You can start cutting down on food wastage right today with these easy leftover rice recipes. Because rice is an incredibly versatile ingredient, you can make many scrumptious dishes from it. Once you’re done, you won’t even notice you’re eating leftover rice.
So, before you throw away that leftover rice, check out this list of recipes, which will help you make the magic happen. Now, you’ll be able to transform cold, unappetizing leftover rice into a hot, enticing dish for dinner or dessert; isn’t that amazing?
Without further ado, let’s check out my list of top leftover rice recipes that will definitely rock your world.
Table of Contents
Leftover Rice Recipes You Wish You Knew Sooner
Happen to cook too much rice? These leftover rice recipes will help you make use of the amount of rice you can’t finish in the previous meals. Don’t worry; these taste so delicious that you won’t be able to notice they’re made from leftover rice.
Appetizers And Side Dishes
- Risotto Balls (Arancini)
- Vegetable Rice Cutlet
- Wild Rice Stuffed Mushrooms
- Parmesan Rice Cakes
- Rice Croquettes
- Japanese Rice Cakes
- Cheesy Zucchini Rice Casserole
- Cilantro Lime Rice
- Rice Fritters
- Turmeric Rice Salad
- Bean And Rice Burrito
- Lentil Loaf
- Chicken And Rice Patties
- Brown Rice Salad
- Bolognese Rice Bake
- Schezwan Fried Rice
- Kimchi Fried Rice
- Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Leftover Rice Pudding
- Dosa (Indian Crepe)
- Rice Pakora (Crisp Fried Snack)
- Chocolate Leftover Rice Cake
- Idli (Indian Steamed Cake)
- Rice Waffles
Leftover Rice Recipes For Alluring Appetizers And Side Dishes
Your leftover rice doesn’t always have to be cold, clumpy, or uninviting. Follow these easy leftover rice recipes, and you’ll soon have irresistible appetizers or side dishes to impress the whole family.
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But wait, before jumping in the recipes, are you storing leftover rice in the fridge or the rice cooker? There’s a certain time frame to keep rice in rice cookers and fridges, so be sure your main ingredient is still edible. I’m sure you don’t want to eat stale dishes!
Risotto balls, or also known as arancini, are cheesy rice balls commonly found in Italian cuisine. Due to their incredibly creamy and cheesy goodness, risotto balls are among the most popular Italian appetizers. Indeed, you’ll never be able to turn down these delicious cheese balls.
To cut down on the time needed to prepare risotto balls, you can start with leftover rice. Once it is made into arancini, it will taste just as good as freshly cooked rice.
Start to make arancini rice balls with leftover rice right today with this recipe:
Begin your meal with these delicious vegetable rice cutlets, and everyone will surely be thrilled. Featuring leftover rice as the main ingredient, these crispy cutlets bring about a nice swirl of flavors from veggies, herbs, and spices. It’s impossible not to love these rice cutlets.
One fantastic thing about these vegetable rice cutlets is that they are quite a versatile dish. You can add any of your favorite veggies to this, and these rice cutlets still turn out to be amazing.
Whenever you need some appetizers to start off a fancy meal, you can consider making these exquisite stuffed mushrooms. As these stuffed mushrooms boast a luxurious look and an impossibly delicious taste, no one will suspect that they’re prepared with leftover rice.
Of course, you can still opt for freshly cooked rice to prepare these stuffed mushrooms if you wish to. However, I stand my ground when I say that pre-cooked rice from the previous evening’s meal is just as good as freshly cooked ones for this recipe.
Who knows that only a handful of Parmesan cheese, herbs, and spices are enough to transform leftover rice into something so irresistible and scrumptious. Crispy, cheesy with an intense burst of flavors, these parmesan rice cakes will undoubtedly whet everyone’s appetite.
Aside from using Parmesan rice cakes as starters, I love serving them as a side dish with meat, seafood, or salad. Whatever way I choose to serve these, one indispensable companion for parmesan rice cakes is some savory dipping sauce.
