Cheesy Italian Leftover Rice Bake

Prepared with ricotta and pesto, this flavorful casserole bake is a great way to use up refrigerator leftovers.

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Cheesy Italian Leftover Rice Bake

Cooking time
PREP TIME 10 mins
Cooking time
COOK TIME 25 mins
Ready in
TOTAL TIME 35 mins


  • 1 bag Success® White Rice
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup basil pesto
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups leftover cooked vegetables or greens
  • 2 cups leftover meat, poultry or seafood, chopped
  • 2 cups leftover shredded cheese, divided


  • This delicious, cheesy casserole is a great option to help use up any leftovers in the ktichen, and it´s one that the whole family will enjoy!

    Step 1

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Prepare rice according to package directions.

    Step 2

  • Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk together ricotta, egg, pesto and salt. Stir in vegetables, meat and 1 cup cheese. Fold in rice. Transfer to greased 8×8 -inch baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

    Step 3

  • Bake for 15-20 mins or until golden brown and bubbling.

    Recipe Tip

    If you don’t have any leftover veggies, chop any veggies or greens that you have in the crisper and cook with 2 tbsp oil in a medium frying pan set over medium heat for 10 -15 mins or until tender or add frozen veggies instead.

    Shredded mozzarella, Cheddar, Swiss, fontina, Gruyere and/or provolone all work nicely in this recipe.

Get Creative with Leftovers

Everyone loves having leftovers, but sometimes eating the same dish many times in a row can get boring and uninspiring. This Cheesy Italian Leftover Rice Bake is a delicious quick meal that you can make with some leftover veggies, protein, and Success® White Rice. A perfect busy weekday meal, this rice bake uses whatever ingredients you have in the fridge and one casserole dish. Little prep, little mess, lots of flavor. 

What is Pesto?

Basil pesto is a sauce made of garlic, basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese and olive oil. It was first invented in Genoa Italy and its popularity continues to grow all around the world today. A delicious addition to pasta dishes, gnocchi, a slice of bread or your leftover Italian bake, this sauce is a great staple to keep in your fridge for an added flavor punch. 

Make your Own!

There are many options for pre-made pesto found in any supermarket, but making your own can add a delicious fresh element to your dishes. Simply blend all ingredients in a food processor and add extra olive oil to keep. Some tricks to level up your pesto: use fresh basil from a garden, pre toast the pine nuts in a pan and pre roast the garlic in the oven. For best results, drizzle the garlic with olive oil and cover with tin foil and bake. 


Tips: If you don’t have any leftovers try using Broccoli, cherry tomatoes and chicken!

Vegan-ize it: stick to only vegetables or add soy protein instead of meat. Replace the cheese with a vegan option, or sprinkle in brewers yeast for that classically cheese flavor!

Other Dishes

Looking for another dish to throw some leftover greens in? Try the Creamed Spinach and Rice Casserole made with the Success® Brown Rice for another easy oven meal. 

For the perfect vibrant and unique appetizer,make the Roasted Golden Beet “Carpaccio” with Quinoa