10 Ways to Use Leftover Brown Rice

Did you make a little too much brown rice, and now it's sitting in your fridge, making you feel guilty for ignoring it? Never fear! There are so many great ways to use it up - and in fact, you may like them so much you'll start keeping leftover rice on hand on purpose!

Here are my top ten ways to use leftover rice:

1. Taco Tuesday/Everyday. Put some brown rice alongside your beans and veggies for a quick, nutrient-dense burrito or taco. 

2. Make veggie fried rice. One of the first cooking tips I ever remember learning was that you never want to use warm rice to make fried rice, as it gets mushy that way. So, toss some cold brown rice in a wok and add some fun veggies (I like scallions, shiitake mushrooms, edamame, and corn) and seasonings (such as tamari, toasted sesame oil, and garlic) and stir-fry until heated through. Dinner in ten minutes!

3. Make some yummy fritters! For example, try some cajun chickpea fritters - simply mash up chickpeas and add cooked rice, cajun seasoning, garlic, minced onions, lemon, and sea salt. If necessary, add some vegan egg (or flax egg) to hold the mixture together. Pan-fry (or air-fry) until golden-browned on both sides. 

4. If it happens to be short grain (or sushi) rice you've got on hand, you can make veggie sushi! Here's my how-to video on making Uramaki Zushi (could that please be any more fun to say??). My fave fillings for veggie sushi are avocado, asparagus, pickled ginger, carrots, cucumbers, and toasted sesame seeds. I also have some fun sushi sauces in my first book, Radiant Health Inner Wealth.

Photo by Olga Eglite

5. You can make a soothing hot cinnamon raisin breakfast with brown rice - simply warm the rice with raisins, almond milk, cinnamon, and a bit of maple syrup. 

6. Make soup into a hearty meal by pouring it over warmed brown rice. 

7. Make a yummy cold rice salad. For example, you can do a southwestern version (black beans, cumin, garlic, onions, fresh lime, corn, etc.) or a Japanese version (such as my Umeboshi Rice recipe in Radiance 4 Life).

Umeboshi Rice photo by Janet Malowany

Umeboshi Rice photo by Janet Malowany

8. Make a comforting "golden bowl." I like to top brown rice with air-fried tofu, chopped cabbage, grated carrots, and sauteed veggies, and then pour some yummy vegan gravy on top. Yes, for those of you with Radiance 4 Life, this is basically the "Happiness Bowl."

9. Stir-fry night! Warm up that leftover rice and serve with a quick veggie stir-fry. For extra flavor, top with a curry or peanut sauce. 

10. Go bowling. You've seen the bowl craze by now I'm sure - gorgeous compartmentalized entrees, made of a grain, protein, vegetables, avocado, and some sort of creamy sauce? To make these delicious bowls, it helps to have the individual items on hand. And of course, for the grain, you can use brown rice! For the protein, I like beans, tempeh, or tofu. 

So that's it, my friends! Ten ways to use leftover brown rice. I hope this inspires you to use more of this fiber-rich, nutritious grain, and to keep it on hand for easy dishes on the fly!