This Method Will Change the Way You Cook Rice for Good

Grab your sheet pan!

Marge Perry, as seen on Food Network Kitchen

Photo by: Andrea Patton

Andrea Patton

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Full disclosure: I'm guilty of using three pots and pans to do the job of one. I don't even know how it happens. I start out with one single skillet, only to end up dirtying that skillet, plus two pots, a sheet pan, and an extra skillet for good measure. Because of this, I go out of my way to search for one-dish dinners, one-pot pastas and foil pack recipes. If I follow a recipe, I'm less likely to make a mess of my kitchen.

When I heard Marge Perry came by to host a couple of classes for the Food Network Kitchen app, I was excited, to say the least. She, along with her husband David Bonom, wrote the cookbook that solves all my dirty dish dilemmas —Hero Dinners: Complete One-Pan Meals That Save the Day. They literally wrote the book on smart, sanity-saving one-pan dinners.

In one of Marge's classes, Sweet Chili-Glazed Salmon with Sugar Snaps and Rice, she cooks up a complete meal —protein, vegetable and grain— on a single sheet pan. In all of my research (Pinterest scrolling and Google searching), I had never seen anyone start with uncooked rice on a baking sheet. Here, Marge does that, promising the rice will be fluffy in the end. Naturally, I had to try this out for myself. It sounded too good to be true.

But, it's not.

There is a trick to this. The rice-to-liquid ratio really depends on what else you're planning to add the pan. Because sugar snap peas and lean proteins release very little liquid as they cook, she adds a little extra water for this salmon dinner. If you're planning on topping the rice with ingredients that give off a lot of moisture (think: zucchini or chicken thighs with skin), though, she suggests adding less.

Check out her class in the Food Network Kitchen app, where Marge breaks down the specifics of this rice-to-liquid ratio, and also walks through when to add each ingredient to the sheet pan, too. This timing is the secret to having a delicious dinner of perfectly cooked salmon, crisp snap peas and fluffy rice made on just one pan.

So, yes, dinner doesn't have to involve dirtying ever dish you own even on the nights you're eating rice. Who knew?

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