Some breadcrumbs, crispy pieces of bacon, and a touch of teriyaki sauce can make all the difference in rice, be it fresh or leftovers. Mixing all the ingredients together and deep-frying the mixture will give you crispy rice croquettes to serve as appetizers or enjoy as snacks.
As rice croquettes are an incredibly cheesy dish, you’d need something to balance out the cheesy flavors and give the croquettes a boost in flavor. Personally, I always love pairing rice croquettes with marinara sauce.
As a big fan of Japanese food, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve made these chewy and glutinous cakes, as they’re too tasty. Surprisingly, as delicious as these Japanese rice cakes are, you only need to use very simple ingredients to flavor up your leftover rice.
Fantastic as a side dish or a light meal, these Japanese rice cakes represent how sometimes, it is simplicity that shines. In other words, you don’t need to search far and wide for the most extravagant ingredients to make your leftover rice tasty.
With all of that being said, I do believe that the key behind the success of these Japanese rice balls lies in the rice itself. In other words, the higher the quality of the rice is, the more delicious yaki onigiri becomes. That’s why I always use the top white rice from the best brands only!
Another fantastic way to turn your leftover rice into an incredibly cheesy dish, this zucchini rice casserole consists of Greek yogurt and different kinds of cheese. And with a generous addition of seasonings, your cold, unappetizing rice will soon become the tastiest side dish ever.
Once you take this cheesy zucchini rice casserole out of the oven, you’ll immediately notice the mouth-watering fragrance and its crispy golden top. Suffice to say, zucchini rice casserole is perhaps a side dish practically begging to be tasted.
Will you believe me if I say that with only lime juice and cilantro, you can make your leftover rice taste even better than the one freshly out of the rice cooker? That’s right; if you’re in a pinch, you can opt for this unbelievably simple solution – making cilantro lime rice.
In contrast to its plain look, one bite is enough to make your mouth water with vibrant, citrusy, and delightful flavors. Serve this amazing cilantro lime rice with a meaty main course or gravy stews; I guarantee that you’ll be blown away.
With this recipe, you’ll be able to make the perfect cilantro lime rice. Let’s watch this video below:
As far as taste is concerned, rice fritters taste pretty similar to potato fritters. However, I generally prefer rice fritters as they don’t require me to peel potatoes painstakingly. If anything, I can use the remaining rice from the previous day’s meal, and nobody would notice the difference.
Another fantastic thing about rice fritters is that I can make these into vegan side dishes. It’s very simple – I only need to substitute eggs with breadcrumbs, and voila – crispy rice fritters no one can turn down.
Although this is a salad, this leftover rice recipe is fulfilling enough that you can enjoy it as a light meal. Turmeric rice salad is also quick and simple to prepare – 15 minutes are all you need to throw everything together for a savory and satisfying salad.
Even though salad is normally served cold, this turmeric rice salad calls for warm rice, which means that you’ll need to reheat the cold rice from your fridge. Thanks to its warm and savory bite, turmeric rice salad is the perfect salad for winter days.
Simple Leftover Rice Recipes For Your Dinner Repertoire
If you happen to make too much rice the previous day for dinner, you can simply use the remains to whip up hearty dinners for everyone. Considering how delicious these meals are, I’m certain that nobody will notice you’re using leftover rice.
If you don’t have much free time and still need to prepare a fulfilling dinner for the whole family, these bean and rice burritos make an excellent choice. As long as you still have leftover rice in your fridge, you’ll only need 15 minutes to prepare this incredibly delicious dinner meal.
As these savory burritos also feature black beans aside from rice, they’re packed with healthy, plant-based proteins. Healthy and delicious, these bean and rice burritos are a great way to bring Mexican-inspired flavors to your dining table.
