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31 Super-Satisfying Meals That All Start With A Bowl Of Rice

Rice: the MVP of the pantry.

There's a reason some people eat rice with every meal. It's filling, versatile, inexpensive, and easy to make. And it's one of those things you probably always have around. 🍚

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So grab that leftover rice sitting in your fridge (or make a fresh pot) and turn it into something amazing. Here are more than 30 ways to do that!

1. Veggie Fried Rice

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This recipe is great because as long as you have the basics — rice, eggs, and soy sauce — you'll be able to concoct something delicious. Throw in whatever veggies you have on hand and enjoy the savory goodness.

Recipe: Veggie Fried Rice

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2. One-Pot Cilantro Lime Chicken & Rice

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Nothing beats a one-pot meal. And the end result of this recipe is particularly good: The lime and cilantro make it feel light and fresh, while the chicken, black beans, and rice provide substance.

Recipe: One-Pot Cilantro Lime Chicken & Rice

3. Spiced Rice Pudding

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Who said that leftover rice needs to be used for something savory? This sweet breakfast or dessert recipe only calls for seven ingredients (three of which are spices) and is ready in under 20 minutes.

Recipe: Spiced Rice Pudding

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4. One-Pot Enchilada Rice

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This vegetarian dish has cheese on top of cheese with rice as the base. Top it with some avocado and you've got an easy, midweek meal.

Recipe: One-Pot Enchilada Rice

5. Paprika Chicken & Rice Bake

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The chicken may take center stage, but it's the rice (which is cooked in garlic, onion, and broth) that provides the flavor.

Recipe: Paprika Chicken & Rice Bake

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6. One-Pan Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl

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Out of tortillas and have a bowl of leftover rice in the fridge? This rice-based take on fajitas includes all the regulars — pepper, onion, and chicken — on a bed of wild rice (or whatever you happen to have on hand).

Recipe: One-Pan Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl

7. Beans, Rice & Cheese Burritos

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Sometimes the simple meals are the best meals. This four-ingredient recipe takes less than five minutes and can be made in a microwave. Make extra so you can freeze and reheat when your fridge is bare.

Recipe: Beans, Rice & Cheese Burritos

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8. Chicken Jollof Rice

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This dish sounds as if it would be hard to make, but the recipe makes it easy. Plus, it's hard to go wrong with rice, chicken, and a ton of spices.

Recipe: Chicken Jollof Rice

9. Make-Ahead Chicken & Rice Bake

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Ah, bread crumbs, the essence of life. Those delicious nuggets top soft rice and chewy chicken cooked in butter, onion, and garlic.

Recipe: Make-Ahead Chicken & Rice Bake

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10. Mango-Stuffed Sticky Rice Balls

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If you've never had mango sticky rice, get ready to fall in love. This take on the classic Thai dessert puts the mango inside the rice. A genius move.

Recipe: Mango-Stuffed Sticky Rice Balls

11. Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

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This creamy soup is perfect for a cold or rainy day and would pair nicely with a thick slab of bread (and a thick smear of butter).

Recipe: Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

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12. Salmon Poke Bowl

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Is there anything like rice and fresh salmon? This recipe uses high-quality ingredients to deliver a taste of Hawaii, wherever you are. Feel free to sub in ahi tuna for the salmon or grill your protein if raw fish isn't your jam.

Recipe: Salmon Poke Bowl

13. Southwestern Chicken & Rice

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Have some leftover rice and need a vision for lunch? Grab a Mason jar and dump in some rice, veggies, black beans, and cheese for a grab-and-go meal that's ready in under 30 minutes.

Recipe: Southwestern Chicken & Rice

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14. Taco-Stuffed Peppers

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This recipe cuts a few carbs from arguably one of the world's best foods: tacos. Stuff all your favorite taco ingredients — beef, rice, beans, corn, and salsa — into a pepper and top it with cheese, sour cream, and guac.

Recipe: Taco-Stuffed Peppers

15. Cilantro Rice

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Sometimes the best recipes are the simplest. The basics for this dish, which pairs well with a Mexican-themed meal, are lime, cilantro, and rice (of course).

