25+ Easy Leftover Rice Recipes

When we’re left with a surplus of cooked white rice, it’s easy to feel stuck. But, in reality, leftovers are a blessing because they give us a chance to get creative and whip up something new for dinner. Sometimes, leftover rice can even be transformed into a delicious meal that feels like you just started from scratch.

The possibilities are endless! From simple stir-fries to more elaborate dishes, there’s a wealth of options for repurposing cooked rice. Whether you’re in the mood for something savory or sweet, I’ve compiled a list of 25+ easy leftover rice recipes that will surely delight your family and friends.

Rice Frittata

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For devoted carnivores, bacon is a beloved staple. And if that’s your vibe, you’re in luck because we’ve got a delicious frittata recipe to share. This versatile dish can be enjoyed at any time of day – from a hearty breakfast to a light dinner option.Our unique twist on this classic recipe incorporates leftover rice and an abundance of colorful vegetables, including corn, zucchini, and carrots. Feel free to customize with your preferred cheese, whether it’s cheddar, mozzarella, or shredded gouda. And for the perfect finishing touch, be sure to visit ketchupwithlinda.com for more culinary inspiration.

Crispy Thai Rice

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Forget about serving leftover rice in its usual form – why not get creative with it instead? One innovative way to repurpose cooked rice is to shape it into patties or balls and pan-fry them for a crispy, satisfying snack. This recipe requires just a few additional ingredients, including curry paste or powder, fish sauce, finely chopped shallot, a touch of sugar, and some chopped scallions. And to take it to the next level, top your fried rice bites with a perfectly cooked egg for added richness and texture.

Rice Pancakes

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While many may be hesitant about trying new foods, there’s a good chance even the most discerning eaters will be won over by the sheer delight of a stack of fluffy pancakes. This innovative recipe takes the humble leftover rice and transforms it into a nutritious and filling snack, packing in extra fiber and nutrients with each bite. A key component is still all-purpose flour, but in significantly reduced quantities compared to traditional pancake recipes. To take it to the next level, top your creations with sliced bananas and a drizzle of pure maple syrup for a sweet and satisfying treat.

Parmesan Cheese Rice Cakes

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Regardless of the ingredients used, rice cakes are a culinary delight. However, the addition of parmesan cheese elevates their flavor profile to a new level. When it comes to this recipe, you have the flexibility to use either cooked white rice or its nutty counterpart, brown rice. Additionally, seasoned breadcrumbs serve as a crucial component in bringing these rice cakes together. The vegetable mix comprises red bell pepper and green onions (scallions), which add a pop of color and freshness to each bite.

Rice Cutlets

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These air-fried rice cutlets offer a delightful twist on traditional Indian flavors. Perfect for a quick lunch or as an appetizer to impress your guests, these bite-sized morsels pack a punch with the warmth of turmeric, the subtle kick from red chili powder, and the aromatic depth of garam masala, chaat masala, and coriander. The addition of potatoes, carrots, onion, spinach, and green beans adds natural sweetness and a satisfying texture.

Wild Rice and Fried Chicken Waffles

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The iconic combination of fried chicken and waffles takes on a sophisticated twist when substituted with wild rice or a wild rice blend, resulting in a satisfying meal packed with robust flavors. Meanwhile, these wholesome waffles boast a trio of flours – whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, and oat flour – ensuring a delightful textural experience. The wild rice component can be either a blend or its pure form, adding an extra layer of depth to this beloved dish.

Egg and Bacon Fried Rice Recipe

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Who says breakfast has to be boring? By combining leftover fried rice with scrambled eggs and crispy bacon, you can create a meal that’s just as satisfying at 8am as it is at 6pm. The real magic happens when you bring in the sauces – specifically, two types of soy sauce and Shaoxing wine. These ingredients work together to elevate your fried rice game and make it a go-to option for any time of day.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

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One of the most versatile and flavorful uses for a garden-fresh bell pepper is to stuff it with a savory mixture. When you’re faced with an abundance of these vibrant vegetables, having a reliable recipe up your sleeve can be a game-changer. This particular stuffed bell pepper dish stands out from the rest due to its clever incorporation of leftover rice. By combining the natural sweetness of the peppers with the comforting warmth of cooked rice, you’ll end up with a satisfying main course that’s perfect for meal prep or a quick weeknight dinner.

Rice Pudding Recipe

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Rice pudding, a classic comfort food, never fails to satisfy. This nostalgic recipe transforms leftover rice into a creamy, indulgent treat that’s sure to become a staple in your household. The simplicity of its ingredients is part of its charm, requiring only whole milk, white granulated sugar, sea salt, and vanilla extract to get started. For an added touch of warmth, consider sprinkling a pinch of cinnamon on top before serving.

Korean Rice Bowl (Bibimbap)

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Bibimbap, a staple of Korean cuisine, has gained widespread popularity worldwide. This iconic dish, also known as a Korean rice bowl, is renowned for its vibrant medley of vegetables, savory marinated beef, and the crowning glory – a perfectly fried egg. The true magic of Bibimbap lies in its signature sauce, a harmonious blend of sesame oil, Korean chili paste, honey, soy sauce, garlic, and rice vinegar that adds depth and heat to this culinary masterpiece.

