How Much Rice To Serve Per Person?

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Even if you’re a skilled home chef, you might have difficulty knowing how much rice to serve per person for your dinner party or party. It can be hard to determine the quantities of food to serve per person, especially when it comes to rice.

The main problem is determining the precise amount of rice to cook. Since rice expands quite a bit when cooking, you could severely over estimate if you just eyeball the look of the rice. No one wants to end up with not enough or way too much food that will have to be thrown out.

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Bowl or rice - how much rice to serve per person

The good thing is that there is a way to determine how much rice to make per person, so we’re going to help you make some decisions for your menu in this article.


Recommended Amount Of Cooked Rice Per Meal

First, you must determine how much rice an individual should consume per serving. A typical serving size of rice is between 1/2 and 1 full cup of cooked rice. That leads to a large range, however. If you plan for 1/2 a cup per person for 20 people that’s 10 cups of cooked rice. However, if you go for 1 cup per person, it’s 20 cups of rice.

One of the best ways to narrow in on the proper amount is to decide whether you will serve it as a side dish or as a main dish before you start cooking.

For a side dish, being served along with main dish proteins and other sides and appetizers, then 1/2 a cup per person is appropriate.

For a main dish, like chicken fried rice or a Thai curry, one cup per person is more appropriate.

brown rice

How Much Uncooked Rice to Make?

We recommend making 50-65g of uncooked rice per person. If you have a kitchen scale, weight the rice before cooking to make sure you’re using the correct amount. Eyeballing it can lead to making too much or too little.

One thing to be aware of is that the type of rice used can also affect this fixed amount. For example, long-grain rice makes 3 cups of cooked rice from 1 cup of uncooked rice, while brown rice makes 4 cups cooked from 1 cup uncooked.

Type of Rice (1 cup, uncooked) Cooked 
Long-grain white rice3 cups
Medium-grain white rice 3 cups 
Short-grain rice 3 cups 
Brown whole grain rice 4 cups 
Wild rice 3 cups 
Instant white rice 2 cups 
Sticky rice3 cups 
Basmati rice 3 cups 
Jasmine rice 3 cups 

Storing Leftover Rice

Even after all your planning and calculating, you might still over or under estimate the amount of rice to serve. If that happens and you’ve got left over rice, it’s easy to store it and it can be used for future dishes.

Left over rice should be cooled and stored in an air-tight container or ziplock bag. If using a container, put the rice in and then put a piece of plastic wrap into the container, covering the rice, and push down on it to let any excess air out of the rice.

You can stored the rice in the fridge for two days or freeze it for up to one month. To reheat it, put it in a bowl with a little bit of water and microwave on high for 1 minute, or place it in a pan with already boiling water for 1 minute, then drain.

Leftover rice is great to use in dishes like Chicken Fried Rice, where the drier the rice the better. Freezing leftover rice can also be a quick way to get dinner ready, since you won’t have to make a fresh pot of rice each time.

chicken fried rice

Tips For Making Great Rice

Take advantage of the below tips to prepare delicious rice dishes that are perfect for a delightful meal.

  • The water to rice ratio should be a little higher than 2:1 to get fluffy rice. In other words, 1 cup of rice should be cooked with about 1-3/4 cups of water.
  • Adding chicken or beef broth to your rice dish will enhance its flavor. However, vegetarians should opt for vegetable stock instead. Alternatively, you can use chicken or beef broth instead of water if you don’t mind a non-vegetarian mixture in your diet.


How much rice do I need for 4 adults?

As a side dish for 4 people, you will need 2 cups of cooked rice, which is roughly 3/4 cup of uncooked rice. As a main dish, you will need 4 cups of cooked rice, which is about 1 1/4 cups of uncooked rice.

Is There A Recommended Amount Of Rice Per Meal?

Cooks and nutritionists agree that a serving of cooked rice is 1/2 to 1 cup of cooked rice, depending on whether it is the only source of carbohydrate in the meal.

How much does 1 cup of rice serve?

A typical single serving of rice is 1/2 cup for a side dish or 1 cup for a main dish per person. So one cup of cooked rice will serve 1-2 people. One cup of uncooked rice amounts to about 3 cups of cooked rice, so it will serve 3-6 people.


Determining the amount of rice to serve per person isn’t that difficult when you consider typical serving sizes and know how much rice expands when it’s cooked. We hope this information above will help you make a fantastic meal.


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how much rice to serve

3 thoughts on “How Much Rice To Serve Per Person?

  1. ejokuri says:

    Cups is NOT a measurement for solid weight but for liquid volume. Anyone who reads this, falsify this because has incorrect measurements. Plain and simple one serving of rice is 50g raw rice(yes, servings and calories are only measured raw, whatever you add as bonus eg olive oil 15 ml= 120 cal-which is the so called incorrectly measured tablespoon).

    • Laura says:

      Hi Eleanor. A typical serving or a main dish is 1 cup of rice, so 4 cups of uncooked rice will serve 12 people. However, I always like to make sure I have more than enough, so I would suggest making 6 cups of uncooked rice.

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