Learn how to reheat leftover rice correctly so that it remains as soft and fluffy as it used to be! There are three ways, all of which are super easy and effective.
Cooking rice to perfection is an art form. Too long and turns to mush, but not long enough, and it has a crunchy center.
These methods are so simple and capture that fresh-off-the-stove magic!
These hacks are great if you want to relive taco Tuesday on a Wednesday.
Or, for something different, you can repurpose leftover rice into something new like fried rice or stuffed peppers.
These solutions on how to reheat leftover rice are easy, fast, and get the job done.
How to Reheat Rice in the Microwave
Throwing your rice in the microwave is the fastest and easiest solution. However, nuking that perfect rice often leaves it dried out and a little sad.
With a simple kitchen hack, nuking that day-old rice yields moist and fluffy rice that’s ready for round two.
Add an ice cube to keep your rice from drying out in the microwave!
Popping an ice cube on top of your rice helps retain moisture, so your rice tastes just as good as when it came off the stove.
As the rice reheats, the ice cube will not melt! It also allows you to control the moisture content so that your rice doesn’t become watery (watery rice is the worst.)
The rice takes some water molecules from the ice cube to keep it light, fluffy, and warm.
For best results, cover your day-old rice with a sheet of parchment paper or a paper towel to ensure that none of the moisture escapes into the microwave.
If you only have a few servings of rice you need to reheat at dinnertime, the microwave method is one of your best options.
The rice is light, fluffy, and ready for taco Tuesday part two!
How to Reheat Rice on the Stovetop
Cooking rice for a second time on the stove is a great way to evenly reheat your side dish while keeping it light and fluffy.
Reheating on the stovetop requires dirtying another pan, but the final results are worth the extra effort.
- Place your rice in a shallow layer at the bottom of a wide pot.
- Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water (or stock for added flavor) to prevent your rice from drying out and sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Keep the temperature low – you want to reheat the rice without cooking it further.
- Cover, cook for around 3-5 minutes, and check in every minute to ensure that it isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- If you find that the water has evaporated, add in a bit more water to prevent your rice from drying out.
The trick to reheating rice on the stove is to keep the heat low. You want to warm the rice slightly without cooking it.
Be sure to keep the stove’s temperature at a low to medium-low range.
This method is slow, and you will want to dial up the heat. But avoid that temptation!
If you turn up the heat to speed up the process, your rice will turn mushy and stick to the pan’s bottom.
How to Reheat Rice in the Oven
Reheating in the oven isn’t the quickest solution, but it’s the best option if you need to reheat a large portion of rice.
Reheating rice in the oven takes more time, but it allows you to reheat larger portions of leftover rice when compared to the microwave or stovetop methods.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place leftover rice in a baking dish, and break up any big clumps.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of water or stock over the rice, and cover with foil.
- Bake for 20 minutes, checking in frequently.
- Each time you check in on your rice, add a little extra water to replace lost moisture when you pull back the foil.
Is the oven method the fastest reheating method? No.
However, it’s a great way to heat larger potions of rice if you are hosting a holiday party or need to feed a large group of people.
It’s also a great way to do all your cooking prep for a party the night before and simply reheat your dish the day of the party.
It takes more time and requires checking in on your rice frequently to ensure it doesn’t dry out, but it’s worth the extra effort.
Make sure that every time you lift the foil, you replace the lost moisture with more water or stock.
It’s suitable for large portions, but it’s not ideal if you need to reheat a few servings quickly.
How to Use Leftover Rice
Rice is a perfect side dish because there are always leftovers, and you can easily repurpose those leftovers for a new and exciting dinner dish.
Plus, there are many ways to incorporate rice into a side dish or even a main course to ensure that nothing goes to waste.
For a cheap and easy dinner idea, fried rice is one of your best solutions to use leftover rice and veggies in your fridge on the brink of spoilage.
Throw in leftover rice and any veggies in your vegetable crisper for a quick and easy main dish that’s super easy, satisfying, and cheap!
Adding rice to the main course is another excellent way to use leftover rice.
For soup, throw in leftover rice at the end of cooking to reheat it right in the soup and make simple broths more filling.
You can also throw leftover rice into meatloaf, stuffed peppers, or a simple no-peek chicken and rice casserole.
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