5 Quick & Healthy Weeknight Dinners Using Leftover Rice

We know the key to eating well amidst your busy lifestyle is planning ahead, but this is easier said than done. By nature, we prioritize our planning efforts on larger or more immediate decisions (the itinerary for your dream Europe trip, crushing an important work project, crunching numbers to buy a new car, leaving work on time to make it to spin class, etc.), which means that the simple, everyday decisions, i.e, "whats for dinner?", are left as an afterthought.

We get it, and we're here to help you balance it all with some pro meal planning tips to eat well even on your busiest days. Today, we’re talking about rice, a healthy and inexpensive household staple that you probably already have in your cupboard.

In the appropriate portion, rice can be a healthy source of carbohydrate on your plate. Rice is a whole grain, which means it goes through minimal processing to get from farm to table, and is a natural source of a variety of vitamins and minerals. The downside, is that the good quality kind (you know, the kind that comes unflavoured and takes longer than 5 minutes to make) can be time consuming, sometimes taking longer to cook than the rest of your meal.

The good news? Cooked rice lasts for up to 5 days refrigerated in a sealed container, and it doesn’t take much longer to cook a large batch compared to a single portion. With a little planning, rice can be the convenient solution you’ve been looking for to speed up your weeknight cooking. So, prepare a batch this weekend, and make your life easier during the busy week ahead with these five Real Good Recipes:

For when you only have 10 minutes...

Make this Quick and Easy Burrito Bowl

Who needs to stop for fast food when you can get dinner ready in 10 minutes? This recipe is super easy to throw together for a weeknight dinner or easily multiplied to meal prep lunches for the week.


Make this Rice Bowl with Fried Egg and Avocado

Eggs are not just a breakfast food. This recipe from Bon Appetite takes advantage of leftover rice and fried eggs for a meal in minutes. Our dietitians suggest adding some stir fried veggies, such as peppers, asparagus, or kale, to the bowl for a balanced meal.

For when you have 20 minutes…

Make this Sweet and Spicy Stir Fry

This recipe from Chatelaine uses red pepper jelly to add a punch of flavor to this quick weeknight stir fry. Our dietitians suggest adding additional veggies to keep this stir fry balanced, try at least ½ cup of peppers or snap peas per person.


Make this 20-minute Honey Garlic Shrimp

It’s hard to believe such a quick and simple recipe could be so tasty! This recipe by Sallys Baking Addiction is a truly delicious 20 minute dinner. Don't forget to include a side of steamed broccoli for a balanced meal and serve over rice.

For when you have 30 minutes...

Make this Lentil and Broccoli Curry with Coconut Milk

Our dietitians love lentils. Not only are they a great high fibre source of vegetarian protein, but they're the inexpensive and real convenient. This recipe from requires very little prep and comes together in 30 minutes. Serve over rice.

Want more Real Good Eats? Browse our recipes here.

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Real Good Eats makes it easier to find quick, healthy, simple weeknight recipes online.  We’ve searched and brought together a variety of simple, quick, and dietitian-approved recipes so that you don’t have to.


Each recipe is cutting-board-to-table in under an hour, and many are ready in under 30 minutes. Browse our weeknight dinner recipes to find the best quick and healthy recipes from across the web. 

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