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Here’s How to Reheat Leftover Rice So It’s Fluffy and Delicious Every Time

Tired of letting leftover rice go to waste? Here's how to reheat rice to make it taste just as good as the first time.

Written by
Angelica Pizza
Published
January 26, 2022

Figuring out how to reheat rice can be tricky. Oftentimes, putting leftovers in the microwave leaves it dry and flavorless. Because of that, our leftovers either leave us disappointed or wind up being tossed out, completely going to waste.

Whether you've become obsessed with TikTok's trending salmon rice bowl, or you use rice water to strengthen your hair, it's no secret that many of us are stocking up on rice. However, it may also reign true that the rice you don't consume ends up in a landfill, where it releases greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

To avoid dumping dry and tasteless leftovers, it's important to know how to successfully reheat leftover rice. That way you can enjoy a fresh, tasty meal while also protecting the planet. Here's how to reheat rice like a pro whether you're using the microwave, stove, or oven.

How to Reheat Rice: 4 Easy Methods to Try

1. Steam It

Rice absorbs moisture, so to reheat it, you need to give the rice a refresher. One way to do that is to add your leftover rice to a saucepan and sprinkle a little water or vegetable stock over it.

Break up any rice clumps, then cover the rice before letting it sit on low heat. Let it cook for about five minutes while stirring occasionally, and you'll have a delicious rice meal in no time. This method requires the least amount of water, while still giving your rice the moisture it needs to regain its fluffy texture.

2. Microwave It

Microwaving your leftovers is one of the fastest and easiest methods. But when it comes to rice, there are a few extra steps you need to take. Instead of just popping the rice into the microwave and setting the timer, you need to feed the rice some moisture.

Place your rice evenly on a microwave-safe plate, then splash water over it. Or, use an ice cube. Place the ice cube in the center of your plate on top of the rice. This may seem odd, but doing so retains moisture. Then heat for two minutes. Shockingly, the ice cube won't come out completely melted in your dish!

For even better results, place a tea towel or cloth over the dish before reheating to trap moisture.

3. Reheat It in the Oven

If you have a lot of leftover rice, bake it in the oven. Add your rice to an oven-safe baking dish and spread the rice evenly. To ensure it's light and fluffy, add two tablespoons of water or vegetable broth per cup of rice and stir it in.

Cover the rice and bake for 20 minutes at 300°F. After those 20 minutes are up, you can turn off the oven and leave the rice in to conserve energy and keep the meal warm until it's time to eat.

4. Add It to a Fresh Meal

The great thing about leftover rice is that it's already been cooked. If you're making a stir fry or some fresh soup, and you want to make the meal heartier, add in your leftover rice!

For the best results, take your rice out of the fridge 15 minutes before you're ready to add it to your near-finished meal. Adding the rice to a freshly made, hot meal not only requires zero extra energy, but also makes your next meal even more delicious and filling!