Recipe: Cilantro Rice

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16. Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Bake

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Honestly, IMO you could leave off the chicken and still have an all-star dish. The rice and broccoli are cooked in cream of mushroom soup and cheese (hello, creaminess). Nuff said.

Recipe: Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Bake

17. Meatless Paella

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Oh, paella. Oh, homemade paella! This rice-based dish is heavy on flavor (as you'd expect) and can be modified to interest meat and seafood eaters with a simple addition.

Recipe: Meatless Paella

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18. Nick’s Jambalaya

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Apparently we owe some guy named Nick for this one. The dish's 71 grams of protein (per serving!!) are largely thanks to the mix of chicken, sausage, and shrimp. Make extra for tomorrow's lunch.

Recipe: Nick’s Jambalaya

19. Fried Rice Chicken Teriyaki Cups

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This dish keeps it cute while packing a punch. You'll get 27 grams of protein per serving and can use up that leftover bowl of rice in your fridge. Win, win.

Recipe: Fried Rice Chicken Teriyaki Cups

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20. One-Pan Miso Honey Salmon for 2

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Okay, okay, so rice isn't the star ingredient here, but the miso glaze looked so delicious, it couldn't be ignored. This dish is an easy (and elegant) way to use up that brown rice and impress a friend.

Recipe: One-Pan Miso Honey Salmon for 2

21. Shrimp Tempura Rice Burger

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Sometimes it pays to think outside the box, and this rice bun burger is definitely out of the box — at least for many Americans. The Japanese-style shrimp burger is smothered in a mayo sauce (that you'll make yourself).

Recipe: Shrimp Tempura Rice Burger

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22. Lentils & Rice With Caramelized Onions

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This super-hearty vegetarian dish has 20 grams of protein per serving and is warm and filling. For a complete meal, serve with pita.

Recipe: Lentils & Rice With Caramelized Onions

23. Lamb Biryani

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Save this recipe for a weekend when you have time and want to fill your home with mouthwatering smells. Yogurt, almonds, raisins, and a TON of spices bring the lamb and rice to life.

Recipe: Lamb Biryani

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24. Easy Mosaic Sushi

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You knew sushi had to be somewhere on this list. But rather than stressing over the chopping and rolling, try this easier-than-it-looks mosaic sushi recipe that is as tasty as it is beautiful.

Recipe: Easy Mosaic Sushi

25. One-Pan Spicy Prawns & Rice

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Not only is this a one-pan meal (your dishwasher will thank you), but it has only five steps and packs 22 grams of protein per serving.

Recipe: One-Pan Spicy Prawns & Rice

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26. Slow Cooker Chicken Fajita Bowls

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If you're on the slow cooker train, look no further. This recipe uses rice as a base for chicken, veggies, and a boatload of seasonings cooked for three hours. Hello, flavor.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Fajita Bowls

27. Microwaved Veggie Rice Bowl

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No one has time to make an intricate meal every day of the week. This recipe requires only a microwave and takes under 30 minutes. The result is a hearty, flavorful meal with protein, healthy fats, and veggies.

Recipe: Microwaved Veggie Rice Bowl

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28. Onigirazu (Rice Sandwich)

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This Japanese lunch is as grab-and-go as it gets. Wrap all the good stuff (rice, salmon, and sesame seeds) in a sheet of nori and enjoy!

Recipe: Onigirazu (Rice Sandwich)

29. Chinese Chicken Fried Rice

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This warm, flavorful comfort food requires only seven ingredients and less than 30 minutes of your time. Swap in whatever meat and veggies you have on hand.

Recipe: Chinese Chicken Fried Rice

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30. Crunchy California Roll Sushi Bowl

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With this recipe you get all the flavors of sushi without all the work. And you have permission to top it with as much homemade spicy aioli as you'd like.

Recipe: Crunchy California Roll Sushi Bowl

31. Leftover Cheesy Bacon Rice Croquettes

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There is arguably no better way to use up leftover rice than to combine it with cheese and bacon and fry it. Dip them in a side of marinara (or whatever strikes your fancy).

Recipe: Leftover Cheesy Bacon Rice Croquettes

For even more delicious recipes and meal ideas, download the award-winning Tasty app for iOS and Android! 🍳

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