Rice is one of, if not the, most common foods in the world. It’s grown on every continent except Antarctica, one of the staple foods of Asia, but what happens when there’s too much to eat and you have leftovers?
If rice is cooled down properly, stored in the fridge, and reheated thoroughly, it’s possible to eat it. The rice will be at its best if you eat it within a day of putting it in the refrigerator.
Here are seventeen quick recipes for your leftover rice. They’re just what you need after a long day when you have very little time to cook dinner.
17 Leftover Rice Recipes
1. Vegetable Fried Rice
Fried rice loses some moisture when it’s cooked, so you want to add some water before you reheat it. Vegetable fried rice is exactly what the title says, vegetables and rice, combined with cooking oil, soy sauce, and eggs.
This Chinese dish has a preparation time of under twenty minutes. It’s an excellent and vegetarian-friendly choice to go with almost any kind of dinner.
2. Chicken Soup with Rice
There’s nothing like a hot bowl of chicken soup with rice to warm you up on a cold day. And having the rice already cooked cuts down on the time spent waiting for it to finish.
Both chicken and rice contain protein, and the soup goes well with vegetables for a hearty meal. Your family will enjoy this quick soup with rice.
3. Rice Burrito Bowl
A versatile dish that combines rice with vegetables like pinto beans, olives, and avocado. Throw on some cheese, and add some meat, if you’re in the mood for something different.
It takes around twenty or so minutes to make a rice burrito bowl, which is more than worth the effort. Rice burrito bowls are best when served at a party or for game night.
4. Rice Pudding
Rice pudding is one of the most common uses for leftover rice. This is partly because it’s a simple dish with rice, milk, eggs, and other flavorings all wrapped in a sweet package.
The pudding can be served hot or cold, but if you want to store it afterward rice can’t be reheated twice. You’ll only be able to serve it cold.
5. Rice Pancakes
Not all breakfast foods are sweet. If you’re feeling like a gluten-free pancake, you can’t go wrong with a rice pancake. This dish takes cooked rice, eggs, cooking oil, and flavorings into a yummy meal.
The pancakes can be ready in as low as fifteen minutes. They’re at their best when served hot, preferably with fruit slices, butter, or maple syrup.
Omurice, or omuraisu, is a Japanese omelet that is traditionally topped with ketchup. Other commonly used toppings include cheese, hot sauce, and any similar sauce.
The rice is fried in chicken broth before it’s cooked into the omelet. However, omurice is a dish where using already-cooked rice is encouraged, due to helpful texture changes.
7. Tomato Rice Salad
Rice salad can come in many forms. Hot, cold, Italian, Greek, the list goes on. Tomato rice salad in particular combines vegetables like cucumbers, peppers, onions, and corn to make a healthy side dish.
Tomato rice salad is a dish that not only is healthy but goes from scratch to the table in fifteen minutes. Two great things to love about salad!
8. Parmesan Rice Cakes
These savory cakes are made from rice, cheese, onions, and eggs. They’re not as much rice cakes per se as much as miniature rice pancakes.
As a side dish, the rice cakes go well with other savory or crunchy foods. The thought of Parmesan rice cakes with roast chicken makes me crave some.
9. Rice Stuffed Peppers
Stuffed peppers are a dish that is common around the world. These tasty peppers can be made vegetarian- or vegan-friendly, depending on what goes into them.
The time it takes to cook stuffed peppers varies by ingredient. There is an advantage to using already cooked rice, however: it cuts down on the cooking time.
Ah, sushi. Japan’s most famous food, and very popular cuisine. If you don’t feel like getting it from a store, it can be made from scratch in the comfort of your own home
Leftover rice that’s used in sushi is first moistened, then heated with vinegar, sugar, and salt. The other ingredients depend on the kind of sushi you’re making.
11. Hawaiian Chicken and Rice
Hawaiian-style chicken is either barbecued or grilled chicken that’s glazed with a sweet marinade. It can be quickly made in under two hours, but the longer the chicken is marinated, the better the flavor.
The rice served with the chicken can be almost any kind, although any Hawaiian rice recipe would fit the theme well. The dish will be a hit at luaus!
12. Panta Bhat
Panta Bhat is a popular breakfast food in southeast Asia, especially around eastern India and Bangladesh. It’s made with fermented rice, peppers, lime, and onions.
A food with a very rich history and cultural significance, Panta Bhat takes a while to prepare. The rice takes hours to ferment, so doing that overnight is the best option. Once that’s done, the rest of the dish only takes a few minutes to prepare.
13. Egg and Rice Breakfast Skillet
Rice and eggs pack a lot of protein into small packages. Putting the two together will give you a lot of energy to start your day, and adding vegetables to the mix makes the deal that much sweeter.
The recipe is easy to make. Combine a fried egg with your leftover rice, add any vegetables or condiments you like, and you’ll have a delicious hearty meal within twenty minutes.
14. Herbed Rice and Peas
If you want something simple for a side dish, look no further. This delicious combination of rice, steamed peas, and onions sauteed into a savory meal will make a good meal great.
And to top it all off, it’s a quick, easy-to-make side dish. It’s vegetarian-friendly, can be vegan-friendly, and you can add it to many different meals.
15. Vegetable Pulao
A Pulao is a kind of Pakistani rice pilaf with many regional variants. It features rice, onions, and other vegetables and spices cooked to perfection.
This dish can be finished in around forty minutes, depending on how you cook it. A lot of the preparation time comes from soaking the rice used beforehand
16. Cheesy Baked Rice
Another savory side, cheesy baked rice melts shredded cheese with eggs, milk, and rice. These ingredients all come together for a mouth-watering dish that’s ready to eat within a half hour.
Cheesy baked rice is vegetarian-friendly and easy to make. It pairs well with many foods and it’s a great choice for any party or get-together.
Congee is a kind of rice porridge from Asia. It’s found all over the continent from Japan to India, so there are many different names, recipes, and ways to make it.
Depending on which type you make and how it’s cooked, congee can be made in around twenty minutes. Some versions have a longer cooking time, however.
Using leftover rice is not without risks. There is a certain kind of bacteria that grows on cooked rice, especially if it’s been left at room temperature for too long. These bacteria can cause food poisoning if eaten, so make sure you don’t leave out your rice too long, and only reheat it once.
Aside from that, rice is a great choice for food. It’s healthy, a good source of both fiber and protein, and if you can’t finish it in one meal, you can always use it later.