What to Do With Leftover Rice

Do you always seem to have leftover rice on hand? If you've got some leftover rice that you'd rather not go to waste, here are some easy ways to turn your plain steamed leftover white or brown rice into a fabulous new meal or side dish! Most of these ideas for using up leftover rice would also be great for using up leftover quinoa, too. Read on for some uses for what to do with your leftover rice.


Watch Now: Perfect Basic White Rice Recipe

  • 01 of 07

    Stuffed Tomatoes With Leftover Rice

    Stuffed tomatoes


    littleclie / Getty Images 

    Season your plain leftover white rice or brown and use it to make vegetarian stuffed tomatoes for a main dish or side. Slice off the tops of your tomatoes, fill with a seasoned rice mixture, drizzle with olive oil and bake. It's that easy! Your leftover rice can also be used for making stuffed bell peppers instead of stuffed tomatoes.

  • 02 of 07

    Rice Salad

    Cold asian rice salad

    The Spruce

    This recipe is another great way to use up your rice if you've got lots and lots leftover and is a way to include some veggies in your diet. Toss your leftover rice with your favorite vinaigrette or other salad dressing, some fresh herbs or spices, and your favorite diced vegetables.​​

  • 03 of 07

    Vegetable Fried Rice

    Fried rice


    gjohnstonphoto / Getty Images 

    Toss some garlic, onions, soy sauce, and sesame oil in your frying pan, add your leftover rice and whatever veggies you have on hand, and voila—you have a new meal: vegetable fried rice! For variation, try adding pineapples, cashews, scrambled eggs (or tofu to keep it vegan), and different sauces and spices.

  • 04 of 07

    Vegetarian Lentil Loaf

    Vegan and gluten-free lentil loaf

    The Spruce

    If you've got lots of leftover rice, one great way to completely transform it is with this vegetarian lentil loaf recipe—it calls for two full cups of leftover rice. Never tried a vegetarian loaf before? No need to worry, since you really can't go wrong, and this recipe has over a dozen positive reviews. Sure, a vegetarian lentil loaf isn't exactly the same as meatloaf, but you may find that you actually like it much better.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Rice and Bean Burritos

    Burrito filled with cheese, black beans and rice
    Paul Poplis / Getty Images

    Heat up a can of beans, add some hot sauce and your leftover rice, and you've got yourself a quick bean and rice burrito! Add in whatever burrito toppings you happen to have on hand, such as salsa, sour cream, guacamole, or maybe even some leftover cooked veggies.

  • 06 of 07

    Leftover Rice Pudding

    Leftover rice pudding

    The Spruce 

    Rice pudding is a great way to use up lots of leftover rice all at once, and everyone loves rice pudding, kids, and adults! You can add some cinnamon and nutmeg, or some raisins and dried fruit for a breakfast rice pudding.

  • 07 of 07

    Dolmas - Stuffed Grape Leaves

    Dolmas - stuffed grape leaves


    gerenme / Getty Images 

    If you've got just a bit of leftover rice on hand, try making dolmas - Middle Eastern stuffed grape leaves! Combine your pre-cooked rice with some fresh parsley or other herbs, and boil in some water with lemon juice and olive oil. For extra tangy dolmas, drizzle them with a bit of fresh lemon juice, just before serving.