19 Delicious Ideas to Use Up Leftover Cooked Rice
Got leftover cooked rice in the fridge? Use it in one of these healthy, delicious recipes, from stir fries and taco bowls to casseroles and chicken skillets. These recipes call for cooked rice in their ingredient lists, so you're already one step ahead to making a satisfying meal. Recipes like our One-Skillet Bourbon Chicken and Saffron Rice Pilaf with Pistachios & Pomegranate are tasty ideas that make the most of your leftovers.
One-Skillet Bourbon Chicken
Bourbon chicken gets coated in a slightly sweet-spicy sauce for a flavorful dinner that comes together quickly, making it perfect for busy weeknights.
Saffron Rice Pilaf with Pistachios & Pomegranate
Inspired by Persian jeweled rice, we jazz up a packet of precooked rice with saffron-infused milk and other warming spices—cardamom, turmeric and cinnamon—then top with sweet and salty bites of raisins, pistachios and pomegranate arils.
French Onion Dip Chicken & Rice Casserole
This creamy French onion dip chicken and rice casserole topped with crispy potato chips is perfect for game day or whenever you want a comforting meal the whole family will love.
Crispy Fish Taco Bowls
The adobo sauce in a can of chipotles lends earthy heat to the crema that tops these bowls. Don't toss out the unused peppers! Freeze them in an airtight container and pull them out to add to sauces, marinades or chili.
Easy Rice & Beans
Top this quick and simple rice and beans recipe with your favorite add-ons such as salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream, cilantro and/or avocado.
This flavorful vegan dinner is a veggie version of the Louisiana classic. It's chock-full of butternut squash, tomatoes, poblano peppers and okra, to name just a few. This vegetarian gumbo is a quick dinner packed with flavor and spice that's done in only 30 minutes. To make it a meal, serve it with cornbread drizzled with olive oil.
Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowl
This sweet-and-salty teriyaki chicken rice bowl is flavored with fresh grated ginger and scallions and packed with colorful veggies and everything else you need for a balanced dinner in one dish.
Easy Fried Rice
Mixed frozen vegetables make this fried rice recipe quick, easy and economical. If you don't have leftover cooked rice on hand, be sure to thoroughly cool your rice before adding it to the wok—if it's too warm, it creates too much steam and sticks to the wok. To quickly cool warm rice, spread out on a large baking sheet and refrigerate while you prep the rest of your ingredients, about 15 minutes.
Spinach, Feta & Rice Casserole
This one-pan recipe is the casserole version of spanakopita! It's hearty enough to enjoy as a vegetarian lunch or dinner, yet versatile enough to serve alongside just about any protein. To make it extra creamy, top each serving with a dollop of sour cream.
Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry
To make this 20-minute vegan curry even faster, buy precut veggies from the salad bar at the grocery store. To make it a full, satisfying dinner, serve over cooked brown rice. When shopping for simmer sauce, look for one with 400 mg of sodium or less and check the ingredient list for cream or fish sauce if you want to keep this vegan. If you like a spicy kick, add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce at the end.
Gat Kimchi Bokkeum Bap (Mustard-Green Kimchi Fried Rice)
Cooling cooked rice is key here—it dries out the rice and firms it up so it doesn't stick together when it's fried, yielding fluffier results. Read more about this recipe.
Vegetable & Tofu Fried Rice
Next time you're craving Chinese takeout, make this veggie-packed fried rice recipe in about the same time instead. Tofu and eggs give this vegetarian fried rice staying power from protein, and brown rice boosts fiber.
Stuffed Cabbage Soup
Like stuffed cabbage? You'll love this easy stuffed cabbage soup. It's got all of the classic flavors of stuffed cabbage without all the fuss of stuffing. Plus, you can make this warming soup ahead of time or freeze it for later for a quick dinner or lunch.
Chicken & Broccoli Casserole
This one-pan chicken and broccoli casserole is prepared in a skillet on the stovetop, then finished in the oven until it's browned, cheesy and bubbling. Serve with a crunchy green salad.
Savory, cool yogurt rice, or "curd rice," as it's referred to on the Indian subcontinent, is the ultimate comfort food. It's made from Indian household staples—it's really just yogurt, rice and salt, after all—with a variety of ingredients added as embellishments. This take on yogurt rice is seasoned with aromatic spices including asafetida powder, a pungent spice that comes from the roots of a plant that's a cousin to celery and takes on a flavor similar to onion when cooked. Read more about this recipe and what it means to Padma Lakshmi here.
Scallion-Ginger Beef & Broccoli
Whip up a chef-quality stir-fry recipe at home. This beef and broccoli stir-fry packs in the vegetables and takes just 30 minutes to prep. Ginger, which adds a lively kick to this stir-fry, has long been touted for its power to settle stomachs. But that's not its only superpower: preliminary research suggests it may improve blood sugar and inflammation too.
Rice, Cheddar & Spinach Pie
This rice, spinach and Cheddar pie is a cinch to prepare--especially if you have leftover cooked rice. If you don't, follow package directions for 4 servings to get about 3 cups cooked rice. Serve with steamed artichokes with light mayo mixed with lemon for dipping.
This hearty jambalaya is bursting with chicken, smoked turkey sausage, and shrimp. It takes just 25 minutes to prep in the morning and then your slow cooker will work its magic and deliver a tasty meal at the end of the day.
Air-Fryer Turkey Stuffed Peppers
Stuffed peppers are a classic family meal--and they're fun to eat, too. Instead of roasting the sweet peppers in the oven, use an air fryer to get them crisp-tender but not soggy.