Figuring out how many cups of rice per person may seem like it is a science to you. In some ways it is since much of science is based on math and so is making rice. Once you have read through this article you will understand exactly how much dry rice you need to have to make the desired amount of cooked rice per person. The math is simple whether you want to cook a single serving of rice or enough to feed 100 hungry people.
There is nothing worse than hosting an event or enjoying dinner and you run out of food. It is always best to be prepared and know exactly how much food to make, including rice. Here are all the best tips, tricks, calculations, suggestions, and a recipe for making the right amount of rice for everyone to enjoy.
It is important to think first about how you will be eating the rice before making it. Rice can sometimes be the main ingredient in a recipe. This is true in my rice & fava bean salad recipe. It can also simply be a side dish or complementary ingredient like when making Mexican rice to go along with your "Taco Tuesday". Knowing how rice plays a role will help in determining how much to make. Keep that in mind as you continue reading.
Another important note, throughout this article the rice measurements, cooking information, and tips are all for white and brown rice. If you are cooking wild rice or other whole grains, this information will not be entirely accurate.
Whether you use cups or grams when measuring your rice, I have tried to share all the information on how much to cook. The charts and information below include measuring uncooked raw rice by cups, grams, or kilograms. This will help you know how much to make a single person or even a crowd of 100 people.
Here are a few key measurements to remember:
1 cup of cooked rice equals 200grams
1 cup of uncooked long-grain or brown rice equals 3 cups of cooked rice
1 cup of uncooked rice + 2 cups of water = 3 cups of cooked rice (1-2-3!)
How Much Dry Rice Per Person?
How much dry rice for 1 person/serving? The recipe card below is how to make a single serving of rice, perfect for one person.
How much dry rice for 4 people/ servings? It is ideal to cook 1 & ½ cups of raw rice for 3 to 4 people. Measure this amount in a measuring cup. The water will be added next. Based on the calculations shared above, 1.5 cups of rice will need 3 cups of water added for cooking. This will yield about 4.5 cups of rice.
How much dry rice for 6 people? If you want 6 cups of rice to feed 6 people, you start off with 2 cups of uncooked grains of rice. When using the 1-2-3 rice method above, you will need 2 cups of rice + 4 cups of water to equal 6 cups of rice.
For how much rice to make for more than 6 people, including a crowd, continue reading. I share how to figure out how much rice to make for up to 100 people. Now that is a lot of rice and you need a huge pot but the information is there for anyone that has the catering or large equipment.
How Much Rice is a Single Serving?
If you want to know how much rice is for one person, it is a quick and easy calculation. There is one other question you may want to ask yourself first before cooking a single serving of rice - what will be served with the rice? For example, will the rice be the star or the side dish of your meal? Take the entire meal into account. This helps you figure out how much rice to make per person.
To make the right amount of rice for one person, make ½ to 1 full cup of cooked rice. If rice will be the star and served along with some vegetables or a protein, 1 cup of cooked rice is a single serving. Think of it as if chicken fried rice is your meal. If the rice is a side dish to a hearty main course, ½ cup of cooked rice is plenty. This would be if you are enjoying broccoli beef and want to serve it over a bit of rice.
How Much Rice for a Crowd?
If you are hosting a large gathering with a crowd of people, sit may seem harder to figure out how much rice to make. Whether it is a party, event, a wedding, or a holiday, you want to make sure you have the right amount of food.
Here are a few quick calculations to make sure you make enough rice for a crowd. This table includes the cups (and grams) or uncooked rice or cooked rice you will need when making large quantities. So whether you need to make rice for 10, 25, 50, or more people, this is how much dry rice you need to yield the right amount of cooked rice.
* All calculations are based on long-grain white rice, calculated using this Rice Calculator. I always suggest rounding up when doing your calculations. Having leftovers is better than not having enough. Also, know your guest list. A crowd of hungry teenagers will likely eat more than a bunch of toddlers or a meal with kids and adults combined.
This is based on each serving of about ⅔ cup of rice per person. (which is midway between ½ cup and 1 full cup as described in the above section)
|# of People||Uncooked Rice||Yields this much Cooked Rice|
|10||3 cups / 625g||9 cups|
|25||6.5 cups/1168g/1.2kg||20 cups|
|30||8 cups/1425g/1.4kg||24 cups|
|50||13 cups/2336g/2.3kg||39 cups|
|100||26 cups/4657g/4.7kg||78 cups|
What About Cauliflower Rice?
Those on a grain-free, low-carb, keto, or diabetic diet for health reasons may eat a rice substitute. Depending on which alternative rice substitute you enjoy, figuring out how much to make per person or serving can be tricky. To decide on how much cauliflower rice, hearts of palm rice, or quinoa to serve per person, see the suggested amounts below.
Here are some suggestions based on calorie & carb comparisons.
- Cauliflower Rice - has a low calorie and carb count; therefore for a serving that is filling, enjoy double the amount you would make when serving regular rice. For example; 2 cups of riced cauliflower have 4g net carbs versus 1 cup of white rice that has 45g net carbs & 10x the calories. (see table below for 1:1 comparison)
- Hearts of Palm "white rice" - has a low calorie and carb count; therefore for a serving that is filling, enjoy double the amount you would make when serving regular rice. It has similar calories and carbs as the riced cauliflower does.
- Quinoa - has similar calories and carbs but is more filling thanks to the higher levels of fiber and protein; therefore, you can make and eat ½ as much as you would rice and still have a filling meal with fewer carbs and calories. For example; quinoa ½ cup cooked has 17g net carbs vs 27 net carbs in white rice or 22 net carbs in brown rice. For more info on quinoa vs brown rice, read more about Which Food has more Beneficial Value.
Cauliflower Rice vs White Rice
For the carb, net, carb, and calorie comparison of riced cauliflower to white rice check the table below. There is a clear winner for those that want a low-calorie and low-carb option.
|Cauliflower Rice - 1 cup||White Rice - 1 cup|
|20 calories||210 calories|
|4g carbs||46g carbs|
|2g fiber||1g fiber|
|2g net carbs||45g net carbs|
How Many Cups of Rice Per Person? (single serving recipe)
- ⅓ cup long-grain white rice
- ⅔ cup water
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat.
- Add the rice and salt. Stir to combine. Let the water return to a boil and stir again to make sure the rice grains are not sticking together.
- Once the water is bubbling, you want it to remain at a low simmer. Turn the heat down to low and place the lid on the saucepan.
- Try not to peak too often but you may need to remove the lid to check on it and stir 1-2x. You want there to be barely any simmer bubbles as it cooks. Adjust the heat up or down if this is not what you are seeing. Rice should not boil too high. This will cook off the water too fast and the rice will be hard. If the heat is too low, the rice will sit in the water and not cook leaving mushy rice with too much water and grains that are soaked vs cooked.
- Once the rice is soft & tender and the water has all been absorbed, it is ready. This should take about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat once ready.
- Let the rice sit still covered in the saucepan. Season to taste if needed and use a fork to fluff it up a bit.
- Enjoy your single serving of rice. Multiply this rice to get rice for 4 people or more.
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0.4g||1%|
|Saturated Fat 0.1g||1%|
|Total Carbohydrate 49.3g||18%|
|Dietary Fiber 0.8g||3%|
|Total Sugars 0.1g|
|Vitamin D 0mcg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.|