Looking for some easy leftover rice recipes? From risotto to fritters to soup, these simple meals make rice the star of the show.
If you’re anything like me, you always wind up making too much rice! It’s easy to do, given how tiny the amount looks when it’s dry.
The goods news is that there are so many amazing ways to use up leftover rice.
And depending on how you cooked it, you can even incorporate it into some sweet treats!
So before you throw out the excess, take a look at this list of 24 awesome leftover rice recipes!
1. Leftover Rice Frittata
Usually filled with potato, fritattas are great for a substantial, protein packed-breakfast.
Using rice instead will keep this dish filling and add excellent texture, too.
Loaded with parmesan cheese, it’s as easy as whisking the eggs and adding them to the pan.
Since the rice is already cooked, you can have this on the table in 10 minutes flat.
2. Leftover Rice Pudding
My nana used to serve a big dish of sweet rice pudding every Sunday.
She used evaporated milk for a thicker texture, but it works just as well with regular milk.
With just three main ingredients, this dessert is lightning-fast, comforting, and warm. It’s perfect for the winter months.
And if you’re like me and cook your rice in coconut milk, you’ll get this dessert started with some great flavor.
I like to have mine with a dollop of strawberry jam swirled through, or you could always sprinkle with some cinnamon sugar.
3. Leftover Rice Pancakes
Texture can be a funny thing, and I didn’t think I would like these pancakes.
They should be fluffy and light, right?!
Admittedly, these are not like the pancakes you might be used to, but they are sweet and lightly spiced, with an oatmeal-like texture.
If you add a touch of butter and let the edges crisp up, it’s like eating a rice pudding pancake.
I’ve even used bananas in place of the egg and served with peanut butter.
4. Ubbu Rotti – Leftover Rice Roti
Rice Roti is a rice-based flatbread from India.
They are made using your leftover rice, rice flour, and just a touch of salt and pepper. The recipe is also gluten-free and vegan.
These make the perfect alternative to naan bread or even flour tortillas.
5. Easy Leftover Risotto Balls
I can’t say enough good things about these little bites.
Using your leftover rice, you’ll be adding a cube of mozzarella to the middle before dredging in egg, flour, and breadcrumbs.
Once fried, they can be served as a lovely potato alternative, with marinara sauce as an appetizer, or just as a gooey, crunchy late-night snack.
I like to use mozzarella here so that it melts and you get that fabulous cheese pull as you bite into it.
Having said that, Gruyere or a smoked cheese would add a real depth of flavor.
6. Vegetarian Bean and Rice Burrito
I have such a deep love for burritos. You can make them with beef, pork, or chicken, and you can serve them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
I’m partial to a spicy potato, bacon, and egg burrito filled with sharp cheddar cheese and caramelized onions.
But back to the rice…
These are fantastic and are not just for vegetarians! They’re packed with flavor, from lime and beans to hot sauce and garlic.
Using black beans will give you extra texture, though I think some refried beans would add moisture nicely.
Add in some spicy guacamole, and you’ll have one hearty dinner.
7. Rice Fritters
There aren’t too many things that don’t work as a fritter.
Lightly salted and cooked until the edges are crisp, they make for a simple but delicious side to almost any dish!
I really like these rice-only patties, but I think that you could add a cup of cooked rice to corn fritters just as well.
8. Easy Risotto Cakes
From rice fritters to rice cakes, there is just so much you can do with leftover rice!
If fritters are too crunchy for you, then these will make the perfect alternative.
Things may get messy, but these are easy to shape and make wonderfully thick and tasty cakes.
Fill them with cheese, green onion, or bacon bits and serve hot and golden.
9. Chicken and Rice Soup
This might just be the ultimate leftover recipe.
We’ve all had those moments when all you have is leftover rice and rotisserie chicken.
And although there are plenty of fabulous things you can make with leftover rotisserie chicken, this might just be my favorite.
After some veggie chopping, you can have this soup served up in just half an hour!
10. Vegetarian Wild Rice Stuffed Mushrooms
I only usually cook wild rice for specific recipes and never know what to do with the leftovers.
Though you could use any leftover rice for this recipe, I think the wild rice makes for a beautiful pairing with the mushrooms.
Between the rice, artichoke, and cheese, these make the perfect little appetizers. Or you could stuff a portobello for a meaty and satisfying meat-free meal.
11. Leftover Rice Dosa Recipe
This south Indian dish is often made using rice, lentils, and sometimes potato.
They look kind of like crepes and can be served as a simple side to a tasty curry or a nice snack with some mango chutney.
I would be tempted to add in a little sugar and fill them with a sweet jam.
12. Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
Given that the only thing you’ll be cooking in the casserole is the broccoli, cooked rice makes the perfect addition for the shorter bake time.
Combine cooked, shredded chicken with broccoli, cheese sauce, and extra cheese, along with the bed of cooked rice for a family-friendly and straightforward dinner.
A nice way to simplify would be to use cream of chicken soup instead of the homemade sauce.
