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Leftover rice is a burden. A small one, I'll grant you, but one that weighs on me nonetheless. As someone who regularly measures out rice in whatever vessel is closest to my arm (juice glass, coffee cup, ramekin, etc.), and then simply adds in double the amount of water, I rarely make the exact amount that I'll need for a given recipe. As a result, I am often left with excess rice, which I shuttle into a tupperware, stick in the fridge, and promptly forget about until it is a hard, dry lump that I toss in shame.
This nags at me. Well-cooked rice is a beautiful, versatile gift; one that has just as much potential on day two (or three) as it does freshly cooked from the pot. Thankfully, these 20 recipes are here to give new life to leftover rice, whether it's with a cardamom-infused rice pudding, a spicy burrito, or a pseudo-quiche. And let's not forget fried rice of all stripes (psst—you don't even need a recipe!).
There's a whole leftover rice world out there, and baby, it's way bigger than just dousing those grains in soy sauce and calling it a day. In fact, these recipes just might give you reason to make extra rice on purpose in the future.
Note: Some of these recipes have to be tweaked a bit to accommodate already-cooked rice; skip the rice-cooking step and reduce the liquid to make them leftover-friendly.
What's your favorite way to use up leftover rice? Or you of the "drown it in soy sauce and microwave" preference? Tell us below!