Can’t finish all of your burritos in one go? Then, you can wrap them in aluminum foil and store them in either the fridge or freezer. After all, the method to rewarm burritos is so straightforward and quick that you can have a hot, steaming burrito within mere minutes.
Bibamp is a popular rice dish in Korean cuisine and is a fantastic dish for leftovers. As bibimbap is basically cooked rice mixed with vegetables, meat, and eggs, you can prepare this with all the leftover food in the fridge. This means you can cut down the preparation time quite drastically.
Aside from leftover rice, there are a few necessary ingredients to an authentic bibimbap bowl. For instance, this Korean rice dish usually requires spinach, mushrooms, and eggs. And without the sauce, bibimbap may lose a part of its appeal, so don’t ever forget the sauce.
Make authentic bibimbap with the instructions shown here:
13. Lentil Loaf
With leftover rice and a handful of lentils, you can make a hearty lentil loaf that is easy and economical to make. Serve these with some heavy gravy or cheese sauce, and everyone will soon be fighting for seconds.
As lentil loaf does not contain any animal products, you can prepare lentil loaf for your vegan friends. Even better, this vegan lentil loaf is also completely gluten-free.
Light but still hearty, these chicken and rice patties are excellent as a light meal for kids. With their crispy exterior and cheese flavors, these chicken and rice patties will definitely be a hit among children.
If you wish to make a large batch to share with the whole family, you can make this leftover rice recipe in a casserole pan. Just remember not to spread the rice mixture too thick, or else the dish might not be as crispy as you expect.
15. Brown Rice Salad
Ideal for lunch or a light dinner, this brown rice salad is packed with proteins, fiber, and vitamins from the tuna and mixed vegetables. As if the combination of rice, tuna, and vegetables is not tasty enough, you’ll also get to add lemon juice to the salad for more vibrant flavors.
Brown rice salad doesn’t take too long to prepare, and you can make it in advance in case you need a quick meal the following day. In other words, brown rice salad is indeed the perfect choice for busy people.
As brown rice is a little trickier than white rice, especially for those who are not familiar with it beforehand, I recommend starting out with premium brown rice from the top brands only. Why? Because it’ll guarantee a higher success rate with this scrumptious recipe.
Bursting with enticing flavors, this bolognese rice bake is perfect as dinner for the whole family. Like all the recipes here, bolognese rice bake starts with leftover rice. With the addition of some tomato paste, meat stock, and cheese, you’ll end up with a savory and hearty meal. Yummy.
To balance out the cheesy bolognese rice bake, you should serve it with something light and refreshing. I’ve found that the best side dish for bolognese rice bake is a crisp salad with vinaigrette dressing.
You can make bolognese rice bake all in one pot with this simple recipe by this video below:
Even though this leftover rice doesn’t require too much time to prepare, I have to admit that schezwan fried rice is a little bit complex. The main reason behind that is because you’ll need to master the arts of balancing the many spices, herbs, and sauces required.
This recipe calls for schezwan sauce – which is a spicy Indian sauce. Making this sauce can be quite hard, and store-bought ones might not taste as fresh as homemade. However, with enough practice and the right recipe, you’ll soon be able to make the perfect schezwan sauce.
Another amazing thing about this recipe is that you can store the unfinished fried rice in the fridge for a later meal. As long as you know the tips and techniques to rewarm fried rice, this schezwan rice dish will taste as if it’s fresh out of the stove.
Another fantastic leftover rice recipe from Korea, this dish is immensely easy and quick to make. While this is the sort of recipe that you fall on when you don’t have enough time to prepare dinner, it still ensures that your meal will leave a long-lasting impression on your memory.
Kimchi fried rice is a flexible dish, you can simply top this with a sunny-side-up egg, and the dish still tastes amazing. Or you can pair this Korean rice dish with chicken breasts, chicken wings, or even steak. Really, the choices are limitless.
As easy as kimchi fried rice sounds, it needs to start with a decent base. In other words, the leftover rice should be perfectly cooked in the first place. This requires the proper cooking length, and the correct rice-water ratio when prepared in rice cookers.
