What to Do with Leftover Mushroom Rice: An Egyptian Guide

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Rice with mushroom in white bowl with a text "What to do with leftover mushroom rice"


A fascinating concept that many have longed for (or detested). 

And there is said to be a certain ingredient that can grant eternal life, at least according to ancient Egyptians. 

Disclaimer, though, for those on the edge of their seats. 

It’s not by way of simply eating it. It’s not even in the healthy and alive sense.

It’s more of a divine association, an afterlife connection. The Egyptians thought that mushrooms can grant immortality to the deceased. 

They include mushrooms in tomb offerings and depict them in funeral art. 

The rapid growth of this fungi was seen as short of miraculous. Resurrection, eternal life, take your pick. 

And get this, only pharaohs were allowed to consume them back then. A symbol of their divine status.  

Mushrooms were revered as ‘Food of the Gods.’ 

So hold on that container of leftovers. You’re about to taste divinity. 

We’re about to take a trip down Egypt to find answers on what to do with leftover mushroom rice.


Creamy Chicken and mushroom with white rice in a dark brown plate in wooden board.

Rice, much like mushrooms (and the pyramids), boasts a long history. 

As early as 5000 B.C., rice was already cultivated on the Nile Delta. It was used as a sacred offering to the gods. 

Some even believed it to be heavily linked with the god of the underworld, Osiris. 

But rice’s journey doesn’t stop at the Nile. Several trade routes have made it possible to further spread this humble wild grass to the plates of other continents. 

So when this fluffy foundation of countless dishes meets the food of the gods, it’s a match made in heaven. 

Even if it’s already a day-old leftover in a container just waiting for you to take out and resurrect.

The Pyramid of Cooking

Mushroom. Rice. Leftovers.

These three are our holy trinity for today’s leftover article. And if you can’t tell by now, we’re doing Egyptian style dishes. 

Not one. Not two. But three culinary sorceries in the kitchen. 

Here’s what to do with leftover mushroom rice:

Cremini Cricket, it’s Koshary

Egyptian Koshary in printed plate in blue and green background.

For our first recipe, we’re hitting the streets of Egypt for some of their Koshary. It’s a blend of lentils, pasta, and fried onions. 

Our version will give this beloved street food a leftover mushroom rice makeover with a dash of cremini mushrooms.


  • 2 cups of leftover mushroom rice
  • 1 cup of cooked or canned brown lentils
  • 1 cup of small pasta (macaroni works)
  • ½ cup of chopped cremini mushrooms
  • ½ cup of chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup of chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • ½ tsp of ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp of turmeric
  • ½ cup of chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup of fried onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Large skillet
  • Spoon
  • Spatula


  1. Heat the olive oil in the skillet over medium fire. Sauté the onion and bell pepper for about 5 minutes, until softened. 
  2. Add cremini mushrooms and cook everything for another 2-3 minutes until they’re brown. 
  3. Put in the cumin, coriander, and turmeric. Allow everything to sizzle for about a minute. 
  4. Throw in your leftover mushroom rice and stir well to combine everything. 
  5. Fold in the cooked pasta and lentils. Season with salt and pepper, adjusting to your preference. 
  6. Make sure to give everything a good mix.
  7. Garnish with cilantro and fried onions before serving. 

Egyptian Tip: Sprinkle with cayenne pepper and squeeze in some lemon juice. You’re welcome 🫡

Portobello Palace

Wild rice portobello mushroom risotto in white plate.

Did anyone say portobello? Those mushrooms with large meaty caps and just all too perfect for stuffing? 

We can’t resist a flavorful mushroom rice pilaf!


  • 2 cups of leftover mushroom rice
  • 4 large portobello mushrooms
  • ½ cup of chopped shiitake mushrooms
  • ¼ cup of chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup of chopped celery
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • ½ tsp of ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp of cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp of allspice
  • ¼ cup of vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup of chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Baking sheet
  • Spoon
  • Spatula


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Meanwhile, remove the stems of the portobello shrooms by using a spoon to gently scrape out the gills.
  2. After removing the stems, brush the inside of the caps with a little olive oil. 
  3. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium fire. Sauté the onion, celery, and shiitake mushrooms for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic into the mix and cook for another minute.
  5. Sprinkle the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and allspice. Stir everything for another minute.
  6. Toss in the leftover mushroom rice and mix everything well. Season with salt and pepper. 
  7. Divide the mixture evenly between the portobello caps. 
  8. Place the caps in a baking sheet, then pour the vegetable broth in the bottom to prevent the shrooms from drying out. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  9. Garnish with parsley before serving. 

Egyptian Tip: Add some chopped figs or dates to your stuffing before baking. Doing so will give you a subtle sweetness that amazingly complements the current earthiness and spiciness.

Shiitake Stir-Fry

Shiitake mushrooms are native to East Asia. They used to be cultivated on logs in the wild. Today, though, they are commercially grown on sawdust or wood chips. 

Heads up! Our third and final dish can make you say profanities like shiit!-ake mushrooms (yes, exactly like the movie Spy Kids).


  • 2 cups of leftover mushroom rice
  • 1 cup of sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • ½ cup of chopped red bell pepper
  • ½ cup of chopped green bell pepper
  • ¼ cup of chopped red onion
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • ½ tsp of chili flakes
  • ¼ cup of chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of cooked chicken or tofu
  • 1 scrambled egg 

Cooking Utensils

  • Large skillet
  • Spatula
  • Spoon


  1. Heat olive oil in the skillet over medium fire. Cook the shiitake mushrooms for about 3-4 minutes or until they brown slightly. 
  2. Add the bell peppers to the pan. Cook everything for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Throw in the onion and cook for another minute or until they appear translucent. 
  4. Toss in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Make sure to stir occasionally to not burn the garlic. 
  5. Pour in the soy sauce, vinegar, cumin, and chili flakes. Stir well to coat everything with the sauce. 
  6. Fold in the leftover mushroom rice and stir-fry the mixture for 2-3 minutes. 
  7. Stir in the chicken or tofu and scrambled egg at this point, then mix everything until heated through. 
  8. Top it all off with cilantro and season with salt and pepper before serving. 

Egyptian Tip: This stir-fry can benefit from a ground coriander and a dash of lemon juice. It’s always good to have that citrusy taste. 

Leftover Afterlife 

We’ve explored dishes fit for sultans and emperors. Now, we’re adding pharaohs to the culinary roster. 

I think we just achieved nirvana with this article on what to do with leftover mushroom rice. 

We’ve leveled up our leftover gaming and basically mastered an ingredient reserved for the gods. 

And my gods, don’t you just feel infinitely hungry with these three recipes?

I won’t keep you any longer, then. Go and make the pharaohs turn in their tombs with what you’re about to whip up.

May your cooking endeavors be as fertile and abundant as the Nile!

Patricia Barre Avatar


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