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4 Ways to Use Up Leftover Spanish Rice

Does anybody else tend to make way too much rice?

I love having leftovers, so I try to make a few servings at a time. But sometimes I still end up with more rice than other food to go with it.

Homemade Spanish rice is an excellent example! I use my recipe for 3-Ingredient Mexican Rice as a side dish for meals like enchiladas or tacos. But I end up making too much and I don’t have anything else to go with it.

A bowl of Spanish rice with text "What to do with leftover Spanish rice"

I can freeze the leftovers, but I can also repurpose it for other recipes! You can easily turn this great side dish into a main dish with a few other simple ingredients.

Here are some ideas on what to do with leftover Spanish rice.

A rice cooker filled with cooked Spanish rice

How to make Spanish rice

This isn’t an authentic Spanish rice recipe in any way. But this is how I typically make mine, using pantry staples.

I add uncooked rice (Typically white rice but I also use brown rice) to a rice cooker and add diced tomatoes, taco seasoning, and chicken broth. Then I cook it in my rice cooker and it’s done! Cleaning your rice cooker is really simple, too.

You could customize it by using different ingredients for added flavor:

  • Vegetable broth
  • Chili powder
  • Ground cumin

If you want to print the recipe, you can get my full Mexican Rice recipe here.

How to store leftover rice

Storing it until you’re ready to use it again is pretty easy! Let the rice cool to room temperature and then add it to an airtight container. Put it in the fridge, where it’ll stay fresh for about 5 days.

How to use up leftover Spanish rice

A burrito bowl with rice, beans, guacamole, tomatoes, and lime

Burrito bowls

This is an easy dinner idea! And it’s my favorite thing to make on nights when I can’t think of what else to have.

You can put anything and everything in a burrito bowl. Pick a protein, pick some veggies, some sauce, and you’ve got a delicious meal.

And instead of cooking up some rice, you can use the Spanish rice! Here are some of my favorite toppings in burrito bowls:

  • Can of black beans
  • Chicken
  • Ground beef
  • Shredded cheddar
  • Sour cream
  • Lettuce
  • Avocado
  • Salsa
  • Tomatoes and bell peppers
  • Green onions
A wooden bowl filled with Spanish rice

Fried rice

When I think of fried rice, I typically think of the Asian style. But you can definitely make fried rice with Spanish rice!

Scramble some eggs in it, and top with salsa and shredded cheese for a super easy and delicious breakfast that may last you a couple days!

Here’s a great recipe for Vegetarian Mexican Fried Rice!

A bowl filled with taco soup

Add to chili/taco soup

Do you usually add rice to soup? It’s a great way to add extra bulk to a meal. Rice tends to soak up a lot of the liquid, but you can easily add more water or broth when you reheat.

Here’s a recipe for Crockpot Taco Rice Soup!

A Mexican casserole topped with corn chips

Make a Mexican casserole

To switch things up for taco night, you can make a casserole instead! These mostly consist of adding different ingredients together:

  • Taco meat
  • Rice
  • Cheese
  • Tomato sauce or salsa
  • Green pepper or red bell pepper

The cooking time is cut down because you have the Spanish rice leftovers! Here’s a good recipe for a Mexican casserole.

Next time you have extra rice, try one of the above recipes or even experiment with your own! What rice dish will you try next? Leave a comment and give us more ideas!

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