 minutes.
  6. Let the rice rest: Once the rice is cooked, turn off the heat and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. This allows the rice to absorb any remaining water and steam, resulting in the perfect texture and flavor.
  7. Fluff the rice: Use a fork to fluff and separate the rice grains before serving with your gumbo.

Remember, the key to cooking great rice for gumbo is to use the right ratio of water to rice and to let it rest and steam before serving. With these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy perfectly cooked rice every time.

Recipes and Tips from Gumbo Enthusiasts

Looking for inspiration for your next gumbo rice meal? Check out these recipes and tips shared by fellow gumbo enthusiasts online.

“For a deeper flavor in your gumbo, use homemade broth instead of store-bought. It takes a little extra time, but it’s worth it!”

If you’re short on time, you can still add depth to your gumbo by using a mixture of water and quality store-bought broth.

If you’re looking to switch up your usual gumbo routine, try adding different proteins or vegetables. Shrimp, chicken, and sausage are classic options, but mushrooms, okra, and even tofu can add unique flavors and textures to your gumbo.

  1. “I prefer long-grain white rice for my gumbo, as it has a nice texture and doesn’t get too starchy.”
  2. “I like to mix half parboiled rice and half jasmine rice for my gumbo. It gives the dish a great texture and aroma.”
  3. “I use brown rice for my gumbo to make it healthier. It adds a nutty flavor that complements the spices in the gumbo.”

These recipe suggestions showcase the range of rice options available and the variety of ways to use them. Experiment with different rice varieties to find your perfect match.

Rice VarietyBest for Gumbo
Parboiled RicePerfect for adding texture
Jasmine RiceAromatic and delicate, great for enhancing flavor
Brown RiceHealthy option with nutty flavor
Wild RiceUnique taste and visual appeal

These suggestions from fellow gumbo enthusiasts can help you take your gumbo rice meal to the next level. Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different flavors and textures to find your perfect gumbo concoction.

Where to Find the Best Rice for Gumbo

When it comes to shopping for the best rice for gumbo, you have several options available to you. Whether you prefer to visit your local grocery store or shop online, there are plenty of great sources to choose from.

If you prefer to shop in person, your local grocery store likely has a wide variety of rice options to choose from. Look for brands like Uncle Ben’s, Mahatma, and Carolina for reliable and high-quality rice.

If you prefer to shop online, there are many great options available as well. Amazon offers a wide variety of rice brands and varieties, including some specialty options like wild rice and camargue rice. Other online retailers like Thrive Market and Vitacost also offer a great selection of rice options that you can order from the comfort of your own home.

When shopping for rice, consider the flavor and texture that you want to add to your gumbo. If you’re looking for a neutral flavor that will absorb the gumbo broth, white rice is a great option. If you want to add a unique texture to your dish, parboiled rice is a great choice. And if you’re looking to add a pop of color and unique flavor to your gumbo, consider trying a specialty rice variety like wild rice or red rice.

Where to Find the Best Rice for Gumbo: A Comparison

RetailerSelectionPrice RangeSpecial Offers
Local Grocery StoreWide variety of rice options, including major brands and some specialty varieties$$Weekly sales and discounts
AmazonExtensive selection of rice brands and varieties, including some harder-to-find options$-$$$Free shipping for Prime members, occasional discounts
Thrive MarketSelection of organic and non-GMO rice options, including some specialty varieties$$Free shipping on orders over $49, discounts for members
VitacostSelection of organic and non-GMO rice options, including some specialty varieties$$Free shipping on orders over $49, occasional discounts and promo codes

No matter where you choose to shop for rice, be sure to read product descriptions and reviews carefully to ensure that you’re getting the best quality and flavor for your gumbo. With so many options available, you’re sure to find the perfect rice to complement your gumbo recipe.


We hope this article has helped you find the perfect rice to enhance your gumbo recipes. Whether you prefer classic white rice, aromatic rice varieties, or specialty rice options, each type brings its own unique flavor and texture to your dishes.

Remember to experiment with different rice varieties and cooking techniques to find the perfect match for your gumbo creations. Follow our tips for cooking perfect rice, and don’t forget to check out the recipes and tips from other gumbo enthusiasts to discover new ways to elevate your meals.

Final Thoughts

With the right rice and cooking techniques, you can take your gumbo to the next level and create a delicious and satisfying meal. Whether you’re shopping at your local grocery store or exploring online retailers, you’re sure to find a wide variety of rice options to suit your needs.

So go ahead and get creative with your gumbo recipes, and let your taste buds guide you to the perfect rice for your dishes. With a little experimentation and practice, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious and flavorful gumbo meals that will impress family and friends alike.


What is the best rice for gumbo?

The best rice for gumbo depends on personal preference. However, popular options include parboiled rice, white rice, and jasmine rice.

How do I choose the right rice variety for gumbo?

Consider the flavor and texture you want to achieve. White rice is neutral and versatile, while aromatic varieties like jasmine rice add fragrance. Specialty rice varieties like wild rice can bring unique flavors and colors to your gumbo.

What is parboiled rice and why is it recommended for gumbo?

Parboiled rice is partially cooked before processing, resulting in firmer grains that maintain their shape when cooked. It adds a distinct texture to gumbo while absorbing the flavors of the broth.

Can I use brown rice for gumbo?

Yes, brown rice is a healthier option that adds a nutty flavor to your gumbo. It offers the benefits of whole grains while complementing the other flavors in the dish.

How do I cook rice perfectly for gumbo?

To cook rice perfectly for gumbo, use the ratio of 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil, add the rice, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Where can I find the best rice for gumbo?

You can find a wide variety of rice options for gumbo at your local grocery store or through online retailers. Check the rice section or search for specialty rice brands to find the best options.

Check out some other posts...
Scroll to Top