What to do with leftover rice? These leftover rice recipes show the best ways to repurpose this grain into another meal….or three!

Fried Rice

Got leftover rice and not sure what to do with it? You’re not alone. This age old conundrum has inspired dishes in various cuisines, from fried rice to rice balls, fritters and more. Want to make your rice into another meal…or three? Try these great leftover rice recipes! Each one transforms the leftover grains into a full meal, often providing a time-saving shortcut to the recipe, too. Recipes are listed with the quantity of rice, to help you plan with the amount you have on hand. Let’s get it to it!

And now…leftover rice recipes to turn leftovers into a meal!

More with rice

Love this healthy whole grain? Outside of these leftover rice recipes, here are a few more resources and recipes to try:

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12 Great Leftover Rice Recipes: Fried Rice & More!

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Here’s how to make fried rice! Egg, veggies, garlic and ginger bring aromatic flavor to this homemade comfort food. Variation: Try Shrimp Fried Rice for added protein.


  • 1/2 yellow or white onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger (about 1 inch nub)
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 cups chopped green cabbage (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 4 eggs*
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups cooked rice, at least 1 day old (use How to Cook Rice or Instant Pot Rice), or use shortcut**
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
  • Green onion, for garnish (optional)


  1. Mince the onionMince the garlicMince the ginger. Peel the carrots, then dice them. If using, chop the cabbage.
  2. In a large skillet or wok, heat 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil medium high. Saute the carrots and onion for 2 minutes. Add the cabbage, garlic and ginger and saute for 2 minutes. Stir in the rice, peas and salt for 1 minute.
  3. Push the rice to the side. Add 1 tablespoon more oil. Add the eggs and pinch of salt, and scramble them in for 1 to 2 minutes until cooked through.
  4. Add the soy sauce and fish sauce, if using. Taste and add additional soy sauce or salt if necessary. Heat for a minute or two, stirring, until all rice is coated. Serve hot.


*For a vegan variation, make a Tofu Scramble first, keeping the pieces fairly small. Make the rice without the egg, then stir in the scrambled tofu in the last step.

  • Category: Rice
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Rice
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Leftover rice recipes, what to do with leftover rice

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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