Rice. One of the simplest, yet most delicious foods ever. Every culture utilizes rice one way or another, and there are countless of ways to cook it without getting bored. Here are some recipes that will make you ditch your weekly fried rice go-to, and class it up realll nice.

1. Stuffed Peppers


Photo courtesy of Megan Prendergast

Is it weird when I think of rice, the first thing I think of is stuffed peppers? I guess thats the Italian blood in me. Stuffed peppers are so easy to make, and such a great healthy option for a weekday dinner.

2. Risotto


Photo courtesy of Jennifer Weintraub

Risotto is another Italian staple that might be a little more complex, but well worth the time. The creamy texture of the risotto is created by constant stirring, with an added fat source that traps the air underneath. Risotto is made with a higher-starch rice, with various vegetables added in. The recipe above ads tomato, shrimp, and spinach which is an easy way to liven up a boring risotto.

3. Spinach Parmesan Rice Bake


Photo courtesy of Christy Denny at www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com

The easiest thing to do with rice besides frying it? Baking it. This Spinach Parmesan Rice Bake is almost a play on spinach dip…but baked. Perfect for picky eaters and pot lucks.

#SpoonTip: Once it is finished baking, add bread crumbs and cheese to the top and broil for 5 minutes for a crispy top.

4. Cheesy Enchilada Skillet


Photo courtesy of damndelicious.net

Eliminate a few calories of a regular enchilada by making it tortilla-less. This enchilada bake is much easier than your average enchilada, and uses just a few ingredients to create this beautiful dish.

5. Rice Pudding


Photo courtesy of Dylan Barth

What classier way to use rice for dessert than by making rice pudding? This recipe is a fusion of bananas foster and rice pudding, which come together to create the perfect dessert for when you have too much rice left over from last night.

6. Tomato, Rice, and Zucchini Pancakes


Photo courtesy of Amanda Chong

This full on meal is unique, and an easy way to get in those vegetables without the pain of eating a salad. The tomato rice in this recipe makes a tasty side to the zucchini pancake.. you won’t even know you’re eating vegetables.

7. Paella


Photo courtesy of Christina Robinson

If you’ve ever been to Spain, you know how bomb paella is. Now, you can make it right at home. This veggie and shrimp version encorporates all of your in season produce, as well as the magical ingredient of rice to create a flavorful and filling dish.

8. Vegetable and Rice Soup


Photo courtesy of thekitchn.com

Nothing warms the soul like some homemade soup. And what better way to reuse that rice in your fridge than by making some for yourself? With this recipe, you still get the heavy chicken flavor from the added broth, while using tons of vegetables that can be fresh or frozen. And it only takes 35 minutes!

9. Jambalaya


Photo courtesy of Daniel Schuleman

If you’re feeling like you need some southern comfort food, this easy jambalaya recipe is perfect. For those of you who are from the north like me and are unfamiliar with this dish, jambalaya consists of meat, veggies, and rice mixed with cajun spices. The best part about jambalaya is you can add whatever vegetables or meat you have on hand, which can make this a very affordable and delicious meal for all you broke b*tches out there.

10. Rice ‘n Beans


Photo courtesy of Jessica Barefoot

Surprise your family by making a Caribbean inspired meal with the rice in your cabinet. It can be a side dish paired with savory meat or fish, which is balanced by the sweetness of the coconut milk. If you can’t be in the Caribbean, you may as well eat like you’re there.

11. Arancini


Photo courtesy of Alessandra Scollo on flickr.com

One of my all time favorite rice recipes. Arancini is the Italian term for deep fried risotto balls.. And trust me, it is even better than it sounds. The typical arancini is risotto mixed with ragu, mozzarella, and peas, but the ingredients vary when traveling region by region in Italy. This recipe makes arancini with just cheese and leftover risotto, which makes it easier to cook at home than what you’d normally find in Italy. Dipped in sauce, you have yourself the most delicious and satisfying appetizer. I’m literally drooling just writing this.

12. Casserole 


Photo courtesy of Holly Lofthouse at life-in-the-lofthouse.com

This recipe immediately caught my eye. A fuse of Asian flavors and an American baking technique, this casserole is soon to be a fan favorite that will make use of your leftover cooked rice. What’s more comforting than homemade Asian food? The answer is nothing.

13. Sushi


Photo courtesy of Brittany Cutler

I think homemade sushi gets a negative reputation. I’ll admit, it looks extremely complicated to make, as well as gather all the ingredients for. However, this recipe introduces you to the basics of sushi making by creating the typical sushi roll, a California roll. Once you have this recipe mastered, go HAM and impress your friends by branching out; a tuna avocado roll, salmon roll, or even a Philadelphia roll.

#SpoonTip: When purchasing raw fish to use for your homemade sushi, make sure to let your fish monger know that you plan on making sushi, so they give you sushi grade fish. This fish is handled a little differently which makes it a-OK to eat raw. They’ll appreciate you letting them know in advance as to avoid a potential lawsuit regarding mercury poisoning. Better safe than sorry!

14. Wild Rice Pilaf


Photo courtesy of carlsbadcravings.com

Yes, you can buy rice pilaf at the store. But if you’re looking for a jazzy way to make a rice-side dish (perfect for holidays!), this recipe should be your go-to. I’ve never seen rice pilaf look so beautiful and delicious. The mixture of sweet and savory will awaken your taste buds, and the various textures will keep you guessing. Definitely introducing this recipe to my family this Thanksgiving.

Who would have thought rice could be so damn classy? If you didn’t know there were this many ways to use rice besides frying it, I’m there with you. Now that I opened my horizons to various different ways, I will definitely chill with fried rice, and use these recipes as a guide to change up my routine.