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Have Leftover Rice? Try These 5 Delicious Ways to Put It to Use

Don't toss leftover rice in the trash. Instead, try one of these delicious leftover rice recipes that puts the grain to good use.

Written by
Riley Baker
Have you ever looked at your container of leftover rice and wondered, "What can I do with this?" If you just nodded your head, you're not alone. 
Leftovers, especially rice, often end up in the trash. Considering over a third of all food produced globally is wasted, making an extra effort to repurpose your leftover rice not only benefits the planet, but also makes
prepping a new meal
a breeze—with the rice cooked and ready to go, half the work is already done.
Save yourself some time and money—and give the planet a boost—by learning how to put your leftover rice to good use. Here's everything you should know to get started, from how long rice lasts in the fridge to the best ways to empty your tupperware.

How Long Does Rice Last?

Before diving into leftover rice recipes, it's first important to know how long rice lasts so you can best plan our your meals. According to the
, cooked rice can stay fresh and safe for consumption for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. However, it's crucial to store it properly. The rice should be cooled and put into the fridge
within two hours
of cooking to prevent bacteria growth. 

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When it comes to reheating, rice should be heated to
at least 165°F
to kill potential bacteria. There are also tips you should know on
how to reheat rice
—from steaming to microwaving—in order to make it taste just as delicious as when it was originally made.

5 Mouth-Watering Ways to Use Leftover Rice

With just a little bit of creativity, you can transform those cold grains into mouth-watering meals. Not only does this help combat
food waste
, but it also saves resources and time spent on cooking a completely new dish. Here are some leftover rice recipes to get you started.

Vegetable Fried Rice

Photo: Budget Bytes
According to Beth of Budget Bites, rice that has been previously cooked and cooled is better at absorbing moisture from the sauce and veggies. It also doesn't get overly sticky.

Rice Pudding with Cooked Rice

Photo: The Silly Girl's Kitchen
Another dish that works best with cooked rice is this delicious rice pudding. All you need to do is add a handful of simple ingredients, including milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla.

Crispy Black Bean and Rice Burritos

Photo: Gimme Delicious
Dinner has never been easier. Load up these burritos with leftover rice, beans, corn, cheese, your protein of choice, and all the delicious fixings.

Classic Stuffed Peppers

Photo: Feast and Farm
Leftover rice makes the perfect filling in these stuffed bell peppers. Combine the rice with protein, onions, tomatoes, and plenty of seasoning, then pop it in the oven.

Leftover Fried Rice Balls

Fried rice balls are an extra delicious way to use up leftover rice. Make a batch as an appetizer the next time you have friends over and everyone will be begging for seconds.