Recipe: Takeout Rice Pudding

Don’t let leftovers go to waste. 

How many times have you ordered Chinese or Thai food and ended up with more white rice leftovers than you know what to do with? Much of the time that rice just sits in the fridge, forgotten, until you spy it days later and end up tossing it because it’s “too old.” Not this time, people. We’ve got a way to salvage that rice before it heads to the dumpster… turn it into rice pudding! It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s the perfect way to recycle those unappealing leftovers into a sweet treat.


  • Leftover takeout rice (1 cup)
  • 1/3 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups regular milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Dash of vanilla (optional)
  • Fruit (optional)


Pour 2 cups of regular milk and 1/3 a cup of sweetened condensed milk into a saucepan and bring it to a boil.

Next, add in 1 cup of your leftover rice and let the mixture come to a boil again. Once it comes to a boil, let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes, while stirring occasionally. At this point, you may want to taste the pudding and see if it is as sweet as you would like it, and add a little bit more of the condensed milk to sweeten it to your liking.

For a more diverse flavor, add a cinnamon stick (or a couple dashes of cinnamon) and maybe a little vanilla to your saucepan and let the concoction simmer for another 5-10 minutes.

You can also add raisins or fruit for a new spin on rice pudding, but make sure to add these in closer to the end of your cook time so that you don’t end up with overcooked fruit in your pudding.

Once the pudding has thickened, remove it from the heat and let it cool down a bit. You can enjoy your pudding warm or cold, depending on your preference.

Voila, you have now created yourself a tasty dessert out of leftovers that might have otherwise ended up in the trash. Bon Appetit!


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This post originally appeared in Sierra magazine.

Sierra is the magazine of the Sierra Club. Our motto: Explore, Enjoy, and Protect the Planet. Follow Sierra magazine on Twitter.

Image: rore