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3 Simple Leftover Rice Recipes: Quick Dinner Options

Leftover rice recipe
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Ponyo Sakana

You’ve cooked too much rice and don’t know what to do with it? Here are three leftover rice recipes that are delicious and easy to throw together.

Leftover rice is a great ingredient you can use in many different dishes. If you’re looking for a meal to prepare beforehand, pre-cook the rice and use it for one of these recipes over the next few days. Always make sure to rinse rice before cooking it. Cooked rice lasts several days in the fridge, so you don’t necessarily have to eat it two days in a row.

For each of the leftover rice recipes below, you can get creative and add any other vegetable that’s in season, or that you already have at home. If possible, always try to use organic ingredients.

Do you struggle to cook rice properly? Read How to Make Fluffy Rice Perfect Every Time for useful tips and tricks.

1. Rice Patties

Leftover Rice Recipe
These tasty leftover fried rice patties only take 20 minutes. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - Cortex_Imareel)

Yield: 2 servings


  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 9 oz. cooked rice
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • Paprika powder
  • Potato starch
  • Oil for frying


  1. For this leftover rice recipe, peel the onion and garlic clove. Dice the onion and mince the garlic.
  2. Then mix the leftover rice with the onion, garlic, mustard, and spices.
  3. Add potato starch bit by bit until you have a solid mass.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan. Form the rice mixture into patties and put them in the pan.
  5. Fry rice patties from both sides until they are golden brown.

Tip: If you have leftover vegetables like carrots or zucchini, you can grate or cut them into small pieces and add them to the rice mixture.

2. Leftover Rice Recipes: Fried Rice

leftover rice recipe
If you like, add some sesame seeds to your fried rice for a delicate, nutty flavor. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - kalhh)

Yield: 2 servings


  • 1 onion
  • 3 1/2 oz. mushrooms
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 14 oz. leftover cooked rice
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • Curry powder
  • Salt and pepper


  1. First, peel the onion, then dice or cut it into rings.
  2. Clean the mushrooms with a brush or cloth and rinse the other vegetables. Remove the seeds. Then cut everything into small pieces. (Vegetable brushes are available on Amazon**.)
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan.
  4. Add the vegetables to the pan and fry them for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  5. Add the leftover rice and fry for another five minutes. Keep stirring.
  6. For the seasoning, add soy sauce, curry powder, salt and pepper.

Tip: For this leftover rice recipe, you can use all kinds of vegetables. To spice it up a little, some homemade green hot sauce, Chinese hot sauce, garlic or tofu.

3. Eggplant With Leftover Rice Stuffing

Whether you use eggplant, peppers or squash. A rice stuffing tastes great with any of these vegetables.

Here’s another of our favorite leftover rice recipes to help you reduce food waste.

Tip: You can avoid food waste by using up leftovers and storing food correctly. If you store eggplant properly, it stays fresh longer.

Yield: 2 servings


  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 10 1/2 oz. cooked rice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Margarine to grease the baking dish
  • Optional: marinated chili pepper or lemon slices


  1. For this leftover rice recipe, wash the eggplant, remove the stalk and cut it length-wise. Then salt it and put it aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Peel the onion and dice it.
  3. Wash the tomatoes and pepper. Remove the seeds from the pepper, then chop the vegetables.
  4. Hollow out the eggplant using a spoon and dice the pulp.
  5. Heat the oil in a pan. Then sauté the onion and add the pepper, tomatoes, and eggplant.
  6. Fry for a few minutes, then mix in the leftover rice and add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Fill the eggplant halves with the rice mixture.
  8. Place them in a greased baking pan. If you want to, add a marinated chili pepper or lemon slice.
  9. Finally, put the pan in the oven and let your eggplants bake for about 30 minutes at 356 degrees Fahrenheit.

By the way, don’t worry about the expiration date on your rice packages. Uncooked rice is one of the foods that never expire, assuming it is kept in dry, sealed containers. For more information, check out our guide How to Store Rice Long Term (All Varieties).

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