Risotto Balls (Arancini)

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Imagine indulging in crispy, cheesy, and creamy fried risotto balls, a delightfully decadent treat known as Arancini. These savory morsels are crafted from leftover Arborio rice, aromatic garlic, fresh herbs, and an irresistible blend of three cheeses: Pecorino Romano, mozzarella, and ricotta. The exterior is coated with a flavorful mixture of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs and shredded Romano cheese, adding an extra layer of complexity to each bite.

Chicken Rice Broccoli Casserole

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With our cooking skills having evolved over time, we’ve swapped out the stovetop for the oven to bake this chicken and broccoli rice casserole recipe with Minute Rice. The result is a dish that’s just as satisfying, if not more so, thanks to the rich flavors imparted by the cream of chicken soup, cheddar cheese, sour cream, and milk. A perfect blend of creamy goodness that we’ve come to appreciate after years of refining our cooking techniques.

Rice Pakoras

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When in search of a delectable snack or light lunch option, rice pakoras are an excellent choice for both kids and company alike. To prepare this tasty treat, you’ll need some leftover rice and an assortment of veggies. Specifically, shredded cabbage and grated carrots will do the trick. For added flavor, incorporate a blend of chaat masala, cumin powder, Kashmiri chili powder, and coriander into your mixture. With these simple ingredients, you can create a snack that’s both satisfying and impressive.

Wild Rice Stuffed Mushrooms

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Wild rice recipes often yield exceptional dinners, and this vegetarian stuffed mushroom dish is no exception. While many may associate wild rice with chicken and wild rice soup, this recipe showcases the grain’s versatility in a truly decadent way. The best part? You can use either a wild rice blend or straight wild rice to make these mouthwatering treats.

Gluten-Free and Vegan Lentil Loaf

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Meatloaf may be an American classic, but vegetarians can rejoice with a delicious lentil loaf that’s just as satisfying. The best part? This recipe only requires pantry staples you likely already have on hand.

The foundation of this flavorful dish is built upon a blend of wholesome ingredients, including red bell pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and garlic – all carefully balanced to bring out the natural sweetness in the lentils.

Tuna Rice Salad

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While leftover rice is often associated with hearty dishes like soup and burritos, it also makes a fantastic base for lighter fare, such as salads. This tuna rice salad recipe is a perfect example of how you can repurpose leftover grains into a quick, satisfying meal. Whether you prefer the nutty flavor of brown rice or the fluffy texture of basmati rice, this recipe offers flexibility and flavor. Simply combine cooked rice with canned tuna, your favorite vegetables, and a tangy dressing for a healthy and filling lunch or supper option.

Rice and Ground Beef Casserole

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Ground beef is an indispensable ingredient in many American kitchens due to its incredible versatility. With the ability to transform a pound of ground beef into an array of dishes, from classic spaghetti to indulgent sloppy Joes, it’s no wonder this staple has earned its place at the heart of many meal plans.

One of the most satisfying ways to showcase ground beef is through hearty main courses, and a casserole made with leftover rice is a great example. The addition of French onion soup brings an explosion of flavors that elevates the dish to new heights.

Hot Dog Fried Rice

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The perfect blend of East meets West, hot dog fried rice is a mouth-watering fusion that brings together two comfort foods in one delectable dish. By combining classic American hot dogs with leftover rice, this recipe is not only a crowd-pleaser but also incredibly budget-friendly to prepare.To add some color and crunch, feel free to incorporate frozen sweet peas and diced carrots into the mix. For an added touch of elegance, top your fried rice with sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds for a delightful contrast of textures and flavors.

Paella Salad

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We have a special fondness for Spanish rice recipes, which often yield delicious leftovers. One of our favorite ways to repurpose leftover Spanish rice is by transforming it into a delectable paella salad. The key to this dish lies in the combination of garlic-infused vinaigrette dressing and an abundance of protein-rich ingredients like shrimp and chicken. This versatile recipe can be adapted to utilize leftover chicken or cooked from scratch using oven-roasted or grilled chicken breast.

Rice Fritters

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One of our go-to methods for repurposing leftover rice is crafting crispy fritters that are as satisfying as they are easy to prepare. This recipe is a fantastic solution for hectic weeknights, when you need a meal that’s both nourishing and quick to whip up. Serve the fritters with a dollop of sour cream, and you’ve got a wholesome main course or a delightful snack. We’re particularly fond of this dish because it cleverly incorporates grated zucchini and carrots, making it an excellent way to sneak some extra veggies into your cooking.

Vegetarian Rice and Bean Burrito

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If your family is a fan of Spanish rice or Mexican fried rice, you’re in luck! These black bean and rice burritos require just that – a flavorful base to build upon. But what really sets them apart is the trio of colorful peppers used to add depth and spice. Red bell pepper provides a sweet crunch, chipotle peppers bring a smoky heat, and poblano pepper adds a rich, slightly bitter note. The combination is nothing short of magic. If you’re looking for inspiration for your leftover rice or want to try something new, give these burritos a go.

