How To Reheat Refrigerated Rice

Not everyone thinks so, but having leftover rice is a blessing. You can use it in all kinds of repurposed recipes, for example: chicken fried rice or rice pudding.

But if you’re wanting to reheat your leftover rice, you’re definitely gonna need to know how to do it the right way. The last thing anyone wants is nasty dried-out rice you microwaved on high for 3 minutes uncovered.

So, what is the best method to reheat refrigerated rice? Steam it in the microwave to breathe in a fast and easy second wind into your rice. Cover it with a damp paper towel directly on top of the rice, and heat on high till warmed through.

Though, if the thought of using a microwave to warm up your leftover rice makes your stomach churn more than lips drool, here are a few other methods you could give a try.

Can you reheat refrigerated rice?

You absolutely can reheat refrigerated rice, so long as you’re safe about it.

If your rice was left out on the counter for 2 hours or has been in the fridge for more than 1 day, consider that a no-go and toss it. Eating the rice at that point would no longer be safe, and you could be putting your health at risk.

When you reheat your rice, take care to ensure it’s been reheated all the way through. Any cold patches could be just warm enough to let bacteria fester, but not hot enough to kill them.

Ideally, you would eat all your rice fresh.


Your rice was likely cooked on a stovetop, might as well complete the circle of rice and reheat it there too.

However, this time around the rice isn’t going to be boiled, it’s getting steamed.

  • Add water to a saucepan
  • Heat water over medium-high heat
  • Add your rice to the now-hot water and stir, breaking up all the large chunks of rice
  • Turn heat down low and continue warming until the rice has been heated thoroughly, 5-10 minutes
  • Remove from heat and serve immediately


The oven isn’t a bad choice for warming up cold rice.

You can never go wrong with a “set it and forget it” strategy towards leftovers. While the oven may not be perfectly “forget it”, you can get a lot of convenience from choosing this option.

It’s relatively quick, but most importantly it’s incredibly easy.

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Combine rice with ½ cup of water in an oven-safe baking dish
  • Break up any clumped together rice
  • Cover a tight-fitting lid over the baking dish
  • Cook for 20 minutes, or until the rice has been heated thoroughly


This is the quickest method you’re gonna find for getting your fluffy rice warm and tasty again. Most people will claim that the microwave can’t reheat rice, but they just haven’t figured out the secret yet.

  • Pour a little water into your rice
  • Mix up your rice and water, being sure to break up large clumps of rice
  • Cover the rice with a damp paper towel, laying it directly on the rice
  • Hear for 90 seconds or until fully warmed
  • Remove and serve immediately

Final thoughts

As you can see, reheating your refrigerated rice at home is a quick and painless procedure, even if you go a slower route with your reheating – like the oven.

There are many options out there to choose from, so find the one that best fits your kitchen and your individual needs.