One of my favorite dishes to prepare for dinner is casseroles. Everything is thrown into one big pan and baked to perfection. And in this chicken broccoli rice casserole, I get to use the leftover rice from the fridge to make something so delicious that even the pickiest eater will love it.
Featuring leftover rice, chicken, and broccoli, this savory casserole is packed with important nutrients. With a generous amount of cheese on top, the casserole is incredibly flavorful and tasty. If these don’t sound like the perfect dinner for you, I’m not sure what will.
Unforgettable Snacks You Can Make With Leftover Rice
You’re not reading this wrong – you can make scrumptious snacks and desserts from leftover rice as well. Check out these leftover rice recipes to make the most unforgettable desserts to indulge yourself in.
Even without sweetened condensed milk or excessive sugar, you can still transform leftover rice into a luscious, creamy, and decadent treat.
Leftover rice pudding can be served either cold or hot. When this fluffy rice pudding is served cold, its sweet taste becomes more prominent, and its creamy texture resembles ice cream. If it’s served warm, this pudding gives off a nice fragrance and provides a satisfying bite.
You’ll definitely love these brown sugar rice puddings, check out this video:
Dosa is a type of crispy crepe originating from Indian cuisine. With leftover rice as its base, dosa calls for yogurt, butter, and semolina for flavor and texture enhancement. And as the rice and other ingredients are so well-blended, it’s impossible to notice dosa is made from cooked rice.
Dosa is quite a versatile snack. On its own, dosa is a crispy crepe with subtle hints of savory flavors. This Indian crepe can also be served with sweet or salty dippings and gravies.
Also referred to as pakoda, this crispy snack is another popular dessert from the exotic lands of India. With rice as the main ingredient, this scrumptious Indian gets a boost in flavor thanks to the various spices such as cumin seeds, ginger, or red chili powder.
Rice pakora is a great snack for people who aren’t fond of sweets but still want something to munch on. Thanks to its savory and slightly spicy flavors, these rice pakora will definitely be a hit among any group you serve them to.
Strange as it may sound, you can indeed make a decadent chocolate cake with leftover rice as the base. Whereas traditional chocolate cakes use flour as the base, this unique recipe calls for leftover rice, which gives the cake a fluffy texture, a nice fragrance, and a signature sweetness.
One thing I always like to do when I serve these chocolate leftover rice cakes to unsuspecting souls is asking them to guess the ingredients. I absolutely love it when a look of surprise crosses their faces as I list out my recipe for this decadent cake.
Idli is a delicious steamed cake, which is very popular in India. It has a soft, fluffy, and light texture. Because this I-something food tastes best when it’s served warm, it makes the perfect comfort food, especially during the cold weather.
The thing I like most about idli is that its taste is not overpowering in the least. This pairs well with how absorbent this Indian steamed cake is. As idli is normally served with coconut chutney, its mild flavors and absorbent nature allow you to fully enjoy the combination of the two dishes.
25. Rice Waffles
Even I was taken aback when I first learned that I could make the fluffiest waffles with cooked rice. I have to admit that I was very skeptical when I decided to try out this leftover rice recipe. As it turned out, these rice waffles were more delicious than I could ever imagine.
It’s amazing how the rice lends the waffles a light, fluffy texture and a unique sweetness. When waffles are done, they will give off a faint and delicate fragrance normally found in rice. Serve these with honey or sweet syrup for breakfast or a midday snack.
Cut Down On Food Wastage With Leftover Rice Recipes Today
As you can see, there are many ways to transform leftover rice into a hot, savory meal or a decadent dessert. So, before you throw away that leftover rice, have a look at this list first to know what you can prepare with your leftovers.
Food wastage is a big problem nowadays, so I hope that with this list of leftover rice recipes, you and I can partly contribute to solving this problem. Don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family so they can cut down on food wastage too.