Chicken and Rice Soup

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For those who adore the warmth of a comforting bowl of chicken noodle soup, this robust chicken and rice soup is sure to hit the spot. This nutritious meal is so satisfying that it can easily be enjoyed on its own without requiring any additional accompaniments.

The beauty of this recipe lies in its ability to utilize leftover rotisserie chicken, making it a great way to reduce food waste. The addition of aromatic garlic, sweet carrots, and pungent onion adds depth and complexity to the dish, ensuring that every spoonful is a delight.

Kale, Turkey, and Brown Rice Soup

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For those who adore rice but are mindful of carb intake, brown rice is an excellent alternative. Although it still contains carbohydrates, this whole grain offers a healthier option that’s packed with nutrients. When cooking hearty soups, carrots, onions, kale, and red bell peppers are essential ingredients. The soup’s rich flavor profile is owed to the combination of red pepper flakes, turmeric, fire-roasted crushed tomatoes, and a hint of cayenne pepper.

Rice Toti (Ubbu Rotti)

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Indian flatbread, known as Ubbu Rotti, typically consists of rice flour. But for added versatility, you can also utilize leftover cooked rice to craft this distinctive culinary creation. To elevate the flavor profile, consider pairing your Ubbu Rotti with chutney powder or spicy chutney – a match made in heaven according to many food enthusiasts. For reference, acouplecooks.com provides valuable insights into this traditional recipe.

Rice and Chickpea Soup

While many people adore the classic combination of chicken and rice soup, those who follow a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle shouldn’t feel left out. With this recipe for chickpea and rice soup, the rich flavors of garlic, ginger, turmeric, and lemon can be enjoyed without sacrificing any dietary restrictions. The addition of sautéed onion, carrots, celery, and spinach adds a delightful variety to each spoonful. Freshly squeezed lemon juice or zest provides a burst of citrusy freshness, rounding out the soup’s depth of flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some healthy ways to repurpose cooked white rice?

One of the most versatile food items is cooked white rice. Its potential uses extend far beyond the plate, as it can be repurposed in a variety of creative ways. For instance, you can use it to add texture and substance to salads, soups, and stir-fries. Alternatively, you can transform it into crispy rice cakes or flavorful veggie-filled patties. Furthermore, mixing it with other whole grains like quinoa can elevate the nutritional profile of your dish.

Which Asian dishes can be made using leftover rice?

When it comes to utilizing leftover rice, many Asian dishes offer creative solutions. Consider whipping up a flavorful fried rice dish, or serving savory rice porridge (congee) as a comforting meal. You can also use cooked rice to craft Vietnamese-style rice paper rolls, packed with fresh fillings. Other options include crafting sushi rolls, building rice bowls with an assortment of toppings, and elevating kimchi by incorporating it into a fried rice dish – the possibilities are endless.

What are some breakfast ideas that include leftover rice?

Transforming leftover rice into a mouth-watering breakfast dish is a cinch. By combining it with eggs, milk, and your preferred sweet or savory elements, you can craft delectable rice pancakes. Alternatively, mix rice with milk, sweetness, and spices to create a creamy rice pudding. For a more substantial start to the day, consider wrapping rice, beans, scrambled eggs, and salsa in a breakfast burrito – a satisfying way to repurpose last night’s dinner.

How can I make a dessert using leftover rice?

Transforming leftover rice into delectable desserts is a clever trick. By combining it with milk or cream, sweeteners like sugar or honey, and flavorings such as cinnamon or vanilla, you can create mouthwatering treats like rice pudding, kheer (a popular Indian rice milk dessert), and even crispy rice cakes. This simple yet effective approach will not only reduce food waste but also satisfy your sweet tooth.

What South Indian dishes can be prepared with leftover rice?

South Indian cuisine is renowned for its creative use of leftovers, particularly rice. One popular way to repurpose cooked rice is by incorporating it into various dishes such as curd rice, tamarind rice, and lemon rice. For a quick snack, you can also transform leftover rice into crispy rice pakoras or savory uttapam. Moreover, blending cooked rice with lentils yields a perfect batter for making dosas or idlis.

How to make a casserole with leftover rice?

Combine leftover rice with your preferred vegetables, protein, and sauce in a baking dish to create a satisfying casserole. For a timeless twist, layer cooked chicken, steamed broccoli, melted cheese, and the richness of cream of mushroom soup. Alternatively, feel free to get creative with other ingredient combinations that suit your taste. Once assembled, bake the casserole in the oven until it’s heated through and the top has achieved a golden-brown crispiness.


Get ready to delight your loved ones with these scrumptious recipes. Whether you’re planning a family gathering or a casual dinner party, these dishes are sure to impress. Take the opportunity to share your experiences and feedback with us – we’d love to hear from you!

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