13. Bibimbap! (Korean Rice Bowl)
They might look like they took hours to make, but these rice bowls easily whip up in an hour or so.
I know the ingredient list might look intimidating, but it’s all very straightforward and can be done one after the other, layering it all in the bowl as you go.
You can skip even a bunch of steps. I won’t tell if you use a different mushroom or buy an Asian veggie pack with everything pre-shredded and ready to go.
In fact, I encourage it!
14. Thai Crispy Rice
It might seem simple, but this recipe for Thai crispy rice is addictive.
The trick is to cook the rice without stirring it, allowing the bottom to crisp in the pan.
You’ll add the sauce as you turn and break the rice up into bite-sized pieces.
Serve with a fried egg and a sprinkling of green onions.
15. Stuffed Peppers
After making stuffed peppers as a last-minute vegetarian option, I quickly learned to love them.
This recipe uses ground beef, making them extra tasty, along with tomatoes and leftover rice.
Once stuffed and cooked, the peppers start to soften, sometimes blistering on the sides but still holding their shape.
These can be made ahead and travel so well.
16. Ground Beef and Rice Casserole
If you’re looking for a fast mid-week dinner, this is for you.
Most of the five-minute prep will be browning the beef with onions and garlic.
After draining away any liquid, you’ll combine the beef with rice, mushrooms, creamy celery soup, and a bag of frozen veggies.
These ingredients can all be switched out to your liking. I think cream of mushroom soup with broccoli and corn would make a colorful option.
Top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs for the last few minutes of the cooking time and serve with a nice simple garden salad.
17. Easy Vegan and Gluten-Free Lentil Loaf
I love being able to make exciting new dishes for my vegan and gluten-free friends.
They must get so bored with all the same old recipes thrown at them day in, day out.
I especially love this loaf recipe. Not only is it packed with nutrients, but it’s also substantial enough that you can serve with some roasted veggies and feel full.
The base here is mashed up lentils. They add fantastic flavor when cooked in broth.
The loaf would make a lovely centerpiece at the table, or you could also try making these in muffin tins for individual servings.
18. Rice Pakora Recipe (Leftover Rice Pakora)
These deep-fried, spiced rice balls are to die for! I first had them at a friend’s house and immediately asked for the recipe.
Crispy on the outside and tender and fluffy on the inside, they are filled with chopped vegetables and spiced with ginger, turmeric, and Besan (ground lentils).
I like the pea and carrot filling, but they also work great with corn, a touch of curry powder, and raisins!
I often serve these when I make curry. They work well with chutney or dipped right into a fresh batch of butter chicken!
19. Rice Cutlet Recipe
These babies are similar to the risotto cakes from above; only they are made with rice and mashed potato for a creamier finish.
Filled with Indian spices, they’ll make excellent additions to your next Indian feast!
Be careful when frying, taking them off the heat as they turn perfectly golden.
20. Quick & Easy Fried Rice Recipe
Did you know that fried rice needs cooked and cooled rice, rather than fresh?
It’s true. It’s the key that makes it work so well.
For simple fried rice, cook your bacon (if using) first with onion, and then add in any extras you’re having.
This recipe uses corn and bean sprouts, which add great crunch.
The trick is to move everything out of the way and cook the eggs in the pan, letting them scramble and set before incorporating into the rest of the mix.
This way, when you add the rice, it will toss together rather than become a mushy mess.
21. Breakfast Fried Rice
You might be wondering what the difference between fried rice and breakfast fried rice is.
Honestly, not much.
Both contain ham or bacon, along with green onion and egg.
The main difference is that fried rice can have any number of delicious additions, like mushrooms and peas, where breakfast fried rice tends to be more subdued.
Try adding a drizzle of teriyaki BBQ sauce to your morning fried rice for a burst of fun flavor.
22. Stuffed Pepper Soup
This soup manages to take everything I love out of stuffed peppers and turns it into a warm and comforting bowl of soup.
And it comes together in just five minutes!
In fact, you could actually skip the browning the meat step if you’re feeling extra lazy.
The meat will cook as it simmers in the sauce, meaning you can throw it right into the pot with everything else. It takes just 30-40 minutes to cook.
23. Neeragaram – Leftover Rice Porridge
This is not the porridge your mom makes. There are no brown sugar or Cracker Barrel Fried Apples in sight.
But once you get over that, you’ll see a wonderfully elegant and savory way to start the day.
We all know that rice is super filling and very cost-effective.
You’ll be combining buttermilk, shallots, green chili, and curry leaves with fenugreek seeds and cilantro for this recipe.
If you can’t find fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds make a fantastic alternative.
The only to note here is that it needs to sit overnight before adding the onion, chilis, and curry leaves.
24. Parmesan Rice Cakes Recipe
If you liked the idea of those fried rice balls but think it seems too involved, this recipe is a simplified option.
Once you have everything mixed, check the consistency to see if you need more egg before frying. It should hold together well but not be runny.
Once crispy on both sides, they make an awesome cheesy side to roasted chicken, pork chops, or even your morning eggs.
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