What to Do with Leftover Brown Rice: A Healthy Guide

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There’s nothing quite new about brown rice. 

It has been on grocery shelves for as long as any of us can remember. 

Its only distinctive attributes nowadays? Its brown color and its healthy reputation.

But go back to ancient China and you’ll find a very different scenario. 

Brown rice was once so valuable that they used it as currency. Emperors were known for hoarding it like it was gold. 

With that said, I’m going to stop here. That tiny bit of history just made me realize that I’ve been giving away recipes for free.

So, before I grant you access to reading this one further, there’s payment needed upfront. 

And the currency I want? Leftover brown rice. 

Having some within reach is the only way I’ll answer your question: 

What to do with leftover brown rice?

Rice to Meet You

Brown rice in a bowl on a wooden table.

There’s a saying that health is wealth, right? 

And brown rice is healthy.

Maybe this helped in birthing that famous expression. 

And maybe! That’s why it was so valuable so many years ago. 

Is it possible that the ancient Chinese people knew something that none of our ancestors did at that time? 

That would certainly explain the hoarding. 

It’s also worth noting that brown rice started it all. 

Long before we started processing rice to make it white, all rice was brown. Leaving the rice unrefined allows it to retain the bran and germ layers of the grain. 

You know what this means. Not only does it give brown rice its nutty and chewy texture, it also gives it that extra fiber, vitamins, and minerals. 

That’s right. Don’t go looking at that leftover brown rice with disdain. 

It retains all those nutritional values even when reheated, can you believe that? 

You Can’t Handle the Truth 

Before proceeding on what to do with leftover brown rice, let us first debunk some myths surrounding it. Because brown rice deserves so much more than a bad rep.

Question is, can you handle the truth? 😉 Only a few good men can (get it?).

Starting off with:

Myth 1

It’s only good for reheating.

True, it’s good to be reheated. But it can be so much more than just reheated leftovers. And this article is about to debunk this myth with several recipes.

Myth 2

It takes forever to cook.

It takes longer than white rice, but this doesn’t mean you can’t speed things up! 

You’re just none the wiser. 

Soak it for 30 minutes before cooking and I assure you, doing so will significantly reduce the amount of time you’ll spend in the kitchen. 

Myth 3

It’s difficult to digest.

I just said that it’s rich in fiber. And what is fiber good at? 

Aiding digestion and promoting gut health. 

Alright, this one’s probably from people who transitioned from white to brown. I must admit there can be discomfort initially. 

But once your body adjusted? You’re all good. 

You Want Answers

And I’ll give them to you. 

Leftover brown rice? Check.

Alright, payment acknowledged. You may proceed. 

Here’s what to do with leftover brown rice:

For Breakfast 

We’re making pancakes!


  • 2 cups of leftover brown rice
  • 1 mashed ripe banana
  • 1 already beaten egg
  • ½ cup of milk
  • ¼ cup of chopped walnuts
  • ¼ tsp of cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp of nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp of vanilla
  • Oil


  • Mixing bowl
  • Frying pan
  • Spatula


  1. Mix the brown rice, banana, egg, milk, and walnuts in a bowl.
  2. Whisk in the cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla until everything is thoroughly mixed. 
  3. Over medium fire, heat an oiled pan.
  4. Scoop ¼ cup of batter and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
  5. Serve with maple syrup, fruits, or nuts.

For Lunch 

Arancini balls in a dish platter.

Arancini, anyone?


  • 2 cups of leftover brown rice
  • ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 already beaten eggs
  • ¼ cup of chopped basil
  • ¼ cup of diced mozzarella
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  • Oil


  • Large mixing bowl
  • Skillet
  • Slotted spoon
  • Plate with paper tissue


  1. Combine the brown rice, cheese, one egg, and basil in a large bowl.
  2. Take a handful of the mixture and form it into a ball. Make an indentation in the middle and insert a cube of mozzarella. 
  3. Enclose the cheese by rolling the mixture into a ball. Repeat until you’ve used up everything. 
  4. Dip the balls in the remaining egg, then roll them in breadcrumbs.
  5. Fry the arancini in oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.  
  6. Scoop with a slotted spoon and place them on the plate with a paper towel to remove excess oil. 

For Dinner 

Say no to take out, and yes to brown rice stir-fry.


  • 2 cups of leftover brown rice
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 1 diced onion
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 chopped bell pepper
  • 1 cup of broccoli 
  • 1 julienned carrot
  • 2 already beaten eggs
  • 3 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 1 tsp of grated ginger
  • Green onions and sesame seeds (as garnish)


  • Skillet
  • Spatula


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in the skillet over medium fire.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent.
  3. Mix in the bell pepper, broccoli, and carrot. Stir-fry for about 5-7 minutes or until they’re tender.
  4. Push them to one side, then add the egg. Scramble it until cooked, then mix the vegetables.
  5. Stir in the brown rice, soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger. 
  6. Cook everything for another 3-4 minutes until everything’s well combined.
  7. Garnish with onions and sesame seeds before serving. 

For Dessert 

Brown rice pudding in a in a baking dish with fork on the side.

And for dessert, we’re having pudding!


  • 2 cups of leftover brown rice
  • 14 oz of coconut milk
  • ¼ cup of honey
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • ½ tsp of cinnamon
  • ¼ cup of raisins
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Pinch of salt


  • Large mixing bowl
  • Whisk


  1. Combine the brown rice and coconut milk in a large bowl. Make sure to stir them well together.
  2. Add the honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk everything until well combined.
  3. Put the raisins and lemon zest.
  4. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight (I’ll know when you sneak in for some spoonfuls!)
  5. Serve chilled. 

The Ricepurposed Result  

Do you see it now? 

Brown rice isn’t just any ancient, bland, boring food. It’s a delicious investment in your health.

And since we’re repurposing leftovers, we’re not just saving money. We’re also channeling our inner chefs.

Think you didn’t follow the recipes right?

Don’t worry about it. 

For in this kitchen, we don’t make mistakes. We only make new recipes.

Happy Rice-cyclin’!

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