Reheating rice is a simple process that easily turns leftover rice into exquisite new meals. In just minutes, with some water to help things along, leftover rice can be given new life in a microwave, oven, or on the stove. 

Rice should be stored in the fridge or freezer within 1 hour of cooking. When stored in the fridge, leftover rice should be used within three days. Frozen rice should be consumed within three months. At first, leftover rice may look dry and cold (even, let’s face it — unappetizing!) but follow a few simple steps and you’ll be amazed at the fluffy, fresh results!

The best way to reheat rice depends on you and your kitchen. Some methods might take a little longer, but they still yield fluffy, warm rice that’s perfect in several recipes, or as a satisfying side. All types of rice, including white, brown, and fragrant varieties, such as jasmine and basmati, reheat surprisingly well. Quinoa is a superfood that can also be reheated following these steps. 

Whichever method you choose, remember that leftover rice should always be warmed to 165°F. It’s also important not to reheat rice more than once. 

How to Reheat Rice in the Microwave

When time is of the essence, the best way to reheat rice is in a microwave. Not only is it the fastest method, it’s also convenient and gives you perfect results — every time! 

To reheat rice in the microwave, simply stir one tablespoon of water per cup of rice together in a microwave-safe bowl. Top the rice with a lid or damp paper towel and heat it at 30-second intervals until piping hot. This method works well for rice that’s been in the fridge as well as for frozen rice.  

Save yourself from having to wash extra dishes by storing leftover rice in a microwave-safe container with a lid.  

How to Reheat Rice on the Stove

Reheating leftover rice on the stove is simple but does require the use of a saucepan. If avoiding dishes is high on your list, there might be other methods than this. Having said that, this method is easy and only takes a few minutes longer than the microwave method. 

To begin, transfer leftover rice to a small saucepan with 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter or oil. Add 1 tablespoon of water per cup of rice to the pan. Stir to combine, and cover. Bring the rice to a low simmer, stirring occasionally, until fully heated through. 

How to Reheat Rice in the Oven

Reheating rice in the oven is a hands-off approach that is perfect when other things demand your full attention. The oven method is also best to reheat larger quantities of leftover rice. 

All this method requires is an oven, preheated to 300°F, a baking tray, and a large sheet of aluminum foil. Spread the leftover rice in an even layer, drizzled with 1 tablespoon of water for every cup of rice. Use a fork to break up any large clumps. Cover the rice with the aluminum foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Return to the oven if any areas still feel cool after 20 minutes. 

How to Repurpose Leftover Rice

When life gives you leftover rice, consider your next meal halfway to delicious! When safely reheated, leftover rice is a boon to meal planning. It’s also a great way to reduce food waste and tighten up your food budget. 

A dish that benefits from leftover rice is fried rice with Jasmine Rice. When meal planning, it’s a great idea to make extra rice to have on hand for this dish. Since it tends to be drier, leftover rice gives fried rice a crispier, more separate texture. 

Leftover rice is also great in soups, with unique chili variations, and the best-stuffed peppers, where it can be mixed with any number of ingredients into a hearty filling. Add sausage or ground meat or go entirely vegetarian with this customizable classic. 

Fans of Mexican food will want to listen up. If your fridge currently contains salsa, cheese, leftover chicken or beef, and leftover rice then some delicious Mexican dishes could be in your near future! A meal that can contain multiple ingredients or just a few, tacos, burritos, and Mexican casseroles are a great way to stretch leftover rice into meals for a crowd. 

Related Reading:

Is Rice Gluten Free? 

FAQ – Success® Rice Nutritional Facts 

Myths and Facts of Plant-Based Eating