Want to learn how to reheat rice? It’s super simple no matter which of the 4 different methods you use. There are also some key things to keep in mind so you get fluffy rice, even when it’s already a day or two old. Don’t forget to try out these rice recipes near the end!

White rice in an Instant Pot with a wooden spoon.

How to Reheat Rice

Rice can easily be made ahead of time, so it’s ideal for meal prep and reheating. But these tips also work well with simple leftover rice, too. Because it’s so versatile, it can easily be repurposed into something completely different the second time around.

Can you use the stovetop to reheat rice?

Yes, you can use the stove top to reheat rice. This method works especially well for large portions. This one will take a bit more time, but it won’t feel like it if you’re cooking more food for your meal. 

  1. Let the rice warm up to room temperature.
  2. Add rice to a pot or skillet with a splash or two of water or broth. 
  3. Break up any rice clumps to distribute it evenly.
  4. Cover rice tightly with a lid and let it sit on low heat for 5-10 minutes.

Using a lid for this method allows the rice to steam which creates a fluffy texture—as if it weren’t even leftovers! If you don’t have a fitted lid, using aluminum foil is a great way too. 

White rice served in a white bowl.
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Can you use the microwave to reheat rice?

The microwave method is the easiest and safest way to reheat rice. Whether it’s white, brown, or basmati rice, all you need is a little water and a damp paper towel. Follow these quick steps for moist rice:

  1. Scoop leftover rice in a microwave-safe container.
  2. Break up any rice clumps to create an even layer.
  3. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water or broth over the rice. You can even nestle an ice cube in the middle of the rice instead.
  4. Cover with a damp paper towel.
  5. Heat for 20-30 seconds, fluff, then repeat for up to 2 minutes until warmed through.

The damp paper towel creates a steamy cloud over the rice to prevent it from drying out. The splash of water or broth also adds moisture. If you don’t have much rice to reheat, the microwave is your best bet for small portions. 

Can you use the oven to reheat rice?

Yes, surprisingly the oven is an effective method for reheating rice, and it will not dry it out if you follow these simple steps. The oven method is also an easy way to reheat rice for a crowd. Grab foil and a baking sheet to get started with this option.

  1. Preheat your oven to 300°F.
  2. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Spread rice evenly throughout the baking sheet to break clumps.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes until heated through.

You could even sprinkle salt, pepper, or other seasonings to spice it up and create the perfect side dish.

5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

How can I repurpose leftover rice?

The best way to repurpose leftover rice is to use it in a stir fry. Instead of adding water like in the other methods, you’ll add soy sauce and other condiments to a skillet, and voila! The perfect fried rice or Asian side dish. Here are the easy steps:

  1. Heat oil in a pan.
  2. Add rice straight from the fridge.
  3. Stir until heated through for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add vegetables, protein, and seasonings.

Try out this Easy Chicken Fried Rice recipe that can be easily adapted to your taste preferences. 


How to store rice?

To store rice, let it cool completely, place in an airtight container, keep in the fridge, and eat within 4 days.

How to freeze rice?

To freeze rice, let it cool completely, place in a freezer-friendly bag, squeeze the air out, label it, and freeze it flat for up to 6 months.

Can you reheat cooked rice?

Yes, you can reheat cooked rice. You can warm it back up with a microwave or the oven, steam it on the stovetop, or repurpose it completely in a skillet.

Can you eat cold rice?

As long as you’ve properly stored your leftover rice, then it’s completely safe to eat cold. Remember that with any cooked food, you want to make sure the rice hasn’t spent more than an hour in the “danger zone” temperatures, between 40°F – 140°F. This is the range where bacteria like Bacillus cereus can grow. 

A big, white-speckled bowl full of cooked white rice with a small wooden spoon in the center holding some white rice.

The Best Rice Recipes

5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

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