Leftover brown rice? Nine tasty ways to use it up!

April 16, 2019 7:40 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Last week we gave you nine good reasons to eat brown rice. It’s great for fibre, we pointed out, and for B vitamins. It’s rich in minerals, omega fatty acids, essential amino acids and antioxidants. It’s packed with protein and, of course, it tastes delicious!

Too much brown rice? Here's what you should do with it!

We’re sure we convinced you – and if so, you’ve probably found yourself with some leftover brown rice at some point this week. Don’t waste it – this stuff is far too good for that! We’ve got nine further suggestions below on just how to use it up.

Safe storage and reuse of brown rice

First, a quick word about safely storing and re-using brown rice. Over the last few decades, people have become terrified about reusing rice, concerned that by reheating it, they’ll get food poisoning. You don’t need to be worried: follow these simple rules and you’ll be fine.

  • As soon as your leftover rice has cooled down (within 1 hour of removing from the heat, ideally), store it in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container.
  • If storing in the fridge, use within 48 hours.
  • If storing in the freezer, use within 1 month.
  • Defrost frozen rice before use. After defrosting, you may now store it in the fridge for a further 24 hours.
  • You can eat rice that’s been refrigerated or frozen cold.
  • You can eat rice that’s been refrigerated or frozen hot – just make sure you heat it until it’s piping hot.
  • Don’t refreeze rice.
  • Don’t freeze rice you’ve previously refrigerated.
  • Don’t reheat rice more than once.

And don’t let those rules scare you off!

If you find you’ve got some leftover rice, simply bag it up for the freezer or put it in a Tupperware or covered container in the fridge. Then start planning the delicious meals you can make with your leftovers – here are our ideas!

Tasty ideas for using up leftover brown rice

All of these ideas work with various brown rices. If you’re really planning ahead and want to make sure you’ve got the best possible leftover rice for your leftover lunch, then bear in mind that short-grain brown rice gives sticky grains (great for stuffing vegetables and for rice pudding), while brown basmati rice is best for recipes that call for distinct, individual grains (such as fried rice or rice salad).

  1. Egg-fried leftover rice

This is a recipe that works much better with brown rice than with white. Fry up the rice in some oil, add a few drops of soy sauce and then crack an egg on top. Mix it all together quickly. You can add all sorts of other ingredients, such as onion, spring onion, other vegetables, or perhaps some cashews. Other flavourings work well too, like garlic or sesame oil. However, even the very simplest version makes a fine lunch.

  1. Poor man’s dolmades

Mix the rice with any leftover cooked meat you have, or with sauted vegetables. Add some flavourings and something liquid – some stock, tinned tomatoes, or soy sauce. Heat it up, then wrap it up in some cooked cabbage leaves.

  1. Stuffed peppers and tomatoes

The same mix as above works brilliantly in a hollowed-out pepper – or a tomato – topped with cheese and baked.

  1. Leftover brown rice salad

Rice salad is the obvious destination for a bowl of cold rice. Go wild with the other ingredients: how about thinly sliced spring onions, organic black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, toasted almonds and fresh herbs – all dressed with a mixture of Dijon mustard, lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil? Or a fruity option, with some chopped organic apricots and figs, currants soaked in orange juice, sunflower seeds and toasted cashews?

  1. Quick and easy brown rice pudding

Bring the rice to the boil in a panful of milk (almond milk adds a layer of sweetness). Mix in some dried fruit (chopped, if you’re using larger dried fruit) and something sweet, like brown sugar, rice syrup or honey. Grate some nutmeg, or sprinkle cinnamon, over the top at the end.

  1. Soup or stew

A spoonful of leftover rice adds body to a soup or stew of any description. We particularly like leftover rice in a homemade-chicken-stock soup, with herbs and seasoning.

  1. Vegetarian loaf

Mix leftover rice with cooked lentils or nuts to make a great alternative to meatloaf. You’ll need plenty of seasoning and some vegetarian gravy too. There are loads of great recipes for vegetarian meatloaf online.

  1. Frittata

Leftover brown rice works really well in a frittata, perhaps with some cooked courgettes or tomato added to the mix.

  1. Tropical twist

Stir your brown rice into fragrant coconut cream or milk, adding some dried mango or papaya and a dash of maple syrup. A refreshing chilled dessert!

Too much brown rice?

There’s simply no such thing as too much brown rice, in the eyes of Naturally Good Food. But if you find that you have too much for one meal – well, now you know just what to do with it!

Naturally Good Reads v2

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This post was written by Yzanne

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