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How To Reheat Fried Rice

Got leftover fried rice and want to know how to reheat it? Here are my best tips and tricks on How To Reheat Fried Rice.

Ham fried rice on a white plate.

Fried rice might have originated in Asia, but it has been an American favorite for decades. Delicious, versatile and easy to make, this dish of stir-fried rice, veggies, and often meat is a hearty one-skillet meal or a side dish.

There are many different ways to make fried rice, but just about every version starts with pre-cooked rice. Using cold rice that’s been cooked the day or night before and then chilled makes all the difference between sticky, clumpy fried rice and light and fluffy fried rice.

No matter how you’ve made it, or maybe you’ve gotten take-out and now have leftovers to reheat, there are several easy ways to reheat your fried rice safely. And you should always heat your leftover fried rice to 165 degrees F. Use an instant-read digital thermometer to get an accurate internal temperature.

In the Microwave

How to reheat fried rice in the microwave? It’s pretty easy, and you only need a microwave-safe dish and some plastic wrap. Cover the dish with plastic wrap, microwave it on high power for about 30 seconds, and then stir it. Keep heating in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until the rice is heated. 

Fried rice heats up nicely in the microwave, which makes it great for saving time. It won’t dry out, and the meat or proteins will stay nice and plump as long as you don’t overheat it. Even Brisket Fried Rice reheats well in the microwave.

chicken fried rice made on the blackstone griddle on a white plate
Chicken Fried Rice; Jenn Allen; cookwhatyoulove.com

In a Skillet

What’s the best way to reheat fried rice? In a skillet! Fried rice heats up nicely in a skillet, after all, you made it in a skillet or on a griddle. Simply add your leftovers to a skillet and warm it over medium-high heat until it is heated through. There’s no need to cover it, and you shouldn’t need to add any extra liquid. Just stir it around until it is hot and then dig in.

In the Oven

Did you know you can heat leftover fried rice in an oven? Preheat your oven to 325-F and add the rice to an oven-safe baking dish. Cover it with foil and heat it in the oven until it is warmed through. How long this takes depends on how much rice you’re heating. More rice will take longer, but enough for one serving of Chicken Fried Rice, for example, should take about 15-20 minutes. You may need to stir in a tablespoon or two of water to keep the rice from drying out.

Food Storage

Leftovers are such an easy meal, after all, they are already cooked and just need to be reheated. But, the FDA’s food storage guidelines suggest keeping leftovers for no more than 3-4 days and keeping them in an airtight container in the fridge below 40 degrees F. 

Can You Freeze Fried Rice? 

Yes, you can freeze leftover fried rice. Package it in freezer-safe containers and store it in the freezer for up to a month. For the best reheating results, let it thaw in the fridge before reheating.

Leftover Rice—Store it Properly!

Leftover rice can cause food poisoning if it isn’t properly handled. Always refrigerate cooked rice as soon as possible. Uncooked rice can contain bacillus cereus spores, a bacteria that can survive the cooking process. Leaving cooked rice at room temperature can allow these spores to grow, and they will produce toxins that can induce vomiting or diarrhea. 

Promptly refrigerating the cooked rice and any leftover fried rice drastically minimizes the risk of food poisoning.

a bowl of rice that was cooked in the instant pot
Leftover Rice; Jenn Allen; cookwhatyoulove.com

The Final Word

By oven, microwave, or on the stovetop, reheating leftover rice is simple. Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy meal of leftover Ham Fried Rice—or any other kind of fried rice, tasty leftovers are just a few minutes away. 


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