5 Healthy Rice Recipes for Leftover Cooked Rice

With so many ways to cook with leftover rice, it’s almost a good idea to make extra just so that you can do something different with it the next day. From burgers to soup, cooked rice has the ability to thicken, bind, and make creamy. So next time you find yourself with a pot half full of leftover cooked rice, here are 5 healthy rice recipes to try out.

  1. Fried rice. Any lover of home-cooked fried rice can tell you, using freshly cooked rice for the dish just doesn’t work as well. Leftover rice, however, cooks up crispy and wonderfully without getting too sticky in the pan, which is exactly what you’re going for with fried rice. (Or for a rice-free version of the dish, try our very own Sara Novak’s recipe for Vegetable Cauliflower Fried Rice here!)
  2. Soup or stew. Of course you can make the classic chicken-rice soup with leftover rice, but virtually any broth-based soup can be made thicker and creamier by adding in cooked rice and letting the soup simmer down until thickened. You can also make creamy vegan soups by pureeing cooked vegetables, broth, and cooked rice in a food processor until creamy.
  3. Vegetarian burgers. Restaurant-made veggie burgers are typically a disappointment, being either haphazardly mushy or seemingly reheated from a box. Instead, have a take at making your own veggie burgers at home, and call upon cooked rice to be a key ingredient. It lends texture and a bit of binding-ability to your meatless patties. Try this recipe for Chickpea Brown Rice Veggie Burgers from MarthaStewart.com for starters.
  4. Arancini. These Italian rice balls are simple enough to make, it’s a wonder more home cooks don’t take their try with them in the kitchen. They have the ooey-gooey quality of mozzarella sticks, with just a bit of bite from the chewy rice inside the golden-crusted shell. While many traditional arancini dishes start with leftover risotto, this recipe, Arancini with Marinara Sauce, from the blog JustaTaste.com starts with plain cooked rice.
  5. Rice casserole. Casseroles lend themselves well to pasta and cheese, which bake up into heavenly (and quite indulgent!) comfort dishes. They also tend to contain “cream of” soups from a can which are loaded with sodium and additives. Bake a healthier casserole with leftover rice and ample veggies, and load it up with fresh herbs instead of salt and cheese. A recipe for Cozy Autumn Rice Bake does just that on the blog glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com.

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Image adapted from Flickr, SweetOnVeg, CC BY 2.0