Small white bowl with seasoned rice in front of Zatarain's in the rice steamer all on a wooden surface (with logo overlay)

I Cooked Zatarain’s in the Rice Steamer and This is What Happened

I’ve mentioned before how much I love my rice steamer. I use it for any and every recipe that calls for rice. It saves so much time and I don’t have to clean up the mess that cooking it in the microwave makes. Or use another pot to make the rice on the stovetop. But I’ve only ever made instant brown rice in the steamer. What happens if you cook Zatarain’s in the rice steamer?

We typically only eat brown rice. When Justin and the boys went grocery shopping one day they came home with a few boxes of Zatarain’s Rice Sides to go with a few of our meals. I’ve mentioned before, I’m really bad at remembering side dishes to go with our meals.

Empty rice steamer next to the lid with a box of Zatarain's rice in front all on a wooden surface

Since the rice steamer has always saved us so much time, I started wondering if I could use it to make the Zatarain’s rice. The instructions on the box say to either cook it in the microwave or on the stovetop.

I decided that I would give it a go in the rice steamer and see what happens. After all, the instructions are so similar, why wouldn’t it work?

Step by Step

When I use the rice steamer for cooking plain rice, I measure out a specific amount and fill the bowl with water per that amount. I poured the rice from the Zatarain’s box and measured it to see how much was in there. That way I would know how much water to add. Each box may be different, so I plan to measure every time I make a box like this.

Add the amount of butter suggested in the instructions on the box. This was my first time adding anything other than rice and water so I had no idea what to expect.

Rice with seasonings and water in the bowl of a rice steamer with the lid next to the steamer on a wooden surface

But, I went ahead and turned the rice steamer on to see what would happen. Then I prepared the rest of our meal. We had this box of rice with Super Simple Cilantro & Lime Fish Dinner, but there are many flavor options to do with almost any dish you are making.

I kept watch on the rice steamer as we were getting everything else cooked. It seemed to be handling the Zatarain’s rice without a problem. The machine was working properly, as far as I could tell. It was steaming up as it does for regular brown rice. The butter didn’t look like it was causing any difference, and the rice was getting cooked.

About 25 minutes later, the button popped up to let us know that the cooking was finished and the machine was set to warm. Well, so far so good, the machine didn’t explode! Not that I was expecting that, but I wasn’t sure what it would do.

Use a plastic spoon or rice paddle to gently stir the rice. Make sure all of the seasonings and butter are distributed.

Zatarain's rice with a white rice paddle in a rice steamer on a wooden surface

Results

Originally Published On: May 8, 2018

Last Updated On: March 11, 2020

Moment of truth: How does the rice taste?

I am pleased to announce that the rice was delicious! The rice had all of the flavors that cooking it on the stovetop would give, and was still the same slightly-sticky consistency.

Overall, there wasn’t much difference in the final product between cooking the rice on the stovetop versus cooking Zatarain’s in the rice steamer. The advantage of using the rice steamer was not having to do anything except measure it all out at the beginning. Which you would have to do on the stovetop as well.

By using the rice steamer, I was able to get the rest of dinner cooked without having to make sure to stir the rice, make sure it doesn’t burn, cover it, uncover it, or anything else. I could set the machine and let it do its job. We will be using the rice steamer for more rice sides in the future when we want something with a little more flavor than plain brown rice.

Small white bowl with seasoned rice in front of Zatarain's in the rice steamer all on a wooden surface (vertical)

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44 thoughts on “I Cooked Zatarain’s in the Rice Steamer and This is What Happened”

  1. Great read! I usually stay away from any automatic cooking machines like rice cookers and crock pots bcuz i feel like im gonna have an anxiety attack if i cant watch the food. However, i love the fact that you can turn it on and go and still get the same, if not better results. I’m working on my courage! This rice looks great

  2. That’s so interesting. We have a rice cooker (I guess they’re the same thing??) which we only ever used to cook plain white or brown rice. Now I think we’ll experiment too!

    1. Yes, I believe it’s the same thing. Mine was just called a rice steamer since it also came with an additional tray that you can use to steam veggies at the same time.

  3. I love rice and it is one of the very few foods I can feed my daughter since she has food allergies. This rice is one I will have to try because it looks amazing!

  4. I have that same rice cooker! Girl I’ve cooked so many things in that thing, now the possibility is there you’ll be throwing everything in there now!

  5. I love that it turned out so moist and it looks so flavorful too! Need to try this brand asap! Oh and obsessed with the convenience of not having to cook it at a stove top

  6. We grew up with a rice steamer (or rice cooker), seeing that rice is part of almost every meal lol. It’s really a handy gadget to have.

    1. I’m not sure which markets Zatarain’s is in, but it’s a popular one here. I was so happy it worked in the steamer because I agree, the rice is always better when made in there.

  7. Oh man, it has been a while since I heard Zatarains! I remember watching the promos for the product in the 90s on Wheel of Fortunes (you know the part where they talk about their sponsors). I never ate it as my mom loooooved Rice-a-Roni. But if I ever go back to the States, I will try some Zatarain!

  8. I love when you can start a dish then forget it. It’s such a great option to have a flavorful side dish without having to monitor it while it’s cooking.

  9. I definitely need a rice steamer after reading your post, Stephanie. I don’t know how I never thought about getting one which will make my cooking easier.

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