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In a pickle: What to do with overcooked rice

Newlywed, new mom and first-time home buyer, Sarah is currently playing out her exciting life in Phoenix, Arizona. She recently gave up her job in finance to stay at home with her baby girl, who between bath time and feeding time, keeps ...

It may be mushy, but it's still useful

Did you overcook your rice? Unfortunately, it's easy to do since it cooks relatively fast. Luckily, there are ways to salvage it so you don't have to throw it out.
It may be mushy, but it's still useful

Overcooking anything isn't exactly ideal. It makes you feel like all your time and effort went down the drain. With rice, though, it doesn't have to be that way. Some recipes actually call for overcooked rice, and we're here to share those with you plus provide some tips on how to prevent your rice from overcooking!

Easy recipes using overcooked rice

Rice pancakes

A super delicious way to use up your overcooked rice is to make rice pancakes (think potato pancakes made out of rice). Saute your favorite vegetables in a little bit of olive oil and add to the rice. Toss in a few handfuls of shredded cheese and mix well. Shape the rice mixture into round patties and saute until crispy.


Rice in soup is always overcooked since you reheat the soup (and cook the rice further) every time you go to eat it. The soups that work the best for adding overcooked rice include chicken and rice, hot and sour, minestrone and vegetable beef.


Hosting a party? Mix a few cups of overcooked rice into your meat to form meatballs. The rice acts as a filler so you'll get more meatballs for your money without sacrificing flavor.

Baby food

Have little ones running around? Overcooked rice is great for them since it's significantly easier to chew than regular rice. Serve it to them as-is or mix with pureed vegetables or fruits.

Fried rice

Frying foods will naturally make them crispier. Put your overcooked rice in a saucepan with some olive oil and cook over medium heat. Add in your favorite vegetables, an egg and soy sauce.

Rice pudding

If you're in the mood for something sweet, turn your overcooked rice into rice pudding by adding milk, cinnamon, sugar, raisins and vanilla extract. Mix well and serve warm!

Check out this recipe for chicken fried rice >>

Tips to prevent your rice from overcooking

Sometimes we can't help overcooking our food. Whether we get an unexpected phone call, the baby starts crying or we simply forget to set the timer, it can't always be avoided. To lessen your chances at overcooking your rice, though, utilize the following tips:

  • Don't cook when you have a million other things going on. In other words, if the kids are screaming and the phone won't stop ringing, it's not the best time to start dinner. Wait until the kids settle down a bit or your husband gets home and can lend a helping hand. Never be afraid to ask for help.
  • Set the timer early. This is our favorite trick. Whether you're cooking rice, a casserole or brownies, always set the timer a few minutes earlier than the directions say. If the timer goes off when you're in the middle of changing a diaper, you know you have time to complete the task without burning the food.
  • Delegate. Finally, when cooking rice or any type of meal, delegate tasks to family members. Older kids can set the table or be in charge of preparing side dishes. Younger kids can do small tasks with you so they feel involved, too. By making dinner a family event, you'll give the kids something to look forward to plus prevent food from burning or overcooking.

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