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Leftover Fried Rice

Yes this is exactly what it sounds like. When you have to use up your leftovers or lose them, dice them all up and add it to some fried rice. You can use whatever add-ins or seasonings you want, but try to keep them in the same flavor grouping for best results.

For example, if you have some Mexican leftovers dice them up and use a taco seasoning, add in a little salsa or diced tomatoes, top with cheese and avocado. If you have Asian food leftovers, dice them up and use a similar seasoning, like a little Gochujang for spicy Asian foods, hoisin sauce if you like it a little sweeter or soy sauce for a little more salty-savory flavor and top with crushed peanuts. This also works with American foods like barbecue chicken, meatloaf and yes, I've even made it with hot dogs for my kids.

If you want to do this with Italian foods, it would work best if you made it into a risotto first. You'll need to use arborio rice and fry it uncooked first, stirring well so it doesn't burn. Add in a little wine and then some soup broth, a little at a time. Once it's all soaked up then you can add in your Italian leftovers. I'd toss in some yellow squash, zucchini, mushrooms or broccoli if you have any on hand.

Some extras you could toss in that work well with almost any flavors are either fresh or frozen vegetables, some kind of nut like peanuts, cashews or almonds. Don't forget to add in a little onion, this almost always goes with everything and it will give your leftovers a boost of flavor.


(pictured above: leftover orange chicken, frozen peas & carrots)


2 tbsp BUTTER or OIL

1 cup Rice, cooked or uncooked; (us Arborio Rice for Italian leftover flavors)

1/2 Onion, diced

Whatever you have in your fridge!

Some kind of Meat or Protein: Chicken, Sausage, Meatballs, Turkey, Ham, Fish

Some kind of Vegetables (fresh, frozen or leftover): Peas, Carrots, Corn, Zucchini, Broccoli, Mushrooms

2 Eggs

Seasonings & Sauces that go with your leftover flavors

ex. taco seasoning, salsa, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, Gochujang, Worcestershire sauce, garam masala...etc.


2 tbsp Nuts, chopped (peanuts, cashews, almonds, pinon, etc.)

2 tbsp Raisins, regular or golden (these may not work well depending on the flavors)

1 tbsp Wine (red, white, sherry, marsala, etc....again, use your judgement on what might blend well with your flavors)

Sometimes keeping it simple works out better so you don't confuse too many flavors together.


If you're using leftover RICE, put it in a large deep skillet with 2 tbsp BUTTER or OIL. Stir the rice around to get it wet from the butter/oil and then spread it out to the sides of the pan to create an empty center space in the middle.

(If you're using uncooked rice, you'll need to cook it separately first. Boil 2 cups WATER with 1/2 tsp SALT and 1 tbsp BUTTER. When the butter is melted, add in 1 cup uncooked RICE and sitr, cover, lower heat to LOW for 15-20 minutes until cooked. Now you can add this cooked rice into the skillet and continue below.)

Add the diced ONION into the center of the skillet, you may need some extra butter/oil to sauté it. Blend the rice into the onion and then add in your MEAT/PROTEIN and VEGETABLES. Mix these all together for a few minutes and then spread this mixture out towards the sides of the pan to create an empty center space in the middle.

Crack your 2 EGGS in a separate cup to whisk them up and then pour the eggs into the center of the skillet. Scramble these eggs in the center until they're cooked, see photo below. Now fold them into the rice mixture.

Now is the time to add in your SEASONINGS and/or SAUCES, stir to blend. Add in any EXTRAS like nuts, raisins, wine or anything else you feel like. Mix this all together until it's heated all the way through.

Sometimes a squeeze of citrus (lemon, lime or orange) on the top or fresh herbs that need to get used up works well as a finishing touch. Enjoy!


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