Creative ways to use leftover bread and rice

Creative ways to use leftover bread and rice

Raise your hand if you're guilty of buying or baking too much bread or cooking too much rice. We've got plenty of delicious ways to repurpose these staples and save them from ending up in the garbage!

Bread

  • Toasties: Extra crispy bread + extra melty Puck mozzarella cheese = a winner. It is that simple. And that tasty.
  • Make your own bread crumbs:  It’s easy. Just preheat your oven to 150°C, place slices of stale bread on the oven racks, and leave them in there for 30 minutes. Then toss them in a blender or a food processor and blend until you have the desired sized crumbs. 
  • Make your own croutons: Simply cut the bread into cubes, arrange them on a baking sheet and leave them to bake in the oven at 150°C for 20 minutes. Remember to turn them halfway through. Now you have your own homemade deluxe topping for soups and salads. BONUS: You get bonus points and taste if you mix the croutons with garlic, herbs and olive oil before baking them!
  • Crusty bread salad aka panzanella: This is a much-loved Italian bread salad that usually pairs ciabatta (but you can use any kind of stale bread really) with juicy tomatoes, olive oil, olives, capers, and peppers. The bread soaks up all the wonderful juices and the result is a delicious salad booming with flavor!
  • Savory bread pudding: Take a baking dish or casserole, coat it with oil or butter to prevent sticking, and add several slices of bread. For every slice you add, beat two eggs in a bowl with a splash of Puck cooking cream along with whatever savory flavorings you’d like, and pour that mix right onto the bread. Top it all off with a layer of Puck mozzarella cheese, and bake in the oven until the edges are golden and irresistible and the center is done. TIP: Diced onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, cooked sausage are great companions for this dish! 
  • Pita bread quick pizza: Have you ever been in the mood for pizza, but haven't had the time nor the energy to make one from scratch? Well, use pita bread! Top it with your favorite sauce, Puck Mozzarella cheese, toppings of your choosing and off to the oven it goes. Easy peasy!
  • French Toast: When making french toast, stale bread is actually better than fresh. The dry bread soaks up the flavors and keeps its texture much better, preventing it from turning into mush at the mere mention of moisture!
  • Use old bread as a topping for French onion soup: Another great use of old, dry bread is to simply put it on top of a bowl of French onion soup, top it with Puck mozzarella and your favorite cheese blend and place it under the broiler for a few minutes till it is hot and bubbly. Yum!
  • Jazz it up and bake it into bruschetta. Bruschetta is basically crusty bread with toppings, so bread that’s somewhat stale is almost perfect for the Italian appetizer. All you have to do is brush slices of dry bread with olive oil, bake them in the oven at about 150°C for a few minutes, and then top them with whatever topping you like. We like to use diced tomatoes, Puck mozzarella or Puck Feta cheese, and basil or mint. Once you’ve topped the bread, return it to the oven and place it under the broiler for a few minutes. The result is an amazing appetizer or side dish!

Rice

You overestimated how much rice you'll need and now you have a ton left over. What do you do with it? It’s an absolute waste of time and money to throw out rice, so instead, we find some creative uses for it.

  • Freeze it: We will start with a simple one. Just measure out the amount of rice you need for a specific recipe that you might make in the future, and then freeze that amount of rice in an appropriately labeled container.
  • Rice kibbeh: A wonderful Iraqi recipe called Aleppo Kibbeh uses rice instead of bulgur for the crust, which makes it gluten-free. The rice also makes the crust super crunchy and allows you to flavor it in any way that you like. Traditionally, turmeric and curry is added, but you can also add sumac, herbs, different spice blends... Just let your creativity run wild. 
  • Soup: If you’re making almost any kind of soup, just add a cup or so of cooked rice and allow the rice to absorb some of the flavor. This is a great economical way to stretch a pot of soup to feed a family. It also thickens the soup and adds body and texture to it. We suggest adding rice to everything from chili to tortilla soup, from vegetable soups to chicken noodle soups, from lentil soups to broccoli cheese soups.
  • The quick soup: You can also simply heat up your favorite Puck sauce, add rice and a few leftover veggies for and an almost instant bowl of soup.
  • Rice cakes: All you really have to do is take your leftover rice and season it however you’d like (soy sauce is a good one, but you can also use herbs or your favorite spice blend). Then you add Puck mozzarella cheese,  a couple of beaten eggs as a binder, and form it into cakes. Ultimately you bake or fry them, and that's it. These make for a great, easy and convenient appetizer.
  • Rice lasagna: Looking for a gluten-free replacement for pasta in lasagna? Try leftover rice! Mix the rice with Puck mozzarella to add flavor and help it stick together, and use Puck bechamel sauce as you would with regular lasagna. Your gluten-free guests will thank you!
  • Rice pudding: Rice pudding is a great way to use up all your leftover rice – and everyone loves rice pudding! You can add cinnamon and nutmeg, or raisins and dried fruit to dress up this simple dessert, and no one will know that you actually made this only to cover up for your leftover rice!
  • Burritos: Mix leftover rice with beans and your favorite burrito filling and enjoy a portable filling meal. These are great for Suhoor or when you're hungry after taraweeh.
  • Vegetable and rice casserole: Make weeknight dinners a breeze with a creamy, veggie-filled casserole topped with melty Puck mozzarella goodness. Just mix rice, vegetables, Bechamel sauce and place them in a pan. Top with Mozzarella cheese and off to the oven.
  • Mini sushi pizza: Shake up sushi night by making a quick personal pan pizza with a crispy rice crust. Mix your leftover rice with Puck mozzarella, top it with creamy avocado, crisp cucumber, green onion, and thinly sliced salmon. An impressive appetizer that took next to no time to prepare!

Related stories

Leftover makeover
No one likes to eat the EXACT SAME MEAL multiple times in a row. We hear you and we are here to help!
Ramadan Meal Prep Tips
This Ramadan, we aim to motivate you (and help you) to reduce food waste.
How to get kids eat more veggies?
If your kids are masters at hiding their peas under mashed potatoes and if their broccoli somehow vanishes during dinner and shows up the next day

Related recipes