You know those evenings when you wish you could just have food magically appear on the table? I have a lot of those evenings. Sometimes I need something lightning fast to eat while rushing from work to soccer practice, or when I’m working late at the office, or when I just want to wind down and enjoy a glass of wine instead of fussing over a meal. On those kind of evenings, I like to rely on shortcuts, and reheating frozen rice is one of my favourite shortcuts.
It only takes about 5 minutes to heat up frozen rice, and it can be used is so many different ways. It’s a perfect side, of course, and it can also be a great base for stir fries, curries and chilies. You can add it to soup, or as filling for wraps, or make it into a casserole. The possibilities are endless.
My favourite way to use it lately is in rice bowls. I just gather up whatever ingredients I have on hand and put it all out on the table for everyone to assemble their own meal. It’s my go-to fast meal. This one I posted on Instagram was Mexican-Themed:
Here are some tips for freezing and reheating your rice.
- Choosing rice: You can use pretty much any rice, but I like to use converted rice (parbroiled rice) because it doesn’t get mushy or sticky.
- Cooking rice: The next time you cook rice, make a double (or triple) batch. Cook according to the directions for the type of rice you’re using. Here’s a handy rice cooking chart if you need it: Time Table for Cooking Rice and Other Grains. I like to add a little butter or coconut oil when cooking the rice to prevent stickiness. And apparently adding coconut oil (3% of the weight of your rice) and cooling afterwards will actually reduce calories!
- Cooling rice: When the rice is cooked, put it in the refrigerator overnight. That’s it!
- Freezing rice: Divide the rice into whatever portion sizes you’d like (I use 3 cups). Place your portions into freezer bags and lay them out flat. Stick the flattened bags into your freezer, stacking them on top of each other.
- Reheating rice: The easiest way to reheat your rice is in the microwave in a covered dish. It usually takes me about 5 minutes. Stir the rice halfway through cooking so it heats up evenly. You can also reheat on the stove, adding a little water or stock, and any spices /seasonings you’d like. If you’re adding rice to a soup, you can just throw the frozen rice right in and let the soup do the reheating. This should be done near the end of cooking time, so the rice doesn’t get mushy. Only reheat rice once, for food safety.
Meals that go well with rice
Use rice as a base for these meals:
Vegetable Lentil Curry by Food & Whine
Thai Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry by Making Healthy Choices
Vegetable Stir Fry with Cashews by Making Healthy Choices
Hawaiian Meatballs by Food & Whine
Leftover rice makes the best fried rice. Try it with these recipes:
Thai Baked Pineapple Fried Rice by Leelalicious
Brussels Sprout Fried Rice by A Virtual Vegan
Taco Fried Rice by Well Fed Flat Broke
Shrimp Fried Rice by Food Mamma
Kimchi Fried Rice by Diversivore
Fried Dashi Rice with Shrimp and Miso-Butter Radishes by My Kitchen Love
Veggie Fried Rice by The Lovin’ Forkful
Easy Curry Fried Rice by Killing Thyme
Fried Rice with Baked Tofu by Food & Whine
Teriyaki Mushroom Bowl by The Refreshanista
Thai Style Buddha Bowl by Leelalicious
Honey Garlic Tofu Bowl by The Refreshanista
Mango Avocado Rice Bowls with Chipotle Chicken by Peaks and Harbours
Brown Rice Tomato Soup by Ilona’s Passion
Mulligatawny Soup by Swirls and Spice
Lemon Pepper Chicken Lettuce Wraps by I Say Nomato
Grape Leaf Rolls or Dolmas by Torview Toronto
Veggie Sushi by The Refreshanista
Salmon, Asparagus, and Rice Casserole by Food & Whine
Easy Taco Casserole by Ilona’s Passion
Mushroom Risotto Arancini by Sugar Loves Spices
Curried Lentil, Wild Rice and Orzo Salad by Kitchen Bliss
Russian Meatballs by Gastrosenses
Rice and Cheese Treasures by Food & Whine
Chai Spiced Rice Pudding by The Taste Space
Sweet Potato Rice Pudding by Swirls and Spice
How do you like to use leftover rice?